Tech Tock. Get ready for a 48 hour hustle to create the sounds of tomorrow.

What Is
Hack the Hits

Red Bull Hack the Hits challenges the boundaries of music technology by providing tomorrow’s leaders in engineering and programming the chance to create, collaborate, and learn in a unique 48 hour hackathon. Finalists will be flown to the mecca of new ideas, San Francisco, to create mind-blowing prototypes while working side-by- side with other students from around the country and today’s leaders in experimental sound.

The 2017 registration window is now officially closed. Thank you to everyone who applied. Please stay tuned for more information on finalists and the main event.

Photos From Last Years Event

Our Mentors

Ready to hack the future of sound? Meet the masterminds who will be on-site to share their experience and skills with this year’s participants.


photo Jen Fedrizzi

History notes only a handful of artists who successfully pushed the limits - both with their music and with the design of their musical instruments. What Bach was to the keyboard and Hendrix was to the guitar, Moldover is to the controller. Disillusioned with press play DJs, Moldover fans eagerly welcome elevtronic musics return to virtuosity, improvisation, and emotional authenticity. Dig deeper into Moldovers world and you'll uncover a subversive cultural icon who is jolting new life into physical media with Playable Packaging, sparking beautiful collaborations with his custom Jamboxes, and drawing wave after wave of followers with an open-source approach to sharing his methods and madness.


Rich DDT is a live electronic musician, interactive installation artist and event producer. While breaking the mold of traditional music and art, you can find him repurposing the latest technology to create an awe-inspiring, open and supportive environment for human connection and inspiration. As lead organizer & visionary of LoveTech, creator of the Digital Jam Lounge and designer of art installations featured at The Exploratorium, The Tech Museum of Innovation and CA Academy of Sciences, he has brought community and creativity to the adventurous and curious among us. He is also a skilled purveyor of futuristic beats & Detonator of Dance Tracks in live electronic music performance, springing the dancefloor to life with his custom ControlliTAR. Currently he is specializing in multiplayer installation design, providing experiences that encourage collaborative group creativity with improvised electronic music and projected, motion reactive immersive environments.


Ean Golden is a music pioneer that has played a major role in developing digital djing throughout the world. Along with popularizing controllerism and modern dj technology through his influential site:, he was the lead designer on many popular dj products including the Dicer, S4, VCI-100 SE, Midi-Fighter and many more. Through the global community he built and his viral performance/education videos which have gained over 35 million views, Ean Golden has inspired the next generation of Dj's for years to come. Today Ean continues to test the boundaries of what a dj can do live, effortlessly blending controllers, drum machines, genre's and technology into one seamless improvised performance that walks line between futurist musician and dj.


photo Bobby Lucynpm

Terry Dame is a composer, sound artist, multi-instrumentalist, instrument inventor and educator. Her current work involves creating and performing with interactive sensor-driven musical instruments, sculptures and installations. From 1998-2012 she led the percussion-based ensemble Electric Junkyard Gamelan performing original compositions on self-invented instruments. Dame also has an active career composing for film and dance, currently collaborating with choreographer Karole Armitage on a new piece premiering October 2017. Dame is an alumni of the Sundance Institute Composer Lab and has received support from HarvestWorks, Fractured Atlas, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, NYSCA and Meet the Composer. She holds an MFA in Composition and Performance from the California Institute of the Arts. Dame is currently on faculty at the School of Visual Arts and Marymount Manhattan College in NYC.


photo Maximus Clark

Julie Covello aka DJ Shakey is a pioneer in the live electronic music as both the co-creator of the term "Controllerism" and as the founder and director of the influential Warper Party 2005-present (NYs largest monthly electronic music showcase). Shakey is currently part of New York Citys DJ elite, he has spun at virtually every metro area nightclub that contributes to the culture and has been rated on of the top 15 event DJs in New York.

The Teams

Hack Team 1


Carnegie Mellon



University of Southern California

Arts, Technology, Business


SUNY Purchase

Studio Composition

Hack Team 2


UC Riverside

Computer Engineering


Flordia Institute of Technology

Computer Engineering


New York University

Computer Science/Music Technology

Hack Team 3


New York University

Music Technology


University of Colorado, Boulder

Technology Arts


Georgia Tech

Mechanical Engineering

Hack Team 4


University of Colorado, Boulder

Technology Arts


New York University

Music Technology


University of South Florida

Electrical Engineering

Hack Team 5


Seattle University

Computer Science


Carnegie Mellon

Music Technology


Brooklyn College

Sonic Arts



This hack has to make music, right? How well can an artist incorporate the sounds from your hack into a performance or studio session?


There's a lot of music tech out there. How well does your hack stand out next to all the other tech out there?


Making music should be easy. Can anyone pick up your hack and start playing quickly?

Our Judges

Usability, musicality and innovation are paramount. These innovators in music and sound tech are all ears – and will determine which finalist team will be named the winner of Red Bull Hack the Hits.


The duo of Mikey Rocks (born Antoine Reed) and Chuck Inglish (Evan Ingersoll) met in mid-2005 after Mikey came across some of Chuck's beats online and liked what he heard. They linked-up in Chicago with the intention of making beats to sell to other artists, but soon realized their own measured, smooth flows and lyrics fit best over their production. They released their debut, the Bake Sale EP, in January 2008. Their full-length album When Fish Ride Bicycles would follow in 2011. After a hiatus that saw Chuck and Mikey each expand upon their individual musical and artistic pursuits, The Cool Kids are back with their new LP Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe.
The album features the same barrier-breaking, revolutionary hip hop that cemented their status as legends in the first place along with a new-school high-gloss finish.


Collecting remarkable music and sharing it with the world is the lifeblood of Blaise James. A DJ and culture curator, Blaise has performed globally on four continents at events including Boiler Room (Shanghai), Ultra Music Festival (Miami) and notable clubs like Output (New York) and Village Underground (London), and was recently named one of Billboard's Dance Power Players for 2017. Blaise is Co-owner of inventive label OWSLA, where he has worked alongside Skrillex since 2012 releasing music from artists such as Jack U, Skream, Alex Metric, Porter Robinson, and dozens more. Blaise was previously the Director of Artist Relations at music streaming service Grooveshark, which hit its peak with over 30 million users worldwide in 2011. When he's not creating music or disrupting the music/tech space, Blaise is admittedly a health & fitness nerd and world traveler, currently based in Europe.


photo Suzanne Strong

Alluxe wields power. She sends you to emotional depths, standing onstage over her controller, unleashing hard-hitting beats, loops and grooves that cut through on impact. There's even a high chance she's already affected without your knowledge: the supremely talented artist, producer, DJ, controllerist, violinist and live show designer has programmed and designed groundbreaking shows for some of the biggest names in music from Kanye West to Drake, The Weeknd to Bon Iver. Alluxe presents a unique kind of electronic music performance with her new show "Transmute": a one-woman electronic orchestra. By pairing violin work and ambrosial vocals with custom controllers and launching lighting and video elements in real time, Alluxe unfurls mesmerizing layers of electronic tones as the shows melodic theme interweaves and morphs throughout. Cinematic, expansive, and transformative, the show is an immersive audiovisual experience, merging analog and digital worlds, performance art, and musical improvisation.


Gil Weinberg is a professor in Georgia Techs School of Music and the founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, where he leads the Robotic Musicianship group. His research focuses on developing artificial creativity and musical expression for robots and augmented humans. Among his projects are a marimba playing robotic musician called Shimon that uses machine learning for jazz improvisation, and a prosthetic robotic arm for amputees that restores and enhances human drumming abilities. Weinberg has presented his work worldwide in venues such as The Kennedy Center, The World Economic Forum, Ars Electronica, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum, SIGGRAPH, TED-Ed, DLD and others. His music has been performed with orchestras such as Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the National Irish Symphony Orchestra, and the Scottish BBC Symphony while his research has been disseminated through numerous journal articles and patents. Weinberg received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT and his B.A. from the interdisciplinary program for fostering excellence in Tel Aviv University.


San Francisco's MIKE RELM is best known for his audio and video mash-ups, in his live concerts and broadcast work. Part director, part electronic music producer, Relm has introduced the world to a style that truly echoes the fever-pitched pace of modern entertainment while paying homage to classic filmmakers and musicians.

The Event

Competition Dates:

November 9-11th, 2017

San Francisco,

If you can prototype it, you can make it at this 17,000 sq ft facility packed with cutting-edge tools, equipment, and computers and a hands-on team ready to train you according to your team’s vision. You’ll learn new skills as a maker while building alongside your mentor and team- and enjoy access to a full-access TechShop membership for the duration of the competition.

2017-11-09 0:00:00 2017-11-11 23:59:59 America/Los_Angeles Red Bull Hack The Hits This hackathon will encourage students to use tools like Ableton, Leap Motion, and musical instruments to develop a new way to play a sound. Techshop San Francisco, CA Matthew Partida at Red Bull

The Spoils

Grand Prize

The team with the highest score from our panel of judges will win a trip to Austin, Texas in March 2018. Each member will score an unforgettable opportunity to take their Red Bull Hack the Hits project to the next level and collaborate with musicians and tech influencers — while having a good ol’ time in the live music capitol of the world.

Team's Choice

The Team’s Choice Award is a prize awarded by the actual participants to the team they feel is most deserving. Each member of the winning team will go home with an Inventables X-Carve, a 3d carving machine capable of carving complex designs into wood, plastic and soft metal and more.


It needs to make a sound. And that sound should be able to make music.

Prizes, meeting influential people in the tech & music industry - and of course - recognition amongst your classmates.

We gotchu! For real - we'll cover all your costs to get out here and focus on creating a changing music making tech for the better.

We've got you there, too. We will stock raw building materials and some specialty hardware. Also, each team will be given a materials stipend to use at their discretion.

Yes - we'll have some instruments for you to choose from. But we recommend bringing your own as well. This is a perfect time to dig up that trumpet you stored away after high school.

For sure! What's a party without your homies!? We'll open up RSVPs as soon as the teams are announced.

No, you can have a rough idea of what you want to build. However, everything must be clearly created onsite during the competition window.

We recommend bring any of your favorite tools - especially your lucky soldering iron.