Fiona Gridley

LED Music Analysis

Arduino / Processing

This project began as an idea in the back of my head months ago. I knew I wanted to find a way of controlling a strip of LED lights and making them change along to music, but I struggled to find a simple way of doing it. Earlier this summer, I took Programming Basics, in which we learned Processing. It was then that I discovered that Processing works well with Arduino, and has a couple different libraries for analyzing music.

I originally created a simple program which drew shapes along with the music, and once I felt confident using Processing to analyze music, I began learning how to communicate between a Processing project and the Arduino through the serial port. In my final solution, the Processing programming analyzes the amplitude of the computer's audio output, using a Fast Fourier Transform and converts that to a value between 0 and 255, and then sends it to the Arduino which uses it as the brightness for the strip of LED lights. The Arduino program also cycles through the hues to make the lights change color. I plan on continuing to improve upon this project, and I would ideally like to find a way to make the Arduino communicate with the computer wirelessly, as well as a few other minor improvements.