Initial Concept

A project log for Audio Visualizer Hat

A hat to display audio frequencies.

AndyMacAndyMac 10/03/2015 at 20:530 Comments
The overall idea for the project was to have a series of lights around a top hat to display whatever sound was happening in the room. The top of the hat would be used for all electronics. Adafruit's NeoPixels would be ideal, but can also get expensive quickly.

One of my biggest concerns was being able to process the audio signal quickly enough and display it with an appropriate refresh rate. The answer to my questions came int he form of the MSGEQ7 graphic equalizer display filter. This wonderful bit of hardware takes a single channel audio input and converts it to a DC signal displaying 7 frequency bands. Sparkfun has since re-released their Spectrum Shield, which would have saved some significant effort, but this was a good build nonetheless.

I was also concerned about the quality of the microphone, especially since nobody would be talking directly into it. The electret microphone breakout from Sparkfun ended up working well.

In general, the flow would be: