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Backstage Blog October 8th, 2010 Events Hacks Music Hack Day Barcelona By Johan

Team SoundCloud Hacking at Music Hack Day Barcelona

Team SoundCloud hacking at Music Hack Day Barcelona

Last weekend a team of SoundCloud attended Music Hack Day Barcelona. This blog post is going to talk about what a Music Hack Day is and how we experienced the one in Barcelona.

At a Music Hack Day people from around the world gather to spend 24 hours hacking on music and tech. Projects can range from connecting APIs and creating new webapps to building new instruments or mashup audio. The first Music Hack Day happened in London in July 2009 and since then already Music Hack Days took place around the world in cities like Berlin, Amsterdam, Boston, Stockholm and San Francisco. A lot of cool projects were created and a lot of people had tons of fun together. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the newspaper that was printed for the last Music Hack Day in London. The interviews on page 4 offer a great insight into the Music Hack Day ecosystem. All Music Hack Days are free for the participants and financed by sponsors. Free food and drinks is supplied for the hackers.


Music Hack Day Barcelona started for us with a flight from Berlin to Barcelona on Friday. Unfortunately we missed the traditional pre-hack-meet-and-drink that night. On Saturday the Hack Day was opened by a nice breakfast. Afterwards companies like, MuseScore and Canoris showcased their APIs. After lunch the hacking started. This means that there is people staring at their laptop screens everywhere and in irregular intervals you hear somebody saying “This is so cool” or “What the fuck?”. We started hacking as well, i’ll talk about our projects later in this post. Fairly regular other hackers came to our table to get support for our API, grab stickers and a T-Shirt or just have a nice chat with us. And we love that!


Evening Concert

Sleepy Hacker

After lunch concerts started outside which where a pleasant change to the hardcore hacking going on in the main hall. Some hackers stayed overnight, working on their hacks or just hanging around. Monday morning kicked-off with the realization that there were only six hours left to finish the hacks. Tension increased in the hall as everyone tried to get their hack in a demo-able state. In the end 34 hacks were submitted. During the final presentations the hackers got 5 minutes each to present their hack, which often was accompanied by a cheering crowd. Afterwards the best hacks were awarded with prices including tickets for Sonar and an iPad.

Preparing for Demos

We presented three hacks:

Our hacks are still in a very beta stadium. You can try them now, but expect proper announcements once we finished them.

Reactable Workshop

Hacking is one aspect of a Music Hack Day. Another one is workshops. People give in-depth presentations and offer hands-on workshops. Past topics include Arduino, Android Audio and a massive amount of incredibly cool APIs. And last but not least, a Music Hack Day is a great way to get to know cool and likeminded people. Everybody at a Music Hack Day is super-nice and very approachable. Everyone wants to share their knowledge and help-out each other. The atmosphere at a Music Hack Day sports a great community feeling.

Music Hack Day Equipment: Laptop/Internet/Drink/Food

The next Music Hack Day will happen in Boston next weekend. And be assured that more are currently in planning. Follow @musichackday on Twitter for more announcements on that and subscribe to the Music Hack Day main page’s RSS feed. If you think your city deserves a Music Hack Day as well, then you should organize one! We will be there :)

Photos by thomasbonte and hermzz under cc-by-sa