Christmas may be over, but as we head into the New Year you've still plenty of excuses for busting out the soldering iron and some LEDs to brighten up the home or office. While we like to pretend we're all about the serious applications here at oomlout, we couldn't resist showcasing Charlie Turner's latest IKEA Hackers build: the conversion of the company's Lack table into an audio visualiser. Based on a far smaller variant designed by Adafruit, the visualiser swaps the compact 8x8 bi-colour matrix of the original build out for a hand-made equivalent roughly the size of the table's surface but otherwise operates in the same manner: a microphone picks up ambient sounds while an Arduino converts them into a simple spectrum analyser visualisation on the grid. For those thinking about following in Charlie's footsteps, the full project can be found on Instructables.
I used a matt white IKEA LACK table (mainly as it was the cheapest!), and hollowed out the inside. I created a matrix out of white laminated hardboard. I used the electronics from an Adafruit kit, and added 128 LEDs to make the display super large and colourful!