Seeing Sound with the Nexys 4 DDR

Noise exists all around us. Sounds are such an integral part of our daily experience, we often don’t notice the smaller ones. What if there was a way to register these nearby sounds electronically and visually? Well this project on Instructables by MirceaDabacan manages to be both sound-revealing and visually appealing. It uses the Digilent Nexys 4 DDR on-board microphone to capture sounds in your environment, so that you’ll be able to see the audio signal both as a spectrum on a VGA display and on an LED strip.


You will need a Nexys 4 DDR board,  a USB A-to-B micro cable, a WS2812 LED strip, three male-to-male wires (like the ones provided with the Analog Parts Kit), a VGA LCD display with VGA cable, and a PC or laptop with Vivado installed (the free WebPAck version is enough).


First, you will need to download Vivado for this project. Then after connecting the Nexys 4 DDR to the VGA display, PC (via USB cable), and WS2812 addressable LED strip, you will have to download the configurable file to the FPGA. Finally rebuild the Vivado project and check out the awesome displays!


See it in action.


Beyond being visually enticing, this project has a wealth of potential to be modified for other sound related ventures. We cannot wait to see what you guys come up with!


Be the 1st to vote.

About Amber Mear

I was the Digilent blog editor, and now I'm a contributor. I love learning about wearables and writing about social issues in STEM. Outside of work, I can be found watching Netflix with my cat, working on an art project, or trying to find new, delicious local foods.

View all posts by Amber Mear →

One Comment on “Seeing Sound with the Nexys 4 DDR”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *