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Published on August 20th, 2018 | by Guest Contributor


Red Bull ‘Hack The Hits’ Now Accepting Applications

Red Bull Hack the Hits, a one-of-a-kind music tech hackathon experience taking place October 12-15 in Chicago is now accepting applications from accredited college students across the U.S. Red Bull Hack the Hits, now in its third year, will kick off the city’s annual Chicago Ideas Week.  Applications must be received by September 20, 2018.

Red Bull Hack the Hits is an event that brings together technology students and collegiate musicians from across the nation for a common goal: to engineer and prototype a piece of musical performance technology that has never been imagined before.

“Sparking innovation in music and sound technology is critically important to drive new musical genres forward, especially now where we’ve seen an explosion of efforts to bring AI into electronic music,” said Gil Weinberg, Founding Director, Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology.  “With Red Bull Hack the Hits, the students receive a supportive platform and environment to truly experiment and create a groundbreaking piece of musical performance technology that may influence generations to come.”

Individuals with backgrounds in engineering, music theory, sound technology and software development are encouraged to apply. Fifteen handpicked finalists will fly to Chicago in October where they will be grouped together in five, three-person teams based on their skill sets and backgrounds. They will then concept, collaborate and create for 48 hours, developing a new music performance technology.

The 2016 Red Bull Hack the Hits winners, The Winning Pitch, created an electronic stringed instrument with an audiovisual controller.  The 2017 winners, The Dream Team, developed the Machine Elf, an analog performance instrument that senses tilt and angle in 3D space to control the tone and pitch of its sound.

Each team will have access to a panel of expert mentors to provide guidance on the team’s creation. This year’s mentors include Moldover, the godfather of Controllerism and creator of Octomasher; Terry Dame, noted composer, multi-instrumentalist and instrument designer; and, Laura Escudé, musician, controllerist and Founder/CEO of Electronic Creatives, a music and technology consulting firm.

Judging the inventions in front of the live audience will be The Dream Team, 2017 Red Bull Hack the Hits winners; Gil Weinberg, Founding Director, Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology; DJ Shakey, a pioneer in the live electronic music scene and co-creator of the term “Controllerism;” and Jamila Woods, a talented Chicago-based soul singer, songwriter and poet, who also serves as the Associate Artistic Director for Young Chicago Authors.

The teams will be judged on three criteria: usability, musicality and innovation. By impressing the judges, the Red Bull Hack the Hits winners can receive the Grand Prize, an all-expense paid trip to a music festival. Finalists can earn high end tools by winning the Team Choice Award, which is awarded by their fellow finalists.

The Red Bull Hack the Hits finale event will take place on October 15th from 3PM to 5:30PM at mHUB, a state of the art makerspace and co-working space located at 965 W Chicago Ave. Tickets are $15 and will be sold at

For more information and to apply, visit

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