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 Forum index » electro-music.com » electro-music festivals
EM2010 ~ Ideas, suggestions, and improvements
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Inventor
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:
I like the non-commercial, non-pop, non-conventional aspect of the electro-music.community and festival. Thus, I'm a little uncomfortable with corporate involvement -- not sure how it would impact the atmosphere of the festival.


I've got to agree with this. For the same reason that my idea of doing academic paper presentations got shot down, we need to keep it as non-commercial as possible.

On the other hand, there may be some room for commercialism in limited form. We were selling CDs there and some people bought them. Maybe what would be cool would be for someone to release a memory stick with all the photos, videos, and music that they can collect from the festival. I wouldn't mind some kind of games or carnival stuff but that might be getting silly. I know, I know, I shouldn't ramble on like this, I just do....

Les

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:

I think the concurrent activity gives electro-music a unique kind of "vibe". I like the idea that the sets are not formal concerts and that people can "come when they can and leave when they must". The lounge room was very nice and I enjoyed the presentations and some of the informal jams there.

I like the non-commercial, non-pop, non-conventional aspect of the electro-music.community and festival. Thus, I'm a little uncomfortable with corporate involvement -- not sure how it would impact the atmosphere of the festival.


hey kevin,
I agree that the concurrent activity is unique and very cool to stroll around to see different stuff. Im mainly just making that point that the more things that are going on ...the more it thins the crowds for each set/event.

As far as Corporate Sponsorships go...I do understand the mixed feelings and apprehension in that area. I thought it would be good to point out that option.
I myself was not much for sponsorship ideas at other festivals that I've been involved with. But, there can be (if done correctly) a good mutual benefit gained for both parties without a big change in the vibe of the fest. As long as the festival organizers lay down the guidelines, sponsors can be as visible or invisible as you would want them.

My ideas of big sponsorships were along the lines of Moog, Nord, Roland, etc...
Something that is very relevant to the festival... not like Coke-Cola or something like that.

In any case, just ideas that popped in my mind for the festival.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Oh yeah, one other small suggestion: increase the performance duration of the laptop battle. Most of us went on for well over 10 minutes anyway, and I have so much stuff I'm already planning for next year I doubt if I can keep it down to 10 minutes next year." Inventor

First off and again CONGRATS LES!
I know the electro-music.com does things differently but that just really isn't in the true spirit of a laptop battle. Rules vary from host to host of any laptop battle so e-m.com is gonna do what they want regardless.
The rules are simple:

1. Gear specifications:
i. Contestants can use up to one (1) midi controller & one (1) soundcard.
ii. All gear must fit in a 2' x 2' square.

2. Battles are chosen randomly.

3. Battles are 3 minutes long. Contestants can choose whether they want a 30 second warning issued by the MC. At 3 minutes the MC will fade out the contestant's output.

4. Judges (5) decide the outcome of battles in a single elimination style.

5. Contestants must be at the location of the battle half an hour before the battle for reasons below.
a. minimum amount of set-up time.
b. alternates will be onsite to take the place of contestants who fail to show up on time.

The first year, I think it was something like 15 mins. which was okay, but let's face it that is a PERFORMANCE, not a battle. The performance is meant for the lucky person that wins the battle. What you are proposing could just as easily be done in one of the jam sessions could it not. If you can't drop some hell in under three minutes, well then... maybe a battle isn't for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hahahhahhaa, MPECK, so you are throwing down the gauntlet for a three minute laptop battle? I'll take you up on that!

I guess we all did performances of 15 minutes average each, which was a cool laptop battle in my eyes and ears. Maybe we need an intense one and a slow one. Or maybe you and I can do a performance of battling laptops?

I must say that I am ignorant of the current state of affairs in laptop battles, so please do fill me in.

Thanks for the congrats, I worked on that program for months to win, and this year I'll be working on it off and on throughout the year, as you suggest you are doing also. May the best one win, or better yet, may we BOTH win! hahahhahahaha

Or should I say muhuhahaha!!!

Les

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:45 pm    Post subject: Noodle Battle Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Speaking of battles, how about a Noodle Battle?

A sort of autonomous version of the laptop battle --- the contest organizers produce a fixed input audio stream and provide this to the contestants at the beginning of the event, along with a description of the desired output.

