Techno lights project

Hi Everyone,

I have the idea of making a small rig that uses a microphone/audio input and flashes lights different frequencies while I'm playing a techno dj set.

Does anyone have any good resources or ideas that I could use to help make my own project?


Google "Arduino colour organ". That sort of thing has been done quite a few times before.


You can also Google "Arduino spectrum analyzer".

I've done several lighting effects with just loudness and the "beat", with enough random variations to keep things interesting. But, frequency-activated effects are very popular.

With a microphone you need a preamp. The easiest thing is to get a [u]microphone board[/u], which has a microphone & preamp built-in.

Also since the Arduino can't read the negative half of the AC audio waveform, the input has to be biased. Most microphone boards have biased outputs, but of course a normal microphone preamp puts-out a pure AC signal.

For a line level signal, you just need a bias circuit (2 equal-value resistors and a capacitor). There is a little schematic at the bottom of my [u]World's Simplest Lighting Effect[/u] post.

For audio frequency analysis there are FFT and FHT libraries, or if you need 7 frequency bands or less, there is a handy little 7-band chip called the [u]MSGEQ7[/u]. The MSGEQ7 takes a line-level signal and it puts-out a (multiplexed) varying-DC voltage so you don't need the bias circuit. (The chip is mis-named as a graphic equalizer... It's NOT an equalizer... It's a spectrum analyzer "effect" chip.)

The Arduino can only directly-drive one or two regular-little LEDs so you'll need some kind of driver circuit for LED strips, or relays (or solid state relays) for AC lights, etc. Regular relays also require a driver, but you an get relay boards with a built-in driver. Or, there are lots of AC solid state relays that can be directly driven from the Arduino.

Or, if you have DMX lighting you can get a DMX shield (add-on board) and there is a DMX library (somewhere).

Sorry for the slow reply but I really appreciate your answers! I'll let you know how I get on!

Do you know how I would go about linking the arduno up to something like this?

I'm a newbie so I may be asking the wrong questions. Thanks again!

Do you know how I would go about linking the arduno up to something like this?

You will need an Arduino DMX shield or the hardware equivalent. But this does have 16 Sound Active shows built in. It is also limited as to the control over individual LEDs rather than groups of LEDs.