Tuesday 15 March 2016

New App: Soundboard

My latest Android app is now available on Google Play.


A simple soundboard application. Save some MP3 or OGG files to your phone, load up the app and play them at the touch of a button.

Tap the file names to play

To keep the sound playback levels constant, the app allows you to set a volume level independent of the current volume. On playback, the app sets the volume to that level, plays the sound clip, then returns the volume to it's previous level.

Designed to be used with phones using an adapter such as the one described in my previous post, the app also works well with Xbox Live headsets (Xbox 360), and in theory should work with any device you're capable of connecting your phones audio output to.

The app was built for and tested on an HTC One M9, but should work with any recent flavour of Android.

Initially, copy the audio files to your devices storage, into a directory called SoundboardFiles.
Open the app, hit the menu button and select load, and you'll get a list of the files as in the first screenshot above.
Go to preferences in the menu and you'll be able to choose whether or not to dynamically set the volume level on playback, and set the volume level if you so wish.

Going back to the main screen, simply tap the filenames to play the file (the app will deal with the volume adjustments automatically.

The volume control menu
If you're struggling to find audio clips to use in the 
See this post for a guide on creating sound clips from YouTube videos and other online sources.

As with my other apps, it is free, with a simple ad banner at the bottom of the main screen.
As such, there is no official support, although I will respond to any comments via this site or twitter as best I can.

Saturday 5 March 2016

Audio interface for VOIP phones and XBox Live

An unintentional (but useful) outcome of this project is that the connector used in this project is the same as the one used on Xbox 360 headsets, so this same device could be used to inject audio, such as a soundboard, into your in-game chat.

Original post below:
I got asked to build another phone audio interface for a colleague who spends a lot of time on the phone and wanted a way to play back pre-recorded audio to save repeating himself.

Unfortunately the existing one I build before is for traditional POTS (plain old telephone system), but the office uses VOIP phones.

I don't have a spare VOIP phone to mess with, so had to look at other options.

The normal headset jack
The phone has a headset port, using a 2.5mm jack socket, and the headsets plug has 3 rings. Given the the headsets themselves consist of just a microphone and earpiece, it stands to reason the pinouts are mic, speaker, and ground.

I don't have the actual pinout for this particular brand of headset, but I have worked with similar ones in the past and typically the tip is the microphone, ring is speaker, and base is ground.

I don't have one of those connectors to hand, but found a stereo headset one from an old hands-free kit. That it has an additional ring connection (for the 2nd audio channel) doesn't matter, it'll effectively join up with ground anyway.

In addition to being able to inject audio into the call, we still need to be able to use the phone normally, so I've used an XBox 360 controllers headphone port to provide a passthrough for the phone headset.

The quick hand-drawn wiring diagram I used. An artist I am not.

Testing this circuit revealed a slight problem, having both the audio source and microphone connected resulted in the microphone becoming inaudibly quiet. In hindsight, this is likely due to the audio source being amplified and the mic not. A simple switch added to the circuit to allow quick switching fixed that.

Adding a simple switch at this point sorted the problem.

The finished adapter in the obligatory tic-tac box