There are two primary components to setting up your audio system: the lectronics that produce the sounds; and the audio track itself. We will take a look at both, and see how you can possibly add
sound or improve your current setup.
When it comes to choosing a controller for your
audio output, you have plenty of choices. You can
purchase a controller that already has an audio player
incorporated in it; the PicoBoo controller is a good
example (see Resources). This controller also
incorporates an onboard memory chip so no SD card
is required. It has a mono stereo player as well as an
onboard amp, which allows you to use smaller non-powered speakers. The PicoBoo does, however, need
a bigger power supply in order to take advantage of
its full range (Figure 1).
If you choose to build your own circuit, there is a
plethora of separate audio player options available. This is
the route I have taken with my controllers.
A quick search on the Web will reveal plenty of audio
modules, with many different vendors to choose from
(Figure 2). They come in assorted shapes and sizes with
numerous different mounting options.
One important feature for me is that it must output in
stereo. The mono players I have tried did not perform up to
my expectations. I tried many of them before I
selected the model I now incorporate in my
The model I prefer uses a micro SD card and has
an easy to work with low profile (Figure 3). The
Tenda module I use does not have an onboard amp,
so I do need to use powered speakers. The SD card
holder has a sliding door on it which ensures a
secure fit, but they are a bit of a pain for us big
fingered builders! You can check out a good
selection of models at MDFLY in their audio board
section (see Resources). This will provide a nice
starting point in the search for your perfect module.
You may also choose to use a system where you
can have real time interaction with your guests.
There are wireless microphones available that allow
you to speak directly to people and tailor your
Designing a character includes involving as many senses as possible. Our goal is to
immerse our audience in our fabricated environment and create the ultimate setting.
A well thought-out audio plan is necessary.
Can You Hear Me Now? By Steve Koci
12 SERVO 09.2017
Figure 1. The easy-to-use PicoBoo 104 from Fright Props.
Figure 2. So many choices to choose from!