Creating the right atmosphere is incredibly important when running a tabletop role playing game (RPG). A rich, immersive atmosphere can take a game from one of tactics and statistics to a lively adventure.

There are many aspects to creating that atmosphere: good maps, storytelling, improve, and a little voice acting all contribute. Sound, both ambient and triggered (e.g. the wind whistling through a twisty mine tunnel and the roar of a dragon as it attacks) can go a long way to making the experience immersive for players.

A sound board is an easy way to have such sounds at your fingertips.

The NeoTrellis M4 is a great base on which to build a soundboard. We've seen a few projects along these lines.

This Project

This projects is a bit different in that it takes advantage of some of the new work on the audio module that gives CircuitPython the ability to use a mixer to play multiple sounds files at the same time.

This is important for a tabletop RPG soundboard. We typically want to have a background loop to set the mood. Something with echoes and drips for exploring an abandoned mine, or a jolly tavern full of happy patrons to relax (or not) in, after that mine.

On top of the background, it is good to have assorted ambient sounds (a gurgling stream cutting across the floor or coins being spilled on the table to pay for food or information), events (a trap being sprung or the door being thrown open to admit a group of ruffians), and combat sounds (an attacking swarm of rats or the clashing of swords).

This project differs from previous ones in that it doesn't use a naming scheme to define what files there are and what button they correspond to, and what color to use. That information is stored in a file. This lets you tweak the soundboard arrangement by simply editing a single file, and give the sound files meaningful names.

By Wikipedia user Phillip Mitchell under CCA-SA 3.0


Hands pressing buttons on lit up NeoTrellis M4
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Two square-ish 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...
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You will also need power for the NeoTrellisM4 as well as the speakers if you use them. Here are some options. The large battery pack will power both the NeoTrellis and the speakers for portability.

5V 2.5A Switching Power Supply with 20AWG MicroUSB Cable
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This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
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Angled shot of white rectangular USB battery pack with 4 dotted lights indicating battery is fully charged.
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This guide was first published on Dec 12, 2018. It was last updated on Jun 24, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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