Abbey Road Red Hackathons 2018 and 2019

What is Audio Commons?

Audio Commons refers to a set of technologies and audio content which is shared with the community and can be reused.

The idea builds on Creative Commons which provides a set of copyright licenses to share and use creative works on conditions chosen by users. This can apply to text, images, videos, and sounds, for example.

There are millions of sounds and music shared under Creative Commons licenses and available through the web. But there was a lack of a unified framework to be able to search for the audio content and retrieve it.

The Audio Commons Initiative was a European research and innovation project which gathered academic and industrial partners to investigate how to bring Creative Commons audio content in the hands of practitioners and the creative industries.

We have released a set to technologies and APIs enabling developers to use Creative Commons audio in their applications.

These tools provide access to major Creative Commons audio content providers. This includes Freesound developed by the University Pompeu Fabra in Spain and which gathers about half a million of sound effects, field recordings, musical samples and music pieces. Another Audio Commons provider is Jamendo which has a large catalogue of music by independent artists which can typically be used for synchronisation with other media. We also provide access to Europeana which has a collection of over 100,000 sound recordings from European library and museum archives.

Audio Commons resources

Audio Commons website:

Freesound API:

Audio Commons API:

Example applications and code examples:

MuSST (web-based search tool):

AC search demo for all content providers:

Javascript packages:

Audio Commons in Unity 3D:
Project forked from (by Harry Rose)

AC related logos:

Blog articles

Hackathon Prizes

Prize for best use of Audio Commons in immersive application at Abbey Road Red Hackathon 2019:

Free recording session in the qMedia Studios at Queen Mary University of London (

Hack ideas

Audio Commons can be a great resource if you need sound or music for immersive applications.

For example, Audio Commons content could be used for interactive soundscapes, audio games, 3D audio mixing and production, new interfaces for musical expression, etc.

We have HTTP-based RESTful APIs returning results in JSON or JSON Linked Data formats. Example codes in Python and Javascript are provided above.

Here are a few ideas to inspire hacks making use of Audio Commons content with AR, VR and 3D audio technologies:

    - Abbey Road Audio Commons game (e.g. find hidden sounds in Abbey Road Studio 2!)

    - Audio Commons sound explorer and looper in augmented or virtual reality (e.g. using voice recognition)

    - Virtual environment to create music or soundscape with friends from your social network

    - Augment the environment by connecting sounds to people, objects and places

    - Become a musical instrument by generating music from bodily or facial expression

QMUL programmes

You may be interested by our following teaching and research programmes at Queen Mary University of London, related to music and audio science and technology :

Centre for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence and Music (AIM):
(possibility of industry partnerships)

MSC and PhD programmes in Media and Arts Technology (MAT):