A Sound-Reactive RGB LED Bookshelf

Arduino Music Woodworking
A Sound-Reactive RGB LED Bookshelf


What can a guy that has a 5000-volume library complete with a 1930’s era pipe organ (see around 2:20 in the video below) do to enhance his reading space? I’m not sure what my answer would be, but for Craig Landrum, the answer was to build a sound-reactive shelving unit. Not only does it react to the sound’s volume, it uses a Fast Fourier Transform to separate out the frequencies observed. This means that one shelf can react to a high-pitched note, while another would react to a lower pitched note.


The shelves are controlled by a really professional-looking panel made out of powder coated aluminum, purchased from a company called Front Panel Express. The status dispaly on the top shows the different frequencies coming into the shelves, and other selectors control whether the shelf is on, as well as different options. The Strips themselves are Neopixels from Adafruit, and the processor used is an Arduino Mega.

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I’ve used a service to manufacture powder coated parts while working as an engineer. The results were excellent, but the price might have been hard for me to justify on a side project. Either way, it’s good to keep your eyes open for sources that could help you with a project. Sourcing something that would take a long time, or that someone else can do better can help things get done faster and better!

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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