The matrices use a driver chip that does all the heavy lifting for you: They have a built in clock so they multiplex the display. They use constant-current drivers for ultra-bright, consistent color, 1/16 step display dimming, all via a simple I2C interface. The backpacks come with address-selection jumpers so you can connect up to four mini 8x8's or eight 7-segments/bicolor (or a combination, such as four mini 8x8's and two 7-segments and two bicolor, etc) on a single I2C bus.
The product kit comes with:
A bit of soldering is required to attach the matrix onto the backpack but its very easy to do and only takes about 5 minutes.
You can download the libraries for Arduino here by Adafruit.
You can also visit this tutorial page from Adafruit for the Piccolo Music Visualizer.
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