Ever wonder what happens in your brain when you listen to music?
The answer is synchrony.
This is what enables us to hear the beat, recognize rhythmic patterns, and dance to music.
Synchrony™ is the only LED controller that uses a state-of-the-art neural network that synchronizes its internal rhythms to the rhythms of music so that it can hear music the way people do. In a way, it enables you to visualize what is happening in your brain when you listen to music.
When the beauty and versatility of LED lights meets a state-of-the-art neural network that listens to music the result is a spontaneous, spectacular display of dynamic, dancing lights.
Synchrony™ is easy to use and affordable. It can be customized using the Synchrony™ App (connects via Bluetooth 4.0 LE).
- Synchrony™ Controller: The world’s first neural network LED controller
- LED Strips or Strings: High quality, durable, waterproof LEDs
- The Synchrony™ App: Software that lets you customize your experience
Other LED music controllers react in simple ways to sounds, or they require lots of user programming. Synchrony™ revolutionizes LED visualization using patented technology that listens to music and creates stunning synchronized lighting effects.
“They're psychic... and psychedelic!” ~Tom McCaffrey, Guitarist, Civilians, (Brooklyn, NY)
“[A]n exciting, new lighting product” ~Dan Levitin, Author of “This is Your Brain on Music”
“Whether you want to have your own personal dance party, decorate for the holidays, or light up a band performance, this could be just the thing to make it spectacular!” ~Hackster.io
“...a more immersive experience for your audience” ~Joey Santos, Digital DJ Tips
Synchrony™ is perfect for bringing your music to life indoors and outdoors
- Perfect for musicians and DJs who want an easy, portable, and affordable synchronized light show
- Great for music lovers who want to experience the excitement of a concert-quality light show at home
- Create stunning lighting effects for your party and amaze your friends with lights that dance
- Decorate indoors or outdoors with lights that enliven your holiday music
- No user programming required
- Water-resistant and durable
The Science Behind Synchrony™
syn•chro•ny – a state in which things happen or move at the same time.
Synchrony is found everywhere in the natural world: it is brought about by the adjustment of biological or physical rhythms to one another. It can be observed in the flashing of fireflies in southeast Asia, in the rhythmic pumping of heart cells, in the stimulated emission of photons that produces laser beams, and in the firing of neurons in our brains.
The science behind this technology began with a simple idea: What if people’s perception of rhythm depends upon the synchronization of their brains' rhythms? In fact, people’s brain rhythms synchronize to the rhythms of music, the rhythms of speech, and even the rhythms of non-auditory events in our environment. Using this knowledge, we created a product that simulates the way humans hear music in order to create amazing visualizations that outshine anything else on the market!
Synchrony™ versus the Competition
Other lighting systems either flash light based on basic qualities of individual sounds, such as loudness, require the user to program a light show ahead of time, or require a lighting designer to operate the controls in real time. Also, most require digital musical input.
Synchrony™ is different. Our neural network technology simulates human brain responses to music. It uses a built-in microphone to hear live or recorded music (AUX input is also available). While our design makes it easy to use, the resulting light show feels like having a lighting designer in the room with you, listening to your favorite music and creating a spontaneous light show in real time.
The Neural Network Inside Synchrony™
What makes Synchrony™ unique is an advanced neural network that synchronizes its internal oscillations to music, just like the human brain. This allows it to anticipate, and respond to each note based on the musical context. We map the output of the network directly to the LEDs, resulting in a light show that makes musical sense. Also, because we use a dynamic neural network, not a simple algorithm, Synchrony™ never responds to a song exactly the same way twice. Like every experience listening to a song is different for us, every experience with Synchrony™ is unique.
The following animation shows our 2 dimensional neural oscillator network synchronizing to music.
Early prototypes of Synchrony™ only visualized the beat and meter of the music. For some music, these visual patterns were simple and repetitive. We wanted more. Now, Synchrony™ visualizes many aspects of the music, including the individual notes, beat, meter, rhythmic changes, and song sections (form). Synchrony™ anticipates and responds based on the musical context. This creates a light show that makes musical sense to any music. You can try it with your favorite song - you will be amazed!
Patterns and Decorating
In our video, all of the takes are the actual real-time responses of the lights listening to the music you hear in the video (except for 1:10 to 1:17).
At the beginning of the video, before the music begins, the lights twinkle randomly - this is only one possibility of various default patterns, including a steady on display. The music-listening mode can be turned off via the app.
In the video, once the drums kick in, Synchrony™ quickly locks onto the musical beat (about 0:07). All visual variations after that are responses to changing rhythmic structures in the music. You can select a pattern that will match the music’s mood in order to create a perfect ambiance. For the Civilians’ “Funk The Dumb Stuff”, we chose sprightly, animated patterns. In the patio scenes and the Christmas scene, you can see more subtle, delicate patterns.
