Laptop Battle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Laptop Battles are a competitive event for an electronic musician to match their skills against others. Competition rules limit equipment to a laptop computer and an external pointing device (mouse). Some competitions will allow external hardware, usually a single MIDI controller (this set up is very similar those used for Live PA). There are typically three or four rounds, following a single elimination bracket or similar structure. Each round consists of a number of head-to-head matches between two randomly selected participants. Rules vary, but typically the competitors are allowed two to three minutes on stage to play their individual compositions and/or sounds. Stage presence is often a key element for judging, in addition to technical finesse and ability to engage the audience.

A panel of judges decide which contestant advances to the next round, single elimination style. Usually, there are no restrictions on the type of material performed other than it must be the competitor's original creation. This aids to provide distinction from DJ battles, wherein competitors play music created by others. Musical genres vary widely, with obvious tendencies towards intelligent dance music, glitch, experimental electronica, mashups, house, and technoid.

Various local and national Laptop Battles have garnered the attention of electronic music and/or sound design production sponsors, such as Ableton, Mackie, and Native Instruments. Sponsor products are often included in competition prizes. Laptop Battles are becoming a worldwide phenomenon with battles organized in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, and Italy.

The Laptop Battle concept originated in Seattle several years ago (from Fourthcity Records), and has since been held in cities all over the world.[1]

Formats[edit]

All formats can vary in length of rounds (usually 2–3 minutes) and competition bracket style (single or double elimination). Some battles also include alternating sets by each performer, such as two 2-minute sets each. Mouse and keyboard rules may vary as well, and sometimes will allow for a USB version of the peripheral if the on-board peripheral is disabled or unused on the laptop.

Laptop only[edit]

This format was used in the 2006 Atlanta Laptop Battle I, II, and III.[1]

This format only allows the following equipment:

  • One laptop
  • One external sound card

Single MIDI controller[edit]

This format was used for the 2006 US National Finals,[2] the 2006 Atlanta Laptop Battle Finals, and the Laptop Battle UK competitions.

This format has the following restrictions:

  • One laptop computer
  • One external sound card
  • One MIDI controller
  • All equipment must fit in a 2' x 2' square

Exhibition matches[edit]

This format will be featured in the 2007 Atlanta Preliminaries I Laptop Battle.[3] It involves two competitors not included in the single- or double-elimination tournament structure, and may include more experienced performers and/or the judges from the ongoing laptop battle. This format is unique in that the actual sonic material utilized in the battle is limited, and performers have a limited amount of time to create their pieces.

This format has the following restrictions:

  • One laptop computer
  • One external sound card
  • One MIDI controller
  • All equipment must fit in a 2' x 2' square
  • Preparation is limited to a specific window of time before the match
  • Source material is limited to supplied samples, which are not available to the performers until the preparation window

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]