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Description: The Tsunami Super WAV Trigger is the next evolutionary step beyond the original WAV Trigger.

Based on a new generation ARM Cortex m7, the Tsunami extends polyphony to 32 mono or 18 stereo simultaneous uncompressed 44.1kHz, 16-bit tracks. Each track can start, pause, resume, loop and stop independently, and can have its own volume setting, allowing you to create the perfect interactive mix of music, dialog and sound effects. The Tsunami also supports true seamless looping over an arbitrary track length.

The big news is that the Tsunami has 8 audio output channels, arranged as either 8 mono or 4 stereo pairs. Alternate versions of firmware support either mono and stereo architecture – you choose. The mono version adds a new “Synced Set” trigger function that can start up to 8 mono tracks on adjacent outputs. These tracks will start and stay in sample-sync for playing stereo or even 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound content with a single trigger. Any track can be dynamically routed to any output. And each output provides independent real-time volume and sample-rate conversion (pitch bend.)

Each Tsunami Super WAV Trigger has a dedicated MIDI port with an integrated opto-isolator, making it easy to connect to any MIDI controller. Tsunami’s MIDI implementation includes control of volume, pitch bend, attack and release times, and the ability to route any MIDI key to any of the output channels, as well as specifying single-shot or looping playback per key.

Note: It is very important to know that this is a 3.3V device, and its inputs – including triggers and serial RX – are not 5V tolerant!

Note: The Tsunami was developed in collaboration with Robertsonics. A portion of each sale goes back to them for product support and continued development.

Get Started with the Tsunami Guide


  • Supports up to 4096 uncompressed 16-bit, 44.1kHz mono or stereo WAV files – CD quality
  • Polyphonic – Play and mix 32 mono or 18 stereo tracks independently and simultaneously
  • 8 audio output channels, can be arranged as 4 stereo outputs. Route any track to any output
  • Outputs provide independent real-time playback rate control and MIDI Pitch Bend
  • Seamless looping over arbitrary track length
  • Trigger-to-sound delay: 8 msecs typ, 12 msecs max
  • Pause and resume individual or groups of tracks
  • Multiple random trigger ranges
  • 16 trigger inputs are individually selectable for contact closure or 3.3Vcontrol
  • Trigger inputs can be individually inverted (active low or high)
  • Trigger inputs can be individually set to be edge, latched or level sensitive
  • Output volumes adjustable from +10dB to -70dB
  • Firmware track fades (attacks & decays)
  • A dedicated “Play” status digital output pin
  • Extensive serial control. Pin compatible with SparkFun FTDI Basic 3.3V
  • MIDI Velocity-sensitive triggering of up to 4096 tracks, adjustable attack and release times


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Customer Comments

  • Hi, I’ve got another question: I’ve been pushing the Tsunami (~20 voices playing at a time, tracks fading in and out) and I’m running into some stuttering. It’s system-wide: all voices, whatever their output, stutter simultaneously when there is a stutter.

    It seems to happen randomly, maybe once every minute, and doesn’t seem to coincide with serial command inputs or the starting/ending of track playback.

    Does this sound like an SD card problem? I started with a Kingston 4G SDC4, which is on your list of recommended SD cards, but it was stuttering badly. I’m getting better results using an SD card that isn’t on the list, but still the occasional stutter. I don’t have a WAV trigger. is there a way for me to test my SD cards write times without one? do you have other suggestions for troubleshooting? Thanks

    • Update: I just ran 32 mono voices, routing a sine wave to a separate output and recording the output. I ran for 5 minutes with no glitches. This was with a SanDisk 4GB speed class 4 card. I ran the same test with a PNY 32GB U3 card, known to have problems, and got glitches. So I’m guessing your issue is indeed related to SD card. One thing to try is re-formatting on a Windows machine with a 32K allocation unit size.

      Also, you didn’t mention it but are you also using sample-rate offset commands? Speeding up the sample-rate increases the likelihood of running into SD card issues since it requires even faster access.

    • Based on what you describe (good detail, thanks) it does indeed sound it’s related to SD read access. The fact that changing the SD card changes the frequency of the problem is certainly a good indication. Unfortunately, the only way to test/measure a card at the moment is with a WAV Trigger - I haven’t ported the test software to Tsunami, and probably won’t in time to be of near-term help to you.

      It would be interesting to throttle back to say 16 voices or fewer and see if that eliminates or reduces the occurrence. Also, if you could record the stutter and send me a short wav file that includes it. We can take this off-line if you contact me at info(at)robertsonics(dot)com.

  • Hi, it seems that the Tsunami Serial Control Library for arduino only use the stereo firmware of the board. Any way to use mono outputs with serial commands ? Or with normal triggering, would it be possible to unlink the trigger and the outputs, and to set the outputs in the filename ? (Like you did in the Midi Note-on command method you described in the user guide) ? Thanks.

    • I’m pretty sure the library works fine with the mono firmware. The README file in the library indicates that the output range for the play functions are 1 - 4, but the code should actually accept a 1 - 8 range. Did you try it and have a problem? I believe I’ve tested the library with the mono firmware.

      Not sure I understand what you mean regarding the normal trigger function. You can currently already specify the output as part of the trigger settings. What would be the advantage of specifying the output in the filename, since a normal trigger can only map to a single wave file?

      • Glad to hear that the library will work in mono mode. ï will test it and report.

        To be precise, I want to use the random function to multiple outputs. That’s why ï need to specify the output in the filename.

  • Hi, I’m testing serial control of the Tsunami, and I’m generally getting good results, but I can’t get the reporting working. I’m using the new mono firmware (V1.01m), and am using 0xf0, 0xaa, 0x06, 0x0e, 0x01, 0x55 to turn reporting on. I get system and version info when I request it, just not reporting.

