Sound controlled actuator art project

Hello, I am new to working with arduinos, I hope that this is the correct place to post this. I am a mechanical engineering student and I am attempting to help a graduate art student with a project. The project involves driving an array of linear actuators (we are thinking possibly 4x4). We would like the actuators to respond in real time to environmental sounds.

Ideally we would like the actuators to respond to different bandwidths of sound perceptible to humans. As I said, I am new to arduino as well as programming. I am not sure of the best way to accomplish this and I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer.

Possible ideas include FFT algorithms (of which I know little about) or individual bandpass filter circuits that would drive each actuator.

Thank you in advance for any help

This might help:

FFT algorithms can be quite challenging to run on an arduino board. There is a useful hardware audio spectrum breakout chip that many have used in application like yours.