Turn Up The Volume On Your BeagleBone Black

The SoundsCape adds a codec to the McASP bus for Line In, Line Out, and Headset (microphone in + headphone out). It also adds an HCI Bluetooth 4.0 Module for Bluetooth Audio (A2DP), BT Hands free (HFP), or SPP, with all Bluetooth profiles are supported by the cape.

(Image courtesy of Simple Media Networks)

We interviewed Cory Henderson, Electrical Engineer at Simple Media Networks about the SoundsCape and its features with the BeagleBone Black.

When asked about the inspiration for the SoundsCape, Cory filled us in. “Originally, we developed a Bluetooth add-on card for the BeagleBoard xM based on the Panasonic 1327 module. We moved over to the BeagleBone (and BBB) because of the ease of development it granted us. Since we no longer had the line in/line out that the xM had, we decided to integrate this into our cape as well. Now, you can route audio from the codec to BT through the BB, or use analog only, or BT only.”

“We had an existing design for the BeagleBoard xM. The transition to the BeagleBone happened for many reasons. Price, ease of development, community support, active development, and expandability all contributed to the decision.”

The SoundsCape also incorporates an Analog Devices ADAU1361 Codec and a Panasonic PAN1323 Bluetooth module (based on TI CC2567). Cory and team worked to maintain compatibility with other capes.

“Of all of the major capes available, I felt that the one most likely to be used with the SoundsCape was the LCD cape. The idea of the LCD combined with analog out will enable quick portable computing options. I hand listed out every connection used by each LCD cape (3″, 4″, and 7″) and steered away from those pins. As a result, the analog section of the SoundsCape is fully compatible with each LCD cape, even the GPIO buttons. Unfortunately, the PAN1323 requires UART with CTS/RTS, and these pins are only accessible from the LCD pins needed by a display. These UART signals are run through a switch that is enabled with another GPIO pin so that they will not interfere with LCD signals.”

For more information on the SoundsCape, you can visit the Simple Media Networks website (still under construction), or visit their Kickstarter page for more info. Cory also accepts email at cory@simplemedianetworks.com.

So what’s next on the bench for Simple Media Networks?

“We are pretty serious about audio and have developed high-end audio technology for a number of other companies. This Kickstarter campaign is our first effort to go our own direction and develop our own products. You can be sure that we pay close attention to audio performance and that there will be more great ideas to follow!”

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