Raspberry Pi Gets A Sound Card: 3 Ways To Use It

Raspberry Pi Gets A Sound Card: 3 Ways To Use It
Raspberry Pi Gets A Sound Card: 3 Ways To Use It
Now the Pi is primed for audio-heavy DIY. Lauren Orsini March 11, 2014 Hack 823
The makers of Raspberry Pi have just released a sound card designed especially for
the tiny, $35 Linux-based computer.
The Wolfson Audio Card.
The Wolfson Audio Card is being produced by Farnell Element 14, the same UK
company that also manufactures the Raspberry Pi. At $33, the card costs nearly as
much as a Raspberry Pi, and it's even almost the same size.
The audio add-on board fits directly onto the Raspberry Pi’s P5 pins. It features an
onboard microphone and a Wolfson audio processor that supports high-res audio up to
24-bit / 192KHz. The board also hosts four 3.5 mm jacks—one for a headset/boom mic
combination, one for mic input, one for connecting to devices like iPods and phones,
and one for connection to amps or speakers.
But the most important feature of the new sound card is that it processes sound itself.
External sound processing takes the load off the tiny Raspberry Pi processor and
makes it sound better, opening up new DIY capabilities for the Pi.
Here are three projects you can make with a Wolfson Audio Card and a Raspberry Pi:
VoIP for Raspberry Pi
Make cheap phone calls over the Internet by configuring your Raspberry Pi for Voice
over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Use an open source program like Elastix to give your Pi
VoIP capabilities, then connect a headset/boom mic combination to one of the Wolfson
Audio Card’s 3.5 mm jacks to make hands-free conference calls.
Voice Activate Your Pi
See also: Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need To Know
Instructables user Janw used a vintage ‘50s intercom to turn his Pi into a "Raspberri
Personal Assistant." But with the Wolfson Audio Card, you no longer need to go
antiquing to complete this particular project. Attach the sound card to the Raspberry Pi
and then follow the tutorial to set up voice command software for the same effect.
Raspberry Pi Music Station
It was already possible to turn your Raspberry Pi into a remote Pandora music station
by hooking it up to a pair of speakers. But when the Pi has to process sound itself, it
becomes slower and lower quality than it would be on your average computer. By using
the Wolfson as a go-between, it’s possible to get higher definition sound with less strain
on the Pi.
These are just three of the projects that first come to mind. Farnell Element 14 also
suggests using the Raspberry Pi as a high-definition audio recorder, or developing and
playing online games that allow in-game audio so you can chat with friends.
Photos courtesy of Farnell element 14
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