Arduino particle light box generates animations from sound


Simple tools used well can produce fantastic results. The hardware which [Gilad] uses in this project is the definition of common. We’d bet you have most if not all of them on hand right now. But the end product is a light box which seems to dance and twirl with every sound in the room. You should go watch the demo video before reading the bill of materials so that the simplicity doesn’t spoil it for you.

A wooden craft box serves as the enclosure. Inside you’ll find an Arduino board, microphone, and an 8×8 RGB module. The front cover of the project box diffuses the light using a sheet of tracing paper on a frame of foam board. It’s the code that brings everything together. He wrote his own particle system library to generate interesting animations.

If you don’t have a project box on hand this might work with an extra-deep picture frame.


  1. brian says:

    oh nice! i like it.

  2. IndianTinker says:

    That`s Awesome!
    The effect comes out of the tracing paper is pretty cool! Great Job!

  3. theodore flokos says:

    what if instead of an accelometer you put a geophone on the bottom of the case .
    and tune it to be really sensitive so while you walk near the devide it will show what shows now and you can configure it so the results are stronger as you go closer to the device .Just throwing an idea out there .
    Great work btw///

  4. dhavenith says:

    That is just beautiful.

  5. roboman2444 says:

    You would have thunk that it would be a raspi…
    Change shifted from everything on HAD being arduino, to quadrotor, to raspi.

  6. supershwa says:

    Very cool – I like the creative use of tracing paper as a light diffuser.

  7. Scott says:

    Check out some of his other vids on YouTube – he’s got the fire/particle system thing knocked.

  8. Vonskippy says:

    Surprising how much difference the simple diffuser makes. The case needs a MUCH thinner boarder (the current one reminds me of the old 701 eee netbooks, all boarder and teeny tiny screen).

    • Eirinn says:

      I’m not sure if you made an intentional typo or not… Border, is the right word. However the border is made out of board. Since a board can be just a flat surface, and it’s amde out of wood it makes sense! A boarder.

  9. Hirudinea says:

    While this is really lovely, I just to know,is that Manneken Pis in the lower left corner of the frame?

  10. NigeC says:

    Brilliiant. I have a Rainbowduino and the same RGB matrix. Your code and ideas worked for me. Thank you .

    • ThierryM says:

      Hi from France… I have a Rainbowduino and the matrix too but some compilation problem when i use the particle system library. I use the Arduino IDE version 23. Could you please tell me wich version of IDE you use ? ? I put all the “*.cpp” and “*.h” files in my Library folder (on Windows system). Is there any important information concerning this library ?
      Thanks a lot in advance for your help


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