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Devices

The following Micro Controllers, Audio Boards, Amplifiers and Sensors are used in the projects and devices displayed on this web site.

Micro Controllers

Micro Controllers
Device Description
Arduino Uno

Arduino Uno Micro Controller

This is the main electronic device (with it's variants) that is used as a standalone MIDI controller for the majority of the projects displayed on this web site.

An Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for anyone making interactive projects. Arduino senses the environment by receiving inputs from many sensors, and affects its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators

A "Genuine" device cost around £20, but an open source clone can be had for around £5.00 if you are in the habit of making blue smoke with them.

Bare Conductive Touch Board

Bare Conductive Touch Board

This combines a version of an Arduino with a 12 electrode input capacitive sensor and an Audio CODEC than can play MIDI, MP3, WAV and Ogg Vorbis files. Therefore it is very versatile device though at £60 plus pound fairly expensive.

 

Audio

N.B. "Shields" are small circuit boards that piggy-back onto the top of Arduino Uno and Mega boards and their equivalent clones. They add extra functionality such as playing audio files. Other shields can also provide onboard data logging, GPS, environmental sensing and much more

 

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Audio Shields and Circuit Boards
Device

Description

MIDI Music Sheild

Music Instrument Shield (Sparkfun)

The SparkFun Musical Instrument Shield is an easy way to add great sounding MIDI sound to your next Arduino project. This board is built around the VS1053 MP3 and MIDI codec IC, wired in MIDI mode. Simply connect a speaker/stereo/pair of headphones to the 1/8" stereo jack on the shied and pass the proper serial commands to the IC and you'll be playing music in no time! The VS1053 contains two large tone banks including various piano, woodwinds, brass, synth, SFX and percussion sounds. The shield is also capable of playing several tones simultaneously (maximum polyphony of up to 31 sounds). They cost around £24.00

Adafruit_SFX_16Mb

Adafruit Audio FX Mini Sound Board WAV/OGG Trigger 16MB Flash

The Audio FX Mini sound board is a simple to use, low cost audio effects trigger that does not require any programming. It does not need an Arduino+Shield

Features:

  • No Arduino or other micro controller required. It is completely stand-alone, just needs a 3 to 5.5VDC battery
  • Built in storage - there's 16MB of storage on the board itself. Good for ~15 minutes of compressed stereo, and maybe a couple minutes of uncompressed stereo. Double that if you go with mono instead of stereo.
  • Compressed or Uncompressed audio - Go with compressed Ogg Vorbis files for longer audio files, or uncompressed WAV files
  • High Quality Sound - Up to 44.1KHz 16 bit stereo? The decoding hardware can handle any bit/sample rate and mono or stereo
  • 8 Triggers - Connect up to 8 buttons or switches, each one can trigger audio files to play
  • Stereo line out - Headphones, powered speakers.
MP3 Player Arduino Shield

MP3 Player Arduino Shield

The SparkFun MP3 Player Shield is anMP3 decoder with the capabilities of storing music files onto a run-of-the-mill microSD card, giving the ability to add music or sound effects to any project. With this board you can pull MP3 files from an microSD card and play them using only one shield, effectively turning any Arduino into a fully functional stand-alone MP3 player! The MP3 Shield utilizes the VS1053B MP3 audio decoder IC to decode audio files.

The VS1053 is also capable of decoding Ogg Vorbis /MP3/ AAC/ WMA/ MIDI audio and encoding IMA ADPCM and user-loadable Ogg Vorbis.

Features:

  • 3.5mm audio out jack
  • 0.1" spaced header for speaker out
  • microSD card slot
Adafruit Music Sheild

Adafruit Music shield

It will play a range of music formats. The files are placed on a micro SD card. It has the added advantage of a built in 3W class D stereo amplifier.

 

Amplifiers

These amplify the low powered "line" signal from shields and circuit boards.
Device Description
Mini Amp

Audio Amplifier

Generic Class D Stereo Amplifier. It runs happily on 9v and is surprisingly loud. Used in about 50% of my projects. They cost around £3.00.

This one has the advantage of small size, volume control and can run off 6-15v. It is worth checking that the voltage range fits in with the other components used (I have been caught out this way a couple of times).

Class D Stereo amp

Class D stereo Amplifier, 3 Watt. N.B. Class D means it amplifiers digitally, sending pulses to a speaker. The speaker acts a s low pass filter converting the signal to analogue.

THe digital nature of the's amps can make "hissy". In addition, quick changes in sound level can cause glitches which can disrupt the Arduino if they share the same battery supply.

 

 

Sensors

Device Description
Ultrasonic range finder Ultrasonic Range Finder
IR Range Finder Infra Red (IR) range finder
Infra Red (IR) Receiver

Infra Red (IR) receiver

 

IR Remote Small IR remote control
Rotary Switch - resitive ladder

Rotary switch: Used for" Resistive Ladder" selection.

 

 

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