Social Music Sequencer Eightbitbeats Wins Best Overall Team at Node Knockout Competition

Collaborative beat and music sequencer Eightbitbeats won best overall team in Node Knockout 2011 after a tight race in which over 170 teams competed.

Full disclosure: The developers are from, a company also owned by Jason Calacanis. ]

The Node Knockout competition gave developers 48 hours to build a Node.js-based web app [ see our story here ].  

"In my spare time, I play as DJ in a german club for electronic music," Node judge Pascal Cremer writes. "I also produce music with artists which are scattered all over europe. This app could be one of the near future killer tools for real-time collaboration. No more sending .ALS files via email and waiting for the other one to respond – I love that idea :)."

The Eightbitbeats team -- Josh Nielsen, Bundy Kim, Michael Toymil and Travis Sisti -- plans to improve the site now that the competition is over, focusing on the most-requested features from judges, fellow contestants and users.  

"Saving tracks and private rooms were the two things we heard the most because people would make a cool beat, but they didn't want to switch to a new instrument because it would erase it," Josh tells LAUNCH. "So people would just kind of stagnate because they liked their beat but can't save it. Some people want to play by themselves or get annoyed by random people popping in."

Josh says that the team plans to add social media authentication this weekend. 

"We're going to try to get in some of the basics like saving your tracks," Josh says. "We don't even have authentication right now. People come to our site and use it but we have no idea who they are and when they leave. They're like ghosts in the night. We know people are coming but we can't contact them."

The team, entered in NKO as SomethingCoded, tells LAUNCH they aimed to create a real-time product that is both social and interactive. 

"There were some performance considerations and I didn't realize how the collaboration between people would help each other build them because some people are just not musically inclined," Josh says. "I thought you were going to get some people in there who just ruin it for everybody every time, but surprisingly, people kind of built off each other and made some cool stuff."

The four developers say they were inspired by some of the hobbyist musicians at Mahalo -- people who make music but not as a profession -- on the team.

"It was an idea that we had toyed around with a few weeks prior to the contest and it seemed like the people we showed it to had some fun with it, so we decided to give it a shot," Travis Sisti says. "You hear this said a lot, but we built something that we thought was fun and it turns out people agreed with us."


1. "The story of How we built a social 8bit music sequencer in 48 hours" (SomethingCoded)


Josh Nielsen @joshontheweb

Travis Sisti @travhimself 

Bundy Kim @bundy_kim   

Michael Toymil @mtoymil   

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