As a final class project for our “Digital Systems Design Using Microcontrollers” course we all took last semester at Cornell University, we created a very unique device. We wanted to design something fun, aesthetically pleasing, and interactive, and since we all enjoy listening to music, we decided on a music visualizer. Our vision was to create a unit that listens to music being played, then in real time displays a dynamic and colorful visual representation of the music based on the volume and pitch of the notes. Additionally, our music visualizer provides an alternate avenue for experiencing music for the hearing impaired. Here’s how we did it, so you can make one too!
This project implements a clock/timer device with several handy features other than just a simple alarm. It utilizes a 16-bit PIC, the MPLab Code Configurator, and a serial LCD.
The MIDI Replay stomp box is a powerful configuration and recording device for keyboard players, based on the wonderful MIDI protocol: the standard musical language of over 30 years.
This article explores the design challenges of this real-time system and covers topics such as task scheduling, buffers, parallel computing, dynamic memory management, response time analysis and menu system design.
When my wife and I moved into our current home a few years back, it didn’t have a doorbell. We live on a quiet cul-de-sac, so it really wasn’t a problem as we had few callers. After a while, I installed a wireless doorbell that lasted about three years. Recently, after writing the series of articles on “A Digital Analog — When a PIC Can Replace a 555,” I decided to make one using a PIC.
This final article in our series will examine those circuits from the “555 Timer IC Circuits” by Forrest Mims which were not covered in any of the preceding four articles.
I’ve been searching for a way to give our band’s performances the kind of visual elements that can only otherwise be achieved by true lighting artists. As a musician, inventor, and laser enthusiast, I decided to draw on all my hobbies and have created a light machine that has unique responses to each tone, frequency, and beat.
Driving LEDs using the lowest possible pin-count is a common challenge for folks creating projects with microcontrollers. Complementary LED drive, also known as “Charlieplexing”, allows a large number of LEDs to be controlled with a relatively small number of I/O pins. This fun digital LED clock project is a hands-on example of how Charlieplexing can be used to stretch your “pin budget”!