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 Post subject: Adding soundboard to a Matrix PR. Speaker Opinions?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:41 am 
Armored Doorman
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Give me your opinions about the best/ loudest speaker to use in a Pulse Rifle?

After the Colony Sweep at the Westin this year at Dragoncon, I decided my PR needed some upgrading...more BOOM and some light for my night patrols of the Mariott hallways.

I'm looking at upgrading my Matrix PR with Hyperdine electronics (sound, counter and muzzle LED) and want to find the best speaker to integrate so I can get good loud sound out of the electronics.

The Airsoft components (motor) will of course remain inactive and unpowered. This gun is strictly a Con prop.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:44 pm 
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I'm also interested in speaker options. Although I'm planning to use the Majenko board since it looks like a more modern option.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:29 pm 
Armored Doorman
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Is Majenko still making kits?

I wonder if they sound like the M41A or the M65? The earlier kits sound like the M56 in the vids I've seen.

Where did you pick the Majenko up?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:12 pm 
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I'm interested too , any help would be appreciated .

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:48 pm 
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I haven't purchased mine yet since I'm holding out for the new revision. Last I heard Majenko was working on a v3 and/or a minimal version. I think he's registered on the board so maybe we can get him in here for some updates. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:28 am 
Armored Doorman
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I'd be interested. His electronics seem to have a smaller footprint than the Hyperdine. Looks like Majenko has combined the soundboard, counter and muzzle flash into a single board. I also like the grenade function but it isn't a priority for my PR. I'll be curious to hear more about this V3 board of his. Hopefully he'll pop in with some info.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:43 am 
Armored Doorman
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I emailed Majenko and asked him for further info and lrt him know there were a few interested parties here. If he responds to my email with info before popping in here I will update it here. I'm genuinely curious about his new board now.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:53 am 
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Here's the thread with the info about the v3/small board.


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 Post subject: Re: Adding soundboard to a Matrix PR. Speaker Opinions?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:08 am 
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Hello.

Right... sounds on my boards.

The problem here is that the M41A doesn't sound like an M41A. I spent some time analysing the films, and there is only one gun sound shared between the M41A and the M56. Close inspection of the audio track reveals that the sound for the M41A is running at 20 rounds per second, not the 15 rounds per second that the M41A is actually firing at. The sound team basically took the one firing sound, from the MG42 and compressed / phased / reverbed / etc the sound to create the sound you know and love so well.

My sound boards make a single shot sound when a single round is fired to ensure a proper matching up of sounds to counter. That means you're not restricted to the same length bursts you have in the films (you notice they always fire the same length bursts? It's the same base sound with different effects added), but can fire just one shot, or hold the trigger down to empty your magazine in one firing frenzy. The board overlays the sounds to merge them into a stream of shots.

Because of that I couldn't use the original film sounds since at no point is there a single shot fired. Also it proved pretty much impossible to separate out a single clean shot from the end of a burst since they were just all to noisy with too much other activity going on, and the previous shots in the burst were messing them up anyway.

So I had to synthesize my own. I took a single shot from an MG42 and added lots of brown and white noise to it and filtered it to make it sound closer to what I perceive a single shot from the M41A would sound like (with no real frame of reference it was purely subjective) and programmed the board to "bend" the sounds by changing the playback frequency during a burst. That helped to achieve some of the phase effect that is heard during a burst.

It's not 100% accurate, but it sounded close enough to me at the time.

Of course, the sounds aren't set in stone. The board is completely programmable and everything about it can be changed - including the sounds. If someone can come up with a better single shot sound that when merged into a burst and "bent" sounds closer to the real M41A I'd be overjoyed to include it in the board.

The main problem I had with getting the sound to sound close of course, though, is the difference in the firing rate. It sounded closer when the M41A was set to fire at 20 RPS, since the sounds merged more. But at the 15 RPS that the M41A really fires at, the sounds just will never merge in the same way, since you are used to hearing them at 20 RPS.

