Introduction: How to Build Your Own LED Color Organ || Arduino || MSGEQ7

Picture of How to Build Your Own LED Color Organ || Arduino || MSGEQ7

I am showing you how to build a color organ while only using an Arduino Uno, one MSGEQ7 and five external electronic components. I am using three high power led and three MOSFET to visualize the three different frequency bands of the music. Join me for this awesome and educational build.

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video already gives you a lot of details about the build, but I will cover the most important steps again.

Step 2: What Do We Need?

Here is a small and easier overview of the components we gonna need:

1x Arduino Uno


2x 100nF capacitor

1x 10nF capacitor

1x 33pF capacitor

1x 200kΩ(1/4W) resistor or 2x 100kΩ(1/4W) resistor

3x 5Ω(5W) resistor

3x 1kΩ(1/4W) resistor

3x BUZ11 N Channel MOSFET

1x Breadboard

1x Jumper Wires

1x Power supply (5V, 2A)

3x 1W High Power LED (red,green,blue)

If you already have the parts laying around than you can skip to step 4. Otherwise follow step 3 and order your parts

Step 3: Order Your Parts!

Here is a little part list with example sellers from Ebay and Amazon. I hope it helps you to get your components fast and easy:


Audio Jack:

Resistor kit:

5Ω(5W) resistor:

Power Supply (5V, 2A):


Arduino Uno:

Capacitor Kit:

BUZ11 N Channel MOSFET:

1W High Power LED (green):

1W High Power LED (red):

1W High Power LED (blue):

Jumper Wires:


Audio Jack:

Resistor Kit:

Power Supply (5V, 2A):

Arduino Uno:

Capacitor Kit:

1W High Power LED (green):

1W High Power LED (red):

1W High Power LED (blue):

Jumper Wires:


Audio Jack:

Resistor Kit:

Power Supply (5V, 2A):

Arduino Uno:

Capacitor Kit:

1W High Power LED (green):

1W High Power LED (red):

1W High Power LED (blue):

Jumper Wires:



BUZ11 N Channel MOSFET:

Step 4: Create the Circuit!

Picture of Create the Circuit!

Now it's time to get serious. Wire up components on a breadboard is pretty simple and I bet you will get it right after trying a few times. Just follow the schematic

And don't forget to connect the ground wire of your 5V power supply with the ground (GND) of your arduino for potential equalisation. Otherwise the LEDs might do what they want but not what you want.

Step 5: Upload the Code to Your Arduino!

You have wired up the circuit and it is time for the first test. Just download my code and open it with the Arduino Software ( Upload the code to your arduino and with the help of some music, the LEDs should light up.

If you think the LEDs change their brightness to slow then feel free to change the delay() time from 30 to 1....30.

You can find the line here:

void loop(){

digitalWrite(resetPin, HIGH);

digitalWrite(resetPin, LOW);

for (int i=0;i<7;i++){

digitalWrite(strobePin, LOW);


Step 6: Success!

Picture of Success!

Now you can light up awesome cases with your new color organ. I really like to use bottles because it is always a nice suprise for guests when suddenly a bottle lights up.

Feel free to check out my Youtube channel for more awesome projects:

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information.


MatthewS25 made it! (author)2017-11-24

Wound up buying the Sparkfun shield ( for my finished product, but this was a helpful resource for figuring out the code (and I used a breadboard and this diagram to verify the software)

MatthewS25 (author)MatthewS252017-11-24

Forgot to post my code:

TylerH66 (author)2017-08-06

Where does the audio in for pin 5 on the MSGEQ7 come from?

From ur audio jack. You can select only one channel i.e. either left or right and another will be connected to common ground. You can google it about audio jack.

Uddipta206UdDReX (author)2017-07-11

I want to use 5050 RGB led strip but instead of BUZ11 N Channel MOSFET can i use a2shb mosfet which i got inside 24key IR Comtroller? plz rely asap.

g_alex (author)2017-06-01

Hello guys

I need some help... I jast downloaded the Programm and burn it to my Uno. But when the programm starts and an nothing but leds is wired, they start to light...

