Today is the start of the Musical Instrument Challenge. This newest part of the 2018 Hackaday Prize asks you to go far beyond what we’re used to seeing from modern musical instrumentation. Twenty entries will be awarded $1,000 each and go on to compete in the final round of the Hackaday Prize.
Imagine music without the electric guitar amp, violin, two turntables and a microphone, the electric drum pad, or in the absence of autotune. Maybe that last one made you groan, but autotune is a clever use of audio manipulation and when used to augment the music (rather than just to correct off-key voices) it shows its value as a new tool for creativity.
Musicians have always been hackers. The story of Brian May’s handmade guitar — the Red Special — is one of not being able to buy it, so he built it. Unlocking emotion in the listener has always meant finding new and different ways to use sound. This is a natural motivator to re-imagine and invent new ways of doing that. That first hand-built guitar got him in the door, but iterative improvements to the tremolo bar, the pickups, and even just the mechanical engineering of the neck made it a new instrument that you’ve heard in every Queen performance since.
So what’s next? What does a brand new instrument, interface, tool, or trick look like? That’s what we want to see from this Hackaday Prize challenge. From instrument makers to the people who write software for sampling, synthesizing, sequencing, and manipulating sound, we’re looking for things that let others make music. These creations are the tools of the trade that help more people unlock their musical creativity. Show off your work by sharing all the details of your design, and demonstrate the music you can make with it.
You have until October 8th to put your entry up on Hackaday.io. The top twenty entries will each get $1,000 and go on to the finals where cash prizes of $50,000, $20,000, $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 await.
25 thoughts on “Let The Musical Instrument Challenge Begin!”
I have the most incredible air guitar, just plain awesome! There’s nothing like it. Did i win?
Pfft, wait ’til you see my glorious air keyboard.
I see your guitar and keyboard and will raise you one air keytar!
ok… so the winner has been decided?
We need to see your system diagram and a picture of the aparatus :-D
Also, Blecky entered an Air Guitar so it’s certainly out there already: https://hackaday.io/project/87794-litar-lidar-air-guitar
I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment.
Creating a MIDI interface for that air guitar, and then you’d have something.
That’s easy. All you need is an interface to a TENS unit.
Pffft that is nothing compared to the dulcet tones of my flatuphone.
Carefull now, I’ve got an idea with IMUs and flex sensors (think better Nintendo Powerglove) to make a real air guitar/drumkit .
Can’t you do it with one or more cameras?
Lets Petition Brian May to be an honrorary judge for this round like now!
Or James May for the keyboard and recorder entries.
I nominate this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvUU8joBb1Q
He’s working on a new “Marble Machine X”, maybe he could submit it if he can finish it on time.
He already won the internet, let somebody else have a try at it.
Hmmm, might have to add some bells & whistles (sic) as I’ve considered using the small lake that I live on as a reverb chamber…
As a person with no experience in hardware, can I for a team with members of hackaday ?
What experience do you have? Software? Un-encumbered by any? And where do you live? What region do you live, because shipping hardware is expensive and timezone etc.
I am using Unity 3D a game engine, and a reliable sound plugin like Pd or Juice…
Since its all software, i thought it wouldnt be problematic .
Of course! Put up a project page with the ideas you have a for a build and a call for others to join the project. As in Hack Chat, there’s also a music chat that might be a good place to ask around: https://hackaday.io/project/158838
I joined it ,thanks
The last time I tried to make a musical instrument involved explosives and an army base….
All I got was A sharp Major!!!!
Being from the cold weather I learned early that music and the icy sidewalk can be similar. If you don’t C sharp, you’ll B flat.
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