I'm brand new to the forum and new to hands-on DIY. What I would like to do is use an Arduino to have more granular control over what my LED lights do on the Christmas tree. I have seen some wonderful video examples of syncing outside lights to music and have read through various tutorials so I know that what I want to do is feasible. The aquarium examples are also really nice.
Some background, I currently have ten light strands that will likely expand to 14 this year. So I believe I'll need 16 channels. I have some retail controllers that I plug into that are 8-function controllers. However, I find only two of the functions (steady on and slow fade) are usable. The other six fluctuate speeds in a cycle and get way too fast and flashy for me to enjoy on an inside tree.
So that leads me to a DIY project. I think the actual hands-on portion of this will be rather straightforward; I'd like the ability to tell each strand what to do independently of the others. I think this year will be more of a proof of concept as I learn the code and experiment with different blends of fade, chase, and blink. Perhaps next year I'll be able to get around the code so that I can create custom shows based on some of our favorite Christmas songs.
Any advice and helpful hints are appreciated in advance and I look forward to someday taking other projects beyond Christmas time.