Blog > Rox Star – Hack@Brown

For the second year in a row I participated in Hack@Brown, Brown’s annual hackathon, and won! You can read more about my team’s hack at

For our “hack” we created a 21st century karaoke experience called Rox Star! Users sing along to songs of their choice in a virtual reality populated with scores of adoring, cheering fans and your very own monolithic stadium stage with flashing lights and fog.

Hack@Brown 2016
Working on the vocal effects for our “hack” in the middle of the night. I hope we didn’t annoy anyone…

In addition, vocal effects such as autotune, reverb, delay, and automatic harmonization are used to “sweeten” your voice, another departure from traditional karaoke.

Sayles hall during Hack@Brown 2016

This year’s hackathon was a great event, drawing hundreds of awesome hackathon participants from many different fields of study (i.e. not only computer science) and different places in the world (one person came all the way from Rotterdam)!

2016 Hack@Brown finalists
The 2016 Hack@Brown finalists. See if you can spot the winning Rox Star team!

Like last year, I was very surprised to learn my team were finalists! Caught off guard and incredibly sleep deprived, we scrambled to present our “hack” to hundreds of students, professors, and people from the tech industry (including Peter Norvig from Google)!

Rox Star team
The Rox Star team: Carl Olsson, David Whitney, Christian Mathiesen, and Fernando Truajano (left to right)

As Shakespeare said, “All’s well that ends well”; and somehow the judges appreciated our last-minute presentation enough for us to win (maybe our questionable rendition of Journey’s classic song, “Don’t Stop Believin'” helped) . And what a wonderful way to finish my last Hack@Brown!

If you’re unfamiliar about what a hackathon entails you can read about my first hackathon experience last year at

Carl Olsson

Engineer, musician, and lifelong learner. Loves building things