Music Visualizer 1


2017 - 2020



This is my first attempt at building a physical music visualizer. It consists of a series of RGB LED strips and a microphone driven by an microcontroller, powered by a 5V power supply, mounted on a balsa wood board. The microcontroller determines the patterns to display on the LED strips based on the audio it hears through the microphone.

I went into this project with no understanding of how to assemble a physical object beyond stuff like taping together cardboard. So I decided to mount the whole thing on a balsa wood sheet. The LED strips are adhered to one side of the sheet and the wires run though little holes to the other side where they are connected to one another. The wires connecting the strips are jumper cables soldered to the strips contacts. All this together adds up to a very flimsy, janky-looking, device.

The controller tries to find “beats” in music by looking at changes over time in the amplitude of the audio waveform captured by the microphone. There is no frequency domain analysis.

The strips display a single pattern: a “stream” of lights that constantly moves in one direction. When heavy beats are detected, the stream reverses direction. The speed after the change is determined by the “strength” of the beat. The LED colors cyle though hue values at a constant rate, unaffected by audio.

The device is intended to be wall mounted. It’s kind of hard to find a place to mount it though since it to be plugged into a wall outlet.