Now we'll add the software that will make Circuit Playground Express's neopixels light up whenever the Electret Microphone board detects sound.


Connect the Circuit Playground Express to your computer with a micro USB cable.  You should see a drive named "CIRCUITPY" appear on your computer. 

Install Libraries

You'll need to have the Neopixel library installed on your Circuit Playground Express in order to run this project's CircuitPython code. Follow the steps on this page to install the CircuitPython library bundle.

Upload Project Code

Copy the following code, paste it into a plain text file or code editor such as Mu. Save the file as "" to the CIRCUITPY drive.

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2018 Collin Cunningham for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

import board
from rainbowio import colorwheel
import neopixel
from analogio import AnalogIn

n_pixels = 10  # Number of pixels you are using
dc_offset = 0  # DC offset in mic signal - if unusure, leave 0
noise = 100  # Noise/hum/interference in mic signal
lvl = 10  # Current "dampened" audio level
maxbrt = 127  # Maximum brightness of the neopixels (0-255)
wheelStart = 0  # Start of the RGB spectrum we'll use
wheelEnd = 255  # End of the RGB spectrum we'll use

mic_pin = AnalogIn(board.A7)

# Set up NeoPixels and turn them all off.
strip = neopixel.NeoPixel(board.NEOPIXEL, n_pixels,
                          brightness=0.1, auto_write=False)

def remapRangeSafe(value, leftMin, leftMax, rightMin, rightMax):
    # this remaps a value from original (left) range to new (right) range

    # Force the input value to within left min & max
    if value < leftMin:
        value = leftMin
    if value > leftMax:
        value = leftMax

    # Figure out how 'wide' each range is
    leftSpan = leftMax - leftMin
    rightSpan = rightMax - rightMin

    # Convert the left range into a 0-1 range (int)
    valueScaled = int(value - leftMin) / int(leftSpan)

    # Convert the 0-1 range into a value in the right range.
    return int(rightMin + (valueScaled * rightSpan))

while True:
    n = int((mic_pin.value / 65536) * 1000)  # 10-bit ADC format
    n = abs(n - 512 - dc_offset)  # Center on zero

    if n >= noise:  # Remove noise/hum
        n = n - noise

    # "Dampened" reading (else looks twitchy) - divide by 8 (2^3)
    lvl = int(((lvl * 7) + n) / 8)

    # Color pixels based on rainbow gradient
    vlvl = remapRangeSafe(lvl, 0, 255, wheelStart, wheelEnd)
    for i in range(0, len(strip)):
        strip[i] = colorwheel(vlvl)
        # Set strip brightness based oncode audio level
        brightness = remapRangeSafe(lvl, 50, 255, 0, maxbrt)
        strip.brightness = float(brightness) / 255.0

After the file saves, your Circuit Playground Express should reboot and start running the light effects code.

Once all the code is in place, your CIRCUITPY drive should look like this.

Test It

To make sure everything is working, disconnect the Circuit Playground Express from your computer and connect the LiPo battery.

Now, try tapping the microphone - If the Circuit Playground's neopixels light up with each tap, then you'll know it's good to go!

This guide was first published on Apr 27, 2018. It was last updated on Jul 19, 2024.

This page (Software) was last updated on Jul 19, 2024.

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