Introduction: Loud Objects Noise Toy (AKA the Arduino Noise Machine)

Picture of Loud Objects Noise Toy (AKA the Arduino Noise Machine)
Okay, okay, I know you all were wondering what I am up to now.

I love synths and so, I built this. There are three things that can catch my attention: Synthesizers, Amplifiers and free. The other day (Actually it was just Thursday) I was cruising around Make's website when I saw the Deal of the Day was the Loud Objects Noise Toy. I had seen it before but had not cared much for it. I the n saw a Vimeo video on it and was hooked. I quickly ordered it at half-price from Make but I couldn't wait. I saw the had code on the bottom and so, even though I know it wouldn't work, I tried to compile it. IT WORKED! I grabbed my AtTiny Programming Shield and hit Upload. The results were not satisfactory. Then I said to myself: "If it can compile in the Arduino IDE why can't it Upload?" I uploaded the code and tried every Digital Out pin I could find. I finally reached Pins 10 and 11 and had thought that maybe the code worked but the software didn't. I had tried 9 already and knew it outputted on two pins and the only two pins that were PWM pins were 10 and 11. I tried them and it worked!

Here is the result. The names of the codes were kind of misleading so I renamed them but renamed them as .pde files.

If you have Windows or Mac, use Word to open the code. :-)

P.S. You may be wondering why I haven't posted much lately...midterms. :-) 

P.P.S. Second picture goes through every part of Arduino plus the shield.

Step 1: Parts to Acquire.

Picture of Parts to Acquire.
You will Need:
2 buttons (Momentary. I used the smallest kind, tactile.)
Bunches of jumper wires. 
1 Breadboard
1 Perf board
1 3.5mm female jack (Only if your amp has a male jack. :-))
1 speaker with or without an amp (8ohm, 0.25 get the idea.)
Male Headers (One row of them will do just fine.)
1 Arduino (Preferably UNO.)



I have included a EagleCAD schematic above. REMEMBER IT IS VERY BASIC AND SO, DON'T NECCESSARILY TRY TO FOLLOW THE SCHEMATIC. I will move into Fritzing later on and will add results.

Connect one switch's lead to ground on the Arduino. The other goes to Digital I/O Pin 8.

Do the same for the other except for using Digital 9 for the second switch. 

Attach the Jack as shown. If you are using an 8ohm speaker, one wire to either 10 or 11 and the other to ground. Connect it to Pin 11 and Pin 12 for higher sound output...

Step 3: Test Your Lovely Circuit.

Picture of Test Your Lovely Circuit.

Plug in your Arduino. Open the IDE. Download the code from below. (Pick RandomBlipsAndBleeps_Metroid. (You can thank me later.)) Upload the code and listen.

If you have Windows or Mac, use Word to open the code.

Here is the code in which you can try in alphabetical order:

Step 4: Solder.

Picture of Solder.

Cut the Perf board until it feels most "comfortable" as a shield. You can use my shape if you want. Make sure it doesn't block the valuable reset button unless it is UNO Version R3...

Then solder from the schematic. Remember. Pin 11 not 10 for highest Ouput Level.

 One Lead from switch One goes to Pin 9. On the other switch, connect Lead 1 to Pin 8. Both switch's pin 2s go to Pin 13 on Arduino. (AKA Ground.)

Step 5: Fin.

Picture of Fin.

You have now completed your synth. With all these random blips and bloops You could dominate the world...or neighborhood.

This is small, compact and easy to play because you only need two buttons and a speaker.


amplex (author)2013-05-16

This code looks like its all written with an extremely early version of the IDE. Hopefully everything is backwards compatible in 1.0.4

blinkyblinky (author)amplex2013-05-17

Try it. If not, use an older version.

amplex (author)blinkyblinky2013-05-18

Nope, works great. I had tried some older code recently that looked like this and didn't compile but this works fine with 1.0.4. Awesome glitchyness on that RandomBlipsAndBleeps_Metroid.pde.. Great 'ible, thanks!!

I was thinking of trying to put all of these together into one program and then make a momentary button or rotary knob or something to switch in between them. Not sure if it would make it into program code with all of them though, but maybe pick the best ones..

amplex (author)amplex2013-05-18

flash memory (program space)*

blinkyblinky (author)amplex2013-05-18

Wait, what?

amplex (author)blinkyblinky2013-05-19

Your code compiled and worked.

I was thinking of modifying them to put them all in one program, just add another switch to go in between the different 'modes'.

judas79 (author)2012-12-29

I wanted to try this synth tutorial with my Arduino but cant get it to compile under the arduino ide 1.0.2. I get about an eigth of the way and it stops with multiple errors.
java.util.regex.Pattern$Branch.match......ect.'then a number between the parentheses')
Any suggestions, what did I miss?

blinkyblinky (author)judas792012-12-30

Yeah, this code hasn't been ported over to 1.0 and beyond. I still use Arduino 0022 for maximum compatibility but I do have 1.0.1 as well. With codes that are already written there are some required libraries that have changed names and some commands. Most notably, WProgam.h became, I believe Arduino.h...I have tried adding both libraries into the same Arduino folder but that I would just stick with an older version of Arduino.

P.S. What Arduino are you using?

judas79 (author)blinkyblinky2012-12-30

Arduino duemilanove is what i've been using for almost 2 years. I tried compiling using version 0020 and got the same error. I figured out that the problem was caused from copy pasting directly into the arduino ide instead of saving as a .txt/ .pde file and using file open. Thanks for answering. To many Sunday football barley distillates, to upload the sketch at this time....will do later

AptPupil (author)2012-09-10

Thanks for the 'ible! I've driven lots of people crazy with this. I find it rather enjoyable. I was wondering if you might know why, though, I can get the buttons to work when I move it (circuit is on a protoshield with mini breadboard) from my Uno to my Mega 2560. Also, the sound works on D10, but not D11 or D12.
Never mind. That statement made me think to check other pins. On the Mega 2560 the buttons go to pins D52 & D53. It's late, & I have to work in the morning so I'll look for the sound pins tomorrow.
But, hey. I'm gonna be building some of your other projects. I, too, love synths and other noise/sound makers. I think I may have to make some stuff for my grand kids for Christmas.

I'm fairly new to electronics, but this stuff is fun!!

Thanks for your time and effort!

AptPupil (author)AptPupil2012-09-10

That should have read "cannot get the buttons to work..."

blinkyblinky (author)AptPupil2012-09-11

Try grounding every pin (one pin at a time) on the Mega 2560 to see if the sound changes. If you can't get the sound to work, try connecting every pin one at a time to find the output. Make sure you check your connections. Tell me what you get.

AptPupil (author)blinkyblinky2012-09-11

Okay, D10 & D50 are the two speaker outputs & D52 & D53 are the button pins. It works just fine. What sucks is that I made a shield for this to fit the Uno, but it seems that I've screwed up my Uno. I was trying to hook up an 8x8 LED matrix for the first time. Loooong story short, my Uno powers on by indication of the on-board LED, but it won't get in sync when it's time to upload. I had an ATMega8-16 ic in it that I had just burned the bootloader to. Uploaded blink & it worked. Tried the matrix, which turned out to have an odd pin configuration, and it stopped working. Put the 328 back in & it still wouldn't work. I had been burning bootloaders onto ATMega8-16PU's (8 or 9 of them) just before that. I don't know if I burned something up while trying to figure out the matrix (got it working after mapping with the "try another pin" method), or from the frustration of burning bootloaders (had a hard time at first) onto those chips placed in the Uno & burned from the Mega 2560.
Anyway, I got my noise toy back in action. A shield for this to fit the Mega 2560 would be pretty big & bare, but I haven't had the time to learn how to combine stetches to ad something like sound reactive LEDS and a logger to record the sounds, or whatever.. Maybe some day.


AptPupil (author)AptPupil2012-09-12

How about a circuit that allows the use of computer speakers like these:  The LED doesn't flash or anything. I guess the sound to light circuit would be inside the speaker? Or, separate wires leading to the Arduino shield where there would be a mic? Just thinking. Gotta run. Gonna be late for work.

P.S.: I hope my pic shows up. It's my first attempt.

blinkyblinky (author)AptPupil2012-12-30

Alright, as long as the speakers have an input place for the speakers then you can hook it up...I'm not sure about the lights.

Okay, in the code, change wherever it says DDRB or PORTB or PINB to PORTH, DDRH or PINH...Then repeat the same process. My Arduino software isn't working right now and I need to find my Arduino Mega...

blinkyblinky (author)AptPupil2012-09-14

Have you made the shield yet? If you didn't then I might just be able to save you from making a huge blank shield.

