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Adding Audio

Started by james-s, September 12, 2022, 07:22:26 AM

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james-s

I have a Falcon PiHat running with an xLights sequence and now ready to add audio output.  Looking at the user documentation is conflicting on when you can or cannot do audio.  It says to get a license which I did but when I entered the license key it said not required.  So that was confusing itself.

So, if the PiHat does support audio in some way, what are the steps to enabling it?  What output protocols are support.  I would expect with FPP running on the Raspberry Pi that all its outputs would be available including Bluetooth.

Thanks in advance for any pointers.

dkulp

Two options:

1) Soundblaster connected to the USB port - this is the option that would provide the best sound quality (once 6.1 is released fixing a buffer issue).   

2) Purchase a license to allow using the DPIPixel output on the Pi instead of the rpi_ws281x library.  The rpi_ws281x library uses the PWM pins to output the pixel data.  By using the PWM hardware, the Pi cannot output sound as the sound also requires use of the PWM hardware.     The DPIPixel output uses the display hardware to output pixel data instead of the PWM stuff.

Daniel Kulp - https://kulplights.com

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Quote from: james-s on September 12, 2022, 07:22:26 AMLooking at the user documentation is conflicting on when you can or cannot do audio.
What documentation? The FPP Manual and the FAQ both explain it.
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Quote from: james-s on September 12, 2022, 07:22:26 AMIt says to get a license which I did but when I entered the license key it said not required.  So that was confusing itself.
If you want to use the onboard audio, then you have to select the DPI Pixel type outputs. You probably had it configured for the Standard Pi-Hat outputs which do not require a license.

Quote from: james-s on September 12, 2022, 07:22:26 AMSo, if the PiHat does support audio in some way, what are the steps to enabling it?
I assume that you already installed the Pi-Hat virtual EEPROM? If so, then go to the Input/Output>Channel Outputs page and then click on the Pi Hat tab. In the Cape Config drop-down change it to PiHat (DPI Pixels-Allows on board Audio)

Quote from: james-s on September 12, 2022, 07:22:26 AMWhat output protocols are support.
I am not sure what you are asking here? Can you be more specific?

Quote from: james-s on September 12, 2022, 07:22:26 AMI would expect with FPP running on the Raspberry Pi that all its outputs would be available including Bluetooth.
That would depend on what you mean by "all of its outputs".... Bluetooth is not enabled in FPP, If your FPP is connected to your network, then you can access it from any of your other network connected devices... Bluetooth has a lot of limitations.

But like @dkulp mentioned, the quality of the Pi's audio isn't the best.
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

james-s

Awesome info all from both replies.  I have reviewed  the FPP documentation and for me it wasn't clear on the EEPROM set up but I do have lights sequencing w/o audio at this time. 

When I go to Audio/Video there are no options available.   Just Audio Output = Dummy.  Is this because the audio on the RPi is disabled?  Once an external audio source is added (e.g. USB Sound Blaster) it will be an available option?

Ignore the question about output protocols.  :) 

As for Bluetooth I understand the limitations because of latency.  Just thinking outside the box on this one as where I plan to put an outdoor speaker will be away from my controller enclosure but it may be more practical to have the speaker relatively close to the enclosure.  Sounds like the better option is direct wire using an outdoor speaker wire with 3.5 mm jacks.

Thanks for the input.  Probably will be asking more.  ;)

Poporacer

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 12:27:54 AMI have reviewed  the FPP documentation and for me it wasn't clear on the EEPROM set up
What documentation are you reading?

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 12:27:54 AMup but I do have lights sequencing w/o audio at this time. 
Awesome!

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 12:27:54 AMWhen I go to Audio/Video there are no options available.   Just Audio Output = Dummy.  Is this because the audio on the RPi is disabled?
Did you see @dkulp response to your question?
Quote from: dkulp on September 12, 2022, 11:32:45 AMThe rpi_ws281x library uses the PWM pins to output the pixel data.  By using the PWM hardware, the Pi cannot output sound as the sound also requires use of the PWM hardware.
Yes it is disabled when using the standard Pixel outputs

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 12:27:54 AMOnce an external audio source is added (e.g. USB Sound Blaster) it will be an available option?
That is correct

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 12:27:54 AMJust thinking outside the box on this one as where I plan to put an outdoor speaker will be away from my controller enclosure
Most people use small FM Receivers in this situation, the latency on Bluetooth is horrible and the transmission distance is usually not usually very far.

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 12:27:54 AMThanks for the input.  Probably will be asking more.
Your welcome and come back any time!
If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

james-s

fyi .. I have 40 years of IT background so technology isn't a huge issue for me.  As in anything, diving into something new, terminology and specifics just take time to understand.  Just because documentation or suggestions make sense to one person doesn't mean it will to the next.  I do appreciate the time everyone takes to help out each other and the patience I seem to find here and in other places like FB.

I am going slow into this so not ready to take on FM transmissions just yet.  My first show is a simple Halloween singing pumpkin from Gilbert Engineering and I just want to go simple and have a speaker to go with the prop for the trick-or-treaters.  The Bluetooth idea just came from already having outdoor Bluetooth speakers.  Wired is okay just will need to invest on a wired speaker (suggestions appreciated).  I've learned in my IT career, go slow, build good habits and then add the next item to grow in experience and depth of knowledge.

Next up is to do a smaller mega-tree (5' to 6' or whatever length 50 pixel strings will do) to get the build and sequencing down for this Christmas.   I feel that is manageable being the late start I got into this hobby this year and the challenges of getting controllers both late in the season and supply issues. I may take on FM transmission for that but that will depend on budget and what I can put together in time this year.

Just doing a lot of online forum, blogs, FB pages  reading and watching videos I do know to start planning early in the year as that is when hardware is available and gives time to plan things out.  Already told my wife Christmas won't end when I take down our decorations (inside and out).  It will start early next year.  :)

Poporacer

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 09:44:52 AMdiving into something new, terminology and specifics just take time to understand.
I totally agree and in this hobby there is some terminology that gets easily confused/misunderstood

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 09:44:52 AMJust because documentation or suggestions make sense to one person doesn't mean it will to the next.
And that somewhat correlates to the comment above...if someone confuses a term, they will think they understand, but could be off base.

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 09:44:52 AMI am going slow into this so not ready to take on FM transmissions just yet.
It isn't really that hard or expensive to do. I have used one like this for years.... FM Transmitter You can get it even cheaper from EBay if you are willing to wait. The set up is fairly straight forward. Find a station that is clear, solder a wire for the antennae based on the frequency you are using, connect the audio cable and power... Pretty much it

Quote from: james-s on September 13, 2022, 09:44:52 AMMy first show is a simple Halloween singing pumpkin from Gilbert Engineering...The Bluetooth idea just came from already having outdoor Bluetooth speakers
Bluetooth will be especially bad since it can lag close to 1/4 second and face movements will look like old Chinese movies, LOL



If to err is human, I am more human than most people.

perigalacticon

I am using a RPiO with a PiHat cape and I'd like to get audio out.  It's connected to a string of only 50 leds.  I have been reading about this, it seems I can use the DPIPixels option and get audio out?  Does this option run WS2812b leds?  Where do I connect to on the RPi0 to access the audio out?  Is it possible to get it through HDMI and use an audio extractor dongle?  

If not, will a USB sound card work with the RPi0?

Thanks.

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