Hackers in Residence: The Sound Visualizer
This tutorial shows how to put together a sound visualizer that I created, during my time in the SparkFun HIR program. The end goal for the project was to have a sound reactive LED belt buckle. To accomplish the task of sound visualization, a Raspberry Pi drives and communicates with a Pixel Board over USB. The Pixel takes input from a microphone (or the SparkFun Sound Detector) and passes it back to a Java application running on the Raspberry Pi. The Java application then processes the sound input values and sends commands to the Pixel to drive the RGB LED panel.
Here is a list of SparkFun parts used in this project, if you would like to follow along.
The Raspberry Pi needs a serial connection to the Pixel. A male to male USB cable is needed for this connection.
Often the Raspberry Pi is powered from wall Adapter Power Supplies. However, for this project, I wanted the entire setup to be mobile/wearable. Thus, LiPo batteries were used to power the Raspberry Pi and the Pixel Board in conjunction with some boost circuitry. You could also use a beefy battery pack, such as this one, to power this project on the go.
Before diving into this project, you may want to check out these other tutorials first.
- Connector Basics
- Light-emitting Diodes (LEDS)
- How LEDs Are Made
- RGB Panel Hookup Guide
- Serial Communication