Next to come: BEATBATTLE v2

As the first BeatBattle compo is over, the winner is supposed to organize the next… at least that’s what Celsius and I where discussing on ICQ lately…
Since I turned out to be the winner (thank you all guys :) ) I felt like discussing a bit some rule before putting it out straight…

1 The Genre/Style option
In my opinion makes no-sense to have a completely free compo.
I expect to be put “on test” in a compo. What’s the point in doing what we know already how to do? What’s special in this?
I want people to think “OMG… how do I deal with this?” I want to be stimulate, to challenge, to test… and in the end, every compo is not much more than a fun game that I presume it’s done to -improve- and learn. Basicly… to learn… one has to be elastic and adapt to every situation.
I wouldn’t like to have a compo to impress in one’s mind again and again the only “language” one is used to compose with. (That’s why I gave a low vote to those songs “out-of-theme”… even if among there I found brilliant skill and excellent tech knowledge… like in Taktik’s great tune)

2 Samplepack Weight
It turned out that many users complained about the heavy weight of the final songpack… How do we deal with this? Any idea appreciated…

3 Timetable
Two weeks are somehow too much… and I found myself sharing this opinion with other users as well… I think it would be better to shorten the compo to… say… 10 days? Less?
One thing’s for sure… voting time should be hopefully faster… according to the final songpack lenght (to allow downloads) :P

4 Pure Music
This was the first beatbattle… it’s was ok like this… but from the second edition on… I think it would be better to have all entries turned into anonymous titles with no names when distributed for download. This way we will not tie the “idea” we have about someone to his production… this will “free” the listener of expectances and pre-judice and will make him vote for the music itself and not for “someone’s production”

Ah… one thing…being the one supposed to chose next… I’d say I’m automatically excluded from next beatbattle… :(
To find myself into developing one theme I have invented and chosen would not surprise me at all… and I would surely feel more comfortable…

Right then… what about?

all i have to say as a newb is please add some newb friendly samples. i found it extremly hard to make something with those samples thus i came in last… :( oh well learning experience.

I still dont like the idea about the theme thing …
I mean, if you are in housemusic and win a house-music-battle, you will do a house-music pack for the next battle (because thats what you do and love anyway), so the next battle will probably be won again by someone doing house-music (because they know what they are doing and love anyway), so I am afraid we will stick to house until by great coincidence someone who does not originally love house will win the battle.

I know it makes much sense to let the winner choose the theme and samplepack, so my suggestion might be strange, but I would much more like to choose one of the participants of every battle randomly to make the pack, because this way no one knows what will happen (also keeping the originator anonymously). I think this way there is a huge “surprise-level” with the next battles. (This suggestion is also driven by the fact that I guess I could make a interesting samplepack, but I dont see much chance for me to do that, because I suck at compos, honestly)

also, I would very much suggest to let people use their own drums, I found both drumloops being very bad, one being used on loads of records (I am sick of loops I heard 50 times before) and the other one just being too strange to work with.

also, maybe allow users to use one additional sample of 2 seconds max or something.

anyway, I also would suggest to keep the entries anonymously, thats normally one of the basic rules in compos.

furthermore, some small changes like the samplepack being only 3mb, the final renoise file being only 4 mb (or 3), just to make sure the whole thing isnt too bloated for modem users.

my cents:

  • i think i agree that the songs having to fit a certain genre is an idea that doesn’t work: if nothing else, it means that there’s a lot of gritted teeth during the judging; ‘hnnghh…i really like this song, but it simply isn’t hip-hop in the least.’ i think there should still be a theme, but it should be more open. hip-hop, for instance, is a pretty limited genre, especially when everyone’s working with the same samples. in the tracks that were ‘definitely hip-hop’, most people used the exact same ideas. not always in the same way, but the ideas were there. parsec managed to nicely expand on the genre, but he was the only one. the rest were either ‘very hip-hop’ or ‘not hip-hop’.

  • no extra samples. vocals should be allowed, but nothing beyond that - i think even allowing ‘scratching’ made things a bit too easy, as it was basically a guised license to use clips of music to beef up your track.

-disqualify people whose songs go over the filseize limit, or least send them away to make the track smaller. there were at least two in the beatbattle that were over 7 megs, and i see no excuse for this when the rules were made very clear on the page.

-include instructions to use the ‘delete unused samples/patterns’ on the main page, and perhaps a tutorial on how to get rid of unused parts of samples

-yeah, make it anonymous. song 1, song 2, etc. when the results get posted, then the names and artists appear.

-two weeks is the perfect length, in my opinion.

-want the samples to be smaller? don’t make them into mp3s. most people use winamp to make mp3s into wavs, which results in 44hz, 16-bit, stereo files. release the samplepack as a zipped RNS instead - this has the added effect of deterring people from editing samples outside of renoise.

-more samples (just as obscure as they were last time, please), and more quality control on samples: the only bad example i saw in the first beatbattle was the ‘smooth jazz’ sample. it was basically the same thing four times; it coulda been a quarter of the size. just little things like that add up to the overall ‘quality’ of a samplepack in my view



i think:

… a compo should NOT be theme based, or restricted to any style. i think the competition becomes much more interesting when you see (hear) all the different things people can do with the same exact samples.

… i dont think adding samples/vocals should be allowed either. most of us can’t sing, but those who can will have an enormouse advantage. some of us have huge sample libaries, some of us dont. a competition must maintain equality between the contestants.

… 1 week to track / 1 week to vote. this is plenty, isn’t it?

