Jane Smithsonian Institution Remix Competition

The Smithsonian Institution has begun posting collections of sounds from their archives, and they are unlike anything else you’ll hear on the web, like recordings of frogs and insects from the Encyclopedia of Life to astrophysical observatory sounds.

Now the Smithsonian is calling on you to sample, chop and remix selected recordings from their entire collection of sounds, including recordings of frogs and insects from Encyclopedia of Life, Astrophysical Observatory sounds, Smithsonian Jazz masterworks, and Smithsonian Folkways.

The rules are simple. Submissions may be any length, but must incorporate at least two Smithsonian tracks.

The winners will be selected by Smithsonian’s panel of judges: John Edward Hasse, Curator of American Music at the National Museum of American History, DJ Molly Ruland from OneLoveMassive, and sound effects expert, Shaun Farley.

Instructions and prizes are detailed below. Deadline for submission is November 8. Find official info here.

Happy creating!

1. Browse through the Smithsonian Remix collections
2. Download the tracks that capture your imagination
3. Remix those sounds with your own original sounds*
4. Upload your finished creation to SoundCloud
5. In the description of your sound, please clearly attribute any source material that you used**
6. Join the Smithsonian Remix group
7. Click the “Add to group” button on your sound and submit it to the Smithsonian Remix group
8. Listen, like, comment on and share your fellow contestants’ sounds

*Please make sure you have all the proper copyright permissions for any source material you use and comply with SoundCloud Terms of Use.
**All Smithsonian Remix sounds have been made available under an “Attribution – NonCommercial” Creative Commons license. You can find more details about this license here.

First Place (1):
A 5-year SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription
Two VIP tickets to Smithsonian Remix Live November 15
Voices of the Satellites CD from Smithsonian Folkways
One year membership to Smithsonian Associates

Runners Up (3):
Two VIP tickets to Smithsonian Remix Live November 15
A 1-year SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription

In addition, the first prize winning submission may be featured on SMITHSONIANAT8.com, and samples of approved submissions may be spun live at the SMITHSONIAN at 8 event November 15, 2013.

If a prize becomes unavailable for any reason, the Smithsonian reserves the right to substitute a prize of like or equal value. Winners may not request prize substitution. One prize per person.

  • DonLaFlow


  • Kevin Patrick

    Oh yeah!!! On it!!!!

  • hello, i’m not U.S. resident. can i subscribe anyway?

  • janeshin

    Hi Buqah, unfortunately entrants must be US residents since part of the prizes include tickets to the live event at the Smithsonian Institution in the US. Thanks for understanding! Official rules are at http://smithsonianassociates.org/smithsonianat8/Sound-Cloud-Contest-Rules.pdf.

  • Jordan

    Somehwat upset that it’s a competition only for US residents. There are some cool sounds in here, might just nick a few for other purposes.

  • TrackMenace

    Thank you for the chance I’m gonna win this one. TrackMenace

  • Guney

    I was excited when I first read this last night but now I see it is for US residents only. Please put that note into the rules above. I’m upset, don’t make others too!

  • c b

    What if you’re an american living abroad?

  • Nope

    This set would make a great ambient peace

  • Ben Atkins

    Where does it say its for US residents only?

  • beAtLoVa

    What if you are an American Passport-holder living in the US but not feeling like an American?

  • rob

    When is the due date for remixes?

  • W00T

    If i didn’t read the comments, you would have stolen my precious time. Thx for the sounds anyway, gonna put them to good use :D Good luck to all participants (US residents only is kinda …)

  • Patrick Brinkmann

    When are the remixes due?

  • Anthony

    Only US? Poor! Oh well free sounds! Can’t go past that.

  • janeshin

    Hey Patrick, deadline is November 8. More info at http://smithsonianassociates.org/smithsonianat8/event/remix.aspx

  • janeshin

    Hey there,

    We encourage anyone to participate, especially since your remix will be part of the official group. If the winner chosen is not from the US, the Smithsonian Institution has agreed to figure out an alternate prize then. I hope you still participate, W00T!

  • janeshin

    Hi Rob, they’re due November 7.

  • janeshin

    Hi Anthony, the competition is open for anyone to submit to. If the winner chosen is not from the US, alternate prizes will be figured out so we encourage you to still create and submit your remix. Good luck.

  • janeshin

    Please participate anyway. Alternate prizes will be figured out if the winner chosen is not from the US. Good luck.

  • janeshin

    Hey Ben, it’s on the official rules page at http://smithsonianassociates.org/smithsonianat8/event/remix.aspx. However, we encourage you to still participate and submit your remix, even if you’re not based in the US. If a winner chosen is not from the US, alternate prizes will be figured out so go at it. Have fun.

  • janeshin

    Make an ambient inspired remix and submit to the group. We’d love to hear it: https://soundcloud.com/groups/smithsonian-remix-contest-entries

  • janeshin

    That’s fine, we encourage everyone to participate.

  • janeshin

    Hey Guney, sorry for the confusion. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. If a winner chosen is not from the US, alternate prizes will be figured out. Have fun and good luck.

  • janeshin

    Hey Jordan, sorry to upset you. We’ve cleared the confusion. The competition is open to everyone to participate in. If a winner is chosen and not based in the US, alternate prizes will be figured out. Hope you get to submit your remix to https://soundcloud.com/groups/smithsonian-remix-contest-entries

  • Jane, thanks for being so responsive in the comments. Question for clarification: does the First Place prize also include airfare/plane tickets if they’re far from the Smithsonian, or is that travel cost the winner’s responsibility?

  • Tobija Wilson

    Nice. See if I could do this.
    How old do you have to be to participate into this competition???

  • Guney

    That’s great! Thanks for clearing things out.

  • HamBa

    That’s great news!

    I saw the competition promo and didn’t realise until I had worked on my piece and posted it that it was US only. So I am delighted that that has changed.

    Thank you!

  • Craig Stevens

    This is HOT! Thank you for the opportunity to “BURN” down the Smithsonian. It is an HONOR and a PRIVILEGE to have ME be displayed along side the Elephant man. LOLlol HAHAHA AH HAAHAHA No suh. But really this will be fun to let of some of my “STEAM:. You guys are awesome. Thank you once again. Im humbled to even have such a chance to make you dance. ONE Stay HOT! Tsss

  • Fantishow

    Two questions.

    >I’m under 21, so would another prize be figured if I won?

    >Can I put these sounds to use after the competition?

  • Papa Tiego
  • HamBa

    Really enjoying listening to the other entries, hearing such different takes and discovering new artists.

  • cydparr

    Some awesome remixes already going up! Don’t forget to credit the original recording artists or link to their sounds (where there is attribution).

  • sonical

    poor quality recordings. much better quality ones available elsewhere!

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  • cavitron

    Is it possible to submit more than one track, or is it limited to one entry per person?


  • janeshin

    Yep, you can submit more than one track. Good luck!

  • janeshin

    That’s awesome. Have you submitted one yet?

  • janeshin

    Unfortunately, travel fare is not included in the prize. Thanks for understanding!

  • janeshin
  • janeshin

    You should be able to participate. It’s open to participants 18 years or older: http://smithsonianassociates.org/smithsonianat8/Sound-Cloud-Contest-Rules.pdf

  • HamBa

    Yes. And from from what I see you’ve written above I may submit another.

  • Joseph Orangatangalang Rowan

    When does the competition close?

  • W00T

    Thats’s great news! I most definately will post my remix endavour. Thank you for this opportunity! :D

  • Sebastien Michael Mansfield

    Im going to give you guys something awesome….

  • trackmenace show me the money

    …wow, TrackMenace: If your talent is even half as big as your ego, I have no doubt you’ll ‘win this one’. But why not let your music speak for itself?

  • robert

    Thank-you, janeshin, for all your prompt and patient replies thus far – It really ‘humanizes’ the Smithsonsian.

    Greetings from Toronto!

  • Ivana

    Awesome! I used to live in Europe, and hated when I couldn’t participate in something because it was limited to the US only. Glad more people are being open minded about such things.

  • Dylan C

    Jane, what is the Due Date for submissions to the contest? Couldn’t find that anywhere. Thanks!

  • Simon Reich

    Since beginning this musical project, my ears have been opened to the sounds of nature around me. Each time I leave my studio in the garage, or walk my dog at night, I am now hyper aware of all the birds & nature sounds around me. If nothing else, thanks for letting me realise that it’s really us inhabiting their world & not the reverse. The indigenous fauna are the best musicians in the world

  • Simon Reich

    Oops, forgot to mention, I love the inclusion of the Australian Kookaburra. Being from down under myself, they laugh like this around my house & I just had to include it in my set of samples.
    I talked to an English producer this week who thought the sound was from some sort of monkey, but when I told him it was actually a bird from Australia, he googled pictures of them & loved how cute they looked. You may not have intended it, but your remix comp. is turning out to be an education lesson as well!

  • janeshin

    Hi Dylan, due date is November 8. More info at http://smithsonianassociates.org/smithsonianat8/Sound-Cloud-Contest-Rules.pdf. Good luck!

  • janeshin
  • Hugo

    It is possible to modify the sounds or we have to keep them how they are ?

  • cydparr

    That’s exactly what *I* was hoping for with this competition. For more info on Kookaburras (including lots of images), here’s the EOL page: http://eol.org/pages/1049992/overview

  • cydparr

    They should all be licensed to allow derivatives, which means you can modify them. Speaking for EOL sounds, that’s definitely the case.

  • Martín Cruz

    How many tracks can I submit?

  • janeshin

    You can submit as many as you like. Each submission needs to include at least two tracks from the Smithsonian Institution’s sets (specified above).

  • docmike

    What does sonified x-ray #6 mean? Does that mean the raw signals were linked to musical notes?

  • Martín Cruz

    Nice. Thank you very much! :)

  • Tron Onthe Beat

    thanks i was abt to google it lol

  • Simon Reich

    It seems that towards the end of the competition, a lot more tracks are pouring in!

    I just uploaded a track on the weekend, but unfortunately it got buried in a heap of music all released at the same time.

    Just in case you missed it, here is a link


  • HamBa

    Some really good work entered in the competition.

    All lot of folks have been inspired.

  • Momo

    this is sweet, most of these competitions are limited to the states. kudos people, kudos.

  • Oba Frank Lords


  • Awesomer

    I have created a megamix/remix/mashup work which contains samples from Smithsonian Folkways. It is the only work I’ve ever had taken down from Soundcloud via an automated cease and desist notice; specifically, for the use of Leadbelly songs. It is a little bit ironic to see this contest in light of this experience, Leadbelly’s embrace of public domain songs, and the cultural mandate of both the historical Folkways and modern Smithsonian Folkways.

    @janeshin:disqus : do you have any advice as to what I should do? I’d love the reviewers to hear what I’ve done with this Smithsonian material, even if it does not conform to contest rules and is therefore not eligible…

    !!! AWESOMER !!!

  • mati

    cuando termina esto? soy principiante! pero me animo!

  • People ask the same question over and over because they’re too lazy to read. Frustrating. Oh well, I say the Smithsonian is an American institution so I hope the prize goes to an American.

  • janeshin

    Hey Awesomer, I understand your information in regards to Leadbelly’s embrace of the public domain, but since this is a competition created and run by Smithsonian, as part of their rules, they kindly request: “*Please make sure you have all the proper copyright permissions for any source material you use and comply with SoundCloud Terms of Use.” More information at Point No. 3 here: http://smithsonianassociates.org/smithsonianat8/Sound-Cloud-Contest-Rules.pdf Thank you.

  • Chapal Puteh

    Wow …