Peizo TranducerOrac - Sound FX

My origional Orac had a small analog circuit that emulated the hum of the TV Orac. The clever addition of a high-farad capacitor behind the frequency-drive circuit even allowed me to get the start-up pulse sound right, though I was never able to simulate the power-down sound in this manner to my satisfaction.

The Arduino Microcontroller's audio-modulation capabilities should enable me to get all of this right in the new model. Of course in a real stage-prop, the sound effects wouldn't be built in anyway - they would be added in post-production. But this project is as much about demonstrating things to do with the Arduino, and the whole thing is more impressive in live demo with sound!

I stuck a piezo transducer (top right) between one of the output pins and GND and used the tone(pin, Hz, [duration]) command to drive it. An Arduino only supports one sound channel, though you can send it to any output pin. Also, I found the tone command does weird things for a frequency below 30Hz so I avoid setting the frequency below this.

Here is the start sound, which is an initial higher-pitch pulse which then rapidly drops to the running hum:

tone(9, 2000); // start-tone - higher pitch pulse delay(100); for(count=1500; count >100; count-=100) { tone(9, count); // drop pitch to running hum delay(10); }

Here is the running sound, which is a low-pitch hum with slight, random pitch variations:

tone(9,70+random(20)); // make the slightly-varying low-level buzzing noise

And here is the shut-down sound, in which the running-hum tails down in pitch, with some significant random pitch variation:

for(count=230; count >30; count-=5) { if(count % 30 > 15) tone(9, count); // kill-tone-low - pitch drops else tone(9, count*2); // kill-tone-high - modulate the dropping pitch up periodically delay((250-count)/5); // taper out the timing too } noTone(9); // turn off sound completely on = 0;

They are not brilliant replications of the TV Orac's sound, but are close enough for my demonstration purposes.

Replacing the Peizo TransducerMobile Phone Speaker

I replaced the Peizo Transducer on the sound output with a tiny little speaker from a smashed mobile phone I found on the road (right). The sound is suddenly AMAZING!!! Loud and clear is the exact expression.


Next: The Key


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