Synesthesia in the Lab

Literally meaning “sensations together” in Greek, synesthesia is a very interesting condition where the stimulation of one sense triggers a perception in another.  Those who experience synesthesia might “hear” the color red, or “see” a loud noise.

When listening to music in the lab, I wanted a way to visualize what I was hearing – creating my own artificial synesthesia.  This latest project is a simple sound visualizer, what sound engineers might call a volume unit (VU) meter.  There are three main parts to this project: the audio sensor (mic), the microcontroller, and the LEDs.  After finishing the project, I mounted the strip on the back of my new adjustable desk with some velcro.  I got all of the parts from Adafruit:

Here’s a video of the final product: