Notice of new bug! Do Not use Noise Filter set to 1. This may cause issues with reconnecting to the app.

ViVi Music LED Controller

ViVi Labeled Connections
User Manual

Download the PDF version here, or use this webpage to guide you through setup and operation.

Setup and Operation

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Power
  • Use 5 Volt power sources ONLY.
  • The included USB-to-Barrel Jack cable allows you to power ViVi from a USB battery pack for portable use.
  • For large setups or long strips you may need to attach additional 5V power at the far end of the lights to prevent discoloration/fading as the voltage drops over the length of the strip.
Audio

A 3.5mm audio jack allows for input from a variety of sources.

  • Aux or line-out of any device such as a cellphone, computer, or stereo can be plugged in.  Use the included 3.5mm splitter to connect to both ViVi and what will actually produce sound (headphones or speaker system).
  • An included microphone can be plugged into the 3.5mm jack.  Place as close to audio source as possible, or for wearing it position it where it will not be rubbed or bumped.
  • The instrument-level output direct from an instrument can be connected to the 3.5mm jack with an adapter.  No adapter or splitter is included for this because of the variety of plug types.
Lights

A single plug for each output provides power and data to the lights.

  • Use the included Adapter Cables to connect from ViVi to WS2812B light strips.  The ViVi connector is slimmer and more compact than the connectors pre-installed on the light strips.
  • Use the extension cables, with the larger style connectors on both ends, to increase the distance between ViVi and the lights.
  • Use a spliiter cable to make two light strips display the same effects.  Use a single cable for as long as possible before the splitter to keep signal strength as strong as possible.
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Specifications

Dimensions: 2.4″ x 3.75″ x 1.0″ (61 x 95 x 25 mm)
Weight: 2.1 oz (62 grams)
Voltage: 5 Volts (input and output)
Power Draw: 0.15 – 5.0 Amps (depends on # of LEDs; continuous power draw over 5A will trip a protective circuit)
Audio Input: 3.5 mm jack; line-level audio or included external mic
# of LEDs Total: control up to 900 unique LED points (the data from a single output can be split to multiple strips so the actual number of LEDs controlled can be much greater than 900)

# of Output Channels: 3

# of LEDs per Channel: 0 – 300 (the max of 300 LEDs is recommended for animations until a faster modified data protocol is finished, the app still allows 500)
Supported LED Types: WS2811, WS2812, WS2812B.  Also WS2813 but requires connector modification.




The App – ViVi VibeLink

Output adjustment and Setup tab screenshots

Initial Setup

Connecting to the App
  • Ensure ViVi has power.
  • Open the app and select the ViVi from the list, “VV-00xxx” or “ViVi-LED”.  If blank or missing ViVi press “SCAN” in the top right or swipe down from the top to re-scan.
  • Wait for the app connection to get to the “Ready” state.
  • Change tabs to adjust various settings.
Adjusting Strip Length
  • Go to the far right “SETUP” tab.
  • Use the + and – buttons or slider to adjust each strip’s # of LEDs to match your physical setup.  The strips automatically switch to an adjustment display that lights up the first LED, the center LED(s), and the last LED.  A few seconds after you stop making adjustments the lights return to normal operation.

General Options

Color Slider

Slide or tap to the color you desire.

Max Brightness Slider

Slide or tap to change the maximum brightness level the LEDs will reach.  This can help limit power consumption as well.

