Hardware Requirements: Music Controlled Light Costume

Hey all,

Having some trouble figuring out what I need to buy for my first project, currently have nothing so would need to buy everything.

The device would basically:

  • take music signals from the environment through a microphone.
  • process these digitally using a fourier transform.
  • extract features from the music using frequency analysis over time to program lights with, not simply a spectrogram. Will need to store extracted features for up to 2 mins so that the device can control lights based on progression in the music.


  • OUTPUTS: 13 independent light 'areas', each comprised of one light (or more connected in series)
  • INPUT: 1 microphone w/ ADC (do any arduino boards have an inbuilt ADC?)
  • STORAGE: Space for code + storage of music 'features' with up to 2 mins running memory for these.
  • PROCESSING: Able to run a fourier transform and process frequency information in real time.
  • BATTERY: Largely dependent on the lights and Arduino chosen.

I've managed to find this microphone so far which seems suitable for this project:

Could anyone recommend an ADC which would be suitable?

As far as Arduino's go, would I just need one with 14 (13 +1) digital I/O pins? I'm also completely lost in terms of the processing power and storage space I'd need.

Appreciate any guidance :slight_smile:

Adafruit has a number of sound reactive LED projects in the Learn section of their website.