Using SD Cards
The SD card slot option provides additional functionality to Chime Master electronic carillons. The option board the slot is mounted to contains additional memory that holds pre-recorded sound files. The slot will accept SD cards formatted on a PC (FAT32 format) to which you have copied MP3 files. These files can also be played from the carillon when named as described below.
Provided selections on the user card
- Bagpipe selections
- 6491 Amazing Grace (complete)
- 6492 Amazing Grace (March off)
- 6493 The Battle is Over
- 6494 Goin’ Home
- 6495 I’ll Fly Away
Add your selections to the SD card
Remove card from carillon
Removing the name plate on the lower right of the front panel provides access to this slot (if installed). If a card is already in the slot, push on it to eject and then remove it. After the steps below, reinstall the card with the contacts down.
Format additional cards
Cards as large as 8GB have been tested to work with the system. The card should be formatted as FAT32 using your Windows PC. Insert a new card, right click, select Format, and verify that it is FAT32 and re-format if it is not.
Apple Mac computers no longer support erasing cards in the FAT32 format. A Mac can add files to a card that has been formatted on a PC.
Extract MP3 file from CD
There are many free solutions that can be downloaded from the internet. We have had success using a Windows program called CDex (CD extraction). This can be downloaded from the CDex website.
The CDex program will create directories in your Music folder for the extracted files. Make the following settings changes so that you can name the files as you extract them:
- Remove the track number from filename:
options > settings > Directoies & files delete %7- from Filename Format
- Set encoding parameters (in this order, not from top to bottom of screen)
options > settings > Encoders select Lame MP3 Encoder Quality = Very High Quality VBR Method = Disabled Bitrate Min = 128 kbps Mode = Mono
Mono vs. Stereo and Filtering
The MP3 file’s left channel goes to the outside speakers and the right channel plays inside. If the file is to play both inside and outside, create a mono file. Because the data rate is constant, a mono (single channel) file will encode with higher sound quality than a two channel file.
To prevent music with significant low frequency content (modern pop music or pipe organ selections) from damaging the outside horns, we recommend that you prepare full range music files so that all of the audio is on the right channel, so that it plays inside only.
Mixing to mono can be done with CDex. For Mixing and muting one channel or the other, you need to use a digital audio workstation (DAW) program such as Audacity. For best results, extract the tracks in CDex as WAV files, edit/mix the channels in Audacity, then export the track using an MP3 plugin (also available for download here).
You can also use the DAW editor to filter frequencies below 300 Hz that are potentially damaging to outside horn speakers.
- Insert audio CD into the drive on your PC
- Edit the Titles column for each track to start with a four digit number between 6000 and 6495
- Select the tracks you want to encode into MP3 files (ctrl-A to select all)
- Press F9 to extract the files
- Eject the disc and repeat for additional discs
MP3 file naming requirements
Copy the desired MP3 files to the card, and then rename the files so that they have numeric filenames from 6000-6499. Make sure each 6000 number used is unique on the card. The characters after the hyphen will be ignored by the carillon system. The 6000 number can be used for any four digit selection code in the automatic or manual modes.
Example: original filename is birdsinging.mp3 Rename the file to 6234-birdsinging.mp3
Copy MP3 file to SD card
CDex extracts CD files to your Music folder. Insert the SD card from the carillon into your PC's cardslot (or external adapter). Open the folder for the card and drag the files from your Music folder onto the memory card.
Before you remove the card from the computer, select it in File Explorer and Eject it so that the data files are all closed properly.
Install the card
Removing the name plate on the lower right of the front panel provides access to this slot (if installed). If a card is already in the slot, push on it to eject and then remove it. Install the card with the contacts down.
Use the Play Selections menu to test the selections you have copied. Whenever a four digit selection code is flashing, you can simply enter the 6000 number for the selection you want to play from the SD card.
Properly formatted MP3 files are required. You can check your file in Windows by right clicking it and selecting Properties. On the Details tab, scroll down and check the file's bit rate under the Audio heading.
Recommended encoding values:
Sample Rate: 44100 Bit Depth: 16 bit Bit Rate: 128 kbps
Errors while playing
- Q-Com Error
- FAT32 formatted cards should have only a single Healthy Primary Partition. This can be checked in Computer Management > Disk Management. A brand new card will have only one partition.
- If your card has been used to install operating systems or software it will have a Boot or EFI System partition. Deleting this partition requires executing power shell commands that can damage your computer, so we do not provide instructions. It is best to use a new card to play your files.