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December 11, 2015 AT 12:30 am

Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Music and Sound

Adafruit holiday guides 2015 blog

Adafruit knows that adding music and sound to your electronics projects can take things to the next level creatively. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite Adafruit projects for the soundtrack to your electronics journey.


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Adafruit Wave Shield for Arduino Kit – v1.1: Adding quality audio to an electronic project is surprisingly difficult. Here is a shield for Arduinos that solves this problem. It can play up to 22KHz 12bit uncompressed audio files of any length. It’s low cost, available as an easy-to-make kit. It has an onboard DAC, filter and op-amp for high quality output. Audio files are read off of an SD/MMC card, which are available at nearly any store. Volume can be controlled with the onboard thumbwheel potentiometer. Read more.


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Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board – WAV/OGG Trigger with 16MB Flash: Would you like to add audio/sound effects to your next project, without an Arduino+Shield? Or maybe you don’t even know how to use microcontrollers, you just want to make a sound play whenever you press a button. What about something that has to be small and portable? You are probably feeling a little frustrated: it’s been very hard to find a simple, low cost audio effects trigger that is easy to use and does not require any programming

UNTIL NOW! Read more.


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MintySynth Kit – 2.0: The MintySynth kit – 2.0 is a great way to make your next musical creation while experimenting with electronics and programming. Open source and hackable, the MintySynth is an Arduino-compatible synth kit that fits in an Altoids tin. Read more.


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DSP-G1 Voice Chip: Make your own mini MIDI synth with DSP-G1 Voice Chip analog modeling synthesizer by Jan Ostman at DSP Synthesizers. It’s a tiny LPC810 chip programmed to read in MIDI streams and make music! Read more.


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Pimoroni Piano HAT: Raspberry Pi; meet your new musical B.F.F!

With the Pimoroni Piano HAT you can control hardware synthesizers and software synths or play some really beautiful music in Python. Surprise everyone with your creativity, maybe even yourself! Read more.


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Drawdio kit – v1.1: Drawdio is an electronic pencil that lets you make music while you draw! It’s great project for beginners: An easy soldering kit with instant gratification. Essentially, its a very simple musical synthesizer that uses the conductive properties of pencil graphite to create different sounds. The result is a fun toy that lets you draw musical instruments on any piece of paper. Read more.


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Adafruit’s 1st Vinyl record – FREQUENCY: Frequency by Bartlebeats is the soundtrack to your soldering. It’s the first vinyl record from Adafruit that collects the music that drives our YouTube channel like a V8 engine on a Mustang. All of it’s collected into one unique, limited edition, old school package. The record itself is a lovely pink and has a case with cover art designed by artist Bruce Yan. It’s a perfect way to rep your DIY pride and Adafruit spirit. Read more.


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USB Audio Adapter – Works with Raspberry Pi: The Raspberry Pi has an on-board audio jack, which is super handy for all kinds of sound effects and speech, just plug and go! However, for when you want better audio for music playback, a USB audio card can greatly improve the sound quality and volume. That’s because the on-board audio is generated by a PWM output and is minimally filtered. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great thing to have audio on board but this USB audio card will make it even better. Read more.


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VS1053B MP3/WAV/OGG/MIDI Player & Recorder (CODEC) Chip: The VS1053 is a multi-format audio codec chip, loved by many for its simplicity and power. CODEC stands for “Coder & Decoder” and that’s pretty much what this little chip does – it can decode digital audio files such as MP3, FLAC, AAC, OGG and WAV as well as encode audio into digital formats (right now only WAV and OGG are supported for encoding). For many small microcontrollers, the mathematical calculations for decoding MP3 files is too much effort. That’s where you’d use this chip. Read more.


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USB Powered Speakers: Add some extra boom to your audio project with these powered loudspeakers. We sampled half a dozen different models to find ones with a good frequency response, so you’ll get quality audio output for music playback. Simply connect the standard 3.5mm stereo plug into your Raspberry Pi model B or B+, Wave shield, etc. There’s even a volume control wheel on it so you can set it up just right. Please note: The manufacturer ships these as black and white, some units may be either color. Read more.


