Adding Custom Sounds to the Millennium Falcon Light + Sound Kit

NOTE: this article applies to "Version 2" of the Brickstuff Light + Sound kit for the Millennium Falcon.  This is the kit that became available starting with the November 2019 batch of orders.  If your kit was part of an earlier batch, refer to the instructions included in your printed instruction manual or contact us with questions.

 

This guide describes how to add your own sound files to your Brickstuff Light + Sound Kit for the LEGO® UCS Millennium Falcon.

The "laser" sound module included with your Brickstuff kit has 12 pre-loaded sounds, each of which is labeled with a "DO NOT DELETE" filename because these cannot be deleted or modified.  If you do accidentally delete any of these files, you will need to return your sound module to us for servicing.

You can add up to five active MP3 sounds of your own to the "laser" sound module.  By "active," this means you can have more than five files loaded onto the sound module, but you can select up to five to be active at any one time.  Once selected, you can trigger random playing of any of the active sounds using your wireless remote control.

Your "laser" sound module has space for approximately three minutes total of MP3 sounds.  To load your own custom sounds, you can connect the MicroUSB plug on the sound module to your computer (either Mac or PC).  Once connected, the sound module will appear as a standard USB memory drive in your computer's file browser.

If you followed the installation instructions for your Falcon light + sound kit, you should have the "laser" sound module mounted at the rear of your Falcon as shown below:

 (the sound module is shown above with a red shrink wrap covering.  The MicroUSB connector is located at the top of the module for easy connection to a MicroUSB cable and your computer)

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 12 sound effect files on the sound module.  These files are labeled "DO NOT DELETE".

In addition to the "DO NOT DELETE" files on your sound module, there are also five empty files loaded onto the module that have "REPLACE WITH YOUR CUSTOM SOUND" in the filename.  You should delete all of these empty files before copying any new sounds onto your module.

NOTE: If you are using a Mac computer, you will also need to "empty trash" after deleting any files 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. Delete one or more of the empty sound files on your sound module (the files labeled "REPLACE WITH YOUR CUSTOM SOUND").
  2. Copy your own MP3 file(s) 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 (changing the bitrate of a sound makes the file smaller while only slightly changing the quality of the sound itself)

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 quickly on the remote.  Pressing this button quickly will trigger a randomly selected custom file and play it.

Note that the sound module can play only one sound at a time, so if any other sound effects are playing when you trigger the playback of a custom file, this will stop the sound effect and play your file instead.

 

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 on your Mac and cannot be deleted from the Mac Finder, 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, delete the five factory-loaded empty files, empty the trash folder on your Mac, and then copy three custom files onto the module, the module will see several additional files before the sound files you copy onto the module.  If you try to play the first sound 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 sound 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 Falcon and sound module. (turn off both power supplies to the Falcon)
  2. Press and hold the "D" button on your remote control transmitter.  Keep holding the "D" button.
  3. Turn power back on to your Falcon and sound module (turn both power supplies on).  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 Falcon 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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