Music Hack Day Barcelona 2012

SoundCloud loves hack days. Our latest hack day adventure brought us to Music Hack Day in Barcelona and we thought we’d share a bit of the great experience we had there.

Music Hack Day Barcelona Venue Photo by Thomas Bonte

MHD Barcelona was organized by the Music Technology Group of Universitat Pompeu Fabra. The first event on the program was a pre-meeting where all hack day attendees were invited to the university to enter the research labs and see what is under development. Several great projects were demoed including the Reactable (pictured below), and a melody extraction algorithm that when ran extracted a main melody out of a song with several instruments. Fed back into a vocalizer the computer generated singing was eerily, impressively human.

The Reactable Photo by Thomas Bonte

The MTG had arranged that Music Hack Day would happen within the Sonar music festival and so the hacking venue was surrounded by music-goers of all kinds and the thumping bass of some of the world’s best new artists. Working on your hack while Flying Lotus or Jacques Greene are playing several steps away proved to be one of the most challenging parts of the event but when the clock ran down to zero and all hacks had to be in 41 projects had made it to the wiki and were “ready” for demoing.

The Final Countdown Photo by Music Technology Group

The quality of projects completed in such a short time span was really impressive - a sentiment repeated in other articles like The Next Web’s review of the event. Our favorites:

Jamming Invasion - Winners of the SoundCloud prize of 400 Euros towards travel to the next Music Hack Day this hack was a Space Invaders style of game that used SoundCloud tracks and frequency analysis to generate the enemies. The demo was great and you could really see the effect the levels of the music had on the gameplay.

[Free(CC)it!](\)it!) - This was an incredibly clever hack that took a normal music track, analysed it and then built another replacement track out of the closest matching samples from the FreeSound archive. The idea and analysis behind this was really inspiring.

Legalize It! - This hack was an app inside of Spotify that used the Music Metric API to gather the latest quite literally “hot” tracks from torrent sites and then mapped them to available tracks on Spotify so that you can listen to the latest and greatest legally

AriHits - A tilt-controlled iPhone beat machine on that mashed up an instrumental track and a vocal track from SoundCloud. An inspired performance that had heads nodding to the beat.

Tunemap - A very impressive music visualisation that mapped Echnoest and Deezer music info. Incredibly polished for the short time frame the hackers had to work on it.

So to wrap up this post we would like to again thank the amazing organizers of this event. We are crossing our fingers that they decide to organize the same again next year, and if so, we will see you all back in beautiful Barcelona.