The Wave Shield for Arduino is one of Adafruit's earliest shield kits and remains a perennial favorite. And for good reason — it's among the easiest and most flexible means of adding quality sound effects to an Arduino project!

Like a fine wine, open source projects improve with age. We've taught this classic shield a new trick: a realtime voice changer! Speak like everyone's favorite baritone Sith lord or sing along with the Lollipop Guild. The Wave Shield has long been a staple among makers' Halloween projects. This latest addition really cinches it!

Core Parts List

There are three central components to this project:

You’ll also need basic soldering tools, wire and bits & bobs.

Additional Parts

This is an “open ended” project and the exact components for completion will depend on where you want to take it. Read through the full tutorial for ideas and recommendations on specific parts.
  • For sound output you’ll want headphones, portable MP3 player speakers or our Class D Audio Amplifier.
  • The example sketch uses a 12-button keypad for triggering pre-recorded sounds. But your application might need just a few simple buttons…or none at all, if you’re only using the voice effect.
  • If adding pre-recorded sounds, you’ll also need an SD card containing WAV files.
  • A 10K potentiometer is used for setting the voice pitch…or you can simply rig the code for a permanent setting.
  • If you want to noodle around with wiring, an extra prototyping shield and stacking headers can come in very handy - solder the wave shield with stacking headers and put the proto shield on top
  • For portable use (such as costumes and props), add batteries, battery holders, etc.
To reiterate, it’s a very good idea to read through the full tutorial and firm up your own project concept before making a shopping list. We’ll demonstrate a couple of examples, but these aren’t the last word. That’s really the essence of Arduino, isn’t it? Make it your own!

First Things First…

We also very strongly recommend…no, make that require…that you work through the original Wave Shield tutorial before commencing with this project. It’s a good way to verify the core pieces are working before adding extra layers of complexity.
Can I use the Music Maker MP3 shield or other audio shields?

Afraid not. Realtime voice changing requires issuing data directly to the audio DAC bit-by-bit on the fly. MP3 and the decoder on the associated shield work with prerecorded audio (ditto for OGG format audio).

This guide was first published on Oct 10, 2012. It was last updated on Jun 22, 2024.

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

Text editor powered by tinymce.