There’s been another development step for our new General Purpose FX (GPFX) electronics board. It’s now a GPFXs board. That tiny change to the name (it’s the addition of a letter ‘s’ if you hadn’t noticed!) is because the board has now grown an extra socket in order to extend the board’s usefulness. The more observant amongst you will note that the new socket is labelled ‘Sound’.
Let me explain why 🙂
Several times recently, customers have asked us about the possibility of adding sound as well as lighting to their models. We have put off tackling this issue up until now, as we considered that the quality of sound that could be produced for an affordable price was, well to put it mildly, abysmal. Toy-like ‘beeps and bloops’ have always been possible, but to raise the bar and produce “real” sound was always going to be a problem. We have recently discovered a couple of sound delivery systems that could fit the bill however.
So far as we, Wild House Models, are concerned, a full ‘bells and whistles’ sound board using mp3 and .wav sound files stored on an onboard SD card is certainly possible and is on sale (not by us I should mention), but it is still too expensive in our view. We are however happy to announce that we are currently working to develop our own sound card that initially will only be capable of playing one sound at a time, but will have on-board memory (no need for external storage) and up to 8 programmable sound samples in glorious 44.1KHz 16 bit stereo. The intention will be to also provide, on-board, a 2 x 2w Class D amplifier capable of driving a pair of 4 – 8 ohm speakers.
The GPFXs board will still behave as originally designed, i.e. providing up to eight different lighting effects with the option to connect to further boards for even more lights, but now there is the means, in the future, to connect the board to our sound board when it is available, so each lighting effect can be accompanied by its relevant sound ;although, as we all know, in space nobody can hear……well you know what I mean!
As prices come down, we are exceedingly hopeful that in the near future, we will be able to consider the design of a more enhanced soundboard that will support up to 2048 sounds and be fully polyphonic (i.e.: play more than one sound at a time!)