Using MaxMSP & Arduino to control an RGB LED matrix

    Nov 03 2011 | 10:38 pm
    I was directed to these forums a couple of days ago in the hope that I can make a project of mine into anything more than a pipedream.
    Please bear in mind that until 2 days ago I had never head of MaxMSP, but do feel free to go into detail as I'm willing to learn.
    I have searched the forums (and elsewhere online) over the past couple of days, but if there is a thread or tutorial that could directly help with this project, that would be great.
    I'll try to go into as much detail as I can about the project.
    It consists of 600 5mm RGB LEDs fitted into a panel approximately 30cm x 10cm. The idea is to be able to create images and patterns on the panel of multiple colours and variable brightness. Is it possible to program patterns or algorithms into MaxMSP which would output into an Arduino and control the LEDs?
    ie. A multi-coloured patchwork, the whole panel flashing quickly on and off and between colours, moving shapes, a "lightning" effect, slow fades between colours, a "twinkling" effect between 2 colours, or just switching on 1 LED anywhere on the panel.
    here is a youtube video of a similar project:
    The end result would be to trigger these patterns/algorithms to music using Ableton Live
    Basically, I would appreciate any help pointing me in the right direction of what I actually need to learn to complete this project.
    So far the list of things I need consists of:
    - Arduino software & hardware - Firmata - MaxMSP - Maxuino - Help...
    So if there is anyone out there who is knowledgeable in this area, or there are threads or tutorials that would help me, any help would be appreciated. You tell me what I need to learn about, and I'll go learn about it.

    • Nov 04 2011 | 12:38 pm
      Hello FiascoDaze,
      Welcome, you have certainly done your homework! An example to all new posters :p
      "Is it possible to program patterns or algorithms into MaxMSP which would output into an Arduino and control the LEDs?"
      I'd say yes and also yes to your more detailed questions. It is going to run smooth? I don't know. The guy in the video is running 1500 leds at 24 fps. You only have 600 but you want rgb, now i'm have never toyed around with those but i can imagine it takes 3 brightness-levels instead of just one so essentially you're sending triple the data. So to conclude max is more than capable to do all of that (if your computer is ofcourse) but the bottleneck is gonna be the arduino due to the shear amount of data is has to process every frame.
      HTH, FRid