# LED music with programming?

#### bobocheez

Joined Aug 27, 2011
2
Hi,
I'm really amused by bright things and saw some videos on YouTube where someone set up LEDs that pulsed to music.

I'm a really big noob when it comes to circuitry, and very uncertain about what to do, so I was hoping some experts here could point me in the right direction.

What I would like is to have multicolored LEDs that respond to music that can be programmed with a computer.
Something like this: http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/44
However, instead of a multidimensional array like the tutorial, I would prefer a single strip of LEDs like in the video.

Making the controller is probably out of my reach, I'll probably just buy one if you have any recommendations.

If you think I'm way over my head with this then I'll stick with the video tutorial. However, is there a way to amplify the amount of power going to the LEDs? In the video he uses 24 LEDs, but you can get 100 of them for $3 online. From what I've read so far, the more of them there are the dimmer they will be, so I guess some sort of amplifier is needed. You're input would be greatly appreciated. #### iONic Joined Nov 16, 2007 1,650 However, is there a way to amplify the amount of power going to the LEDs? In the video he uses 24 LEDs, but you can get 100 of them for$3 online.

From what I've read so far, the more of them there are the dimmer they will be, so I guess some sort of amplifier is needed.

You're input would be greatly appreciated.
More power....why? Because you want to add more LED's, thus presumably reducing the brightness. If AudioGuru could step in here he might be able to help regarding the video setup. I think that by increasing the volume on your stereo you would get more power. I'm not sure of this.

Since the LED in the video were all hooked up in parallel you only needed a low voltage, above 3V. But if you were to triple the LED's (24 parralel branches with 3 series LED's i each branch) your would need closer to 12V.
This video also showed you opening three speaker cabinets and wireing in the Left, Right, and center channels. While this has some nice features, it does not really let you separate the signal between Base, Mid, and high frequencies.

A midpoint between this simple video method and the programmable tutorial is a design at the following site. Makezine's Color Organ
This circuit doesn't require you to open speaker housings, but could opperate by plugging it into your laptop speaker out, your stereo headphone jack with slight modification. It does require more soldering skills, for which your level is unknown.
The LED's can be wired to a strip with mirrors as in the first video you Linked to.

What is your circuit building experience? Do you have soldering equipment?

#### bobocheez

Joined Aug 27, 2011
2
@Bill_Marsden
Awesome guide, I'll be reading that whole book.

@iONic
I have a subwoofer and regular speakers, but I like your video suggestion better.

I took a class 3 years ago in high school which taught me the basics of circuitry and soldering.
The reason I'm asking about the power is because I'm not sure how high the volume would have to be to also power all of the LEDs. My dorm has some restrictions on noise but experimentation is the way to go I guess.

Thanks

#### iONic

Joined Nov 16, 2007
1,650
@Bill_Marsden
Awesome guide, I'll be reading that whole book.

@iONic
I have a subwoofer and regular speakers, but I like your video suggestion better.

I took a class 3 years ago in high school which taught me the basics of circuitry and soldering.
The reason I'm asking about the power is because I'm not sure how high the volume would have to be to also power all of the LEDs. My dorm has some restrictions on noise but experimentation is the way to go I guess.

Thanks
The circuit I mentioned will be far more flexible and reliable, and absolutely more portable.