Simple Arduino Tone Player: Adding Sound to Your Projects

 Arduino is a versatile microcontroller platform that allows you to bring your electronic projects to life. While it excels at controlling motors, LEDs, and sensors, it can also produce sound using a piezo buzzer or a speaker. In this article, we will explore the concept of a simple Arduino tone player, which enables you to generate various tones and melodies. Whether you want to add sound effects to a robot, create a musical instrument, or build an alarm system, the Arduino tone player is an excellent tool to enhance your projects.

Understanding the Arduino Tone Player
The Arduino Tone Library provides a straightforward way to generate tones of specific frequencies. By controlling the duration and pitch of these tones, you can create a wide range of sounds. The library simplifies the process of setting up and playing tones, making it accessible to beginners and advanced users alike.

Hardware setup

 To use the Arduino tone player, you'll need an Arduino board and a piezo buzzer or a speaker. The piezo buzzer can be directly connected to one of the digital pins on the Arduino board, while a speaker might require additional components such as transistors or amplifiers to handle higher power requirements. For simplicity, we will focus on using a piezo buzzer connected to digital pin 10.


Simple Arduino Tone Player

Arduino Code 

This code is an example of an Arduino program that allows the user to input a frequency via the Serial Monitor to generate a tone using a piezo buzzer connected to pin 10. 

const int outputPin = 10;

void setup(){
   pinMode(outputPin, OUTPUT);
   Serial.println("Enter frequency 100-8000 Hz (0 off)");

void loop(){
   if (Serial.available()){
      int f = Serial.parseInt();
      if (f == 0){
      else {
	 tone(outputPin, f);

 Here's a breakdown of the code:

  • The first line declares a constant variable outputPin and assigns it the value 10. This pin will be used to output the tone.
  • The setup() function is called once when the Arduino board is powered on or reset. In this function:
  • pinMode(outputPin, OUTPUT); sets the outputPin as an output pin, indicating that it will be used to send signals to the piezo buzzer.
  • Serial.begin(9600); initializes the communication with the computer through the Serial Monitor. The baud rate is set to 9600, which is the rate at which data is transmitted between the Arduino and the computer.
  • Serial.println("Enter frequency 100-8000 Hz (0 off)"); prints a message to the Serial Monitor, instructing the user to input a frequency between 100 and 8000 Hz to generate a tone. If the user enters 0, it will turn off the tone.
  • The loop() function is executed continuously after the setup() function. In this function:
  • if (Serial.available()) checks if there is any data available from the Serial Monitor. If there is, it proceeds to the next step.
  • int f = Serial.parseInt(); reads the data entered by the user as an integer and assigns it to the variable f.
  • if (f == 0) checks if the entered frequency is 0, indicating that the user wants to turn off the tone. If it is 0, it calls the noTone() function with outputPin as the argument to stop generating the tone.
  • If the entered frequency is not 0, the else block is executed:
  • tone(outputPin, f); generates a tone of frequency f on the outputPin using the Arduino's built-in tone() function.
  • Serial.println(f); prints the frequency value to the Serial Monitor.

The code continuously waits for the user to input a frequency and generates the corresponding tone until the user enters 0 to turn it off.

 Expanding the Functionality
While the above code provides a basic tone player, you can expand its functionality to suit your specific needs. Here are a few ideas:

  • Melody Player: Instead of relying on user input for frequencies, you can program the Arduino to play pre-defined melodies or songs. Assign specific frequencies to musical notes and create arrays to store the notes and their durations. By iterating through the arrays, you can play complex melodies.
  • Sensor-based Tones: Combine the Arduino tone player with sensors to generate sound based on real-time data. For example, you can create an alarm system that triggers different tones based on the detected movement or distance.
  • Sound Effects: Integrate the tone player into a project that requires sound effects. For instance, you can create a game that produces different sounds when specific events occur, such as collisions or button presses.
  • Musical Instrument: Utilize multiple piezo buzzers to create a simple musical instrument. Assign different buzzers to different notes and use buttons or sensors to trigger the tones, allowing you to play melodies with physical inputs.

Video demonstration


With the Arduino tone player, you can add sound and audio interactivity to your projects. By generating tones of different frequencies, you can create melodies, sound effects, and even musical instruments. 


[1] Arduino based audio player using a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC)

[2] Playing Arduino Stored Audio with MOSFET Amplifier

[3] Arduino Metronome 

[4] Arduino code for generating audio sample 

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