Adventures In Audio
Creativity competition - result delayed due to vote rigging

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Monday April 10, 2006

I couldn't believe it. I stared at my computer screen in awe as the votes came in...

One after another, vote after vote for the same track in the creativity competition. Then it stopped, and votes started coming in just seconds apart for another track.

Doubtless you have seen the results so far, with a couple of tracks well in the lead. But the chart is massively skewed by the fake votes.

It would be easy to think that a couple of composers are voting for their own tracks, but I feel that it is much more likely that a few second-rate hackers have seen this as an opportunity to 'beat the system'. I'll bet they laughed and laughed when they found how easily it could be done.

Except it's not so easy.

When I set up the competition, it did of course occur to me that multiple votes could be a problem. Top shows like Pop Idol and American Idol have the same problem too where contestants get their friends and relatives to vote. It doesn't matter to the producers because every vote brings them more money - so who cares if they are fake?

But I didn't think that a competition without a prize other than exposure would be subject to foul play. Even so, I had a simple security measure put into the voting system that prevented multiple votes, just in case of temptation.

But the temptation was clearly too strong and second-rate hackers found a way round the security precautions.

But why do I call these hackers 'second rate'? Simple - because their work shows up plain as day in the voting logs. I can look at the looks and easily see which are the rigged votes.

So rest assured, by next week the rigged votes will have been filtered and the genuine result available.

By the way, I've had the system set so that anyone can vote again, but of course only once, unless you cheat. If you really want to cheat, get your friends and relatives to vote for you in the traditional way.

But the whole point of the competition was not to cheat in the first place. Hmm... I wonder if any of those tracks used sources other than the specified sine wave and white noise?

What do you think? Are there any imposters?

Did you enter the competition? Tell us how you made your track.

If you entered the competition, a big thank you. What an amazing set of tracks, with not a single dud.

I did say that I would be asking the winner how they made their track. Well I've decided to asked everybody how they made their tracks!

So please let us know here...

We would like to know what equipment and software you used, what processes were involved, and how your creative imagination set to work with such apparently unpromising material.

You will be able to see the page you created here, as will the rest of the world. The best tracks with the best descriptions will also be featured on the front page of the site.

Don't wait - get started now!

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