Arduino Forum

Using Arduino => Audio => Topic started by: majenko on Oct 03, 2012, 04:24 pm

Title: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 03, 2012, 04:24 pm
For some time now I have been designing the new WavePro shield for the Arduino.

(https://sourceforge.net/p/wavepro/screenshot/wp1.jpg)

Simply, it is a shield with a dsPIC33FT128GP802 microcontroller on it linked to an SD card.

The firmware on the dsPIC reads WAV files from the SD card, and plays them through its internal audio DAC.

It also has rudimentary recording abilities.

It can play WAV files up to 48KHz 16 bit stereo at a nice high quality.

The project has reached the stage now where I need people "in the field" to test it and feed back to me their ideas and experience with it.

So, I am looking for a couple of willing beta testers to try out a board and experiment with it.

I won't give these out to just anyone though. I am looking for a couple of people who:

1. Are willing to spend time testing the board and feed back their findings to me.
2. Have the ability to program a dsPIC chip (using a pickit2 or pickit3, etc).
3. Have a good grasp of digital and analogue electronics.
4. Can perform modifications to predominantly SMD based boards.
5. Have good knowledge of the WAV file and its structure.

If you are interested, please PM me telling me why you think you should be considered for this beta program.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 04, 2012, 11:44 am
*Bump*

C'mon guys, someone here must want a free high quality WAV playing shield to play with...
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: codlink on Oct 04, 2012, 12:51 pm
Looks like you want a few "professional" testers that specialize in just one area.  There might be a few here...  But, maybe not...

I am working on an audio project that I could possibly use your shield.  

1. Have plenty of time for testing and could give some feedback.
2. Could learn
3. I am not a genius with Digital or Analog, but I know the difference.
4. I can do that.
5. I have worked with WAV before...

As far as testing, obviously it works, but what are you looking to get out of it being tested?  Better quality sound, easy set-up, bugs, etc..?
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 04, 2012, 01:05 pm
You don't need to be professional, no.

Just willing to spend some time playing with it and let me know what you think - but most importantly have the ability to upload new versions of the firmware to the dsPIC on the shield.  That means you need at least a pickit2 or better hardware programmer.

There should be no need to do any hardware mods, but at this stage who can tell for sure?

And by knowing the WAV format, I mean being able to create and edit WAV files in various formats for testing of the different features and settings.  You don't need intimate knowledge of the internals of the file format.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: Nantonos on Oct 04, 2012, 06:48 pm

C'mon guys, someone here must want a free high quality WAV playing shield to play with...


The set of people who would like a WAV sheild to play with and the set of people who are competent PIC programmers and skilled SMD solder/reworkers may be disjoint.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 04, 2012, 08:07 pm
Quote
competent PIC programmers

I don't mean people who can write programs for the PIC - I mean people who have the ability to upload firmware to a PIC.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: MoShang on Oct 11, 2012, 05:33 pm
This sounds right up my alley - I've sent a PM (or two?)
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: xl97 on Oct 13, 2012, 11:54 pm
I have a PICKit2 programming still lying around...

and I have played with a few WAV type shields..

(mine and the Adafruit Waveshield)..


Outside of this being PIC based.. how does it differ from the RuggedCiruits Audio board they have out?  (curious is all)

Love that it takes the stress off the main Arduino chip though.. (in both projects)


Have you worked up any code examples or libraries for it?
I am curious if you can:

1.) layer/mix audio sounds?  (ie: having a back ground track playing.. and layer/mix other sounds/samples over it?
2.) SEAMLESS looping?

I can solder just fine... even some SMD stuff..

have re-flowed a few parts..and custom boards/projects as well..

Let me know

(located in the US....Wisconsin to be more exact)  ;)


thanks!
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 14, 2012, 11:41 am

Outside of this being PIC based.. how does it differ from the RuggedCiruits Audio board they have out?  (curious is all)


Well, that is the main core of the difference really.

