Blitz City DIY (Liz) walks through her v2.0 sound-reactive PC lights build using an Adafruit Pro Trinket (5V) and SparkFun MSGEQ7. The ‘2.0’ upgrade is a great part of this build: Liz has improved upon her soldering skill and become more comfortable with transplanting circuits from breadboard to protoboard, and took advantage of the small package profile of the Pro Trinket to make everything a bit more compact and discreet inside the PC case – and I’m really digging that black-top protoboard too!
For those that are not into PC gaming, you may not be aware that there is a large DIY PC community based around the idea that you should build your own PC to get the best price to performance for tasks like gaming, media creation and things like that. Attached to the performance benefits are also aesthetics. People spend a lot of time and money to make sure their PC looks the sleekest, whether it be a matching color theme for all of the components, cable management or one of the newer features: RGB LEDs. There’s even software and special headers on the motherboards to support the RGB craze. The issue though is that different bits of software have different features or require different hardware to control the LED strips. There are also different voltages of LED strips (12V vs. 5V depending) depending on the brand, so you end up committing to one version of a platform depending on your brand choice and of course there’s a premium for the options with the most features. The LED strips from these companies also tend to be on the shorter side, often requiring 3-4 to make it around the perimeter of your case and you’re paying a premium for the compatibility with that company’s software and/or hardware.
Controlling a strip of NeoPixels with a Pro Trinket and an MSGEQ7 chip to react to seven audio spectrum bands.