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Author Topic: RGB led VU meter, with arduino  (Read 1730 times)
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I want to make a VU meter, that will react to music frequency. I have a small microphone, a arduino uno. And was going to get RGB led's with these specs.



General Specifications:
Color   RGB   
Continuous Forward Current   20 mA
Forward Voltage   2      
Maximum Forward Voltage   2.6V
LED Package   5mm
Lens Color   Clear
Millicandela   1000-5000 mcd   
Operating Temperature   -40~+85°C
Peak Forward Current   50 mA   
Reverse Current   10µA
Reverse Voltage   5V   
Storage Temperature   -40~+85°C
Tube Diameter   T-1 3/4   
Viewing Angle   15°
Wattage Consumption   0.04W   
Wavelength   630/525/472 nm


As far as how many? I was thinking a 8 X 7 matrix. 8 long 7 high
So 56 of them, What else would I need? I dont know what led drivers are or what chips or anything I would need.


And the microphone I have is silver, has a black top and has two regular pins and one flat pin on the bottom. Not sure if I can use it or how to test it to see if it works..

This I want to be my first bigger project. I may need help with coding and stuff. Because Im not sure how.
And I really want to do this. so any advice would be greatly appreciated.




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Seattle, WA USA
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So 56 of them
56 RGB LEDs will need 168 PWM pins. Which Arduino do you have that has that many PWM pins?

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And the microphone I have is silver, has a black top and has two regular pins and one flat pin on the bottom.
Good thing it isn't the orange one.

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I may need help with coding
Probably.
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So 56 of them
56 RGB LEDs will need 168 PWM pins. Which Arduino do you have that has that many PWM pins?

Quote
And the microphone I have is silver, has a black top and has two regular pins and one flat pin on the bottom.
Good thing it isn't the orange one.

Quote
I may need help with coding
Probably.

 Like I said, I need help figuring it out. Ive seen more than that done. I just dont know how. and what about the microphone being orange.. was that just sarcasm?
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and what about the microphone being orange.. was that just sarcasm?
Color and number, style, and location of pins has no bearing on the suitability of the microphone. So, yes, the color comment was sarcasm.

What is it that you want to display with the LEDs? Volume? Frequency? Some sub-set of frequencies?

There have been plenty of posts about controlling large numbers of LEDs. There is even a search box up there. Do some research. The hardest part is powering all the LEDs. The second hardest part is being able to PWM a large number of LEDs while still maintaining adequate refresh rates and on-time for visibility.

Getting audio data from a microphone is not that difficult, but it might require amplification and offset. It all depends on the microphone. And, no the color is not important.

Separating the audio information by frequency is not a trivial task. There are chips available, cheap, that do it in hardware. Getting one of them simplifies the job considerably.


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and what about the microphone being orange.. was that just sarcasm?
Color and number, style, and location of pins has no bearing on the suitability of the microphone. So, yes, the color comment was sarcasm.

What is it that you want to display with the LEDs? Volume? Frequency? Some sub-set of frequencies?

There have been plenty of posts about controlling large numbers of LEDs. There is even a search box up there. Do some research. The hardest part is powering all the LEDs. The second hardest part is being able to PWM a large number of LEDs while still maintaining adequate refresh rates and on-time for visibility.

Getting audio data from a microphone is not that difficult, but it might require amplification and offset. It all depends on the microphone. And, no the color is not important.

Separating the audio information by frequency is not a trivial task. There are chips available, cheap, that do it in hardware. Getting one of them simplifies the job considerably.




Basicaly I want to have it pulse to music . But I want each bar to pulse to a different frequency.


As far as color change with the rgb's Idk how to import that into the idea, Maybe just random? idk. But yeah I have been looking at matrix's and They usually have special PCB's and are premade. So As far as that goes Im still stumped. I dont know how to power it either.

As far as the mic goes, I got it from a velleman sound to light kit. if that helps.
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Check on:
http://fftarduino.blogspot.com/2011/02/color-organ-spectrum-analyzer-on.html
 To extend it to 8x7 or let say 32x10, you would need to add matrix circuitry for leds, there are a few design examples in Playground section:
http://arduino.cc/playground/Main/InterfacingWithHardware#Output
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Check on:
http://fftarduino.blogspot.com/2011/02/color-organ-spectrum-analyzer-on.html
 To extend it to 8x7 or let say 32x10, you would need to add matrix circuitry for leds, there are a few design examples in Playground section:
http://arduino.cc/playground/Main/InterfacingWithHardware#Output

The video at that first link is exactly what I want to do. Just with rgb leds instead of single color leds mixed together.
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Yes, it's true, there are 3 static color only. Even it's o'k to grasp psychological effect of the music, I can't wrap my head around what parameter would change color? VU meters react on volume, driving bars up and down depends on freq. magnitude, in other words it's 2D system, magnitude versus time (well, may be 2.5 as we have a few volume meters not just one) but anyway there is no dimension in sound content to reflect it in 3D: magnitude / time / color. Or you have an idea?
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Im thinking  maybe, depending on how many different colors can be made, Have it change to a different color every 2-3 seconds, cycling through all colors. B|
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so as far as that goes, next problem is getting that many rgb leds that are super bright for the cheapest.
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Are you sure you want to build all this hardware using discrete components?
~56 leds x 4 = 224 soldering points, plus at least 56 x 3 / 16 = 10.5 driver chip like TLC5940 and a lot of wiring.
For myself, I already ordered Rainbowduino and 8x8 matrix.
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/rainbowduino-led-driver-platform-atmega-328-p-371.html?cPath=132_133
 Still wandering in my mind about 3-rd dimension. Discrete LED has advantage, they could be organize in  3D (like cube). Even led's matrixes doesn't require assembling, they are forever flat....
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 01:10:05 am by Magician » Logged

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I was thinking of getting one, and after that idk what to do. I wanna use rgbs but at this point im thinking just like 100 regular blue ones. Which would be easier.
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