The RuggedCircuits one uses the ATxmega32A4.  That is an 8 bit chip, just like on the Arduino itself.  Yes, it has a DAC on-board the chip, but it's only 12-bit, so unless RC are using an external DAC of some form, even 16-bit WAV files will only play back at 12 bit resolution.  The dsPIC, in comparison, is not only a 16 bit controller (with all the associated benefits that come with that), but has a 16 bit sigma-delta (audio) DAC on the chip, so you get the full 16 bit resolution out of 16 bit WAV files.  Not only that, the dsPIC has a DSP module in it, so complex filtering and other intensive signal processing can be performed (the firmware doesn't do this yet, but it could).


Have you worked up any code examples or libraries for it?

The site for the board is at http://sf.net/projects/wavepro and there is a library available there to download.  It's a fully open-source project, so you could have a go at building your own - schematics are on the site there.


I am curious if you can:

1.) layer/mix audio sounds?  (ie: having a back ground track playing.. and layer/mix other sounds/samples over it?

Not at the moment - it's single sample only at the moment - however, it is in its infancy, and multiple sample playing may well be on the cards.

2.) SEAMLESS looping?

Again, not at the moment, but as before, it's something that could easily be added to the firmware if people want it, so it may well happen.

I'll drop you a PM to get your details.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: sbright33 on Oct 14, 2012, 04:02 pm
I would like to help test it!  PM me.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: Nantonos on Oct 14, 2012, 08:01 pm
This does sound like an interesting shield. I didn't want you to conclude from lack of (qualified) beta testers that there was no interest. In particular, the 16-bit DAC and DSP features are very useful.

I hope that this shield will be compatible with the Mega in terms of pin allocation (and not blocking pins). If you can do that, and make it switchable 5V 3.3V then it should work with  Due too? I mention this because the Due is likely to be more suitable for digital audio projects than the current 8-bit line, and its general pinout is very Arduino Mega2560-like.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 14, 2012, 08:25 pm
The board is aimed at the Uno-style layout.  It will be blocking a couple of pins below the normal Uno portion of the mega. The board outline follows the Uno almost exactly, so I would guess that at most maybe 2 pins will be blocked.

The board itself runs of 5V, and has its own 3.3V regulators on-board (separate power supplies for digital and analogue portions).  The communication pins on the dsPIC are 5V tolerant, so will run off a 5V or a 3.3V board as long as there is a power supply greater than about 3.6V to run the LDO regulators.  As it stands, all the audio processing / IO is performed by the dsPIC chip, so the power of the "host" controller is pretty irrelevant.  I may well be adding portions to the firmware to allow playing of audio data direct from the host controller through SPI, however if that is the main usage you want from it, and the host controller is powerful enough, then an I²S codec chip would probably be a better option.  This board is aimed at off-loading the audio processing and SD card IO from the host controller on to the audio board, thus freeing up the host controller for more important tasks.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: elijahlucian on Oct 16, 2012, 10:34 pm
Hello. I was wondering if you still needed testers, I am an audio engineer in Canada and I am involved in a few projects that might need something like this. Please give me an email if you still need help. Elijahlucian@gmail.com
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: patstar on Oct 26, 2012, 06:21 am
I would love to beta test this. I can program the dspic chip. Thanks again for this awesome work.

pm sent

Pat Star
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Oct 26, 2012, 11:28 am
Unfortunately I am out of beta boards now.  I may be making some more in the near future, so I'll keep you in mind and let you know.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: samirtf on Jan 10, 2013, 12:25 am
Hi! I am a student of Computer Science at Federal University of Campina Grande. I am interested in testing the prototype WavePro for Digital Signal Processing. Do you still have one available?
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Jan 14, 2013, 01:32 pm
I am not looking for any more beta testers for this product at this time.

I'm just awaiting delivery of version 2 boards at the moment.  These, when populated (and confirmed they are working), will go out to my existing beta testers.  Once they are happy with them I will be almost ready to enter full production.

Just a few issues with the firmware to sort out before I am happy to sell them (I am looking at incorporating a bootloader to make reprogramming easier).

=M=
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: mxmx on Feb 27, 2013, 04:13 pm
are you willing to leak some information as to what's going into the firmware, ie functionality-wise? will it be more about play / stop / seek type of things? or will it be possible to do a few more basic things without actually getting into PIC programming? (i guess what i'm asking is will (basic) usage of the thing be pretty much comparable to using, say, the waveHC library? or more like a/the audio codec shield? or both?)

thanks!
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Feb 27, 2013, 04:22 pm

are you willing to leak some information as to what's going into the firmware, ie functionality-wise? will it be more about play / stop / seek type of things? or will it be possible to do a few more basic things without actually getting into PIC programming? (i guess what i'm asking is will (basic) usage of the thing be pretty much comparable to using, say, the waveHC library? or more like a/the audio codec shield? or both?)

thanks!

At the moment there are functions for:
* Play
* Stop
* Pause
* Seek fwd
* Seek backwards
* Record
* Directory listing
* Retrieve UTF-16 filename
* Set volume / boost
* Set LED mode

I have plans to add:
* File open / close / create
* Read data
* Write data
* Seek within file
* Erase file

I might also add:
* Play raw data (send data over SPI and it makes noise)
* Record raw data (record through ADC and return raw data over SPI)

First things first though I want all the core audio functions working flawlessly, then I will add on the raw file access functions.

I am currently looking at ways of providing a bootloader system to make re-programming of the chip simpler, especially for people who don't have access to a PIC programmer.  Ideally I'd like to be able to re-flash the firmware from a file on the SD card, but I'm not sure if that's going to be really possible.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: mxmx on Feb 27, 2013, 05:39 pm
thanks for the prompt reply ...  so play raw data would load the dac? (if i may voice a wish, dedicated functions for setting samplerate and bit-depth would be a neat feature, too.) anyway, will be looking forward to when this is out!
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Feb 27, 2013, 05:51 pm

thanks for the prompt reply ...  so play raw data would load the dac? (if i may voice a wish, dedicated functions for setting samplerate and bit-depth would be a neat feature, too.) anyway, will be looking forward to when this is out!


Oh yes, those would go without saying.  Setting up the DAC to your requirements would be essential.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: g_u_e_s_t on Feb 27, 2013, 08:26 pm
this is really cool.  the dsPIC can do a lot more than playback wav files.  will there be the ability to bootload from the arduino perhaps?  it would be awesome for effects pedals and synths if you could have the horsepower of the dsPIC, but the ease of programming of the arduino.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Feb 27, 2013, 08:44 pm
That is one of the options I have looked at.  At one stage I was looking to use a serial bootloader and use SoftwareSerial to pass through the serial data from a separate programming program, but it didn't work - mainly I think the bootloader itself was at fault.  I do want to try and make it as easy to program as I can, but that in itself won't be "easy"...
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: g_u_e_s_t on Feb 27, 2013, 08:49 pm
bootloaders are a pain, and you will be faced with the added layer that your target is not an arduino, so the code will have to written in some other interface anyways. honestly, once youve put the dsPIC on there, its unclear what the arduino is needed for.

out of curiosity, what was your decision making process for choosing between the dsPIC and a micro + codec?  the micro + codec option would be cheaper and allow for better sound quality, and 16b ADC.  but, it is not as flexible, and cant do a lot of audio processing.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Feb 27, 2013, 09:04 pm
The main driving force behind my designs is the hackability.  The first thing I ask myself is "what could someone else do to this?", and if the answer is "not alot", then I am not happy ;)

The decision to use the dsPIC as opposed to a codec was primarily that of hackability.  I make the device and get it doing what I want, then throw it out there and let others run with it.  So, it has to be something that others can reprogram, and what better than a dsPIC for that?

