Standalone sound trigger module?

Hi guys,

I recently bricked an Arduino Pro Micro trying this project...damn thing.

Maybe you guys can be of help.

Project: Using a piezo to trigger a drum sample (times 2) as a standalone built. Without needing a PC to trigger samples.

Idea: When I knock on the piezo it sends a signal to the Arduino, it loads a file from a connected sd card shield and plays it directly to a speaker using an LM386 low power audio amplifier.

Questions: Is that possible in a small form factor with sufficient audio quality for live usage? I thought of using the Simple Audio Player library for this?

What Arduino would you recommend? I still have a Nano and Mega at hand and if usable an ESP8266. Can't unbrick the Pro Micro atm. The Mega is way too big though.

Optional challenges: Changing output volume based on impact on the piezo. Using two piezos to trigger different files (bass drum/snare).

Parts at hand: Arduino Mega with Ethernet/SD Card shield Arduino Nano Micro SD card shield LM386 audio amplifier module a lot of cables breadboard piezos different resistors

I really need help with this. Is it even possible? I need some nudges in the right direction

Have you tried Googling "Arduino drum kit"? You may not be the first person to think of this idea.


I wouldn't ask if I haven't tried that :)

What you generally get are builds that trigger sounds on a PC. Either in a recording software or some other kind of programm.

I think that's because of the multiple inputs (5+) which would be too much to handle in a stand-alone built. I only need 1-2, which I think should be possible.

For stand-alone use I found PCMAudio and TMRpcm that both play a file in 8-bit. That's way too low quality for my use. Simple Audio Player plays in 16-bit 44.100Hz, not ideal, but way better to use.

What I face though is the problem of wanting a small form factor.

Simple Audio Player is based on the Arduino DUE and I don't know if you can modify that library to work with a Nano or Micro for example.

If you try to port a program from a fast Due to a slower controller, you cannot expect that the audio quality increases.

For quality playback you need a DSP, MP3 player or similar module, an Arduino only can be used to control audio devices.