    I noticed that in the user guide, the output message code for reporting is 0x83, but the example uses 0x84. Is it possible that the wrong message code is listed for turning reporting on? Thanks

    • So sorry… looks like the User Guide is wrong. The command code (to Tsunami) for enabling track reporting is 0x0d, and the report response command code (from Tsunami) is 0x84. I’ll fix this ASAP.

      Turn track reporting on: 0xf0, 0xaa, 0x06, 0x0d, 0x01, 0x55

      If you look at the code in the Tsunami Arduino Serial Library, that’s going to be correct, since the library works. I must have changed things at some point during the final development stages and not updated the user guide. Nobody has brought this to my attention because most people probably use the Arduino library.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! Got it working now. As far as doing without the arduino library, it’s been seamless sending control messages straight from Max -> Sparkfun FTDI 3.3v breakout -> Tsunami Thanks again

  • Hello, I am user of the original WAV Trigger. Could you confirm my understanding for both ? I understand in WAV trigger MIDI Channel numbering is considered at same level as bank numbering and not anymore with Tsunami. As following (is that correct ?) :

    WAV Trigger rule : Track Number = (MIDI Channel * 128) + (MIDI Bank Number * 128) + MIDI Note Number with MIDI Channel (0 to 15), MIDI Bank Number (0 to 16) and MIDI Note Number (0 to 127)

    Example 1: MIDI Channel: 0, MIDI Bank Number: 1, MIDI Note Number: 1 => Track Number = 129

    Example 2: MIDI Channel: 1, MIDI Bank Number: 0, MIDI Note Number: 1 => Track Number = 129

    TSUNAMI rule : T = (MIDI Bank Number * 128) + MIDI Note Number with MIDI Channel (0 to 15), MIDI Bank Number (0 to 31) and MIDI Note Number (0 to 127).

    Example 3: MIDI Channel: 0, MIDI Bank Number: 1, MIDI Note Number: 1 => Track Number = 129

    Example 4: MIDI Channel: 1, MIDI Bank Number: 0, MIDI Note Number: 1 => Track Number = 1

    • Correct. Tsunami follows MIDI Channel Number conventions more closely than the WAV Trigger, in that it supports both dedicated channel assignment as well as Omni mode.

      • Is there special action at background when changing bank with Tsunami ? I would like to play on synthesizer tracks number 121 to 136 (as example) together adding program change frame when appropriate.

        • Not sure I understand the question. Changing banks with a Program Change message simply changes the MIDI Note to Track Number mapping for future note events. One thing to keep in mind is that if you hold a key while changing banks, then that track won’t get the Note Off message when you release the key.

          • I understand I need to send Program Change many times also when releasing. My question is more I am worry if there is more action at background when Program Change occurs like parsing sd, allocating memory… I can manage with Program Change for my need: play two instrument on the board with different and independent bank system then number of files is more than 128.

  • What is the latency? Is it fixed? Without this info is not possible to know if it would work as a drum-machine and even sample-playback synth…

  • Hello everybody,

    I’m having problems to get the the 8th channel in “synced pair mode” runnin? I want to start 8 Tracks with one Trigger (all in sync). Here are my settings (Mono Mode):

    BAUD 9600

    TRIG 01, 224, 0, 0, 14, 1, 7

    Seven Channels work just fine, but as soon as i chance the Track Range to 1 -8, the trigger won’t work.

    Does anyone else have this problem? (Besides that, the Tsunami crashes very often. Hopefully the SD Card ist the Problem.)

    Cheers, Jan

    • This is one of two issues we found and fixed after the v1.00 firmware went to production. Both issues only affect the mono firmware version and since we ship with the stereo firmware, I was holding off releasing an update in case we found other things. I will post a v1.01 update on the robertsonics download page tonight.

      Regarding the “Tsunami crashes very often” comment, I’d like to better understand what you mean. In all the testing and development done for this board, it doesn’t ever “crash” to my knowledge, and I’ve had it running for days at a time.

      UPDATE: Firmware v1.01 mono and stereo is now up on the Tsunami download page (link above). This should get you starting all 8 tracks. If you are using the stereo version, you don’t need this update as both issues affected mono version only.

      • Hey Robertsonics.

        Thanks for your reply. The “crashing” turned out to be a SD-Card Problem. Since it is replaced by a good one, there where no crashes at all. Again, thank you for your reply. I will test the new Firmware today!

        Cheers Jan

  • Anyone know how I could connect an i2c device to this board? Would I need an arduino in the middle? Want to add Freescale MPR121 touch sensors for triggers instead of buttons/switches…

  • I wonder…….(actually planting an idea) If I had a system or home automation that had presence detection in some or all rooms and that had a wired or bluetooth speaker to each room or area. Multiple doorbell and call buttons around the house. I understand that a controller would handle a lot of these functions. This board could play a different sound for each doorbell, or play that sound in the actively occupied room and then outward at slight delays to others speakers to create a simulated echo. Make no sound in say a occupied room with lights off. If a call buttons is pressed and held it would send out an alert to all. One press/two press… etc. I could probably do a lot of these things thru OpenHAB with rules or a minimal system via a controller (yes, a Pi, Arduino, Odroid etc). I’ll just throw this idea out-there and see if anyone runs with it.

  • Sooo, it’s essentially a (Amiga) MOD player? Or at least it can be made into playing MOD files?

  • This looks fantastic….but I would be more interested in re-purposing this board. Does it have a J-Tag port so that it can be re - programmed and debugged?

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Related Tutorials

Tsunami Hookup Guide

February 16, 2017

Hit the ground running with Tsunami, the Super Wav Trigger.