Color Option Drop Down Menu
  • Static Color – The color never changes, change manually with the color slider.
  • Change with Auto Animation – If the “Auto Animation Change” checkbox is checked, the color will change when the animation is automatically changed.
  • Change Every Beat – Each time a beat triggers an action the color will also change.
  • Occasional Quick Change – The color is occasionally switched instantly to a new color.  If music is playing the switch is synced with a beat hit.
  • Occasional Fade Change – The color is occasionally faded to a new color.
  • Continuous Fade SLOW – The color is continuously faded through all colors at a slow pace.
  • Continuous Fade FAST – The color is continuously faded through all colors at a fast pace.
Animation Options Drop Down Menu
  • No Prefix – These are standard animations that create effects from the related frequency range.
    • Blink – Whole strip all on or all off instantly with beat
    • Fade – Whole strip all on instantly with beat, fades to off
    • Strobe – Whole strip strobe light effect temporarily with a beat
    • Scale Brightness – Whole strip brightens or dims to match the beat
    • Scale Linear – LEDs light up from one end of the strip to towards the other based on the beat; like a VU meter
    • Lasers – Each beat triggers a “laser” to be fired, a group of lights travels down the strip
    • Sparkle Explosion – Each beat triggers the whole strip to erupt into a sparkle explosion; like a full stadium of camera flashes going off
    • Section Switch (Hard) – Sections of the strip turn on/off instantly with the beat
    • Section Flash (Soft) – Sections of the strip turn on instantly with the beat, fade to off
    • Scaled Scrolling – The brightness of the first LED of the strip is scaled to match the current beat, then moved down the strip, repeat
    • Magic Stick – Block of lit LEDs bounces back and forth between ends of the strip; speed/direction is altered by the beat
  • Mixed Prefix – These animations create effects based on all frequency ranges and show them all on the single output/strip.
    • Scaled Scrolling – The color is also changed to match different frequencies; bass only would produce a red section, all frequencies loud at one point would create a white section
    • Lasers – Different color, length, and speed lasers are created based on the frequency of the beat
  • Constant Prefix – These animations do not react to music.  Depending on the selected Color Option the color can still react to music and change.
    • On – Whole strip stays constantly on
    • Blink – Whole strip continuously turns instantly on then instantly off at a steady interval
    • Pulse – Whole strip continuously fades from full off to full on and repeats
    • Sparkle – Whole strip continuously produces a sparkling effect
    • Chasers – Groups of lit LEDs move down the strip continuously with fixed length and fixed spacing
    • Scroll – Changes are made on the first LED then locked and continuously moved down the strip; only noticeable if color is changing
Auto Animation Change Checkbox

When checked the animation will occasionally change to a random animation, the change will be synced to a beat hit.  Currently this changes through all music reactive animations.  You can still manually select an animation while this is checked and that animation will be shown for a period of time and then be automatically changed.

Noise Filter Level

This adjusts how much noise is filtered from the signal, 1 is least filtered, 5 is most filtered. In most cases you will never need to adjust this. If your input signal is very quiet and no effects are showing then turning this down may help. If there is lots of effects occurring when no music is playing then turning this up might help. When using a microphone you can adjust this depending on how loud the ambient noise is so it only picks up music. NOTE: This is a last resort, a clean input signal or a mic worn in a loud-music environment should not require adjusting this and when changed it typically makes no noticeable difference.  Check that you have a good input signal or proper mic placement before trying to adjust this.





Troubleshooting

For more assistance or bug reporting send an email to support@visualvibes.io

This page will be update regularly with more information, better guides, video tutorials, and FAQs, so check back soon.

ViVi Freezes when operating?

Cause: Too Much Power Through ViVi

LEDs turn red, animation stops

This is caused by drawing too much current through ViVi.  ViVi can only pass-through a maximum of 5 amps of continuous current. If this is exceeded a protective circuit shuts down the controller and any lit LEDs should turn red and the animation will freeze.

To reset unplug the power and wait 30 seconds, then plug back in. If ViVi sets the LEDs red and freezes too quickly, remove some LED strips before restoring power. Follow the guidelines below for creating a setup that does not exceed the power limits.

LED POWER SUPPLY GUIDELINES (amps per 100 LEDs at 5V):
1A per 100 LEDs – Music reactive animations, 100% brightness
2A per 100 LEDs – Constant on, all LEDs, assorted colors, 100% brightness
3A per 100 LEDs – Constant on, all LEDs, white, 100% brightness
Power consumption drops in relation to brightness, power consumption decreases faster than brightness, so, for example, LEDs set to 70% brightness will use 60% of the power compared to LEDs at 100% brightness.

To avoid this issue you can reduce brightness to use less power or you can add additional power directly to the LEDs (guide coming soon).

