Got any cool ideas for our Arduino run LED dance floor visualizer?

We have built a mobile ice cream/sound system/dance floor called the Booty Bump. We made a little video of it.

What we would like to have help with is cool things we can do with our dance floor. We currently have an arduino uno and an SD card module. We have dreams of having:

visual EQ
video from an iphone
plusing lights from sound peaks
cool pre-made trippy things

We can do some basic things already... can you think of and help us implement more ideas?

Looking forward to hearing from you~


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frollard5 years ago
Generate animated loops in individual frames, stored on the SD card. Have different inputs (speed, sound, etc) change the frame number to load from the card and display. If programming isn't your forte, it's a lot easier to animate raster than to have a procedurally generated animation.

I have an animation that uses strips like you have there, and it takes a lot of code just to make trippy blips. Once you can think in terms of 'colours are numbers' and animations are merely changing colours/numbers, it's easier to write formulas that can react/change over time/input.
torclausen (author)  frollard5 years ago
The more I think about this, the more I realize that our dream really is having less code and more organic inputs, like video streaming. These lights are capable of so much, the simplistic 1980's blips seem to only tease us on what it can be doing.

That said, its amazing and the two guys working on this are geniuses.

xxx t
Too true. There is definitely a level of genius to getting these to work 'organically' Fact is you're not mixing one or two colours, you're mixing thousands among millions of possible colours, in quick succession to create good stuff.
torclausen (author)  frollard5 years ago
and intensity... we are only at full on or full off right now. and only about 20 colors.

Our video guy, scottie, works professionally with concert video using software that can easily convert video to the 7x20 resolution of the dance floor. It would be dreamy to be able to pipe that signal to the arduino and have realtime low res video play. Wished it could be from an iphone, but thats a bit too much to ask.

if he can convert it so a computer outputs the video as 7x20 serial it's dead simple. If it is self contained and just loads frames off an sd card, also dead simple. I'm working right now to do similar loading from an sd card individual frames from a bitmap.
maewert5 years ago
If I surmise correctly from the video the cart has a lighted hinged table top that contains a rectangular grid of 7x20 square RGBW LEDs. The tabletop can support the weight of the performer (but you wouldn't want pedestrians up there).

The LEDs have the ability to play pre-recorded patterns but do not have the ability to react to items above the table.

The umbrella itself is unpowered but can reflect light from the table. (maybe some interesting ideas there. I liked the video shot at twilight where the umbrella is illuminated - really draws attention from the audience)

Does the Arduino control the sounds or just control the lights?
What existing interfaces does the Arduino provide to the performer?

Maybe add a camera to the arduino and strobe the dance floor screen (or simple silhouette) when the table is tilted.

I guess I'm a little confused about its main purpose - if it is to sell ice cream then the music, etc. is just to get attention and promote fun and hopefully people buy from you. Not too much need for the dance/DJ theme there.
If the purpose is to be a portable DJ machine then maybe you need a couple of RGB spot lights whose position can be controlled via the Arduino. If this is its role then you probably need more DJ controls so they can shape the music to the rhythm of the crowd. You'll need a large song list and the ability to take requests easily. The purpose could be to support both venues so you'll need to be adaptive. Adaptive means that you'll need to program the lights to change with the music and probably automatically based on its beat.

Just some thoughts.
torclausen (author)  maewert5 years ago
Ah, the purpose.... We have a recreational use of the cart, taking it to the streets (we live in an industrial neighborhood with dance clubs and bars) and make spontaneous dance parties. We are DJ's and we spotlight local DJ's as well. But we also desire to rent it to events seeking atmospheric interest... say a corporate event with an outdoor patio. I would love to get the dance floor to have inputs that a VJ could have basic inputs and could send video signals. Then a DJ/VJ could make the cart into their own light show. The screen is just yearning to be a full low res video screen. I am wondering how far off we are from that.

We will soon have a mac air to add to the mix. Maybe that in conjunction with the arduino could make a good video lightshow.

The camera is a great idea. It would be amazing to have the screen tipped up and have dancers on the ground dance to a repeating image of themselves. The trippier the better.

Scottie just chimed in above with more answers to your questions....


scott.sunn5 years ago
Hey guys -

I am the person in charge of gathering the code for the arduino on this project, with a TON of help from TRASH80. He already had an interface that allows you to draw frames to make animations and it spits out the code that the arduino can read from. This works rather well, but we don't have much sound input yet. It just goes through the patterns on the sd card at a set interval of time.

The arduino currently only runs the lights - there is no sound input to the arduino yet. I am soon going to install some 10K pots and buttons to further control the animations. One to scroll through patterns, one to set the length of time they play for, etc.

What would be really cool is any arduino code that converts an incoming sound stream to useable EQ data. Obviously it would be nice to have 20 different hz ranges, one for each row and the 7 columns could be relative level of that hz range. We could then take that data and port it to the LED lights.

I haven't begun to look at what code is out there currently that may already be available for me to grab, but if someone has a shortcut or resource I am interested. I would imagine this is a pretty common thing to do in Arduino land.

As for getting the audio into the arduino - I have a tiny little mic that could be used, but it would be preferable to just grab the stereo line level feed coming in from the sound source. or even just bridge it to mono for simplicity. Love to hear your thoughts! I will try and set up a public view of the animation generator, its pretty cool but I have to check with TRASH80 to make sure he is comfortable letting that cat out of the bag.

adam 1015 years ago
you could set high/mid/low frequency filters and assign red to one lows, green to mids, and blue to highs.
torclausen (author)  adam 1015 years ago
That sounds cool. That is beyond our technical knowledge. Would that be hard?
For the analog method see this:
You can either drive the LEDs directly from this circuit (with a few small changes to give it more current) or take the output of this circuit as analog inputs on the Arduino and work with it from there (probably easier for your situation).

Also, you may want to Google high, low, and bandpass filters and read up on them.

Or here is the digital equivalent (I think):
just scroll down a few projects on the second link to find it.