'Autoloop' Drum Machine Wins Red Bull Creation

MB Labs of Chicago won Red Bull Creation 2013 for an exotic drum machine controlled by marbles.
By redbull.com

Six teams of makers -- engineers, inventers, programmers, craftsmen, artists -- entered the Red Bull Creation tent with one mission: To bring a brand new musical instrument into existence. In only 72 hours.

The teams worked around the clock. Sleep was minimal, though ingenuity never faltered. The resulting instruments were creative, thought-provoking and most importantly, operational.

Team Skullduggery Systems, who flew in from San Diego, built 'Uncle Jimmy’s Old Fashion Fly-By-Wire Jug,' a mechanical and large-scale version of blowing on a glass jug -- employing a 2.5-horsepower blower. Team 1.21 Jigawatts, veterans of Red Bull Creation, built 'Erte-tronic Deco Decoder,' a machine that decoded spraypaint art into music. North Street Labs' 'Treequency' instrument was a tall metal tree structure that made music whenever someone ran around it.

In the end, MB Labs, from Chicago, took the judges' honor with its 'Autoloop' drum machine. The 'Autoloop' is programmable in a very mechanical fashion -- through the placement of metallic marbles on a board.

Team 1.21 Jigawatts took the People's Choice award. i3, from Detroit, won the Team Choice award for its Whirly Turbulator, a machine that spins of hollow tubes based the simple input of pulling strings.

“The judges were blown away by the complete re-imagination of what a synthesizer and musical output device can be,” said former Red Bull Creation participant and 2013 Head Judge Greg Needel. “The possibilities of where they can go with this in the future is endless.”

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