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Sound project

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Sound project

Postby KrupickaB » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:57 pm

I am looking to develop a sound project module which will provide the following criteria.
1) The sound project file will play a single WAV file of up to 20 seconds in length, then stop and reset.
2) Capability to download a WAV file from a PC to the sound project module via USB (optional interfaces will be considered).
3) WAV file would be 8 or 16 bits sampling rate, mono, 11,025Hz (optional rates will be considered)
4) Activate the device with a momentary push button via control leads emanating from the sound project module.
5) Adjust the volume to the speaker via a small internal potentiometer (optional)
6) Provide .5W, 1W or 2 Watts audio output into an external 8 ohm speaker via leads from the sound module.
7) Operate from a 3V, 5V or 12VDC power supply.

Can someone please provide a model of a sound module which will accomplished the above.
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Re: Sound project

Postby zenguitar » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:10 pm

This is the sort of thing that people usually put together as a DIY project. Basically, you put a microcontroller in a box with some memory (either an EEPROM module or a memory card), an DIY amp on a little daughter board, and a bunch of sockets for the connectors.

You can certainly put something together that meets most if not all of your requirements. But the way you achieve that depends on how much you already know, if you are prepared to learn some new skills, and how good your soldering skills are.

Two platforms worth considering are the Raspberry Pi, which is a £35/$35 computer that is actually overpowered for what you want to do but fits into a cigarette pack and carries a lot of the connections you need, and the Arduino which is a much lower powered microprocessor which can also be made to do what you want. PIC microcontrollers are also a good alternative to the Arduino.

To get these devices to talk to a PC over USB does require some more advanced programming skills and often involves writing a small application to run on the PC. So I would be more inclined to use something like an SD card to store your WAV. You can copy the file over on any computer with a SD reader and then just pop it into your device.

Most of these devices use 3.3V or 5v DC supplies, so if you want to have the option of running from 12V DC you need to put some work into your power supply to make sure it can dissipate the heat generated when you step down to the internal voltage required. I would also suggest that you picked your audio power amp kit/design early in the process because it's power requirements will dictate a lot of the choices you have to make. A lot of these microcontroller boards can supply power to peripherals but can only supply 50 to 200mA and some of that will be needed for memory cards, displays, etc.

If you are thinking about this as a DIY project, let us know so we can move this to the DIY forum. There are probably more people there who can help. And PLEASE let us know where in the world you are, it does help us point you towards reputable suppliers close to you.

Andy
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Re: Sound project

Postby Wease » Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:30 pm

....is he making a rather fancy doorbell???

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Re: Sound project

Postby KrupickaB » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:39 pm

No, it is not a doorbell but the board for one would work. I did see on the internet, there are doorbells that can have customized sound. Does any know where I can but that type of board. It would do just what I wanted.
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Re: Sound project

Postby KrupickaB » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:43 pm

Thank you for your response. It was very helpful.
I keep seeing a WT588D-U board on the internet. Do you feel this would work?
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Re: Sound project

Postby zenguitar » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:25 pm

Hi Brian.

I don't know that module but I've just had a quick search online to see what it does. I also found a user manual/data sheet for the device, you can find it here as a pdf.

First of all, it's not a common module for the DIY community, so there isn't going to be a lot of support you can call on. However, despite the Chinese English, the data sheet is pretty good. It does include a number of example circuits that will help you work out whether it is suitable for you.

It has two ways of playing back a sound file. The first is to directly drive an 8 Ohm speaker using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). This gives about 1/2W output and is 13 Bit resolution. Seems like it is designed to work with miniature speakers like you would get in small toys or talking greetings cards. The other audio output is a 12 Bit Digital to Analogue Converter, the example circuits show how to connect it to a small amp circuit so you should be able to use that circuit or work out how to connect it to a different amp of your own choice. However, there's no way to play back 16 Bit wavs.

You can connect up to 4 buttons to trigger it. But you need to do some serious study of the manual to work out how to set the modes. And while it has a USB input and supports uploading wavs, there is no simple plug and play method in the datasheet so you'll need to study it again and do some detailed research.

It might do what you need, as long as you can compromise on audio bit depth, but it's for an experienced programmer/electronics wiz. It's a 3.3V device, So you will need to build a custom power supply if you want to have the options of running from 3v, 5v, and 12v.

Hope that helps

Andy
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Re: Sound project

Postby Trev Wilkins » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:36 pm

Try here... http://www.talkingproducts.com/
They do a basic unit and programmer quite cheaply. Not sure if the quality is good enough for you. We often make sounds for toys and it's similar quality to the internals of them.

We also have an mp3 doorbell which is a wired unit by Siemens. Got it from B & Q. I don't think it can loop but is pretty good and entertains the clients!
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