MIDI-Light/Sound-Light Project

I made a thread on the project guidance subforum (if anyone cares: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?PHPSESSID=8t0n4mpkf8k9kthm8fcab5lqs6&topic=285939.0)but it kinda faded away, and I think this subforum is more appropriate for what I need.

Firstly, I wanted to use arduino to find a way to trigger light sequences with my Launchpad, which is a usb-MIDI controller. I'm fairly sure it's possible, but I wanted to start by making something a bit simpler, as the only electronics project I've ever done was a toothbrush head with a vibrator attached to it.

I want to make sound activated lights, but have them be activated in different ways. I don't think I'd need arduino for this, as I've been told it can be done without a processor. I want to make: -Lights that fade in and out depending on which frequency they pick up -And lights that simply respond to loudness

So far, I know I'll need these parts: -LEDs (of course) -https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8635 -https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10468

And some power source. But that's literally all I know for sure. I don't know what to mount it on, what to connect what to, what to use to connect, etc.

Where should I start? Any other resources you could link me to?

Also, this is all to put up at parties and to respond to live music, so if any of you have any other ideas don't be afraid to share :P

If you want to pick up frequencies out of an audio signal, I THINK you would be looking at Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT). It is pretty complicated to understand, but I recommend reading about it. Basically you take a sample of audio, then it outputs some numbers that you can translate into frequency ranges. Although, this is just software, so if you wanted to detect a certain number of frequencies at specific frequencies, you can build those too through hardware. Check this video out, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sf6lq6NcJU