Adding Custom Sounds to the Disney Castle Kit

Note: The information in this article applies to those who have purchased the sound module add-on for Version 2 of the Brickstuff Lighting Kit for the LEGO® Disney Castle.  Version 2 of the castle light kit was released beginning with the November 2019 batch of orders.  If you have a Version 1 Disney Castle kit and would like to add a sound module, contact us directly for more information.

 

This guide describes how to add your own sound files to the Brickstuff Lighting Kit for the LEGO® Disney Castle when you have purchased the sound module add-on.

Your Disney Castle sound module ships without any sounds pre-loaded, but there are several files loaded onto the module that are labeled "DO NOT DELETE."  These files are needed on the sound module for proper operation.  Do not delete these files.

You can load any MP3 sound file onto the module (the module has a capacity of approximately 4 minutes depending on the bitrate of each sound).  The sound module can be connected to your computer using a standard microUSB cable (not included).  The photo below shows the microUSB connector on the edge of the sound module:

 NOTE: Many microUSB cables are designed for charging devices only.  These cables only have two wires connected internally-- the two power wires needed for charging devices.  Those types of cables will NOT work with your sound module because they will not allow data to be transferred.  Make sure you are using a "full" USB cable designed for data transfer.  These cables will have all four USB wires connected internally.  You will know if your cable is not designed for data transfer if you do not see a new disk drive/folder appear on your computer's list of connected devices when you connect it to your computer.

When you connect your sound module to your computer, you should see a new folder/disk drive appear on your computer.  When you open this, you should see the list of sound files stored on the module.

As explained earlier, do not delete any of the files on the sound module labeled "DO NOT DELETE".

You can copy sound files to the module using the standard file manager on your computer.

NOTE: If you are using a Mac computer, you will also need to "empty trash" after deleting any files from the sound module in order to actually free up the space on the sound module.

 

Understanding the File System on the Sound Module

The file system on the sound module accesses files in the order in which they are copied to the sound module.  This means that the system plays files in the order in which they were copied onto the module, regardless of what the filenames are.  For example, if you have a sound file named "sound 5" but you copy it onto the module after a sound named "sound 10," the "sound 10" file will still be played before the "sound 5" file.

 

Adding Your Own Sounds

Sounds must be formatted in the MP3 file format.  To create your own MP3 files, we recommend an editor such as Audacity, which is available for free at https://www.audacityteam.org.  You can also use Audacity to edit sound files and to change the bitrate of sound files if they are too large to fit onto the sound module.  We cannot answer specific questions about Audacity or provide guidance on using the application, and we cannot edit or custom-make sounds for customers.  Refer to the online Audacity help and forums (https://www.audacityteam.org/help/) if you have specific questions about using the application.

To copy a custom sound file onto the sound module once it is connected to your computer, follow these steps:

  1. If you want to delete any files you previously added to the sound module, do so before copying any new files.  Mac users, remember to also "Empty Trash" before copying any new files.
  2. Copy your own MP3 file onto the sound module.  If the file is too large to fit, use an application such as Audacity to change the bitrate and export the sound into a smaller file.

You can have up to five active sound files on the module.  You control the playing of the sound files by pressing the "D" button on the remote.  Pressing this button will trigger a randomly selected sound file and play it.

Note that the sound module can play only one sound at a time.

 

Special Note for Mac Users

Because of how Mac computers manage file systems, extra, hidden files will be created as soon as you connect your sound module to your Mac.  These files cannot be seen and cannot be deleted, but because they are seen by the sound module, these hidden files will be interpreted as sound files by the module, and the module will attempt to "play" these invisible files.  Since the files are not formatted as MP3 files, no sound will play.

Also, because the sound module plays sounds in the order in which they are copied onto the module, connecting your sound module to a Mac will disrupt the "order" in which the module sees files.  For example, if you connect to your Mac and copy three custom sound files onto the module, the module will "see" several additional files before the you files you copy onto the module.  If you try to play the first file, you will not get that file, since the module sees the hidden files created by your Mac as the first files.

To fix this issue, we have created the ability to tell the sound module which files you would like to play.  This allows you to skip the hidden, non-sound files created by your Mac.  Read the next section for more details.

 

Pointing the Sound Module to your Custom Sound Files

If you have copied new sound files onto your sound module using a Mac computer, or if you have fewer than five sound files on the sound module, you will need to tell the system where to locate the sound files.  You can do this by following the steps below.

  1. Turn off power to your castle and sound module.
  2. Press and hold the "D" button on your remote control transmitter.  Keep holding the "D" button.
  3. Turn power back on to your castle and sound module.  Keep holding the "D" button on your remote for 3 seconds after power is turned on, then release.
  4. When you release the "D" button, you should hear one beep.  If you do not hear the beep, repeat steps 1-3 above.

After you hear the single beep, you can use the remote transmitter to tell the system which sound files you want it to play.  Do this by following the steps below.

  • Press the "B" button on your remote to play the next sound stored on the sound module.  If you used a Mac to copy your files, you may not hear a sound each time you press the "B" button.  This is OK-- just keep pressing the "B" button until you hear the next sound play.
  • Press the "A" button on your remote to play the previous sound stored on the sound module.  If you used a Mac to copy your files, you may not hear a sound each time you press the "A" button.  This is OK-- just keep pressing the "A" button until you hear the previous sound play.   If you reach the first sound file, you will hear two quick beeps.  This means you cannot go any farther back in the sound list-- press the "B" button to move forward in the list.
  • When you hear the sound play that you would like the module to include in its list of sounds to play, press the "D" button.  This will add the sound to the list to play, and you will hear a "chime" sound play.
  • After you have added all of the sound files you want the system to play (by pressing A, B, and D as outlined above), you can press the "C" button to exit configuration mode.  This will write your selections to memory on the TRUNK08 master controller, and you will hear a sequence of short beeps to confirm your selection.  Normal operation of the castle lights will then resume.

Note that if you try to add more than five active sound files to the list, the system will automatically exit and beep multiple times in quick sequence.  The system can store a maximum of five active sound files.

You can use the procedure above to tell the system you have fewer than five sound files stored on the module, or if you have more than five files on the module but want to change which five the system actively plays.

If you use a Mac computer, you will need to complete the steps above each time after connecting your sound module to your computer and changing any files.

NOTE: If you are using a Mac computer, remember to always "empty trash" after deleting any sound files in order to actually free up the space on the sound module.

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