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"Simple" Soundboard Project
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

"Simple" Soundboard Project

by RLSanders on Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:08 pm

Simple for you, yet complex for myself.

I had another thread but it got too wordy and convoluted.

I want to make a soundboard for 30 sounds using 30 different physical buttons. What would be the best way to do this? I'd love to use one of the new FX boards that play 10 sounds on each one. If there's a way to join three and have a single power source and speaker, that'd be ideal. The 30 sounds are currently MP3s, less than a minute each and take up less than 12MB.

Here are some preliminary pics of the project so far:

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Nothing is totally screwed on or wired up yet. Each button will make the sound of one of the cicadas above. In the center is a speaker tube. To the right of the speaker is the power switch and to the left is the volume.

RLSanders
 
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Re: "Simple" Soundboard Project

by adafruit_support_mike on Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:21 am

That is a gorgeous build.. where did you get those spun-metal pushbuttons??

If you're willing to use three FX boards and only want to play one sound from one board at any time, sending everything to a single output won't be hard. The only catch is that you'll probably want to use an amplifier.

The connections will look like this:

output.jpg
output.jpg (15.82 KiB) Viewed 592 times

which is pretty straightforward.

That kind of signal mixing would make any serious audiophile cringe, but it will be fine for your project.

The trouble is that the outputs from all three FX boards pass through decoupling capacitors on their way to the amp, so when any one board is playing a sound, it has to pump current in and out of the idle capacitors for the other two FX boards. The smallest problem (from a Pure Audio standpoint) is that you lose 2/3 of the voltage when that happens.

The larger problems happen if you try to mix signals from multiple boards playing at the same time. Most capacitors behave differently at different voltages, so having several of them working at the same time causes signal distortion.

Neither of those is all that big a problem for your project though. The brass horn will probably cause more distortion than the mixing circuit does, and sending the signal through an amplifier lets you gain back any voltage you lost in the mixer.

I based the drawing above on the TS2012 2.8W class-D amplifer:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1552

but you could also ignore one side (since the FX boards only produce mono output and you only have one output horn) and use the 2.5W PAM8302:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/2130

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Re: "Simple" Soundboard Project

by RLSanders on Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:16 am

So sorry for the delayed reply.

The brass doorbell buttons are from here (only $1.25 each):

http://www.sciplus.com/p/CLASSIC-VINTAG ... TTON_53314

The project is (mostly) finished. I don't know if it's actually "steampunk" but it's definitely steampunk inspired and I'd like to share it with you now. I apologize for the quality of the images. I took them with my iPhone. I hope to have a photo shoot some day at an industrial area or vintage ornate house setting.

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The big brass speaker thingy is a "Klaxon" automobile horn from 1910 or 1911.

The buttons are brass doorbells. There are 30 of them. The buttons aren't labeled but each button plays a sound that corresponds with the cicada in the case above. There are 30 cicadas (six high and five wide). The buttons are laid out the same way but separated by a speaker. If you want to hear the second cicada from the right on the fourth row up from the bottom, go up and over that many buttons.

The silver ornate screen seen through the horn opening is a speaker grill/cover from a 1955 Nash.

The front portion opens up and is held closed by a brass window sash latch.

The covering over the button wires/speaker and lining the insides of the box are a black fake leather with a diamond pattern and brass-colored stitching at the intersecting lines.

The bottom of the enclosed box portion is padded and covered using a soft fabric that is a smaller reversed sort of design to the sides and lid underside.

The wood is stained pine.

The base/legs are black iron plumbing pipe.

The power cord is antique reproduction cloth-wrapped and twisted red lamp cord. Inside the box power is converted from 120v to 12v before going into the sound board.

The electronic sound board is a Multi-channel sound board MP3 industry player from Waytronic Electronics in China.

The MP3 sounds are mostly from Dave and Kathy at insectsingers.com. I also extracted sounds from videos I took.

The speakers are made by Seiki for multiple laptops.

The display case is air tight and precise from Bio Quip. It measures 18x24x2.5" with a glass face and Plastazote foam.

The labels are on acid free paper made to look aged.

The font is representative of the 1930s.

The cicadas were all collected by myself in Oklahoma. There are five new state records (Two from 2013 and three from 2014). There are ten species known to be in the state that are not represented in this display.

It's mostly finished. I still have a few things I want to add.

I'm a HUGE fan of cicadas in Oklahoma (USA). Simply displaying them isn't enough when their song is such an integral part of what they are. I decided to display the specimens and sounds through this device I dreamed up. You can see more about my cicada stuff here:

https://www.facebook.com/oklahomacicadas

Hope you enjoy it.

P.S.

I'm in the process of making a smaller sound machine for ten cicadas and will be using the 16MB with amp soundboard sold here. It will likely be a stand alone but I may link it to one of the leg pipes on this recently-finished sound machine and have it as a sort of smaller setup to the side.

RLSanders
 
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Re: "Simple" Soundboard Project

by adafruit_support_mike on Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:43 pm

That's a gorgeous build!

Thanks for posting, and for sharing the details of what you used for materials.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.