Real-Time Audio Visual Equalizer

A music and voice real-time visualization system!

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This project not only allows you to experience sound with your EARS, but also with your eyes! Sooo, it's basically one of those visual equalizers everyone has seen on YouTube or something. HOWEVER, this particular implementation is a standalone system capable of generating that colorful, yet dazzling frequent waveform WHILE the sound is being played --- which has been done before, I know, but I wanted to create one myself and hopefully build on it in the future!

The current iteration of the project is created over the Digilent Zybo dev board, utilizing the Artix-7 and both cores of the Cortex. This project is actually my second visual equalizer which I did over the Nexys 4 DDR dev board.

So, instead of simply going over the software and hardware, I think it would be more interesting to explain the theory of operation, and then dive into the project’s implementation! I might change this format in future projects. But, for now I think it’s a really awesome format since I find it’s really awesome and/or advantageous to know how something we might see or use everyday often has a strong theoretical background. I hope others find this format as exciting as I do, and I appreciate any kind of feedback if there’s any!

By the way, I want to apologize if the equations are difficult to read due to the background color. I'm still figuring out how to best present certain information!

The Idea: Real-Time Visual Equalizer

All a visual equalizer fundamentally does is display the frequency content of a signal at each instance of time, where frequency content of a signal is simply the same signal whose magnitude changes with respect to frequency. Not sure if there’s an official definition of a visual ( or sometimes graphic ) equalizer, but I think my definition concisely describes what a visual equalizer effectively does.

The Theory: Fun with the Fast Fourier Transform!

But, how does one obtain a frequency spectrum of a signal at an instance of time? Well, one way would be to implement a series of bandpass filters whose center frequencies correspond to the frequencies that I want the visual equalizer to display. If I was going to do an analog implementation of this project, I’m certain my best option would be this approach. Luckily, since I know my target development board consists...

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  • 1 × Digilent Zybo The development board on which the embedded system was developed
  • 1 × VGA Monitor Displaying the waveform
  • 1 × Speakers The audio samples are passed back out of the board for playback.
  • 1 × Auxiliary cable So a music source can connect to the system
  • 1 × Microphone For capturing voice

  • Finished with the Project Page! ( for now... )

    andrew.powell09/13/2016 at 00:47 0 comments

    I think I am finally going to call it quits on this project page! I For now! I have heavily updated the details page of the visual equalizer project, explaining some of the interesting theory behind the project's creation and also how that theory is actually applied to the target hardware! It's always cool to see how a project goes from an idea, to a mathematical / algorithmic model, and finally to a real thing! So, I think I will follow this format in later projects!

    In the future, though, I think I will divide the detail section into several logs, and add links to those logs in the detail section or something.

    But, there's a good chance I will return the visual equalizer project! There are a few areas I want to improve, plus I can see the project becoming much larger than it is, especially considering I could add LED cubes or have a circuit that varies an external light according to the magnitude of the lower frequencies or something else cool!

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