The other option of a codec + MCU would be kind of as hackable, but the MCU I would want to use then would bring the cost in above the dsPIC.

And you are quite right, you don't "need" the Arduino in there.  The dsPIC is quite capable of running the audio and doing other things at the same time.  In fact, the very first writing of the firmware didn't have the Arduino in place at all - it was just reading the SD card files in sequence and playing them.

There are a few IO ports available on the board (mainly linked to LEDs for a VU / Spectrograph), which I break out to a header as well, plus you could re-appropriate the analogue input and the Arduino interface pins to do whatever you wanted.  The reason for the Arduino though is for people to be able to use the WavePro without having to know how to program a dsPIC.  It functions as a good audio playback card (with record feature that is "usable" ;) ) out of the box.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: Shivasongster on Feb 28, 2013, 10:33 pm
Looking forward to this shield. Any updates on production availability? Also, will it definitely do WAV 44.1 Khz, 16-bit or higher?

Please avoid the problems of the Seeed audio shield!

http://www.shivasongster.com/2013/02/arduino-seeed-studio-music-shield-v1-0/

Also interested to know if anyone has played with the Artemis shields that came out recently.

Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Mar 01, 2013, 12:14 am
Yep, definitely 44.1KHz, 16 bit stereo.  The DAC has a 20KHz (I think) low-pass filter built in, so there is no added low-pass filtering, so you get the entire 20KHz range.

I don't know if you have seen this from one of my beta testers yet: https://soundcloud.com/moshang/waveshield-ras-wavepro (https://soundcloud.com/moshang/waveshield-ras-wavepro)

That seeed one sounds like a bit of a disaster.  I have tried to keep my libraries as clean and simple as possible.  I also always try for cross-platform (Arduino and ChipKIT) compatibility.  As 99% of the work is done by the dsPIC, and the library just sends simple SPI commands, there isn't much for the library to do.

I also have a few demos - some just a single WavePro playing random samples seamlessly, and some that are 3 WavePros stacked and synchronised.  https://soundcloud.com/majenko/ (https://soundcloud.com/majenko/)
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: diaz on Apr 18, 2013, 10:32 pm
Hi,

Just stumbled upon this project, and I have to say not before time !! I have seen several audio player shields but none of them allow the Arduino access to the SD card. Seems perfectly logical to me but yet I have failed to find any (other than this one). The Rugged device was the closest I found but it has no direct SD card access yet (It is planned as I talked to them yesterday, but no planned date). I have a talking logging project in mind that could use a device like this.

So a couple of questions if I may:

1) How is the SD card access part of the project coming ?

2) Any idea on cost ?

3) I am happy to build from PCB if you have one lying about, I understand if not.

4) What software did you use to design the PCB ? EDIT: worked it out, it's gEDA

Cheers. Cam.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Apr 22, 2013, 10:59 am

Hi,

Just stumbled upon this project, and I have to say not before time !! I have seen several audio player shields but none of them allow the Arduino access to the SD card. Seems perfectly logical to me but yet I have failed to find any (other than this one). The Rugged device was the closest I found but it has no direct SD card access yet (It is planned as I talked to them yesterday, but no planned date). I have a talking logging project in mind that could use a device like this.

So a couple of questions if I may:

1) How is the SD card access part of the project coming ?

I haven't had a chance to work on this yet - the project has taken a back seat while I work on some higher priority (i.e., paying) projects ;)
Quote

2) Any idea on cost ?

I was aiming for £25, but with feature creep it may be a little more.  I'm not sure yet which features I'm going to include on the mainboard and what I'm going to have as daughter boards as yet.  So many options...
Quote

3) I am happy to build from PCB if you have one lying about, I understand if not.

