64 LEDs and MAX7219

Here's a project I made with one of my MAX7219 breakout boards, 64 LEDs, a bunch of wirewrap wire and a (fancy popcorn) tube with some decorative rocks in the bottom. The MAX7219 is mounted under the lid. Not married to any processor, using a 1284P board as I had it handy. The LEDs just hang down, no discernible arrangement was made other than to have each register's output all about the same length. I made some of them face down more, when they pointed straight out, it was like little lasers shooting out. Really bright.
Right now it's turning on all 64 LEDs, then turning them off, one by one. Looking for some ideas to have something more creative.

Put a microphone on it and make it a color organ. It will change brightness and color as the ambient noise changes. This is just a suggestion. With out a schematic I can only guess what you have.

I've done some sound activated effects but generally I have a "string" of LEDs so I can make "chase" or "sequencing" effects, or there can be different colors.

One thing that might be interesting is an effect where a different random-pattern pops-up on each "beat". The thing I made doesn't actually try to find the beat, it just changes the random state when the volume equal-to (or close to) a previous peak. I think it would be boring if it always-exactly matches the beat, and the way I do it is easier...

I've also made a "VU meter" effect... It could still work with your randomly arranged LEDs because more LEDs would be on when the sound is louder.

My VU meter effect gets randomly reversed (probably not that "interesting" if the LEDs are not in-line) and it's randomly inverted, where louder sound turns the LEDs off.

Or, you could make a variation of my [u]World's Simplest Lighting Effect[/u]. One of my "real effects" is similar except it sets-up a random pattern (with some LEDs on and some off) and then toggles the state of the LEDs whenever the loudness is above the (moving) average. There is schematic attached to that post if you want to connect a line-level or headphone signal or it will work with a microphone board that puts-out an analog signal.

...A traditional color organ requires multiple colors and it requires frequency filtering/analysis. I built a color organ back in the 1970s from a kit but I got bored with it so did that random-pattern on the beat thing.

Then when I built something with a microcontroller I made several different random effects with all kinds of random variations. Everything I have now just works of the sound volume or "beat". I don't use any frequency information.

Here's the schematic. An Arduino is controlling it via SPI. The board breaks out two wires for each LED.

I then have each group of 8 wired up with different lengths of wires, and the current "pattern" just turns them on one by one, and off one by one.
I'm going to play some more and change the order of turn on and turn off, kind of like different lightning streaks coming down.

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