Creator Ecto-1 Light and Sound Kit: Adding and Managing Sounds

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Your Brickstuff Premium Light and Sound kit for the LEGO Creator Ecto-1 includes a sound module with small speaker:

The sound module has a microUSB plug, which you can connect to your computer.  Once connected, you can copy up to four minutes of MP3 sound files onto the module.  When you disconnect the module from your computer and use it inside your Ecto-1, you can trigger playback of up to five different sounds using the remote control included with your kit.  While you can copy more than five sounds onto the module, up to five can be marked as "active" at any time (and able to be triggered using the remote control).  Each sound can have its own volume setting.

The sound module ships with several demo sounds pre-loaded.  You should delete these and replace with your own sounds.  The sound module also has three files that are labeled "DO NOT DELETE."  These files are needed on the sound module for proper operation.  Do not delete these files.

Connecting 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.

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.

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.

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

Once you have finished copying your custom sounds to the sound module, you can disconnect it from your computer.

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.

This is why we created the ability to scroll through all files on the sound module in User Sound Set Mode to tell the system which are the sound files you would like to play.

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.

Selecting Sounds: User Sound Set Mode

As explained earlier, you can place any number of MP3 files on the sound module, and you can then select up to five of these sounds to be played at random during normal operation.  In order to tell the sound module which MP3 files from the sound module you would like to include in the “active” list (up for five sounds), you can access the special User Sound Set Mode by following these steps:

  1. Turn off power to your Ecto-1 kit.  Note that you need to disconnect or shut off supply power completely— simply turning off the master power using button #7 on your remote control will not allow you to access User Sound Set Mode.
  2. With power completely turned off, press and HOLD the #8 button on your remote control.
  3. Turn power back on WHILE CONTINUING TO HOLD THE #8 button on your remote control.
  4. After 2-3 seconds, you will hear a “beep” sound.  This confirms that you have entered User Sound Set Mode.  You can then release the #8 button on the remote.
  5. Once you have entered User Sound Set Mode, use the buttons on your remote as described below to select the sounds you would like.

REMOTE CONTROL BUTTON #1

When in User Sound Set Mode, a SHORT PRESS of the #1 button will move back one sound in the list of sounds stored on the sound module. (remember: a SHORT PRESS is pressing the button on the remote for one second or less) The selected sound will then play.  If you scroll beyond the beginning of the list of available sounds, you will hear the “no sound” sound (see SOME NOTES ABOUT USER SOUNDS below for more information).  A LONG PRESS of the #1 button will decrease the volume of the selected sound (each sound can have its own playback volume).  Remember that a LONG PRESS is pressing the button on the remote for 2 seconds or longer.

 

REMOTE CONTROL BUTTON #2

When in User Sound Set Mode, a SHORT PRESS of the #2 button will move forward one sound in the list of sounds stored on the sound module.  The selected sound will then play.  If you advance beyond the list of sounds you have copied onto the module, you will hear silence, but the counter will continue advancing.  For example, if you advance two steps beyond the last sound, you will need to press the #1 button three times to scroll back to the last playable sound (you will hear silence until you scroll back to a playable sound).  A LONG PRESS of the #2 button will increase the volume of the sound.

 

REMOTE CONTROL BUTTON #8

When in User Sound Set Mode, a SHORT PRESS or LONG PRESS of the #8 button will “save” the current selected sound and its playback volume to memory.  This sound will then be marked active and available for random playback with the remote during normal operation.

After “saving” the selected sound, you will hear one beep and the counter will then advance.  You can then either select the next sound to mark as active, or exit User Sound Set Mode.

 

EXITING USER SOUND SET MODE

When in User Sound Set Mode, a SHORT PRESS or LONG PRESS of the #7 button on your remote control will exit User Sound Set Mode and return your Ecto-1 to normal operating mode.  You will hear a quick series of beeps to confirm that you are exiting and that your selections have been saved.

 

SOME NOTES ABOUT USER SOUNDS

Here are some important things to keep in mind about user sounds on the sound module:

  • If you press the #8 button after marking five sounds as active, you will automatically exit User Sound Set Mode, since five is the maximum number of sounds that can be active at one time.
  • You can copy as many MP3 files onto the sound module as will fit, but only five of these files can be marked as “active” and available for playback using the remote at any given time.
  • When copying files from your computer onto the sound module, never delete the first three files on the sound module.  These are used by the system, and are marked “DO NOT DELETE”.
  • The first sound in the list of sounds available to play is always the “no sound” sound.  This is a high-pitched beep that you will hear whenever you have scrolled beyond the beginning of the list of MP3 files you copied onto the sound module.  You can select the “no sound” sound whenever you want to de-select a sound, or clear a sound slot.  For example, if you have five sounds marked as active but want to “remove” the last two (leaving three active), you can change the sound for these last two sounds to be the “no sound” sound.
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