AptPupil (author)blinkyblinky2012-09-14

No, I haven't. What do you have in mind??

blinkyblinky (author)AptPupil2012-09-14

Maybe I could edit the code to not make the buttons and speaker pins so apart. I'm working on it.

AptPupil (author)blinkyblinky2012-09-25

Just wondering if you've come up with something for this?


AptPupil (author)blinkyblinky2012-09-14

Cool. Thanks, man. That'll work.

Bot1398 (author)2012-02-22

How did you upload the fritzing file when I try to upload it uploads as untitled.fzz

blinkyblinky (author)Bot13982012-02-24

I get it now...check your question on it. I have answered.

blinkyblinky (author)Bot13982012-02-22

My bad...forgot to upload it. It is now done. Enjoy!

ashnman2 (author)2012-01-26

Hey blinky. I just read ur comment. " 3 things that catch your attention" Free, amps, and synths. Well I too love those. And I'm sure you know this one. But in case u didn't. Grab yourself an old Cd-rom drive that has the volume control on it. That would be a built in amp inside it. . I'm sure the wattage varies. But I have been dismantling these things and building Headphone Amps for Ipods. Works wonderful. In fact Im sure there is an instructable on here somewhere.
Also when your done with the amp there are plenty of other cool parts you can use. The laser for example. Always fun to hook up to one of your synths and create a light show with lasers and old cds.

Just a thought for some fun.

meronkun (author)2012-01-23

Hey all!

Nice to see this - that's really cool.

On the other side of the spectrum, I KNOW Colin Cunningham ported a whole bunch of Loud Objects code to Arduino, but I can't find it anymore. I searched for a bit, because I thought it would be nice to salvage.

Here's a little of his work on porting some noise code to Arduino, in the meantime! There's a lot more, somewhere out there.


blinkyblinky (author)meronkun2012-01-23

Very cool. It is a bit too quiet but then again I modified it to meet my old circuitry...

blinkyblinky (author)meronkun2012-01-23

Thanks I will check it out very soon.

Gurkenglas (author)2012-01-22

"use Word to open the code". That's a joke. Do you think that's the only Editor?

There are many very nice pure editors for programming. Word is at the very end of the list for things like this.


That's a nice projekt. Thank you for inspiration.

blinkyblinky (author)Gurkenglas2012-01-22

No. Its just that at school, I open code with word because it doesn't distort the places of the code.

You could use Pages...

Hornpipe2 (author)blinkyblinky2012-01-23

If you _must_ use a built-in rich-text editor, Wordpad is ideal for this sort of thing. Start->run type in "wordpad" and hit enter.

Gurkenglas (author)Hornpipe22012-01-23

I *don't* want to use an rich-text editor. For coding I use Textmate on OS X. For windows there is notepad++ e.g.

But I can't understand why using Word or Pages for programming.

blinkyblinky (author)Gurkenglas2012-01-23

I don't. I use it to VIEW CODE.

Gurkenglas (author)blinkyblinky2012-01-23

Oh. Sorry. I thought you code in Word.

That was a little bit unclear.

blinkyblinky (author)Gurkenglas2012-01-23

Its okay.

blinkyblinky (author)Hornpipe22012-01-23

I use OpenSuse 11.3. It has Gedit. I use that to open code. I then copy it over to my programming software.

foxmcf (author)2012-01-22

And welcome to Instructables, NeiLX! You just joined today so you can write those awesome cool comments, didn't you?! Can't wait to read some of your personal cool instructables.

foxmcf (author)2012-01-22

In the interest of the "be nice" comment policy, I would just like to say that NeiLX is way too smart for this post. He should write his own post so we can all give him awesome comments and tell him how cool he is.

Jawatech (author)2012-01-22

Thanks for the code! This quick, fun project made my morning. I already had everything i needed randomly laying on my desk so I was bleeping and blooping in no time. I couldn't get any sound out of it until i realized i needed to use pin 11 for the sound output rather then pin 10. Works great now! I like the last one the best. I renamed it "DoingDoing Bubble Gun of Terror" because it screams every once in a while. :D

blinkyblinky (author)Jawatech2012-01-22

Thank you.

Pin 12 works as well.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love building things and taking pictures. If you want me to build something...I'm open to ideas. My motto? "If you want something ... More »
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