It is true that Arduino itself can analyse music input. But Arduino spectrum analyzer with MSGEQ7 IC makes the total thing professional grade. Problem is that, MSGEQ7 IC is not exactly cheap and for bigger displays multiple MSGEQ7 IC may be needed. Another problem of MSGEQ7 is less availability as real to use shield. In other words, most will have to buy MSGEQ7 IC as component. That is great but MSGEQ7 IC if is bad quality your luck will be pathetic. BaldEngineer site had possibly the first known easiest circuit with code for Arduino with only one MSGEQ7 IC. Sparkfun has one such breakout which is not exactly cheap. Building DIY does need money and making kind of breakout on any prototyping board is practical.
BA3812L IC is a 5 band equaliser IC used in high-end sound systems. LA3600 is another equaliser IC.
Arduino Spectrum Analyzer With MSGEQ7 IC
I would suggest to go with NicoHood’s Github project. This is the project :
So, for this project, we will need at minimum :
- Two x MSGEQ7 IC
- Two x Audio Jack 3.5mm
- Two x 10nF Capacitor
- Four x 100nF Capacitor
- Two x 33pF Capacitor
- Two x 200k Ohm Resistor
This will be the circuit diagram :
The thing is Sparkfun Spectrum Shield compatible. As it is compatible, you can simply find projects using Sparkfun Spectrum Shield around Arduino Spectrum Analyzer. As example, This is one basic LED spectrum analyzer with Sparkfun Spectrum Shield :
Conclusion on Arduino Spectrum Analyzer
Basically Arduino not needed to create great spectrum analyzers, electronic components are enough. However for easiness to build more complex, beautiful spectrum analyzers, it is Raspberry Pi like single board computers will be better choice. Microcontrollers has limitations over a computer when developing person is one.