Piezo or Microphone Triggered LED Lights

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Patrick Joseph Acello, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. Patrick Joseph Acello

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 17, 2016
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    Just joined the forums here after getting an idea for a project and realizing that my electronics knowledge is only very basic. My apologies if what I'm trying to achieve has already been posted in different context. Anyway, I'm building a drum platform for a friend who does sound for local concerts that he books and hosts. What I'd like to do is mount rope lights or LED strips around the drum platform and have them triggered momentarily by the kick drum, so that they pulse whenever it hits. I would like to make a self contained device that plugs in between a wall outlet and the lights. However, if switching AC power is a pain I'm willing to work something else out. I'm mostly aware of what components I need (piezo element, amplifier circuit, relay), but I'm not sure how to put everything together or what specs to use. There are also a few terms I've come across that I'm unfamiliar with:

    Signal Conditioning: I assume that this just means the signal from the piezo needs to be amplified with a simple circuit.
    MOSFET, Triac, SSR: What is the difference, and which best suits this application?

    Also, considering we always mic the kick drum for every band, would it be easier to use the signal from the mic rather than a piezo trigger or would it not make a difference?

    I've drawn some inspiration from music-synchronized Christmas displays and this Instructable, but I'm looking for the safest, most simple solution. Being able to set the sensitivity would be great though.

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks for reading and any help.
     
  2. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    No, It's a good post.
    Probably 12 volt LED rope lights would be safest and hold up better. How many feet do you need?
    I think if you don't mind a little extra work I would make it a stand alone project with it's own microphone.
    Kick drum.... Is that the big one on the floor?:cool:
     
  3. Patrick Joseph Acello

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 17, 2016
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    Yeah the kick drum is the big one, also known as the bass drum. Using a stand alone microphone might be more trouble than it's worth, considering I'd have to somehow filter out the noise from the rest of the band. It would likely have to be a cardioid microphone inside of the drum, which would be inconvenient to swap out from one band's drum to the next. I'm definitely open to ideas though.
     
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Since your drum is so unique in terms if low frequency and loud, any microphone should be possible because the electronics should be able to filter and sense easily.
     
  5. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    You may be right.
    The picture I have is a small box with a power cord, a plug for the LEDs and a low cost mic that could be placed close to the drum.
    Since it is a very low frequency it would be pretty easy to filter out everything above say 200 Hz.
    If you use the bands mics, aren't they different? Are they typically capacitor mics or dynamic? Or is there an output from the mixer for just that microphone?
    Either way it can be done.
     
  6. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    True, no need for a directional pattern like cardioid. Also, switching the AC input to the LED power supply is not difficult, but the supply will not respond fast enough to follow the beat. Since you have not mentioned having the brightness of the LEDs change with the intensity of the drum hits, this is a pretty simple on/off control problem. There are "audio detector" modules on ebay, designed for an arduino but useable for many things, that consist of an electret microphone, a preamp, and a comparator. If you don't want to wire up something from scratch, that is a good starting point.

    Also, consider adding a switch to the drum pedal rather than sensing the audio.

    ak
     
  7. ronv

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    Great minds & all that! :D
     
    GopherT likes this.
  8. Patrick Joseph Acello

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 17, 2016
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    We use the same dynamic kick drum mic for each band, and it does have it's own output from the mixer. My original thought was to just use a piezo element stuck to the drum head with a magnet though. I'm not sure which would be more effective.

    So far this is the simplest thing I've found close to what I'm looking to achieve. I'm still not sure what the differences in applications are between MOSFETs, triacs and SSRs.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Circuit-For-Flashing-Lights-With-Music/
     
  9. ScottWang

    Moderator

    Aug 23, 2012
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    You can drawing a block diagram to show what you want, and what's inside can be discuss, if you already have the microphone, then try both mic and the piezo do not spend too much money, to find out the best way for you to use, I had designed some circuits for piezo in the below thread.

    Piezo Trigger Switch.

    Attach the file as 800x600.
     
  10. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    The only problem I see with that is that there needs to be a wire all the way back from the mixer output to the box that drives the lights.
    That would also work. Do you have a piezo in mind? Are you thinking guitar pick up or just something you get from a piezo buzzer?

    Usually a MOSFET would be used to drive the LED lights and the SSR and triac to drive 120 volt lights. The LEDs are the way to go.
    [/QUOTE]
     
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