During Midem 2015 25 hackers got together from all around the world to take part in a 48-hour hackathon, building music hacks to be demoed on the Innovation Factory on Sunday; my hack was Robot Drops.

My hack was ‘Robot Drops’ which was software inspired by Grand Wizzard Theodore, a DJ who mastered the art of ‘needle drops’, which you can see in this incredible film on YouTube: grand wizard theodore needle drop. Robot Drops analyses an MP3, chops it up into musically-meaningful phrases and then allows you to trigger these to create a live ‘mix’. I’m also mixing in some other samples (a kick drum and vocal loops) to augment the live mix.

Robot Drops

Robot Drops uses the Echonest API to perform an analysis of an MP3, which is then used to chop up the MP3 into bars and assign these to various buttons of a Novation Launchpad. The bars that Echonest are ‘confident’ about are selected over others. The green lights on the launchpad are available clips, yellow are played-clips and red are unused buttons.

Robot Drops

As I also wanted drum tracks (in case the original track didn’t have much of a beat) so I also built Donk As A Service during the hackday which is a web service which you can use to build dynamic drum tracks by requesting a type of instrument (kick, clap, donk) and a BMP and DAAS will generate you a 4/4 drum-loop of that instrument.

Below is a demo video using Beastie Boys’ Ch-Check It Out.

Warning, it has swears in it! ;)

Code on Github: