Another basic Arduino project is waiting for you to build! This exciting project will allow you to create an awesome L.E.D Music Visualizer using few components such as a Microphone module, resistors, L.E.Ds, and Arduino. This project is perfect for those who really loves music. Everybody loves music (including me) so that’s why I made one for my own entertainment purposes. Basically, this project will convert the sounds into lights. Yeah, that’s the only purpose of the project to convert the music into reasonable lights so we are able to visualize what the music is all about. For example, if the music is a kind of Dance genre then the music visualizer will convert the music into dancing lights animation effects (pretty cool stuff). Another example, if it is Rock music the corresponding output will be rocking light effects. Is it cool enough to have this kind of stuff in your home? For me, it is yes!
If you have no time to read this whole documentation in creating your own Music Visualizer please watch the video tutorial I’ve provided. For a great detail in making this project, I recommend to you to take your time to read this documentation. Plus, this documentation has detailed photos to guide you through the project without getting errors or problems. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel for more future updates and projects.
When I am browsing on Youtube to watch some interesting Arduino projects, I found something that really inspires me to make one for myself. Yeah! I found this video and I really like it so that’s why I started this project and make my own version to play the same song. Owl City – Fireflies is my dedicated song for this project (I am proud that I am certified HootOwl). I ended up with this video for my own version!
How does it work?
Basically, the project is powered by Arduino a very popular microcontroller for all makers out there. For this project, I only use Arduino Nano (why I am still using this? you know the reason why I am always using this stuff in every project that I have because it is small, same performance as Arduino Uno and the important thing is… it saves space.) to serve as the brain for this project. The ear of our project is the Microphone Module, the only task fo this module is to detect the sounds from somewhere and converts it into numerical values.
Here’s the process on how the sounds will convert into lights. The Microphone module receives sounds then the sound will be recorded into numerical values. Then the Microcontroller will read the numerical values to check if the values from Microphone module reaches the threshold values of every L.E.D in the project. If the sound values greater than or equal to the threshold of the L.E.D then the L.E.D will turn on and vice versa if not.
I setup unique threshold values for every L.E.D so that it will create nice and smooth light animation effects from music, noise or even sounds. So that’s it so simple, you can check the code if you want to learn more about the project. If you are already a developer and you want to improve my project please visit the gist where you can contribute and download the code for this project. Any help is highly appreciated.
Do you want it? Let’s make it!
I have a lot of fun creating this stuff in my workshop even documenting this project to post here in Instructables. I hope you will enjoy creating this as I enjoy making it. Do you really like it? well, make one for yours! Please follow all the steps here to serve it as your guide to make your own Music Visualizer.
Playing some music!
I made some videos on playing music with my own music visualizer. I have posted it on youtube and I want you to check these videos out! Please subscribe to my youtube channel and please leave a like! Below is the list of some songs I’ve recorded with my music visualizer. I hope you will enjoy it!
- Owl City – Halcyon
- Owl City – Rainbow Veins
- Owl City – Fireflies (The Extended Version)
- Owl City – Hello Seattle (The Extended Version)
- Cueshe – Pasensya Na (For all Pinoys out there! Yey)
The Extended Version
The extended version is composed of two Arduino (Nano and Uno) to run. It is composed of two layers of L.E.D just imagine two set of music visualizer with different threshold ranges. Then I add RGB L.E.D to this version to add some little effects in the music that I am listening. So this version is customized and I don’t need to make a tutorial for it because this Instructable is the fundamental idea of it, you can make it your own extended version and please tag me in your project!
I invested my time to work on this project. I give all of my effort to make this happen. Hours of documentation and editing. I am sharing this stuff on the internet to help others to learn and entertain with this simple project for free. This time, I need your help. By voting this project you are inspiring me to create more useful and basic Arduino projects to be shared publicly without any cost. I believe that knowledge is power and free. A little vote is a big help to me to continue my journey here in Instructables. So yeah don’t forget to vote this project here in Instructables. Just click the orange vote button in the top right corner of this project and also click the little pink heart above. Also, follow me here in Instructables for more future projects! Thank you so much for your support.
This project is made possible by ConnectedCities and Hive Electronics. For the complete kit for this project, you can check out their sites. Support them because they are supporting me. I made this project even if I don’t have enough supplies, tools, and equipment. Also, the quality of images and videos are not considered as high quality. I am using only my smartphone to document my Instructables. If you want to help me or support me, be my sponsor today! I will really appreciate it, with enough supplies, tools, and equipment, I am able to create more tutorials and DIY with ease without worrying about the quality of the documentation. Thank you so much for your support!
- The Project E.M.I.L.Y (Electronic Matrix – I Love You)
- The Project E.U.E (Electronic Ultrasonic Emitter)
If you find my previous projects cool, please support me by voting them in the contest. Thank you for supporting me!
This is the time to do something amazing today! Come on, please continue to the first step!
Step 1: What You’ll Need
For this project, it requires few electronics components to be able to make your own LED Music Visualizer. All the parts can be obtained from Arduino Starter Kit available from Hive Electronics. Instead of buying the whole Arduino Starter Kit you can also purchase the complete kit dedicated to this project from Hive Electronics. All you need for this project is included in the kit. If you want to support me please purchase the kits from recommended electronic stores (which is my sponsors) such as Hive Electronics and ConnectedCities. Support them because they are supporting me!
You can buy the following parts individually if you live outside the Philippines. The stores are accepting orders only within the country of the Philippines. If so, you can buy these components on your favorite electronics store in your place.
- 1 x Full-Size Breadboard
- 1 x Small Size Breadboard
- 2 x Red LED
- 3 x Blue LED
- 4 x Green LED
- 9 x 330 Ohm Resistor
- 12 x Blue Jumper Wires
- 6 x Green jumper Wires
- 2 x Yellow Jumper Wires
- 2 x Red Jumper Wires
- 2 x Black Jumper Wires
- 1 x White Jumper Wire
- 1 x Orange Jumper Wire
- 1 x Arduino Nano with USB Cable
- 1 x Microphone Sound Detection Module
- 1 x 4400 mAh Portable Charger
- 1 x USB Meter (Optional)
- Screwdriver with Flat-blade bit
Grab your parts and ready the bench because we are going to create something amazing today! If you have some questions regarding the parts list, please comment it below! I am willing to help you! Are you ready to build this stuff? Please go to the next step! See you there!
Step 2: Power the Line
Let’s power the line! Oh yeah!
All you have to do is to get your 2 yellow jumper wires and hook it up to the breadboard’s power lines. Why are we doing this? Because the full size breadboard is composed of two half size breadboard which is combined into one. So, basically the full size breadboard has two section. The power line in the breadboard is not connected as a whole straight line. They are actually cut in to half. That’s why we need to add jumper wires in the power line. Please follow the pictures above on how to extend the power line and act as a whole power line accross the board. After that you may now continue to the next step. See you there!
Step 3: Add Some Lights
Let’s add LEDs to the breadboard! Yey!
Get your 9 LEDs to hook up in the breadboard. In my version, I use 3 blue, 4 green, and 2 red LEDs. Don’t worry about the colors of LED to be use. It’s up to you what colors you will use for your version. Make sure it is 9 LEDs only. If you want to extend the number of LEDs you should modify the code to add additional LEDs to the project. If you know how to write code or extend my code, well, that’s cool!
Please check the photos for more details and serve as a guide for your project. After placing all the LEDs please jump to the next step! See you there…
Step 4: Wiring Anode
Here we go, after hooking up all the LEDs in the breadboard, we should add jumper wires for Anode of all LEDs. The Anode is the positive pin of the LED. In my case, I use the 6 green jumper wires for red to green LEDs. Please check the photos for more reference. Then I use 3 blue jumper wires for blue LEDs. Why am I doing this? This is because to make the project consistent and presentable.
Now grab your green and blue jumper wires and hook it up according to the photos I’ve provided. After adding all jumper wires please go to the next step!
Step 5: I Can’t Resist!
We are going to add some Resistor in the project! Why should we add a Resistor? If you want to extend the life of your LEDs well, you need to do this. In my case, I use 330 Ohm Resistor to protect the LEDs and add some brightness to the output of the project. My plan at first is to use 220 Ohm Resistor but sadly I am out of stock. 330 Ohm resistor is not bad because it makes my project slightly bright (not too much bright).
The resistor is directly connected to the cathode of each LEDs and continue to the Ground of Arduino. Traditionally, we are connecting the Resistor to the Anode of LED then continue to the output pin of Arduino. But it doesn’t really matter. They are almost the same. You can read more of it here, on what is the difference between connecting Resistor to the Anode or Cathode of the LED. Again, it doesn’t really matter if you connect your resistor to the Anode or Cathode pin of your LED, they are almost the same. The important thing is the Resistor must be present in your circuit or else your LEDs will burn and cook into a useless electronic component.
Please follow the photos I’ve provided to serve as your guide in placing Resistor to your breadboard along with LEDs. When you are done placing all the Resistor please jump to the next step! See you there!
Step 6: Wiring Cathode
Hello there! This time we are going to hook up some wires to the cathode pin of each LEDs. These jumper wires are the wires we are going to hook to the negative power line of the breadboard. In my case, I use all the blue jumper wires left. Go, grab some jumper wires left in your parts case and hook ’em all!
Basically, hook all the jumper wires from the end point of the resistors into negative power line of the breadboard. Please follow all the photos I’ve provided, make sure, all the connections are working, sometimes these jumper wires are defective. Do some connection test before anything else.
If all connections are working properly please jump to the next step!
Step 7: Preparing Microcontroller
Get your Arduino Nano and hook it up to the small size breadboard. If you don’t have Arduino Nano, you can use Arduino Uno. You already know why I keep using Nano it is because it saves space. After hooking up the Arduino Nano to your small size breadboard you can now upload the code to the Microcontroller. Go to the next step, I will guide you where you can get the codes and how to upload it! See you there!
Step 8: Nano Issue Fixing
Before uploading code to the Nano, we should fix first the most common issue in Arduino Nano which is unable to upload sketches from PC to the board. In my previous projects, I provide an explanation on how to fix this kind of issue in Nano. You can check out this specific step in my contest winning Instructable “ The Project E.M.I.L.Y.” You can read more here about fixing this issue.
Read more: Waren’s L.E.D Music Visualizer