UPDATE: this is an older guide designed for boards like the Arduino Uno and Adafruit METRO 328. It relies on assembly language code that’s specific to 8-bit AVR microcontrollers and will not work with boards based on other chips (ESP32, RP2040, SAMD, etc.).

(Music: The Owl Named Orion by Dan-O at DanoSongs.com)

Here’s an easy-to-build project that really packs a lot of blinkenlight for the effort: a little pocket-size music visualizer we call “Piccolo.”

Set Piccolo next to the telly or some speakers and you’ll see the lights respond to music and sound — lowest notes toward the left end of the graph, highest notes toward the right.

Technically this would be called a “spectrum analyzer,” but as this is not a precision scientific instrument, we’re more comfortable labeling it a “visualizer.” It’s strictly for show.

This intermediate Arduino project shows a clear progression from input to processing and then output in a package that’s appealing and easy for minds to grasp: music and lights. It’s not abstract or “science-y” unless you choose to peel back the layers…

This guide was first published on Nov 28, 2012. It was last updated on Jul 23, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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