6 Futuristic Musical Instruments Built In 72 Hours

In this year's Red Bull Creation challenge, makers built musical instruments in just three days.

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Yesterday six teams of makers built futuristic musical instruments, conceived of and created in just 72 hours for Red Bull's Creation competition. The DIY competition asked teams to create never-before-seen instruments that could compose and play live music. A third constraint: the general public had to be able to interact with each instrument. All six instruments were on display and available to explore yesterday at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn.

A panel of judges deemed Chicago's MB Labs the overall winner for a virtually controlled drum set and awarded the Labs $10,000 and a trophy. The "People's Choice" award, determined by festival-goers, was awarded to Minneapolis's 1.21 Jigawatts for a device that converts drawings into music. i3 Detroit was voted Team Choice winner for a contraption of musical tubes called Whirly Turbulator. Check out our gallery for more.

The Vitruvian
The Vitruvian
Inspired by DaVinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man, Maker Twins created a colorful way to mix your own music.Lillian Hwang
The Vitruvian's backend
The Vitruvian's backend
A laptop and custom arduino board control the music tracks.Lillian Hwang
Dissecting the Vitruvian
Dissecting the Vitruvian
The top wheel changes the tempo of the music. The two joysticks control which melody is looping, and which bassline is selected. The four remaining wheels select different musical filters and effects.Lillian Hwang
Autoloop
Autoloop
The winning instrument, by MB Labs. A table with two circular sensors allows people to interact with the drum set (to the right).Lillian Hwang
Autoloop up close
Autoloop up close
Users can control both the rhythm of the music and which instrument is being played by moving around the triangles and spheres pictured here.Lillian Hwang
Detail of one of Autoloop's sensor pads
Detail of one of Autoloop's sensor pads
Detail of one of Autoloop's sensor padsLillian Hwang
Erte-tronic Deco Decoder
Erte-tronic Deco Decoder
The Erte-tronic Deco Decoder, by 1.21 Jigawatts, won the People’s Choice award for letting users convert drawings into music.Lillian Hwang
Detail of Erte-tronic Deco Decoder's machinery
Detail of Erte-tronic Deco Decoder's machinery
Detail of Erte-tronic Deco Decoder's machineryLillian Hwang
Treequencer
Treequencer
The Treequencer is a 10-foot-tall steel tree with musical notes for leaves. Housed in the tree are various sensors that detect movement. Sounds are created by people dancing around the tree.Lillian Hwang
Treequencer
Treequencer
Besides being pretty to look at, the Treequencer, by North Street Labs, can be programmed to translate movement into music in many different ways. Some of the sensors are visible at the base of the branches.Lillian Hwang
Uncle Jimmy’s Old Fashion Fly-By-Wire Jug
Uncle Jimmy’s Old Fashion Fly-By-Wire Jug
When the suspended jug is moved, the water level in another jug changes and air is blown across a hole to create a high or low pitched note. Think of an old jug band that plays two notes (high water level and low water level). By Skullduggery SystemsLillian Hwang
Whirly Turbulator
Whirly Turbulator
The Whirly Turbulator, by i3 Detroit, uses electronic screwdrivers to spin five attached hollow tubes of different lengths, creating five different notes that can be switched on and off by pulling the strings.Lillian Hwang
Whirly Turbulator, detail
Whirly Turbulator, detail
Though i3's makers had lots of problems with their Whirly Turbulator, they were voted Team Choice by the other teams.Lillian Hwang