element14 Community launches Music Tech Design Challenge

15 competitors will use BeagleBone technology to create connected musical devices to manipulate audio

element14, the world’s largest electronic design community, has launched its latest Design Challenge – the Music Tech Challenge. Sponsored by BeagleBoard.org Foundation and CadSoft, element14 challenges Community members to build a musical device that can enable and extend the ability to manipulate audio.

With a topic as universal as music, The Music Tech Challenge is a competition any engineer can relate to.  Today’s increased access to electronic hardware and software gives engineers the opportunity to create their own soundtracks. We’re excited to see how the competitors will use popular electronic components to build new musical devices that could influence the music industry.
Dianne Kibbey, Globah Head of Content and Community, element14

element14 will accept applications for the Music Tech Challenge from now until 7th December, and finalists will be chosen based on the designs proposed. Participants are required to use the BeagleBone Black in their design, but are encouraged to also incorporate additional components from the Musical Tech Kit provided by element14.

We’re excited to provide the competitors in the Music Tech Challenge with the BeagleBone Black to create innovative musical devices. The music industry is constantly changing and looking for new methods of sound effect manipulation and the BeagleBone Black is the perfect platform for experimenting with these methods.”
Christine Long, Executive Director, BeagleBoard.org Foundation

On 14th December, element14 will announce those members who were selected to receive the free Kit – although the Design Challenge is open to anyone using a BeagleBone Black. All Challengers will have until 14th March to create their builds. element14 will provide each participant with the open source BeagleBone Black, and a 1-year license for the ECAD-MCAD Product Design Suite, including: Autodesk Fusion 360, CadSoft EAGLE Pro, and Simplified Solutions IDF-to-3D Conversion.

Entries will be judged on originality, innovation and technical merit. The winner will be announced on 29th March. Each of the 15 competitors will also provide weekly updates on their progress through blog posts, photos and videos via the element14 Community.

This challenge comes on the heels of element14’s Engineering a Connected World initiative which included a study that found, among other things, that the growth and support of the open source development community has made the tools, instruments and technology to create music more widely accessible than ever before. The program, of which the report is a part, is designed to drive innovation by connecting engineers to powerful new ideas, the latest technologies and to each other, and to make the ordinary, extraordinary.

To learn more about the Music Tech Challenge and to submit an entry, visit http://element14.com/musictech.


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Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) is a global leader in the high service distribution of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, production, maintenance and repair. Trading as Farnell element14 in Europe, Newark element14 in North America and element14 across Asia Pacific, the company had sales last year of £960m. The Group is supported by a global supply chain of more than 3,000 suppliers and an inventory profile developed to anticipate and meet its customers’ needs.


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