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Topic: How to go about making a light show that syncs to the music live? (Read 4 times) previous topic - next topic


Sep 28, 2012, 06:58 am Last Edit: Sep 28, 2012, 08:47 am by Heli12345 Reason: 1
Okay, let me start off with this: I am very new to Arduino, and also general electronics as a whole. I have always been more into software based stuff such as scripting. Anywhom, onto my main question...

The whole reason I am getting into electronics, and more specifically the Arduino, is because of lights. Lots of lights. Like having LED strips line the top of my walls lots. What I am trying to do currently is to try and get four strips of LEDs (that is just a starting point for now) lined up at the top of my walls to sync to music. These are the parts that I understand I need to have to set it up so far...

1. Arduino (duh). In this case, I am using an Arduino Mega 2560
2. MSGEQ7 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10468? I am using this to split the music into seven frequencies as to get a better looking light show.
3. MOSFET I am actually unsure why I need this, someone just told me that they are needed. Clarification would be great :)
4. LED strips. I am thinking I would rather go digital, as each LED would be programable. Any advice on a good LED strip would be nice.
5. Breadboard to connect everything up. I would solder, but I would prefer not to go through the hassle for now.

If there are any parts that you all think I could use, please, include them.

Now comes the fun stuff: connecting everything. This is where more problems come up. I have absolutely no clue what to wire and what not to wire. I am sure you veterans out there could take these supplies and turn it into an awesome looking light show easily, but for a newbie like me, it is like witchcraft. One more thing, though, is I am unsure of what code I would need to use for this either. So if someone could point me in the right direction, I would be eternally grateful.

I have a small setup at the moment, but it does not include the Arduino. All it is is a very simple circuit. It consists of a 12 volt battery, four three volt blue LEDs, one TIP31 transistor, and an audio jack. I'm sure most of you have seen this setup done online somewhere. The audio jack sends the music signal to the transistor, and completes the circuit. The LEDs then procede to switch on and off to the beat of the music. It is quite simple, and really only reacts to the low end of music. That is the main reason why I would like to try the Arduino setup.

Any help that is provided to me would be greatly appreciated. If anyone would like to draw up a basic (extremely basic) schematic for the type of circuit that I am trying to build, that would be so perfect. Please, help a newbie out :)


By the way, sorry if this is in the wrong subforum. I just though "LEDs and Multiplexing" would be the best place to put it.



What, no one loves lights as much as I do?

Sure we do, but this isn't a live chat board. You might have to wait a few hours for people to see things.

The list of parts seems OK but I think you need to start with smaller projects first. Make sure you understand what each thing does. Be prepared for this to be complicated and take quite a long time to get working.

No, I don't answer questions sent in private messages (but I do accept thank-you notes...)


Ok, im a bit of a noob here myself, but considering how i understand how the arduino works, i would split this into two sections.

first: get the data into the arduino. youve spit into seven "frequencies". For the sake of conversation, lets reduce this to 5.
the arduino takes 5 analogue inputs, so feed each one into each of these.

second: THEN decide what you want to do with the data.

by applying various sketches to each feed, they could do different things.

you could write the data from each feed to a bank of LEDs, as in, "more input" more leds light up (like on an equaliser)

assume you do this for all feeds, you could arrange them in a star shape, so the feeds grow and decrease from the centre of the star, giving different patterns depending on the music (bass heavy would cause it to be weighted to one side or another perhaps?)

or you could influence the colours of some RGB leds based on the frequency?
the arduino could monitor a "beat" based on listening for a pulse (playing with thresholds?) and flash based on a specific beat at a specific frequency?

the possibilities are endless! but yeah, i would split it in two, Get the data in, then worry about what you are going to do with it.
Get some little LEDs going on a bread board, and then by adding transistors or relays, you could replace each output with whatever you wanted (flame throwers would be my suggestion)

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