Midi Hack 2 was a hackathon held in the Ableton headquarters in Berlin in May 2015. It’s was geared towards people interested the Midi and OSC protocols for controlling music software and hardware. In contrast to the previous event you had to apply with an idea and the most promising ideas got selected to participate.
My idea was to turn a model train track into a music sequencer and I was lucky to get accepted. I was in way over my head with many technical moments that I had not done before. To add to the stress I was selected to be part of an Ableton documentary about the hack. The camera man tripped over my gear and broke one of my transformers. There was a point early in the morning where a photographer caught me mumbling, high on super glue, trying to get a photo resistor to stick on to a tiny tree while the tree kept getting stuck on my finger instead. I wish I had that image.
I barely managed to create a proof on concept and unfortunately very little time was spent on sound design. The sequencer sounded far from great but it was visually pretty pleasing. I was lucky enough to win an award for my creation which was very surprising and felt really good. The documentary was never finished as Ableton choose to focus on other projects.
In the aftermath of the hack my bag got stuck at the airport. I suspect it actually delayed a wholecart of bags as many passengers were missing their luggage when arriving in Stockholm. The reason was that I had to disassemble my sequencer very quickly and trow, tracks, train, Arduino, cords and tools into the bag in big jumble. I can only guess what that looked like on the x-ray. A few days later the bag arrived with a signed letter from the airport security.