So actually, my board is "right", and the films are "wrong" ;)

As for the V3... I was originally envisaging having it as a 2-part board with the display separate from the controller. People seem to like the all-in-one approach better though, so I am thinking I will be overhauling the V2A to make the V3 with better sound and board layout. The sound on the 2A is it's weakest point. It's not as loud as I'd have liked. It is possible to add an external amplifier to boost the sound, but not all have the room for that. A better audio system is a must for the V3. I already have an experimental setup which has much clearer, higher quality (CD quality stereo!) audio - it's just the power amp stage that's tricky. It has to be really really small, and run off a low voltage, and yet still be loud enough to shatter a Xenomorph's ear drums (do they have ear drums?) at 20 paces.

The "micro" boards have sold well, and the first test batch I made have all sold out already. The micro has no sound, just a counter, but it really is small. I need to make up another batch of those...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:50 am 
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Hey Majenko, good to hear some updates on your board.

While the design of the pulse rifle is cool, the main thing that made me love it, is the sound (closely followed by the LED counter). So accurate and loud sound is probably more important for me than screen accurate looks. That's why the Matrix/Snow Wolf is perfect for my needs; it's cheap, easily modded and close enough in design.

It would be nice if the board could be installed in the Matrix without having to cut any plastic. I wouldn't mind a modular design of the board (control PCB with attached slave boards for the LED and (optional) amplifier) but making it an all-in-one design would of course be preferable since it's easier to install.

I'm a programmer myself and have done a couple of Arduino projects of my own (I'm using UECIDE btw, great work on that :))

Before I learned about your board I was planning on making my own but since your board looks so well thought out I'd be happy to buy that instead. My one suggestion would be to investigate the possibility of an on-board flanger/phaser circuit to route the sound through. This would (in theory) make the sound better and fully dynamic instead of just static sample playback.

I did some research on analog circuits and while they don't seem too complicated, I felt that my electronics skills weren't really up to snuff to integrate them. I does seem possible to do realtime audio processing in software which might be a viable option for your updated board since you seem to be going with a pretty powerful MCU.

If you're interested I'd be happy to help out with coding and/or testing in my Matrix.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:55 am 
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Looking forward to your V3 kit Majenko. I will probably have to get one even though I don't have a PR at the moment. Guys, I have to say that Majenko's boards are top notch, and very reasonably priced. If you want louder sounds you can solder in a powered speaker. there are pads on his V2 board for adding a powered speaker. I used a powered speaker for an iPod that I stripped down in my last PR. It's louder than if you ran just a regular speaker powered by the board itself. Of course, getting that to fit in a PR shell can be challenging, but it can be done. Check the links in my sig below.

On the other hand, I don't think many would complain if the sound, ripped right from the movie, did not exactly match the firing rate of the real weapon or the counter if used in an airsoft conversion. I think many would be happy to just be able to pull the trigger and here what was heard on screen.

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 Post subject: Re: Adding soundboard to a Matrix PR. Speaker Opinions?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:05 am 
reload
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Looking forward to your kit for a M56A2 Smart Gun Majenko.
The M56A2 does have more space so a larger speaker and enough battery power shouldn't be an issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Adding soundboard to a Matrix PR. Speaker Opinions?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:27 am 
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The idea of making it modular was so that different displays could be added - so you could use the same controller board with a 3 digit display for an M56. I'm still in two minds about it - which probably means I'll end up making 2 systems; modular and single board.

The problem with adding more circuitry for the sound system is that there just isn't room (at least not on the single board solution), so all the effects really need to be done in software. I'm no expert in audio processing though, so any help with that would be very much appreciated.

And yes, the board is pretty much a glorified Arduino, and you program it using UECIDE. So you can write your own software for it to operate however you like - it's all open source.

The main controller chip I'm looking at using for the V3 is the PIC32MX470F512H since it has a proper REFCLK output that can directly drive a proper audio DAC, which means I can get CD (and better!) quality audio. I'm looking at a very simple MAX5556 for the DAC, running probably at 48KHz 16 bit stereo. I could do mono, but there's no point ;)

I would dearly love to have an SD card slot on the board too, for storing sound files, but that would only be possible on the two-board system.

With the existing board it's a simple enough job to replace the repeated sounds with a single burst sound and limit it to 10 shots per burst - it's all about the software.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:52 am 
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Nice, the PIC32MX470F512H clocks in at 100MHz... It would be a shame not to take advantage of all them cycles for some sweet audio processing. ;)

While I'm no audio expert, I have dabbled with some software audio synthesis so when/if you have sample boards ready I'd be happy to do some coding tests for flanger/phaser processing.

