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Thread: Looking to build a LED DJ Booth

  1. #1
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    Looking to build a LED DJ Booth

    Hi all,

    I am new here and would like to say hello to everyone passing through. So my project that I've start is based on building a sound activated DJ LED booth. I've search the forums everywhere and I couldn't really find a step-by-step on create the display with the teensy 3.0 and what materials are needed. I've did order some items from the net to get this project started as most of the items take 2 weeks to get here from China. So far I've ordered 20 meters of WS2811 with 60LEDS/meter, which I plan to cut up into 1 meter strips for a 4ft x 4ft display. I also purchased 2 5V 60A 300W power supplies to power everything. I was on the PJRC website and was looking to order 2 Teensy 3.0, one for each 600 LEDs. From what I read I figured this would be a good split since there's a total of 1200 LEDs and then use the sync feature for both Teensy to control the LEDs. Next I saw a SD reader to attach a Teensy board (I'm assuming I only need one of these since they will both be synced?). Now here is where I was running into unanswered questions. What equipment do I get to have the LEDs be sound activated with the programs that are installed on the SD card? i was hoping to get a LED display going that changed/reacted to sound while I'm playing music. I did see some items on Adafruit's learning site but wasn't sure exactly what would work. Sound card? Microphone? Tiny music visualizer? I saw this on vimeo (http://vimeo.com/66302375) and was inspired to do something similar with sound control. I also use DJ software serato which has scrolling text for videos and was wondering if there was a way to link that text to the LED display, but that might be for later. I was thinking of creating a "box" to encapsulate all this on a breadboard and was looking for advice on all the components that I would need for this project. Sorry in advance if there is something out there already on a tutorial to build this. I have looked in quite a few places and did forum searches to find a tutorial and did find anything. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    DJ Vinay

    PS. I would like to share my build as the project moves along so that I can maybe create a tutorial from what I learn to help others.

  2. #2
    Well, don't know what features are in the ws2811 firmware for beeing activated by sound, i am using ws2801 leds therefor a diffrent firmware,... the firmware I use just recieves a kinda Picture stream in ( i guess thats like bmp is defined) 24bit rgb Pixels,... however the stream is produced on a pc and send to the teensy by usb. This PC Software has a few builtin effects, some of them are sound senstive, one can be used to stream any part of the pc screen. This PC Software called Glediator (http://www.solderlab.de/index.php/software/glediator). On this page also firmware for ws2801 is available, but this firmware won't work directly wth ws 2811 but you may take it as inspiration and for makeing a program for ws 2811 firmware...

  3. #3
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    Hi hardtoneselector,

    Thanks for the info and I appreciate the software suggestion. I'll definitely look into that once the project is off the ground and assemble. Do you have any suggestions as to the components need to build this other than what I listed above? I haven't placed my Teensy, SD, and bread board order from PJRC yet as I wanted to compile a complete list first.

    Thanks
    DJV

  4. #4
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Probably the easiest way to do this involves having a PC or Mac do the "sound reactive" part. It's theoretically possible to have it all happen within the Teensy3, but as far as I know, nobody has done that yet. If you try, you'd be breaking new ground, which probably isn't a great beginner-level project.

    For only 1200 LEDs, a single Teensy3 can probably handle the job. I'm considering raising the suggested limit to 1400 or maybe even 1500.

  5. #5
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    I have a quick question... are you using Traktor? It seems to be pretty popular with the few DJs I know.

    Lots of DJs have used Teensy to build custom MIDI controllers, I think for use with Traktor. It definitely takes MIDI in. I've been told it might have MIDI out, but so far I've never found anyone who really knows much about how that works, or what data it can transmit. If it can send real-time info, that might be a really easy and great way to control lighting.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info Paul. I may still do 2 teensy's as I am probably going to add additional LEDs along the side of the booth in the future. I do a lot of tailgating DJing and people are all around the booth so will eventually want to cover as much surface area as possible and at that point I'll be near 2400 LEDs. Based on this info would you suggest going with the Teensy++ 2.0?

    I use Serato and I know they also have USB for MIDI control. But I use SL3 which only has one USB output for connection to my laptop.

    I know there are devices out there that already have similar application features (http://www.kutop.com/t-1000s-sd-card...ontroller.html), but I was hoping to use the Teensy as the processing seems like it would give a much better and faster response/refresh rate and look 100 times better because of the speed. I wonder if I could take the T1000S apart and replace it's processing board with a teensy board?

  7. #7
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    OctoWS2811 only runs on Teensy 3.0. On Teensy++ 2.0 you can use Daniel's FastSPI_LED or Adafruit's Neopixel library (which are great for smaller LED projects), but not OctoWS2811.

    But if you're going to drive 2400 LEDs with rapid response, you really want OctoWS2811. The issue is WS2811 takes 30 microseconds per LED on the strip. If you drive all 2400 as one giant long strip, that's 72 ms to update the whole thing, or about 13 frames/sec**. The magic of OctoWS2811 is it drives 8 strips in parallel, or 16 if you use 2 boards. So for 2400 LEDs, you'd have strips only 150 LEDs long, which can update in only 4.5 ms.

    ** The situation with those 1-strip libraries is even slower, because they tie up the CPU while updating the LEDs. You can't do anything to receive or generate the next frame during that time. The actual frame rate always end up being much slower. On top of updating 8X faster, OctoWS2811 also gives you all the CPU time while the LEDs update, and double buffering, so you can work on the next frame during that LED update time.

    The cost is in the complexity of wiring 8 (or 16) data connections and arranging the strips. It probably won't work so well inside a T1000S enclosure, since it only has the output connector to connect a single strip.

  8. #8
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    I think I'll probably just end up buying one of these instead of trying to build the same thing with the teensy:
    http://gng.en.alibaba.com/product/93...ontroller.html

    The only thing is that this does 25 frames/s. Hopefully that should be significant enough for music control/response.

    There's also this unit which does 50 frames/s and is linkable to other units:

    http://gng.en.alibaba.com/product/11...ontroller.html

    even though about getting this and using GLEDIATOR like hardtoneselector suggested above instead of getting a sound control unit. I could like this with the audio out from my laptop with the serato software possibly:

    http://gng.en.alibaba.com/product/13...ontroller.html
    Last edited by DJVinay; 10-02-2013 at 05:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    Hi Paul,

    Amidst the mass confusion I have, I am now thinking I may try the an Art-Net type solution via an LED program/software. I've been beating my head on the wall for weeks and finally figured out a solution which I think may work but wanted to run it passed you to seek your knowledge on whether it would work.

    So I want to make an array of LEDs that 20 strips x 1M long with 60 LEDS per meter and daisy chain these in an addressable array like in the OctoWS2811 example using 2 teensy boards with 10 strips each. I was going to hookup the LEDs in the same manner as the example and use an ethernet to USB adapter so I can connect the Teeensy's usb port to my laptop's ethernet port for data transmission. Then I was hoping to use a program like Glediator to send designs to the screen and use the computers audio output to pulse the image on the LEDs. Do you think this is feasible?

    Also, on the OctoWS2811 tutorial, there are 3 black wires coming off the top of the teensy board in the picture. Do you know what those are for? They don't seem to be labeled on the connections diagram. It's between the video sync and LED 2 connection.

    Thanks
    DJVinay

  10. #10
    Senior Member PaulStoffregen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJVinay View Post
    and use an ethernet to USB adapter so I can connect the Teeensy's usb port to my laptop's ethernet port for data transmission.
    That definitely will not work. Teensy is a USB device, and so is the USB-ethernet adaptor. You can only connect USB devices to USB hosts. For a complete explanation, read chapter 4 in the USB spec. Here's a direct link:

    http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/beta/usb20.pdf

    Chapter 4 has all the key concepts for USB, and it's fairly short and not highly technical, so I'd highly recommend you read that chapter.

    Then I was hoping to use a program like Glediator to send designs to the screen
    Is Glediator compatible with OctoWS2811? It doesn't look that way....

    Also, on the OctoWS2811 tutorial, there are 3 black wires coming off the top of the teensy board in the picture. Do you know what those are for? They don't seem to be labeled on the connections diagram. It's between the video sync and LED 2 connection.
    Those are the ground wires, which go to more splitters that ultimately connect to the ground on each LED strip.

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