I’d like to describe my initial experiences with pisound. It arrived several days ago and we had some issues with getting a suitable power supply (it turned out we didn’t have an appropriate one lying around). But now it’s all up and running
The soundcard is really neatly designed with clear layout, nice sockets and knobs.
Here it is next to a Raspberry Pi 3 model B:
It connects to the RPi through the GPIO pins. Once connected, the pins sit really tight in their sockets. It’ actually quite difficult to disconnect the two devices
For a better “mechanical coupling” you need to use the 4 spacers provided with the soundcard. First, you screw them onto the Raspberry:
And then, screw the pisound on top:
The two devices stick really tightly together, as if they were one.
Once connected, the pisound is supposed to power the Raspberry through the GPIO pins.
You just need to plug the power supply into pisound, plug the HDMI, keyboard and mouse to the Raspberry’s sockets and you’re ready to go!
After that I tried to install the drivers but realised that I have to update my Raspbian to the current version.
After the update the driver installation went smoothly,
If you do not have puredata installed on your RPi, you need to do that. Afterwards, in pd’s audio settings you can select pisound. Once you do that, it remains the default audio device for pd on your Raspberry.
A quick audio check shows that everything works as it should.
Then, following the instructions from the blokas.io website, I made a simple patch and uploaded it under the name main.pd to a USB stick. When you plug the stick in and press the small button on pisound, pd opens up, turns DSP on and executes the patch.
This means you can unplug all peripherals, you screen, keyboard and mouse and run patches from a USB stick.
That’s exactly what I did. I actually rebooted the RPi and in the meantime unplugged everything, including the stick.
When RPi booted again, I plugged the USB stick in, pressed a button and bump! I could hear a tone generated by my patch in the headphones.
To sum up, my initial impressions are really good. It seems to work really nice.
I am looking forward to playing around with it a little bit more and showing it to students in our Music Technology course.
Also, I actually started considered using it for my hearing aid research, where a relatively portable real-time DSP platform is needed that can be programmed in an intuitive way. We have a SpeedGoat at our institute that runs Simulink models. But if there’s only some simple DSP involved, then why not trying to implement it in PD and run on a Raspberry?
I will keep you updated!