I can’t believe how far I’d managed to go in one day. I wired up a 3×3 LED matrix and started testing some codes. I made sure that the coding is expandable for bigger matrices so that I could easily modify it for my light panel. I used the 2D array method for update the matrix and a byte converter to use direct port manipulation and everything was smooth as ice. So much so that I have started with some test animation functions (simple ones that draws a cross-hair or randomly flashes the LEDs). I have also settled on a LM358 operational amplifier for the VU meter. I will try to interface it with a little Sony stereo mic I have lying around (not sure if the mic works though).