Cause: Power Supply Voltage Dropped Below 2.7V

Animation stops, LEDs remain colored

This is caused by the power supply voltage dropping too low.  Below 2.7V the main processor can create errors and corrupt the memory, ViVi automatically stops if this voltage is reached for even a fraction of a second.

This is a symptom of having an undersized power supply.  This is most common when using a USB power source, but could occur with any undersized supply.  See the guidelines below and ensure your power supply is rated for the number of amps your setup requires, if not, you can reduce the brightness to reduce power usage or buy a bigger power supply.

LED POWER SUPPLY GUIDELINES (amps per 100 LEDs at 5V):
1A per 100 LEDs – Music reactive animations, 100% brightness
2A per 100 LEDs – Constant on, all LEDs, assorted colors, 100% brightness
3A per 100 LEDs – Constant on, all LEDs, white, 100% brightness
Power consumption drops in relation to brightness, power consumption decreases faster than brightness, so, for example, LEDs set to 70% brightness will use 60% of the power compared to LEDs at 100% brightness.

ViVi Not Responding to Music?

Cause: Audio Cable Connection is Bad

Messing the with audio cables causes erratic response

Sometimes cables break, sometimes you just need to push the connector in a bit more.

For pre-orders from Kickstarter and Indiegogo we discovered a later batch of 3.5mm extensions and splitters had quality control issues; to resolve you need to pull the extension plug slightly out from the splitter, creating a ~1/8″ gap, rather than being fully inserted.  This is most likely to affect orders shipped during May and June.

Cause: Audio Source Volume is Not Optimal

ViVi is triggering almost constantly, but with the music (volume too high), or ViVi very rarely triggers, only on very loud sounds (volume too low)

For most audio sources (phone, computer, etc.) the best volume setting is between 50% – 80% to give ViVi a clear signal to evaluate.  Try to adjust the audio signal source to this range and then adjust your speakers amplifier separately to get the volume you want to hear.

Too low of volume makes sounds less defined and harder to differentiate from each other and any static on the line.

Too high of volume can sometimes distort the audio signal and cause many of the loudest (but different) sounds to all hit the same max output level rather than allowing more variation as the original recording intended.

Cause: Sound Level is Too Quiet for the Microphone

You are using the microphone but ViVi is not responding to the music playing.

The microphone on ViVi require the sound level at the microphone to be about 75dB, which is loud enough to make you need to raise your voice to hold a conversation, but not have to yell. 

If the volume is too quiet you can try placing the microphone closer to a speaker, even directly in front of it will be fine.  Or turn up the volume!

Cause: Microphone is being Moved or Hit

ViVi reacts, but not to the sound.

If the microphone is touched or moved along a surface it can create very loud sounds in the wind guard that ViVi detects, ViVi will then not respond to the quieter sounds detected that are actually the music (it will again after about 30 seconds of no touching).

Make sure the microphone is placed in a location where it will not be bumped into or moved.  Having it dangling in the air would be better than moving against a surface.  If you are wearing the microphone place it somewhere clothing or limbs will not brush against it, like the center of your chest or top of your head.


Bug Tracking

These issues are known and being worked on:

(1) If Noise Filter is set to 1, attempts to connect to ViVi via the app may fail.
— — This was never found in testing, but a few initially unsolved bug reports in August led to this discovery.  Exact cause is still unknown, but it is reproducible and should not be attempted.  Noise Filter adjustment was meant for special circumstance use, it does NOT adjust audio sensitivity; if you have problems with audio sensitivity review the troubleshooting section above.

(2) Sparkle Explosion animation won’t display beyond 255 LEDs.
— –Sparkle Explosion causes the software to freeze when generated for more than 255 LEDs, the length limit is a temporary fix until the underlying issue is resolved. If your strip is more than 255 LEDs only the first 255 will animate when this is the active animation.

(3) iOS App strip size adjustment is difficult to be exact.
— — The strip size adjustment uses a slider that can be difficult to set to an exact number.  It’s best to exceed your desired value by a few LEDs so the whole strip is filled.  Buttons to increment by one LED will be added in an update.