Sry for my bad english..:(

HardikM16 (author)2016-06-15

Hey Scott! i made the circuit once myself and twice the way you did. But the LEDs are not listening to what the audio input tells them to do and they keep blinking in their own merry way, even when there is no audio input( or jack) connected. PLEASE HELP ASAP!!! IT IS MY SCHOOL PROJECT!!

Have you ordered the MSGEQ7 IC? If so then order an other, more expensive one because what I've ordered was a faulty one. Sorry for the late comment, but sadly this IC is often sold as fake ICs... China likes to do such things :(

wzdl (author)HardikM162016-10-03

use 10kohm resister between Analoge input and ground.

Don't forget to connect both ground wire and signal wire to the arduino

Don't touch the arduino when testing

ve3joc (author)2016-08-20

Where would you put a potentiometer to adjust the sensitivity for the LEDs?

SimonL61 (author)2016-04-02

Hey Scott, i've already looked through the other Comments below, but the ones who asked things like my problem, got no answer that helped me.

My problem is, that my LEDs are more or less always on, and are just flashing a little bit, first i thought i'd be the MSGEQ7 but i've tried a new one now. There seems to be no difference if the Audio IN cable is connected or not.

Have you any idea?

Might it be a problem that the Text on the MSGEQ7 isn't the same as your's?

Mine says:




GreatScottLab (author)SimonL612016-04-03

The IC should not be the problem. Seems like your circuit has a problem.

SimonL61 (author)GreatScottLab2016-04-03

Strange, checked it a couple of times already

May i'll need to check it another couple of times.

Could it be that my Audio Jack isn't working well?

Mine looks like this:

Detective Decimal (author)2016-01-14

I don't quite know how to read the schematic, Could I simply just watch the video and mimic what cables are put where and whatnot?

lja123 (author)2016-01-12

how do you get the code to run 7 leds

lja123 (author)2016-01-12

is there another way I can see it

lja123 (author)2016-01-11

hey I can not download the code

jerry.ericsson2 (author)2016-01-07

I have dreamed of this setup since I saw my first light organ back in 1972, while serving in the US Army. When I get back to my warm weather home, I think I will build one to mount in our Motor Home. Probably using strip LED lighting instead of the 1W LEDs though; better for mobile use I think. Of course I do have red green and blue 100 Watt LEDs... no probably not, too much strain on my 32 volt power supply, or not...Need relays for that high an amperage though I guess.

MikkelP1 (author)2015-12-01

is it possibel to do it wiith a mic ?

mobilohm (author)2015-11-22

Maybe I caught something by speeding out my brain on the video but assuming the blue wires are leading to the leds I still don't see where the 5W resistors should be conected on the breadboard... An answer would be nice as i've nearly finished. Thanks.

GreatScottLab (author)mobilohm2015-11-24

They connect in series to the LEDs. Not on the breadboard.

SirTrollik (author)2015-04-25

Hi, I just want to ask about conneting the audio jack. I'm not sure, where I should connect the right and left channels and the ground.

mobilohm (author)SirTrollik2015-11-21

the video says... use one pin of the side ones (left-right) & the back one for ground...

SirTrollik (author)SirTrollik2015-04-25

I know that it was mentioned in the video but doesn't it affect the quality of the audio or somethin like that?

mobilohm (author)2015-11-19

Hello I'm trying to do it on a breadboard but being a beginner I dont know how to transpose from schematic and the video is too fast for my purpose :) Could you help please?

FlorianG6 (author)2015-09-14

Hey, ive got everything working so far, the lightshow is pretty cool and stuff ... but it steals my right audio channel o.O

I used an Audio-Hub to get the Audio to go to my Organ aswell as to my Speakers. Im not sure but i think it's got something to do with one of the audio signals not beeing connected to anything. As soon as i plug the cable into the Organ the right speaker will mute.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance :)

whatxcounts (author)2015-09-13

does Buzz11_NR4941 has same function with TIP31?

engineertype (author)2015-07-12

Better to buy a MSGEQ7 and supporting components here:

Hermse93 (author)2015-05-19


After three evenings of trial and error i give up.. And ask you for a solution of my problem.

checking the circuit tons (see images) of times and run the program over and over
the results didn't get better. The serial monitor of my arduino dont get
the values i expect. it's continuously around 0 22 23 25 20 21 23. It doesn't even matter of the audio input is connected or not. The only reasson for the problem that i can imagine is that my MSFEQ7 is bad. (Order these one in china via aliexpress) Does anyone had a similiar problem?

