SALT LAKE CITY — Energy drink maker Red Bull is looking for college students from Utah and across the country to compete in its second annual Hack the Hits event — a 48-hour hackathon in which competitors must design and build a playable tech music innovation.

Interested applicants must be currently enrolled in "an institution of higher learning," have skills in software/coding, hardware hacking and/or music creation and submit a bio video that includes highlights of a past project by Sunday.

Last year's debut event featured teams competing in a 24-hour hacking stint with the winning team comprised of students from both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. That team, which dubbed itself The Winning Pitch created an electronic stringed instrument/audio visual controller that wowed judges.

This years contest, to be held Nov. 9-11 in San Francisco, will organize 15 finalists into three-member teams who will be paired with an expert mentor. This year's mentor list includes Moldover, controllerist and creator of Octomasher; Rich DDT, installation artist and the founder of LoveTech; DJ Shakey, controllerist and electronic music artist; Terry Dame, composer, multi-instrumentalist and instrument builder; and Ean Golden, DJ and digital music innovator.

Event judges represent a mix of established performers and music technology experts, including Blaise James, The Cool Kids, Laura Escude, Gil Weinberg and Mike Relm.

James, a DJ and co-owner (along with Skrillex) of music label OWSLA, said he was looking forward to seeing and judging the student innovations.

"As a DJ, being in touch with music and the culture it’s a part of is critically important, and young people are always the first to adopt new ways of thinking about both — so it's important that Red Bull is creating this opportunity for them to show us what's next” said James. “I'm excited to see what kind of innovations students are going to bring forward.”

Teams will be provided raw building materials, an assortment of specialty hardware and some instruments to use in their projects. Additionally, each will be provided a discretionary materials stipend.

Judging will be based on three key areas:

• Musicality: How well can an artist incorporate the sounds from your hack into a performance or studio session?

• Innovation: How well does your hack stand out next to all the other tech out there?

• Usability: Can anyone pick up your hack and start playing quickly?

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