need help/advice on a project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by mynameismaddie, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. mynameismaddie

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 16, 2011
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    im fine art student currently working on a commissioned light installation project im designing a light installation in which i want the LEDS to react with sound, im a bit new to this sort of thing so any advice on what i would need and how i might go about it would be amazing.
     
  2. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    What is going to change the intensity, a knob, or a microphone, or dance to the music or somesuch thing?
    How many LED's do you want to control?
    What kind of LED's do you have, what is their Vf (forward voltage) and operating current?
    Are all of the LED's connected together so they all vary together?
    What is your power supply voltage and current rating?

    There's a couple ways you could go at this depending upon your replies to the above questions.

    I'll bet that if you search here or elsewhere for an "LED modulator" you'll see how to do it.

    Did you visit the Arduino microcontroller website? They cater to things like this but they're kinda pricey (~$30), at least for me anyhow.
    Picaxe is another μC. Pretty cheap (~$2.50) and easy to use but bare bones.
     
  3. iONic

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    There must be more details that were given to you from the Person/institution that commissioned you. I'm sure they told you more than "I'll pay you to install LED's somewhere(??) and have them respond to some sound(??)
    Your a fine arts student, therefore they are paying for your creativity. What sort of place is asking you for your creative talents? What functionality do they require and what vision for creativity do you have other than lights responding to sound? Not belittling you, but light and sound have been used a lot so there's a certain amount of stretching of the mind here that will be required of you in order to display the creative potential of your work. I/we might be able to help on this end as well as the electrical side.

    Jaguarjoe's suggestions are very relevant, but without the creative vision up front, it will be difficult to fill in the blanks that the electrical side is in need of.
     
  4. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Since the Fine Arts Student made an extremely simple request with no details then we should design an extremely simple circuit for him that turns on the LEDs continuously today if there is a sound today then turn off the LEDs tonight when there is no sound. They will turn on continuously again tomorrow (or next week) if there is a sound.
     
  5. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    Maddie is probably short for Madeline (various spellings) or Madison or possibly a couple of other female names so I'm thinking she not he.

    If I were trying to make an interactive art exhibit using a sound activated LED gimmick, I'd try to have several with different sensitivities to volume and frequency. If I were trying to do it quick, I might just buy a bunch of the Velleman sound to light kits (MK-103) and modify them; change the number and color of LEDs, remote mount the LEDs, use a capacitor to passively modify the frequency response, etc.

    http://www.vellemanusa.com/us/enu/product/view/?id=350678


    Velleman MK-103 schematic.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  6. mynameismaddie

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 16, 2011
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    okay so, my family are commissioning me for a summer project before i got back to univeristy, its a really good oppurtunity for me to get my foot in the door with this sort of thing!

    my aim is to create an multi sensory installation that conveys a concept which is truly personal to my family and its habitat. finding inspiration in astronomy, stars, personality, healing, movement, spirituality, and astrology, i want to explore the idea of how an astrological event can affect our lives, influencing our moods, the moods of others, and the reactions that we have with everyday occurrences...
    in the same way, the installation reacts with its surroundings (in this case sound), how light can alter ones mood and how colour can provoke feelings. i also want to maintain a spiritual sense within the house, i want the installation to reflect this, as the house was once a chapel.

    [​IMG]

    the atrium is where the the installation will be fixed, it is an amazing feature to the house because it lets in so much natural light, and i've really got to take that into consideration when designing the installation, making sure i don't cause to much of an obstruction! my project is still in its earlier stages of develpment.
     
  7. mynameismaddie

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 16, 2011
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  8. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Hiya Maddie.

    A couple more questions;

    Are you planning on having the leds dangle too?
    Are you wanting 1 led on each 'string'?
    DO you want them to change colour, and/or brightness?
    How many leds do you plan to use in total?

    Also;
    What will affect the colour/brightness of the leds? volume or pitch?


    I can imagine it looking very nice, but I don't think it'll be easy, stick with it though!:)
     
  9. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    sounds more like you are looking for multicolor LEDs; maybe changing color, dimming, brightening, softly in response to sound rather than a pink floyd laser show or techno rave stobe craziness?
     
  10. mynameismaddie

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    4
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    Yeah i know its going to be a challenge but i really want to stick with it yeah.

    yeah i want each LED dangle on different levels, respoding to the pitch of the sound in colour - ifpossible!

    ive not got a number for how many LEDS are going to be in the installation.
    im still in the early stages of the project, so my next steps are actually getting down to designing the thing so far ive just been gathering research and influences!
     
    Sparky49 likes this.
  11. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Sounds good, perhaps think about the actual design, and then when that is finalised (or as close as!), tell us what you want.

    There's a lot which can be done with light and sound in electronics, that's why we need to have quite a specific idea of what you want to produce a circuit that meets your desires and needs.
     
  12. iONic

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
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    Did your family mention how much money they are willing to put into this project. I can't even begin to suggest ideas without knowing this constraint.

    As I look up at the window framing I see all the darkness that is generally always dark unless there are already some form of lighting.
    I could see turning those dark outlines as a fluctuating yest gentle source of light. changing, perhaps, to the ambient light itself as apposed to sound, or even switchable from one to another. I am thinking of an artist, can't think of his name right now who bought an entire crater in Arizona to create spectacular light shows that do indeed respond directly to the ambient light.

    It would almost be a shame to add lighting that would eventually distract from the architects vision and would recommend finding a way to accent it in a creative and fascinating way.

    UPDATE:
    The artists name is James Turrell

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Turrell
    http://video.pbs.org/video/1237561674
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
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