Spectrum Analyzer LED Wall Guidance/Help

Hi all,

Im currently building an LED wall for my college project that will display a spectrum analyzer/graphical equalizer. I understand the electronics relatively well. But i am not too sure on the controlling.

I need to be able to control 200 LED's (Individual , not strips or pre-built matrix's) , but i have almost no prior experience with programming/code. What would you advise?

Can the arduino control 200 LED's, and does anybody know of any software out there that would help me? any advice at the moment would be great, and guidance of how i should go about this project.

Brandon

not strips

Why not? I think the easiest way is for you to use individual addressable RGB strips. Then you just need to fill a buffer with the data you want to display and then ship it out serially.

Cost is an issue,

Indivudualy Addressable RGB LED strips are far from cheap, so to get a 10x20 matrix that i want would not be cheap.

But given the dimensions of what you want it greatly simplifies the electronics because the data signals are regenerated at each chip. Alternative methods have a great risk of failing due to the degradation of the signals over distance.

I have just finished a "sculpture" for a University Arts block that used them. I assume you are not paying for your own LEDs if it is for your collage, and while it might seem expensive when you factor everything else in it is quite cheap. You can always make your own with an RGB LED and a controller chip for each light.

Sadly the college don't help out with the cost, they say that this will cause us to keep costs low (like you would in a real production environment).

Thank you for clarifying one thing, i wasn't sure if i used individual LED's that they would all need a controller but obviously they do. I guess i will have to change my plans and try to use strips.

Thank you

I made a simple music visualizer (and not a spectrum analyzer) you can check it out at http://theblubot.blogspot.in/2014/01/simple-music-visualizer.html or the upgraded version at http://theblubot.blogspot.in/2014/01/music-visualizer-upgraded.html.

I used the minim library for processing to analyze the sound and then send the values via the Serial port to my Arduino.
You can use the FFT algorithm (included in the minim library) to extract the frequencies (i.e. values for your equalizer) and then send them to your Arduino.

You can find a basic spectrum analyzer project using a microphone and LED matrix by people at Adafruit here at : http://learn.adafruit.com/piccolo?view=all.

As Grumpy_Mike pointed out

I think the easiest way is for you to use individual addressable RGB strips.
Then you just need to fill a buffer with the data you want to display and then ship it out serially.

using strips would be the best option.

If you are new to code I recommend that you start learning some Procesisng and basic Arduino. As I have mentioned before you can use Processing to analyze sound and then use Arduino to light up the LEDs.