I have PCBs, but they aren't right.  I'm still undergoing designs and re-designs.  The last batch I had included a track that was nice and neatly cut by the fab house.  They didn't bother telling me about it of course...
Quote

4) What software did you use to design the PCB ? EDIT: worked it out, it's gEDA

Yep, that's right.  I'm a Linux user, so gEDA is the dog's ;)
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: diaz on Apr 22, 2013, 07:16 pm
It's a bugger when paying the mortgage etc. gets in the way of something more enjoyable. Fully understand though.

Price sounds fair to me.

For what it's worth, now that wave playing is working the SD card features would rank above all else for me, no one else seems to have bothered with this aspect, and it would also give you that "unique selling point". Just my 2p worth.

I'll be keeping an eager eye out !

Cam. 
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: xl97 on Apr 23, 2013, 12:18 am
hi..

not to take away from this product.. ;)

but what do you mean 'access to the SD card'?

I have a (variation) of the Adafruit Waveshield...

and I have/get access to the SD card... 

not only to obviously load/play .wav file from it... but I also put a .txt file on the SD card.. and load that first to set some 'parameters' for the sketch  (ammo count, safety on/off, set color of the RGB led in the blaster/barrel.. all externally editable by a .txt file on the SD card)

maybe Im missing something though?

thanks!
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: diaz on Apr 23, 2013, 01:10 am
Sorry your right, I did look at the Adafruit shield, I forget about it as I preferred a design with a sub processor to do all the wave work, and leave the Arduino free for other duties.

It may well fit my needs at a pinch, can you tell me: Do you get write access to the SD card ? Can you have two files open at once ? and can the Arduino do anything else while playing a wav file or is it pretty much flat out ?

Cam.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Apr 23, 2013, 02:57 pm
The Adafruit wave shield is a SD card connected direct to the Arduino, and a 12-bit SPI DAC also connected direct to the Arduino.

You get mono playback at a maximum rate of (iirc) 22050Hz, and the Arduino is almost flat out at that point.

Accessing the SD card is like any other directly connected SD card.  Whatever the SD lib can do, you can do with that card.

The sound is shite when compared to the WavePro though - 12-bit mono 22.05KHz compared with 16-bit stereo, 44.1KHz (CD quality).  Fine for the odd little sound effect though, but I wouldn't want to use it for anything needing any form of quality, like music production etc.  If you haven't done so, you should check out some of the things I have done in testing: https://soundcloud.com/majenko/ (https://soundcloud.com/majenko/) and Moshang's demo of three boards, the WavePro included: https://soundcloud.com/moshang/waveshield-ras-wavepro (https://soundcloud.com/moshang/waveshield-ras-wavepro)
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: diaz on Apr 23, 2013, 08:23 pm
All noted, as if I wasn't convinced already, another point: The sub processor design also leaves a lot more program memory spare.

Cam.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: oooanickel on Jun 02, 2013, 08:04 am
Hello sir!

Any updates on the production status of this shield?  I am an audio engineer currently working on a project that requires HQ (16-bit, 44.1kHz, uncompressed PCM) audio playback in order to illicit an otoacoustic emission by way of a small, standalone device.  (Basically, it's a box with a big button that says "Do not press this button." Activation will play back a sound I've engineered to feel as if it is happening "inside" your head.)

Blessings,

Richard
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: DROBNJAK on Sep 14, 2013, 09:07 pm
I am also interested to hear when is WavePro going to be available for purchase.
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: majenko on Sep 14, 2013, 09:52 pm
Yeah, alright, I'll get back onto working on it ;)

I'm part way through a bit of a redesign, breaking the power systems up into three separate domains to try and combat SD card induced noise.  It's a bit of a mare TBH...
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: diaz on Sep 15, 2013, 12:11 am
Good to hear, it was starting to slip into the realms of vapourware. Don't forget the SD card access functions to ;)
Title: Re: WavePro Shield - Beta Testers wanted
Post by: MrHaroldA on Jul 11, 2015, 11:11 pm
I guess you can call it "vapourware" by now. As is the Rugged Audio shield, so there are no HQ audio shields for Arduino left. :(