The idea for this project has been knocking around inside my head for the past few years. I finally decided to get off my butt and do it. Be warned: it is a long
instructable because it's a multi-part build, and I'm a bit verbose when writing these things.
This whole project developed out of a color organ that inspired additional complexity and more features. The finished product creates a motion-controlled light show synchronized to an audio source. It started off small - just a color organ - but rapidly grew to take on new features and to incorporate more complexity. I just wasn't satisfied with blinky
lights. It had to be spinning blinky lights that are super bright.
It's similar to those commercial rigs
that you've probably seen. I could have just picked up a system like that, but any time I can make something instead of buying it, I'll opt for the maker mentality!
I would place the difficulty of this project in the intermediate category. There isn't a whole lot of programming involved, but you'll need to do some careful soldering work or (if you're equipped) make your own PCBs to finish the project. I did everything on proto-board, but in retrospect, it would probably have been easier to troubleshoot if I had taken the time to make some custom PCBs for everything.
From start to finish, this project took several months (although that included experimentation and waiting for parts to arrive from China). If you aim to just make a copy, and not experiment at all, it should take you significantly less time, although I wouldn't try and do it all in one sitting!
You will need to draw on a variety of skills, including: soldering, programming arduino, building a circuit on perfboard, and trying not to blind yourself by looking directly at the LEDs. I'm still having trouble with that last one...
Inspiration for this project was found in many different places. I will attempt to list all of them here. If I missed any, my apologies, and just add a comment so I can give you credit!