The LED strips and strings can be arranged in different spatial layouts to showcase the many patterns that Synchrony™ can generate. Also, because Synchrony™ responds to music somewhat differently each time, two controllers listening to the same music might synchronize to different musical features. For the video, we filmed 17 different responses to "Funk the Dumb Stuff" and cut between them to show the different effects that you can get.
We also wanted to show off the sheer beauty of the LEDs. We arranged them in different shapes, experimenting with the resulting reflected light. Once you bring the lights into your home, you too will want to experiment with spatial arrangements, backgrounds, and reflections to get the coolest effects!
Here are two LEDs doubled up back-to-back on white leatherette under glass:
One of our favorite patterns is the droplet pattern. Think of the note as a stone being dropped in a pond, and the beat as the wave that emanates from the center. Arranging the strips in this configuration emphasizes the analogy to waves in a pond:
Synchrony™ strips and strings are versatile so that you can decorate in a variety of ways! This gorgeous center piece was designed, using our LED strips, by Stefanie Acevedo (a music theorist who helped us out a lot on this project and consulted on the video. Thanks Stefanie!). She also used the string lights to create the light net over the patio (seen in the main video) — perfect decor for an evening listening to relaxing tunes or jamming at an outdoor dance party!
Synchrony™ is easy to use and install. Just plug it in, turn the music on, and have fun!
Synchrony listens to music through its built-in microphone or AUX port. You can select colors and patterns right on the box. No user programming is required.
The LED strips and strings are easy to hang up, easy to take down, and portable. Hardware is provided for permanent installation, or you can use mini hooks (pictured here) to make it easy to take down and bring with you.
- Listens to Music Live
- Any Rhythm, Any Style, Any Instrument
- High-Quality, Water Resistant Lights
- LED Strip or String Light Options
- Multiple Pattern and Color Options
- Customizable with the Synchrony™ App
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
How to Connect Your LED's
One Synchrony™ controller can drive up to 300 LED pixels in one run and 600 total. That is equivalent to 4 of our LED strips or 12 LED strings. Each LED strip contains 150 pixels and the strings contain 50. Splitters cables can be used to attach multiple runs and create more diverse patterns.
Each Synchrony™ controller has buttons for manually changing patterns and colors but our app lets you personalize your light show.
- Color: Pick any color you want! Our LED's can display any color combination of red, green, and blue.
- Patterns: Customize your pattern list.
- Brightness: From club to bedroom you can set exactly the brightness you need.
Also, you can select from one of several modes:
- Music: This is what Synchrony™ does best.
- Single color: Some times you just want a little light. We understand. You can tell Synchrony™ to just display a single color.
- Color fade: Transition smoothly between 4 colors. You control the speed.
- Pattern demo: Love our patterns but can't listen to music? No problem. This mode plays the current pattern at whatever speed you like.
- Ambient: A custom-made chill pattern for when you just want a bit of ambience.
We want to thank CIVILIANS for giving us their time, feedback, and for allowing us to use their music in our video. These guys are a powerful new voice in the NYC music scene and watching them give Synchrony™ a workout with the rhythmic complexity of their music was amazing. You guys are the best!
We also want to thank Susan Jacob, our videographer (and a recent University of Connecticut MBA graduate), who donated much of her time to help us stay within our startup budget. Filming Synchrony™ can be challenging, especially when you can only film a few takes! The strips and strings can be arranged in an infinite number of configurations, and Synchrony™ will always a slightly different response. But Susan did it. In the video, the patterns you see are the actual real-time responses of the lights listening to the music you hear. Thanks Susan!
Thanks also to our intern Adam Ragusa, a Master's student in business at the University of Connecticut.
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Risks and challenges
We have had a number Synchrony™ controller prototypes and LEDs working in various conditions for the past few months. The iOS app is 75% complete. This leaves our knowledgable engineering team with plenty of time to address any unforeseen challenges.
We are working with a reputable manufacturer to produce and design the final version of the board and enclosure. This greatly reduces production risk. Furthermore, the initial engineering phase has already begun and we are well on track to having the production run submitted before the holiday rush. Our agreement includes several runs of prototypes which we will use to guarantee a high quality final product.
The LED strip and string designs are based on an existing manufacturer's product. They do not require any additional engineering time or extra-ordinary production costs.
The LED lights are water resistant. The water-resistance level of the controller is under active engineering discussion. The rating of the light strips/strings will not be effected, nor will we let this effect the production schedule for the controller.
Synchrony™ uses a pre-certified Bluetooth module to eliminate the need for FCC radio certification. The third-party manufacturer is well versed with all additional certifications that are needed and will be handling them as part of the manufacturing agreement.
The app will lead on the iOS platform. We may simultaneously release an Android version depending on the initial response to the Synchrony™ campaign. Otherwise an Android version will follow in the future.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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