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Static burst sound effect
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Static burst sound effect

by jag on Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:34 pm

I'm a total newbie to the Arduino world. I've done a few of the basics with blinking LEDs, it's now time to fully reveal my actual intentions of entering this hobby... and get educated on how to do it! :D

Goal: to have a short static burst follow my speech through a small amplified speaker

Background: I'm a Star Wars costumer. I've got a TK (storm trooper) and I'd love to get a static burst effect. I wear a mic and small amp so I can more easily talk to others. There are commercial solutions out there, starting at about $150 and going up. :evil:

I've got powered and unpowered mics. The amp I have has both a jack for a mic and another input. Theoretically, I can play music over the other input and still talk over it. I don't currently use the alternate input.

Research: I've discovered the Wave Shield which can playback sound files like static bursts, yay! In my dream, the mic would connect to the Arduino/Wave Shield and then pass through to the amp, to allow voice and then the static burst.

Current: I've found numerous leads on how to trigger events to get the Wave Shield to play... but none address how to do the mic pass through. Then there's the issue of coding, to trigger the static burst after I speak then go idle until the next time.

Questions: Any thoughts on how to wire the mic and amp to the Arduino/Wave Shield to allow for: 1) pass through (mic to amp), 2) act as a trigger (mic to board), 3) be able to play the static burst (board to amp)?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Re: Static burst sound effect

by macegr on Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:17 pm

Can't you just say "krshhhhkk"?
macetech LLC -
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Re: Static burst sound effect

by nateloaf on Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:06 am

Check out the Wave Shield kit available on this site. It is reasonably priced and includes everything you will need to play audio files through the Arduino. It includes a speaker, but I'm sure you could just hook it up to whatever you have currently.

Bonus: You can also add "pew pew" sounds :)
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Re: Static burst sound effect

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:18 am

Not sure why you would need to pass the mic through the waveshield, since your amp already has two inputs. But a simple passive mixer circuit before the wave-shield amp should work. Google "passive mixer" and you will find plenty of simple designs.
The trigger is the tricky part. The easy way is to have a 'press-to-talk' button and trigger on the falling edge. Or you could do some audio level-detection and filtering. Just don't pause too long in the middle of a sentence

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Re: Static burst sound effect

by jag on Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:23 pm

LOL! If you ever had the chance to see "StarWars in 30 minutes" you'd definitely see why the "pew pew pew" sfx comment is VERY funny :lol: It may be disturbing for blaster sounds emanating from my bucket (helmet) rather than my blaster itself ;)

As I've further checked out the Wave Shield it definitely covers the "play the burst" part. The tricky part is getting the trigger to set off the sound automatically. Plugging the Wave Shield into the aux port in the amp with a PTT (push to talk) button to manually trigger the sound is not as elegant as I was looking for. A local national retailer has a "voice memo" kit that can do the same thing for $10, but it's not nearly as cool as doing with an Arduino :)

I'll check out the "passive mixer" and see what that brings. In my limited experience the sketch would start in idle waiting for sound input (speech, like "These are not the droids we're looking for....", go into active mode while still detecting the continued sound then when the input drops to nothing (with conditions of course ;)), and then trigger the burst.

My casual perusal of the sketches for the Wave Shield cover some triggers, but nothing specific yet. Maybe something like Knock sketch could be tweaked to monitor level changes? Ah, the adventure!

Thanks for your advice. It makes my wanderings more purposeful :)

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Re: Static burst sound effect

by cstratton on Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:56 pm

I think you should wire up the push-to-talk to enable your microphone, and then have the arduino/wave shield play the static burst when you release the button.

Your task in learning to operate it would be then exactly like that of someone operating a real push-to-talk radio.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.