Led Sync Music Instrument

Physical Computing, Arduino,Interaction,Processing


This light instrument uses a sound sensor(in this case we use the mic in the laptop) detecting the music in the environment and mapping the sound into different RGB value. We use the FFT library(Fast Fourier Transform) to analyze the music’s loudness and beats in Processing. To have a better view of the music, we created a dynamic 3D map in Processing. So we were able to see the peaks,troughs and duration. Then we mapped the loudness into RGB values, beats into delay time of the RGB value. The last step, sends the signal to the addressable led strip.


During the three weeks we spent working on this project, we tested various LED strips and sound sensors (ultimately we used Processing code for sound input ) to use for this project. We also learned of FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) which is an algorithm used to convert time to frequency- something we required to make the instrument light up in sync with the music’s beat.

We faced a lot of challenges in the duration of this project both with the code and the model.

The initial model we built for the instrument had a tiny hole for the LEDs instead of the slits we later designed. Although the former ensured consistency with the placement of the LEDs, we miscalculated leaving room for all the wires when we brought the individual parts together.


A lighting instrument which displayed different colors based on sound input from an external source.

Step 1: Sound sensor sensor external music source, and send data to processing

Step 2: Processing use FFT library analysis input data, modify the float data to int data readable  for ardurino

(Data distribution picture)

Step 3: Ardurino receive the data from processing, analysis data distribution, set range, color, time, then send these values to addressable led strip

Step 4: Upload the code, install led strip to the object we designed, ready to go!


Sound sensor : We use laptop’s mic as sound sensor in this case

Ardurino: Ardurino Leonardo

Addressable Led Stripe: WS2812B NeoPixel RGB LED Weather Proof Strip

Plastic, paper, wire, breadboard,5V power supplier

More Info about the process: Link