2013 Music Visualizer Hackathon at Gainesville Hackerspace

Build a music visualizer, compete for prizes, win massive respect!

Date: February 10th, 2013.

* * * * *


The EventBrite registration page is up! If you want to participate in the hackathon for a chance to win, please register soon. 50 spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


(If you just want to spectate at the event, then EventBrite registration isn’t required. Everyone is welcome to show up and hang out.)

* * * * *

2013_music_visualizer_hackathon_flyerDo you like programming, electronics, or bright shiny lights? You’re in luck. Grooveshark, HackerHouse, and Paracosm are proud to present the 2013 Music Visualizer Hackathon hosted at Gainesville Hackerspace. Come hang out with other hackers and see who can build the coolest music visualizer based on a stunning 32×16 pixel RGB LED matrix display and powered by an Arduino.

Spend the day competing against other teams and learning from experts about Arduino, the inexpensive open-source computer that makes it easy for beginners and pros to make electronics projects. You can make any kind of music visualization you want, including pixel art, waveforms, dancing text, and any other effect you can dream up. You can even include interactivity via buttons.

Each member of the top 2 winning teams gets to take home a 32×16 pixel RGB LED matrix display board (a $45 value). In addition, the winner gets a sweet trophy and lots of high fives.


  • Food
  • A sweet t-shirt
  • A 32×16 pixel RGB LED matrix display board will be provided for your team’s use for the day. (And the top two teams get to keep their displays!)


  • Each team must have one Arduino board. If no one on your team has one, you can purchase one from us at cost ($22) on the EventBright page and pick it up on the day of the competition. After the hackathon, you’ll be able to use your Arduino in dozens of other projects!
  • Mentors will be on site to help if you get stuck, but a moderate knowledge of at least one programming language is strongly suggested. Specific knowledge about Arduino is not required.


  • 1-3 members per team
  • Teams must pre-register on the EventBrite page (URL will be posted here within 24 hours)
  • Teams must pick a cool team name (otherwise the judges will assign you a terrible one)


  • Noon-1pm: Intro
    • 15-minute general intro
    • 15-minute pitches (3 presenters)
    • 15-minute preflight check
    • Food
  • 1pm-5:30pm: Hacking
  • 5:30pm-6pm: First-round judging
  • 6pm-7pm: Final judging


Three days prior to the event registered teams will be emailed a link to the following:

  • A sample Arduino project which pulses the display to the beat of the music and changes color with a button press. This sample project will make it easy to start making your music visualizer right away on the day of the hackathon.
  • Easy wiring diagrams for the sample project (matrix display, button, audio-in)


  • Josh Greenberg (Grooveshark)
  • Amir Rubin (Paracosm Inc.)
  • Augi Lye (HackerHouse and Trendy Entertainment)
  • Christian von Kleist (Gainesville Hackerspace)
  • Ian Taylor (Gainesville Hackerspace)


– Gainesville Hackerspace downtown: 101 SE 2nd Pl, Ste 100, Gainesville, FL 32601
– February 10th, noon to 7pm.




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