Location: Red Bull's "Hack the Hits" Hackathon; Tech Shop, San Francisco, CA
Project Members: Gustavo J Correa, Jaye Sosa, Christopher Woodle
In October of 2017, I had the opportunity to attend an incredible 48-hour hackathon in San Francisco, CA hosted by Red Bull called "Hack the Hits" hackathon. The hackathon took place at a makerspace called the "Tech Shop" where Red Bull and the Tech Shop provided the hackers with plentiful cash, tools, and mentorship to create music technology. The goal of the hackathon was to combine music and technology to create a new instrument or entertainment experience.
My team was called "6AM Vibes", and consisted of 3rd year Jaye Sosa from New York University (CS and Music Tech, NYU), 4th year Chris Woodle from the Florida Institute of Technology (Computer Engineering), and myself. Our project was called "Kinect4 - Human Music Sequencer", and the goal for our team was to create a human music beat sequencer. Rather than using a touch screen interface or physical objects as the medium to represent the musical notes, we decided to enable people to create the music. We wanted to create a collaborative experience that people of all skill levels could enjoy so the implementation had to be as seamless and intuitive as possible.
Our implementation consisted of using a Microsoft Kinect camera, Processing programming library, and a graphical user interface made with web languages. The Kinect camera was used to capture the person's position, while the Processing programming language was used to process the Kinect video footage, overlay a 3x4 grid on the video footage, and display the person's location. Web languages were used to create the graphical user interface (top left image) which displayed the music sequencer. Sampled sound bytes (i.e., bass drum, high-hat) were assigned to each location in the grid and the music sequencer would trigger the sound wherever the person stood amongst the grid of sound bytes.
The best part of the night was inviting the judges and watching them create music during the presentation (right bottom image).