Audio Spectrum Display

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,227
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
A while ago, another member and I were talking about VU meter and spectrum type effects for displays.

We looked at some chips that took live audio in and gave out a set of voltages. That could be manipulated (via a DC or pixel controller) into bars of light to resemble a spectrum display.

Then I thought why not take a step back and have this board output DMX, so you could feed whatever controller hardware (DC, pixel, etc) you wanted with it. Seconds after that thought entered my mind, I thought why not change this to a software solution.

So, the idea is to run some software on the same PC as your sequence is running and it will listen to the audio being played. It will then split it up into frequency bands and output that as DMX or E1.31 data that you can feed to your controllers.

It might be customisable for the number of bands and if the bands are output as sets of channels (steps of a bar graph) or just one per band (variable intensity).

Comments?
 

Steve22537

Full time elf
Joined
Dec 13, 2010
Messages
258
Location
Harrisdale, WA
Both ideas sound good, but I would like to see a hardware solution as I want to have more of a user interactive display.

Adapting a hardware solution would allow me to control stars when someone speaks into a microphone or a load hand clap (being neighbour aware), so the VU meter would consist of say 10 stars changing colour as amplitude varied. I had planned using the LM series chips to create a discrete logic solution, but a DMX solution would give more flexibility.

Steve
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,227
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
Steve22537 said:
...VU meter would consist of say 10 stars changing colour as amplitude varied.
So would all of the stars be lit all of the time but just change colour (as a group), or operate like a VU meter with the 1..8 being green, 9 yellow and 10 red ?
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
3,634
Location
Eaglehawk
A simple plugin type thing that converts audio directly to a sequence would be nice. Select the number of channels, stereo or mono and a sequence is generated with frequency channels varying in intensity or alternatively frequency bar graph channels turning on or off.
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,227
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
Steve22537 said:
Colour change with frequency and number of stars with amplitude
Oh, so the colour is based on the dominant frequency. That would work for voice I guess.
 
G

GoofyGuy

Guest
This would be neat for the fire sticks and pillars on my house for other times of the year or just because I like it. I think as a stand alone would be pretty cool.
 

David_AVD

Really old (now a Grandpa)
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,227
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
I'm going to investigate the software version first as it would be a zero cost, as long as you already have a spare DMX / E1.31 controller.

Just looking for an audio component (software item) now that allows monitoring of the Windows mixer output so it can be used with any program that plays audio.
 

Daemon

Apprentice elf
Joined
May 3, 2010
Messages
81
Location
Napier
Good idea David. I have been investigating adding a vu meter to my display for a while.
Software would be a great way to do it I feel, I am adding an e680 this year and was hoping to do it with pixels as I would have some spare capacity.
Coro fire sticks/candles like fast eddys would look great with a vu meter displaying on them.
 

Slite

Full time elf
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
151
Location
Mölnbo, Sweden
I think it would look fricking awesome to have a bunch of Lithgow's new "pillars" set up as a wu-meter

So yeah, free software would be nice, but if it would be easier, more effective with hardware thats fine as well preferable DIY!
 

ԆцряєсϮ

Senior elf
Joined
Dec 24, 2011
Messages
503
Location
Botanic Ridge
I am,
I have two 5' tubes (with 5 sections per tube) already built I was planning on using them as VU meters but sequencing them in.
If there were an easier way of doing it I'm all for it :)
Taking the audio signal directly has to look better than any manual sequencing I'm sure.
 
Top