Music instrument driving LEDs

Hi everyone.

So I’m new to the whole Arduino and MC world, although I’ve watching it from afar for some time.

I have now my first concrete project in mind, but not sure if it’s all possible.
But then we’ll soon be back to sending people to the moon, so I’m sure I’ll manage to light some LEDs

So, I’m playing the sousaphone (not me) in a brass band. I’d like to hook it up with addressable LEDs and basically have it light up in sync with what I’m playing.

I have no idea what sensor to use.

I think I cannot use microphone based sensors. With all my band mates playing + audience noise, that would be way too much interference wouldn’t it?

So my idea was to stick on it a vibration frequency sensor (?). Since it’s a brass instrument, when I’m blowing air into it it creates a sound wave of a distinct frequency, and the brass vibrates at the same frequency.

So I could code “if frequency <440hz and >400hz, light up in blue”, etc for each note of the scale.
Does that seem feasible ?

But I can’t find a suitable sensor. Not even sure what keywords to type into Google. All I can find as vibration sensor seem to be hooked up to a motor, to check if it’s running or not.

Sorry if that’s all a little confused. New to all this and not sure how to proceed, even on this forum.

Thanks to everyone who’d take the time reading this.

Aurel

and the brass vibrates at the same frequency.

No, mostly it’s vibrations in the air.*

With all my band mates playing + audience noise, that would be way too much interference wouldn’t it?

Yes and no… Stick your ear right up to the bell, or a microphone and record it, and the Sousaphone will strongly dominate.

So I could code “if frequency <440hz and >400hz, light up in blue”, etc for each note of the scale.
Does that seem feasible ?

Not exactly… Real world sounds are a combination of the fundamental (440Hz etc.) as well as harmonics & overtones. It’s the harmonics & overtones that make a trumpet sound different from a guitar when they are playing the same note and it’s what makes different singers sound different when they sing the same notes.

If you want an idea of that, download [u]Audacity[/u], record one not from the instrument, then go to Analyze - Plot Spectrum to see all of the simultaneous frequencies.

So, you can make a spectrum analyzer or color organ effect (based of note/frequency) but it’s not so easy to identify each note perfectly.

I recommend you get a Microphone board and just start experimenting.

These are ready-to-go with a microphone, the power required for a condenser mic element, a preamp, and a biased output so you don’t have to worry about negative voltages into the Arduino. Since you want to detect frequency, make sure to get one that puts-out an amplified audio signal. …There are microphone boards that simply put-out a digital-high when the loudness reaches a threshold and versions that put-out a varying DC voltage proportional to the loudness (loosing the actual signal and frequency information).

  • A long time ago, I read about an experiment that debunked the myth about the importance of the brass material… They covered a horn with clay to dampen the vibrations, and it didn’t change the sound.

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