Although high-fidelity audio has come a long way in the last few decades, many modern stereo devices are still lost in some old analog meters that were common in amplifiers and receivers from the 60’s to the 80’s. Things like VU meters are no longer the norm, but with some microcontrollers it is possible to get them back into your sound system. [Mark] This twin audio visualizer display shows us how to restore some old-school functionality.
This build includes not only two displays, but also the microcontroller with 170 channels in real-time to run the display. More impressive is the fact that this is being done in a Tennessee 4.1. It uses external RAM soldered to the board to help handle all data and keep speeds as fast as possible and a second Tinsi audio board is used to analyze real time FFT. Most channels are sent to Spectrum Analyzer hosting displays but reserved for left and right stereo VU meters on two secondary displays.
Project from [Mark] Basically based on this software [DIYLAB] So everything is open source. Although it was originally made for a specific hardware, [Mark] It is set up with a line-in and line-out plus a microphone input so that it can now be used for virtually any audio hardware. For another take on the classic VU meter, take a look at this design based on an Arudino instead.