Syncing Christmas Videos (MP4) to Christmas lights

I found online a device by PBS lighting called The Music box a music and light synchronization controller. I would light to build something similar that will sync lights to sound (i.e. music). I know about Vixenlights, xlights, and Light o rama. What they do is not sync lights to MP4. I have a video projector which I want to have my Christmas lights sync together (I don't want to spend hours programming). The Music box is a plug and play device but is also limited to only 10 channels. I own an Arduino Mega 2560 R3 which I was going to use for a controller using Vixen lights cut changed my mind. I also have three 8 channel relay switches. I also have 12 wall outlets. Do anyone have any ideas, that would be great if you do

Relays will give a decent display, but to get the most, you probably want some proportional brightness control (not relays). Relays will suffer after a few hours operation at high intermittent operating rates.

There are canned boxes as you point out (like Musicolour’) but a modern micro with A-D inputs and PWM control can certainly do all that and more.

With the .mp4 files, are you chasing the video, or audio tracks ?

(I am a newbie at all this.)

I will be chasing the audio track. My dream is to have it turn light strings and flood lights on and off to the beat of the song.

I started to build a light controller some years back. My plan at the time was to work with Vixen light but since then I changed my mind. (I want to do something similar without needing to program either, it doesn't have to be uniformed). Found some video on YouTube, I want to project on my upper window and then have my lights turn on and off to the beat. There isn't anything out there that will do that except for the PBS lighting Music Box (that I know of) but it doesn't have enough channels or as strong as I would like. (Does that make since?). I just happen to have the relays, on hand. If the PWM is a better way to go than that is what I would like to do. How do I get it to work with regular wall outlets? What I am trying to combine both of these ideas below.

Cheapskate Video 1 Part 6, Christmas Lights to Music Using Arduino and Vixen Lights - YouTube

PBS Lighting Music Box - YouTube

Is the modulation based on volume (amplitude), frequency, or both.

To work with frequency, you can either work with hardware or software filters to separate the various bands.
For volume sampling, just some input conditioning to bring the audio into the A-D range of the provessor.

That is a good question.

On the volume would it have to be loud to work or at a mid-volume?

Since I just wanting to turn lights on and off, what would you recommend?

The volume is largely irrelevant.
You need to load the source to get the best performance and quality, then feed that into (probably) an analog input after your inout conditioning.

You need to decide if you’re going to split the audio into different bands in hardware or software - then drive the output channels as needed to get the effects you want.

The outputs could be simple on/off states (are they AC or DC lights?), PWM variable brightness, or smart addressable LEDs or lamps to achieve the effect you’re after.

It honestly sounds like this may be above your initial skill level, but you could look on the forum for experience in this type of project.. and buddy up, learning from them as the idea grows.

What I have read frequency is the best way to go. I was hoping that someone might already have a sketch created and/or a diagram. What it sounds like I need to just by the PBS lighting Music box. I will just keep looking around.

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