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VU Meter help

I'm trying to build a VU meter and am having trouble finding a schematic that actually works.  I having tried using the LM3915 and LM3916 both seem to act the same way.  I've tried 5v 9v and 12v sources along with every schematic I can find with no luck.  Either all the lights flicker a very fast.

These are the schematics I have tried:

https://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/F02/VELA/FJ3N5V3Q/F02VELAFJ3N5V3Q.MEDIUM.gif
https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-VU-meter-that-dances-to-computer-music/?&sort=ACTIVE&limit=40
https://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FX5/67GS/FLROK12R/FX567GSFLROK12R.gif

Nothing seems to work.  I have added two 1uf caps across the source and a variety of resistor combinations but always end up with nothing or flickering lights.  What have I done wrong? 

Add a halfwave "perfecf rectifier" to the circuit.
Go to the master source http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM3915.pdf and you will see a suitable application circuit.

Steve