Generating PC music analysis and transmitting through serial for Arduino

Hello everyone,

What I was interested in doing for the longest of time now is to use my computer to analyze my global music (Players, browsers, games, etc..), and then send the analyzed data through the Serial port and into one of my Arduinos.

The goal here is to program my overhead Individually Addressable LED strips as well as pretty much any other LED's or even lights for that matter.

I've been searching forum after forum of people trying to do the same thing, but generally the tutorials made no sense to me and the closest that I got was to use the Arduino ADC and with the help of OP amps plot the AUX (Or similar) output within the range of 0 to 5V (2.5 Neutral middle).

However that approach seems a little bit overkill as I imagine there would be noise and not to mention having to build test and design the whole thing without having an Oscilloscope.

Ideally I want to find a way to use C# with Visual Studio 2015 to do this (As a matter of fact I found a tutorial on it, just couldn't understand the 3 step guide as the pace was jumping like crazy from 'Download this' to 'You're pretty much good now', even though I'm totally lost with the in-between).

Anyway if anyone's done something similar to this, please suggest some sort of a starting point for me.

Thanks!

What I was interested in doing for the longest of time now is to use my computer to analyze my global music

Do you mean spectrum analysis? ...If you don't know what that is, search YouTube for "Arduino Sepectrum Analyzer". (It sounds like you want the computer to do the actual spectrum analysis, but you can find videos that show what the LED effect looks like.)

(Players, browsers, games, etc..), and then send the analyzed data through the Serial port and into one of my Arduinos.

In that case, the Arduino is just a serial-controlled lighting controller. That should be easy. The "hard part" is the software running on your computer.

The [u]FFT[/u]/DFT/FHT programming behind spectrum/frequency analysis is advanced DSP (digital signal processing) but you can find libraries to make it a lot easier. You'll also need know how to intercept the audio "inside" the computer.

the closest that I got was to use the Arduino ADC and with the help of OP amps plot the AUX (Or similar) output within the range of 0 to 5V (2.5 Neutral middle).

Of course, if the computer is doing the frequency analysis, you don't need an analog input at all.

If you want to use an analog input, you can bias the input with [u]two equal-value resistors and a capacitor[/u]. That will work with a line-level audio signal or a reasonably loud headphone signal.

If you want to pick-up sound with a microphone, you need a preamp, which can be built with an op-amp.