Sry for bad english ;P

SohamB1 (author)Hermse932015-06-24

Try changing analogInput to A0.

SohamB1 (author)2015-06-24

There is an error in the code I think. The analogInput pin will be A0 instead of 0 most probably.


harithal1 (author)2015-04-13

same here sir i could not find msgeq7 please can you tell me an another alternative asap

harithal1 (author)harithal12015-04-13

sir are you busy?

sldata (author)harithal12015-04-24

You can get it at SparkFun:

MatiasArg (author)2015-04-11

Hi sir! I want to do it but well, i dont think i could find the buzz11, do you know an equivalent to it? Thanks sir, I really appreciate this :)

KarunTheWarrior (author)2015-03-02

I finally got it to work but the LEDs arent bright enough. When i make the volume full, the brightness of the LED goes upto 50% but they dont blink. Could you tell me how to make my LEDs brighter. I am using LUXEON REBELS which are super bright.

vibro15 (author)2014-12-04

I ordered the part listed here:

Could anyone give me some insight as to how I would modify this project so it works with this audio analyzer?

GreatScottLab (author)vibro152014-12-12

It is the same IC which makes things pretty easy. Just connect the Pins of the Breakout Board to the Arduino pins like I described it in the schematic.

hsharma29 (author)GreatScottLab2015-02-08


hsharma29 (author)2015-02-08

Any Alternatives for MSGEQ7 and BUZ11

Really Hard to Find.

i find some but don't know if they are same




Adambowker98 (author)2015-02-03

I want to do something like this in my car, with a few solid-color analog LED strips that adjust brightness based on the music. I will use the MSGEQ7 shield from Sparkfun on an Arduino Uno. I have two questions:

1) How would I go about powering it? The car battery outputs 12V, which is what the LED strips need, but the Arduino only needs 5v, if I understand correctly.

2) Do you have code for using the MSGEQ7 with an LED strip (like shown at the end of the video under your couch, except for a solid-color LED strip)? That's exactly what I'm going for.

Thanks in advance!

cjfortin (author)2015-01-21

Yes, you could use (2) 10 ohm resistors in parallel to get the 5 ohm value.

TravisH2 (author)2015-01-09

I was trying to build this and when I went to try it, it didn't work, this is my first project like this and I'm a little confused and I'm not sure if I set it all up right. These are pictures of what I did. Thank for any help I get!

AndyR3 (author)TravisH22015-01-14

try to connect the ground of your breadboard to the ground off your arduino, this should help ;)

And it looks like your LEDs are not connectet to +, because there is probably no connection on the breadboard between both sides.

If you have issues like this try to explain what goes wrong so we can better help you.

Sry for bad english ;D

TravisH2 (author)2015-01-09

Can some one tell me what I did wrong here? I'm so lost.

hangovercat made it! (author)2014-12-17

I used this project to create a colour organ christmas tree light setup. I tested with the high power LEDs as per the instructions and then swapped them out for LED strings – one each for RG and B. I also used the Spectrum Shield which obviated everything on the left half of the circuit diagram (it includes the MSGEQ7, caps and 200k resistor). The shield is also set up as strobe=4 and reset=5 so adjust the code accordingly. It seems to be running ok with a single 900ma power supply connected to the Arduino but I am not an expert and cannot guarantee this will not create issues in any specific configuration. Thanks so much for posting this. I run it off the headphone output of my entertainment system and everyone thinks I am some kind of wizard.

KarunTheWarrior (author)2014-12-10

I've made the project, but the LEDs still glow even when the music is off. I checked my serial monitor and it shows some small values in the PWM pins when there is no input. This happens for about 1-2 minutes until the values go to zero. Could you tell me what the problem may be and how to fix it?

Try to add some smoothing capacitors to your power supply. Start with
470µF and 100nF between +5V and GND. If the problem still occurs then try to use a
bigger one. And if that does not help then you might want to use a bit
more expensive power supply.

RudiFebrian13 (author)2014-10-08

can i use 12v for power source ?

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