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Adafruit “Music Maker” MP3 Shield for Arduino w/3W Stereo Amp – v1.0: Bend all audio files to your will with the Adafruit Music Maker shield for Arduino! This powerful shield features the VS1053, an encoding/decoding (codec) chip that can decode a wide variety of audio formats such as MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, MIDI, FLAC, WAV (PCM and ADPCM). It can also be used to record audio in both PCM (WAV) and compressed Ogg Vorbis. You can do all sorts of stuff with the audio as well such as adjusting bass, treble, and volume digitally. Read more.


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VS1053 Codec + MicroSD Breakout – MP3/WAV/MIDI/OGG Play + Record – v4: This breakout board is the ultimate companion for the VLSI VS1053B DSP codec chip. The VS1053 can decode a wide variety of audio formats such as MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, MIDI, FLAC, WAV (PCM and ADPCM). It can also be used to record audio in both PCM (WAV) and compressed Ogg Vorbis. You can do all sorts of stuff with the audio as well such as adjusting bass, treble, and volume digitally. There is also 8 GPIO pins that can be used for stuff like lighting up small LEDs or reading buttons. Read more.


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Adafruit HELLA UNTZtrument! Open-Source 16×8 Grid Controller Kit – White LEDs: Build and customize your very own open-source button grid controller based on the Adafruit Trellis with the UNTZtrument kit HELLA UNTZtrument KIT! Designed by PaintYourDragon, this DIY kit comes with delicious translucent button pads, controller pads, diffused white LEDS and a custom laser cut enclosure. The result is a sturdy, BIG, and elegant but also super-hackable music or video (or something else???) controller device. Read more.


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Stereo 2.8W Class D Audio Amplifier – I2C Control AGC – TPA2016: A mini class D with AGC and I2C control? Yes please! This incredibly small stereo amplifier is surprisingly powerful. It is able to deliver 2 x 2.8W channels into 4 ohm impedance speakers (@ 10% THD) and it has a i2c control interface as well as an AGC (automatic gain control) system to keep your audio from clipping or distorting. Read more.


Projects from the Learning System!

Tiny Arduino Music Visualizer: Here’s an easy-to-build project that really packs a lot of blinkenlight for the effort: a little pocket-size music visualizer we call “Piccolo.”

Set Piccolo next to the telly or some speakers and you’ll see the lights respond to music and sound — lowest notes toward the left end of the graph, highest notes toward the right.

Technically this would be called a “spectrum analyzer,” but as this is not a precision scientific instrument, we’re more comfortable labeling it a “visualizer.” It’s strictly for show. Read more.


Raspberry Pi radio player with touchscreen: Make your very own touchscreen-controller Pi Radio Player! With an ever increasing number of internet radio stations available this project combines the versatility of the Raspberry Pi and the PiTFT 2.8″ touchscreen TFTdisplay. A custom display interface lets you control volume, station, and see what’s currently playing. Read more.


Raspberry Pi LED Spectrum Analyzer: A Spectrum Analyzer shows the loudness of different frequency bands (low, mid, high) in real-time, letting you visualize music. Using a RasPi, RGB LED Strip and some wire, make yourself a dynamic display and media player. This project is based on some great python xmas light code from the LightShowPi project, and advanced users can even configure it for song voting via SMS!

The project runs in Python, even including the audio processing. It’s just able to play and analyze mp3s in realtime as long as your Pi isn’t doing anything else. Read more.


Sound Sample Sweater: This holiday season, build some sound effects into your party sweater and turn up the cheer with sleigh bells, Xmas songs and greetings!

This is a simple soldering and sewing project. No microcontroller programming is required! Learn more about the Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board in its learning guide. Read more.


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We’re excited for the Holiday Season here at Adafruit, and we can’t wait to share that excitement with you! Stay tuned into the blog where you will find new, handpicked gift guides five days a week from November 9th through December 24th, 2015 alongside holiday themed tutorials and builds!


Free Deals

Adafruit offers exciting deals and free items when you shop with us. As of October 13th, 2015 we are currently offering:

Some restrictions apply


Adafruit Holiday Deadlines 2015

Here are your 2015 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays over the last few years.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 11, 2015 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive by December 24.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 17, 2015 – Arrive by 12/24/2015.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 18, 2015 – Arrive by 12/24/2015.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 21, 2015 – Arrive by 12/24/2015.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday– December 11, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2015 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders)): Place orders by Friday – November 20, 2015. Can take up to 30 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/25/2015 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/2015.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 5, 2015. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!


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