… winner makes sample pack, max 2mb. the person who makes the pack should cut the samples before including them in a pack, that way you will get rid of annoying silences etc in samples.


as will those who can make good music with renoise over those that cannot ;)

obviously i agree with you about adding samples, but i don’t think the ability to write lyrics and sing them is an ‘unfair’ advantage; just an advantage. and not even a big one neccessarily

yeah, while a few of the samples from last time could have done with some editing, i actually liked the messiness of them; it gave them character. but i probably wouldn’t want that same character for every sample of every compo, so maybe clean up at least some of them. leave a few weird ambiguous ones in there though. they’re neat :}

is anyone here able to get the samples from the previous compo out of their head? god knows i can’t.

What I could do, to push the whole beatbattle thing (wich was great btw :) ) is adding ogg support to make the downloads smaller. I will start coding this soon. Hopefully its finished for the next compo then.

Dont know if I already said this, but its really a pleasant to see what others do with this tracker. The quality of all the entries was much better as I knew this from other tracker compos. Makes me proud. Thank you guys …

being able to sing is ofcourse an advantage musically. just like being able to play the piano, or the guitar or know advanced music theory. all that is besides the point. if you are holding a competition whereas you HAVE to use a certain set of samples, the one fella that can sing should not be able to record vocals. if you want that, then host an “open” compo, where everyone chooses their own samples and own style. its bullshit to have a samplepack, and at the same time say you can add samples ONLY IF they are vocals.


I’ve entered a coupple of sample pack based compos and I remember how I would sit for a week and curse the lousy samples and wonder how the hell anyone could make anything decent with them… and then after the votepack was released I were always stunned by the beautiful music skilled people could make. (MickRip’s “Thinking with lies” from groovy compo 1 is still one of my all time favourite modules).

Alltough I think the samplepack itself poses a sufficient challenge I’m also open to different themes. We don’t have to have the same rules every time. I Think it should be up to the winner to decide weither the next compo should be a theme compo or not.

Simple. Not all people have a microphone so no, vocals should not be allowed. Renoise and the built-in effects should be the only equipment allowed.

Also I think 10 days sounds fine. 10 days of tracking, 4 days to vote.
Mabe these numbers could be altered so that preperations for the next compo also could be done within two weeks.
Anonymous entries is also good and the only way to reduce votepack size is to reduce the size of the samplepack.

2 iLL79:
groovy compo 1 was back in 97 so its pretty hard to fund the results now… :)

But you can get the track from Mick Rippon’s homepage

actually, the microphone issue’s a good point. other than that, i don’t think it’s ‘bullshit’ at all - if nothing else, it adds something to the compo to make it differ from the many other sample-based/free-style compos (not that there’s anything wrong with those). but i guess the microphone issue alone’s enough to disallow this, plus i seem to be the only one who thinks it’s fair anyway…

and it took me about 4 days just to download the entries last time. i’ll assume the pack will be smaller next time, but even so, 4 days is a pretty short time. 7 is much cleaner. ‘a week’, easy to keep track of.

also - and this is very important, i think - have a mailing list. aside from the original e-mail sent to all registered renoise users, i imagine that after the compo got started, most people who weren’t forum regulars had no idea where it was at; all announcements like ‘entries are up!’ or ‘4 days left to vote!’ seemed to only exist on the forum. maybe we could rope in more contestants if they knew they’d be kept up to date.

Perhaps the most important thing for the next compo… a mute button on the beatbattle homepage…

LOL, true :)

To keep sizes down how about picking 2 or 3 free VSTi and say you can use presets 1 to 10 or something?


Lets not install additional software to be able to compete in the compo. I have a nice, clean setup i really dont want to mess with.

Lets just make a small neato pack. I assume part of a music competition is to see who can do a lot with less, right?

Take Care!


I completly agree with that… I doubt that for example herbert ferber would have been placed that high if the rap/scratch would have been removed (read Gwilym’s last post in the old beatbattle-thread)…

I think it’s better to say that ONLY the samples from the sample-pack is allowed, but be more open with the theme-thing. To hear 25 hip-hop tunes is just too boring, better with 25 contributions with 25 totaly different inovative ideas… that is why I didn’t do a pure hip-hop tune in the last compo, and I know some people gave me low votes because of that, but I rather do something fun than something very predictable ;)

I agree fully with Parsec - compos should have themes as it makes people try (well, at least some of them) to create songs different from what they always compose. We can have open theme compos as well from time to time, but themes are good. And it doesn’t have to be strict - like hiphop, 80ies disco or hardcore techno, but can be much more open, like happy music :) Thing is that if you don’t like a compo theme, simply don’t take part. Does everybody have to participate in every compo?

And as far a rules are concerned, I think public voting is best - for entries, for samples that will be included in the next compo samplepacks and maybe for next compo theme - with the winner giving options to choose from.


I would take part to a theme compo, but not to a style compo, which is different.

in theme compos, you create a song about a theme, and express your feelings about it in the way you find more fitting.

in a style compo you are obliged to adhere to a style, which is something I really can’t stand with :)

If you make it an open catergory, its most often the most boring melody who wins. The top ten in big compos are often music you would hear in an elevator, while you find the good creative stuff some place down the list.

You should either make a very-hard-to-make-anything-at-all-with-these-sounds samplepack, or keep it to a genre.

Maby we could have something like: “Make some music to this picture.” Find a good picture, and we have to make music that best describes what you see (the mood). Haha! Could be anything from a space picture, war in iraq :ph34r: , or just some nice landscape.

I totally agree with IT-alien here. Themes are cool, and its interesting to hear different interpretations of the same thing. Style compos are boring, specially to listen to.

Tao, you say its always the boring songs that win open categories? Its not the fact that its “open category” that is at fault here. It must rather be poor judging. Since we have public voting here, I dont think the most boring tune will win. I think the tune that conveys the theme in an interesting way to most listeners will win. If that is boring to you, so be it. Point is, your argument is not valid as to NOT doing an open / theme compo.