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Sound FX Project Help
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Sound FX Project Help

by convoy on Fri Dec 03, 2021 2:46 pm


I was wondering if anyone might be able to point me in the right direction to upgrade a previous project. I created a PA system for my car incorporating the Adafruit Sound FX board (16mb). It works great but I would like to have access to more sounds.

Is there any way to add flash storage to the board or can it access external memory like a microSD card?

If not, I have some limited experience with Arduino/CircuitPython/Raspberry Pi. I guess I would like to use a microcontroller to play the files in a similar way but this time using a rotary encoder and LCD screen to select from many sounds to play. I’m not very good at creating code from scratch but I can sometimes modify and combine things from other guides and videos. Does anyone know of a similar project that could help with menu selection and display that I could combine with audio playback?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!

I have included photos of my current design if anyone is curious.
D6640E37-7B39-4449-8252-F4014929AFA4.jpeg (159.39 KiB) Viewed 167 times
8E67466B-C747-4637-BFBD-3FC6360F4830.jpeg (97.7 KiB) Viewed 167 times

Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:25 pm

Re: Sound FX Project Help

by adafruit_support_mike on Fri Dec 03, 2021 4:52 pm

convoy wrote:Is there any way to add flash storage to the board or can it access external memory like a microSD card?

I’m afraid not. That one was designed as an easy all-in-one solution for things like props and toys.

It sounds like you’re ready to bump the project up to a Music Maker:


That one is an MP3 codec that can read data from an SD card. We have several sample projects over in the Learning System:


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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:51 pm

Re: Sound FX Project Help

by convoy on Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:31 pm


Thanks for the advice. I have now purchased the music maker but I am having some trouble getting it working. After following all the steps I can't get it to work. Anyone have any idea what I could do or what I am doing wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I get no sound at all. I get nothing in the serial monitor, not even errors. I double checked the solder joints and checked the headers for continuity and everything looks good. It seems like a code problem because I can get other sketches to run correctly, specifically a serial monitor test.

I also tried the VS1053 "player_gpiotest" and it also doesn't work, same-nothing in serial monitor.

Some info and code below

I am using the Music Maker #1790 connected to the Metro M4 # 3382.

To get started I have been following the Music Maker Guide here:
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-mus ... bis-player

I soldered on all the headers and the 6-pin socket. I installed it on the Metro M4.
I then installed the latest version of the Arduino IDE.
I installed the Adafruit SAMD Boards and Arduino SAMD Boards libraries. I installed the VS1053 library.

I wanted to start with the "player_simple" example code in the library so I followed the guide. I commented and uncommented the appropriate lines to indicate in the code that I am using the shield. I copied two mp3 files(named track001.mp3 and track002.mp3)to a microSD card and put it in the shield. I verified and uploaded the code to the Metro M4 successfully. I plugged in a 3.5mm cable and connected it to a powered speaker.

Code: Select all | TOGGLE FULL SIZE
  This is an example for the Adafruit VS1053 Codec Breakout

  Designed specifically to work with the Adafruit VS1053 Codec Breakout
  ----> https://www.adafruit.com/products/1381

  Adafruit invests time and resources providing this open source code,
  please support Adafruit and open-source hardware by purchasing
  products from Adafruit!

  Written by Limor Fried/Ladyada for Adafruit Industries. 
  BSD license, all text above must be included in any redistribution

// include SPI, MP3 and SD libraries
#include <SPI.h>
#include <Adafruit_VS1053.h>
#include <SD.h>

// define the pins used
//#define CLK 13       // SPI Clock, shared with SD card
//#define MISO 12      // Input data, from VS1053/SD card
//#define MOSI 11      // Output data, to VS1053/SD card
// Connect CLK, MISO and MOSI to hardware SPI pins.
// See http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/SPI "Connections"

// These are the pins used for the breakout example
#define BREAKOUT_RESET  9      // VS1053 reset pin (output)
#define BREAKOUT_CS     10     // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define BREAKOUT_DCS    8      // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)
// These are the pins used for the music maker shield
#define SHIELD_RESET  -1      // VS1053 reset pin (unused!)
#define SHIELD_CS     7      // VS1053 chip select pin (output)
#define SHIELD_DCS    6      // VS1053 Data/command select pin (output)

// These are common pins between breakout and shield
#define CARDCS 4     // Card chip select pin
// DREQ should be an Int pin, see http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/attachInterrupt
#define DREQ 3       // VS1053 Data request, ideally an Interrupt pin

Adafruit_VS1053_FilePlayer musicPlayer =
  // create breakout-example object!
  // create shield-example object!
void setup() {
  Serial.println("Adafruit VS1053 Simple Test");

  if (! musicPlayer.begin()) { // initialise the music player
     Serial.println(F("Couldn't find VS1053, do you have the right pins defined?"));
     while (1);
  Serial.println(F("VS1053 found"));
   if (!SD.begin(CARDCS)) {
    Serial.println(F("SD failed, or not present"));
    while (1);  // don't do anything more

  // list files
  printDirectory(SD.open("/"), 0);
  // Set volume for left, right channels. lower numbers == louder volume!

  // Timer interrupts are not suggested, better to use DREQ interrupt!
  //musicPlayer.useInterrupt(VS1053_FILEPLAYER_TIMER0_INT); // timer int

  // If DREQ is on an interrupt pin (on uno, #2 or #3) we can do background
  // audio playing
  musicPlayer.useInterrupt(VS1053_FILEPLAYER_PIN_INT);  // DREQ int
  // Play one file, don't return until complete
  Serial.println(F("Playing track 001"));
  // Play another file in the background, REQUIRES interrupts!
  Serial.println(F("Playing track 002"));

void loop() {
  // File is playing in the background
  if (musicPlayer.stopped()) {
    Serial.println("Done playing music");
    while (1) {
      delay(10);  // we're done! do nothing...
  if (Serial.available()) {
    char c = Serial.read();
    // if we get an 's' on the serial console, stop!
    if (c == 's') {
    // if we get an 'p' on the serial console, pause/unpause!
    if (c == 'p') {
      if (! musicPlayer.paused()) {
      } else {


/// File listing helper
void printDirectory(File dir, int numTabs) {
   while(true) {
     File entry =  dir.openNextFile();
     if (! entry) {
       // no more files
     for (uint8_t i=0; i<numTabs; i++) {
     if (entry.isDirectory()) {
       printDirectory(entry, numTabs+1);
     } else {
       // files have sizes, directories do not
       Serial.println(entry.size(), DEC);

Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:25 pm

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.