Build Your Own Music Reactive LEDs

We provide everything you need to build a finished product you're proud of and can't wait to show off to your friends.
For beginners and those with experience, you can write code to fully customize how the common WS281x LEDs visualize your music in real-time.
  1. Buy our hardware on Tindie (Here are assembly instructions)
  2. Download our open-sourced software on GitHub
  3. Learn on your own, or take our 2-week course over Zoom
  4. Join our community on Discord
  5. Invite friends over and enjoy watching music
You want to have the coolest LEDs, but where do you start?

You search “How to make LEDs react to music” on YouTube and a whole bunch of videos pop up, so which do you choose? And when you’re left with loose wires and a few blinking LEDs, or 1 pattern on 1 LED strip, what do you do next? I’ve been in that exact situation, about 5 years ago as I started down this path my Senior year at the University of Maryland.

It can be daunting, there’s a lot to learn. There’s hardware, software, and man, the amount of times I did EXACTLY what I was told in a video and it still didn’t work…

I want to save you the trouble, the frustration, and the months of being stuck. So I’m excited to provide you with 2 options to learn how to make the most of the amazing LEDs that exist today:

Option 1: If you want a huge head start but still want to figure things out for yourself, you can purchase Diod’s hardware here and use the source code on GitHub to get you started. If you need help, there’s the amazing FastLED Reddit Community and helpful people on our Discord standing by.

Option 2: The ~1,000 lines of code can look scary, I know, I’m there all the time looking at other projects online. But it’s not as complex as it looks, I can promise you that. Let me teach you from scratch, breaking the code up in to manageable chunks, in a guided, live online course over 2 weeks.

Here's what really sets our tech apart:
  • Easily switch between Aux and microphone as audio inputs. Aux is REQUIRED to detect the full range of frequencies and to avoid interference from background noise.
  • Full spectrum beat detection, plus more audio analytic data that automatically resets between songs.
  • Easily create lists of patterns for the LEDs to fade between when there is:
    • No beat present
    • A beat present
    • A constant beat present
  • 5V, 12V, and 24V WS281x LEDs can be driven from our hardware. This is important for larger projects, since 12V WS2815 LEDs require less current and have less voltage drop on long LED runs and power lines. That means lower current / heat in wires, and less voltage drop, which degrades LED color accuracy at the end of LED strips.
  • Up to 3 parallel LED outputs on our smaller PCB
  • Up to 8 parallel LED outputs on our larger PCB
  • Computing-intensive audio analytics (FFT) is offloaded to the audio adapter, freeing up the Teensy to handle further audio analysis and LED driving with speed issues.
  • Triggering patterns from beats, or basing patterns on raw audio data, is extremely simple.

Our custom PCB combines a Teensy 3.6 and ESP-32 Dev Module. Our software uses, among others, Teensy’s audio library, and FastLED.

There are alternatives for driving LEDs to music, like LEDfx, WLED, and plenty of places to learn the basics of addressable LEDs, like DrZzs. I won’t pretend like I’m the only one doing this. They have better wireless controls, smart home integration, and non-reactive pattern libraries (at this time 😛 ).

Collaborators are welcome to contribute to this open-sourced community. Many improvements can be made to things like beat detection, music analytics, visualizing patterns, wireless controls, etc.. We’d love to have you!

Discord for anyone to join: