The Sonoj Music Producing Challenge

The contest consists of three phases:

  1. Introduction (~10min)
  2. Make Music (1 hour)
  3. Listening and Voting (~50min)


We explain the rules and show you where to download the sample .wav file. Also we show you how to upload your result afterwards.

Rules for the music making phase

  1. You have one hour to create a piece of music (in the broadest sense)
  2. The music must incorporate the sample, a short .wav file revealed and provided by the organizers during the introduction
  3. A duration limit will be announced during the introduction right before the challenge. It depends on the number of participants. 1 (one) minute is a good target.
  4. At least one open source music program of your choice must be used in an important step (see recommendations below)
  5. You can prepare at home and practise. Empty sessions with your favourite programs, instruments and effects already loaded are allowed.
  6. The end result should be rendered to flac or wav and uploaded via the challenge website.
  7. With your upload you license your file under Creative-Commons-BY
  8. You can use all of the following (and more): Midi Hardware, Hardware Synthesizers etc., Recording with a microphone, Sample Libraries (your own or third party)
  9. Please keep in mind that the spirit of the event is to produce something of your own in an hour. Preparing, or buying, a one minute piece of music at home and simply putting the sample on top is no fun. Try to do everything within the hour.

Listening and Voting

Tunes will be played in a random order. The track title will be announced, but not the author.

While listening you can give a vote from 0 to 5 (5 is best, 3 is default and means ‘indifferent’, 0 is ‘bad’) via the challenge website. Voting for you own track is allowed.

After voting the results will be immediately available and announced. We will then interview the winner, and give them a chance to talk about the software they used and how they approached writing the tune.


Even if you have never used open source music software or in fact any such software you should still participate.

General recommendations and Base Programs

Workflow ideas

You are not required to create music from the sample, just with the sample, using it once is technically enough.

This challenge is not only a musical one, but also one of preparation and setup. It’s not only a competition of musicians, but also of workflows.

You should practice before the challenge by learning ways to use .wav files musically. It is allowed to create project files and prepared empty(!) sessions on your computer to quickly be able to start. Here are some ideas:

Programs to handle sample files

You can use any additional programs, as long as they are open source software, as well as resources (samples etc.).

However, here are some programs that are specifically made to handle short sample files. There may be more.