how to control arduino with audio?


We are students who need to make a light desk with two channels, controlled by audio signals...

Does anybody knows what we all need for this and how we have to start this project?

Thanks, Hopeless students

Hello, it all depends on exactly how the 2 lights will work. Like a clapper device, clap-on / clap-off, or more complex? Tell us more so we can point you guys to the right direction...


The arduino has to control the light by DMX, and get the input from a microphone. What our plan is, to transfer the sound level to light intensities. The fact is that we have to make two channels, so maybe one of them could be inverted in light intensity. How can we make the two DMX channels as arduino output? Do we need extra supplies? Or can we make the protocol just by programming? Any suggestions to transfer audio to useable content?

Any suggestions to transfer audio to useable content?

Can you explain what you mean by "useable content" ?

You want to turn a normal lightbulb higher or lower? Maybe connect a servo to a dimmer switch and turn the servo. Controlling AC power directly with an arduino is more difficult than controlling DC power.

We don’t want to make a mechanical dimmer, but we want to send DMX!

Useable content, I mean, values where the arduino can work with.

So, DMX doesnt uses any audio as far as I know.. My magic ball suggests something like beat detection..

values where the arduino can work with

Like honesty, respect, charity...stuff like that?

Hey Rits, unfortunally I'm a noob, but I think I have a solution. It's called "Shifty VU Shield". It has a stereo input. The left channel is sent to the analgue Pin 2 and the right channel is sent to the analogue pin3 of your arduino uno. You will get int values that you can also map. I'm using it to control two servos independently. But I think most people use it to make visualisations.

here'S the shield: at the bottom theres a light desk example made with it.

another solution (but you have to read and try a little bit) could be "processing". Processing has some examples how to visualize music. You will get results like winamp on your Screen. But it's also possible to to send or recieve the values of the programm via USB (write.port or somethin like that). it works like this: You play a song on your PC. The "Proccessing" programm isreading out the sound values and making squares or circles or whatever depending on these values. But you could also send the values via USB to the arduino. On the arduino you will need a programm that captures the values and do what you want. While I was trying doing my project, it worked. But it's not stereo. So you maybe could not use two light bars.

but... using the shifty vu shield is more independent i think. because... the code is on your arduino, you just need a mp3 player and you dont need a PC or Laptop or other software. and... it's stereo ;)

oh--- for the second solution i think the right tag to search might be "FFT"