I agree that a SD slot would be a nice feature. It would make it super easy to install different sound packs for different needs, e.g. the above discussion about firing rates or Smart Gun versions. Most users are probably not so tech-savvy that they want to re-program the board to get new sounds, but everyone can put some files on an SD card. This could also encourage more people to create alternate / better sounds. Plus, you could easily store every conceivable sound pack on a card and then swap between them.


Last edited by Rob on Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:00 pm 
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Rob wrote:
Nice, the PIC32MX470F512H clocks in at 100MHz... It would be a shame not to take advantage of all them cycles for some sweet audio processing. ;)

Except, in order to do work at proper audio frequencies you have to limit the clock a little to 96MHz, so you don't have access to that last 4MHz... Still, 96MHz is not to be sniffed at...
Quote:
While I'm no audio expert, I have dabbled with some software audio synthesis so when/if you have sample boards ready I'd be happy to do some coding tests for flanger/phaser processing.

Boards are one thing - the other is the software... The normal compiler doesn't support the 470 chip, and the newer compiler that does support the 470 chip (and the fancy new PIC32MZ chips, which at 200MHz are also an option - when they are available) has some bugs in it at the moment that stops it working :(
Quote:
I agree that a SD slot would be a nice feature. It would make it super easy to install different sound packs for different needs, e.g. the above discussion about firing rates or Smart Gun versions. Most users are probably not so tech-savvy that they want to re-program the board to get new sounds, but everyone can put some files on a SD card. This could also encourage more people to create alternate / better sounds. Plus, you could easily store every conceivable sound pack on a card and then swap between them.

That is the idea. I have been pondering the possibility of a simple scripting language as well, so you can modify the whole operation with a text file on the SD card.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:16 pm 
Armored Doorman
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How's the illumination of the muzzle LED in terms of brightness? I haven't seen a video of it in a dark room.

As far as powered amps to boost sound I'm working on fitting an AKER inside of my PR so there'll be no issue there!

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 Post subject: Re: Adding soundboard to a Matrix PR. Speaker Opinions?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:00 pm 
reload
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For someone who doesn’t need sound or LED effects the single board design for a PR is just fine.

Some PR have a different internal design where a very small baord around the counter is needed.

So basically all approaches are vaild in their context.

If you think abaout sound; escpically with a higher volume you would need to have the space not just for the speaker.
If it is a single board or not could be second, in some cases even the multiple board design would be better.

Not everyone would like to have a Counter for e.g. a Smart Gun or they would like two, three or four digit displays.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:35 pm 
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Agustus G. wrote:
How's the illumination of the muzzle LED in terms of brightness? I haven't seen a video of it in a dark room.

As far as powered amps to boost sound I'm working on fitting an AKER inside of my PR so there'll be no issue there!

That's all down to what LED you use. The board can cope with up to 4.8A peak current on an LED, so you could have a floodlight.
577_ops wrote:
For someone who doesn’t need sound or LED effects the single board design for a PR is just fine.

Some PR have a different internal design where a very small baord around the counter is needed.

So basically all approaches are vaild in their context.

If you think abaout sound; escpically with a higher volume you would need to have the space not just for the speaker.
If it is a single board or not could be second, in some cases even the multiple board design would be better.

Not everyone would like to have a Counter for e.g. a Smart Gun or they would like two, three or four digit displays.

That's where the micro board comes it - it's barely a few mm bigger than the LED display. No sound or muzzle flash, just the counter.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:47 pm 
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I would definately interested in one of your sound boards for my smartgun! :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:01 pm 
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You should do the Apple® thing and have mini™ and Plus™ versions of the board. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:14 pm 
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The iRifle?

iRifle Classic?
iRifle Touch?
iRifle 1 thru 49378498379353452?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:27 pm 
Armored Doorman
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Ha!

I'm interested in one as well. I definitely like the idea of the multi function board. I definitely need to add sound, functioning counter and muzzle flash to my PR!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:34 pm 
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I'm building them right now. I'm getting low on my V2 boards now, which means I will have to make a decision on the new version very soon.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:10 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:12 pm 
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That's just made my day! :twisted:

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