During the course of the event (2 hours?) contestants build something that will transform the audio into the specified output in realtime, using whatever combination of hardware and software they want (analog modular, Nord Modular, Pd, Max/MSP, etc).

Then at the conclusion of the 2-hour block, the judges play back the input audio stream through each contraption (in front of an audience), and judge the results.

Kinda like those college-robotics-team competitions.

</daydreaming>

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Inventor
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

smokris, there was talk of a livecoding competition at EM09. I'm all for that and I'd participate. Perhaps your noodle battle would be an entry into the livecoding competition.

by the way, I'd also like to do something in the way of including people from far away into our little fun battles and such. Jan is the noodle master but he may choose not to travel, and Kassen - another Netherlands talent - is unlikely to show up yet sports livecoding victory on his lapel. Perhaps we need a way to include our other-earthly friends in the fun? Just a thought.

Les

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I must admit that I'm totally unfamiliar with laptop battles. I'm curious as to what is being judged? Perhaps this could use another thread. Thanks!

I really enjoyed Inventor's laptop offering at EM09. Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kkissinger wrote:
I must admit that I'm totally unfamiliar with laptop battles. I'm curious as to what is being judged? Perhaps this could use another thread. Thanks!

I really enjoyed Inventor's laptop offering at EM09. Smile


Ty Kevin, though your show made my performance pale by comparison. I was thinking of doing a Theremin imitation in my next laptop battle performance just for fun.

I think the judges were at a loss because of all the most excellent talent. They did, after all, select two winners not one, reflecting the diversity of talent that we collectively have.

On another topic, and as to suggestions, how about a performance in which we have our friends from afar who cannot be with us jam? I know Jan, Kassen, and others who could not be there could participate in such a thing.

Les

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
I like the non-commercial, non-pop, non-conventional aspect of the electro-music.community and festival. Thus, I'm a little uncomfortable with corporate involvement -- not sure how it would impact the atmosphere of the festival.


I agree with that. I would be ok with sponsors paying their money, being linked to, having their names mentioned.
I do think it would be better NOT to have them AT the festival promoting their products.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

electri-fire wrote:
Quote:
I like the non-commercial, non-pop, non-conventional aspect of the electro-music.community and festival. Thus, I'm a little uncomfortable with corporate involvement -- not sure how it would impact the atmosphere of the festival.


I agree with that. I would be ok with sponsors paying their money, being linked to, having their names mentioned.
I do think it would be better NOT to have them AT the festival promoting their products.


Yeah man, agreed, but what about a funnel cake stand or some sausages and cheesesteaks? mmmmm....

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

shanemorris wrote:

1. Assist with set up
2. Sound check and engineering
3. Signal the performer when to start and stop
4. Brief Announcement of what is next at the festival

Typing up this list and leaving it at the mixer would help, actually! One tends to forget.

It's funny, as I recall I announced performers last year when Jeremy and I did the sound in the B Room (with some on-site volunteers/draftees), but this year I spaced on that aspect. I think it was a function of the 7 PM until 2:30 PM shifts, for which I am not complaining. One does get a little brain addled until the end; witness the 15 minute stop-too-early in my set. Shane's point about loss of time consciousness entirely, but in the other direction.

Howard always did the announcing in the Cheltenham days (he knew everybody). In the B room last year I consulted with the artists and/or used their bios in the program. If somebody has a special skill for MCing, I'd say go for it. Otherwise I'll re-start doing it next year when I do sound. Not a problem -- I bark at undergrads all day long

I agree with Mokris' statements, and with Kevin's. I am leery of anything corporate these days, as anyone who heard my first tune can verify.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

To aid in timliness of sets:

A countdown timer? Could be placed so as to be plainly seen only by the performer. Could also have it set to fade UP some lights a minut early as a cue to the performer that time is approaching.

Or, wire up a smell generator that blows a fog lilac or honeysuckle, or cheeseburgers at the performer as a cue to wrap it up...

Or bet a golf ball retriever ( a really long one) and use it to deliver ping pong ball or something like it with a 2 minute warning...
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I suggest that the time of the festival not be close to the time of other established festivals such as Different Skies or City Skies.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
Hahahhahhaa, MPECK, so you are throwing down the gauntlet for a three minute laptop battle? I'll take you up on that!

I admire your sense of adventure. That post wasn't necessarily directed towards you but moreso to those that organize that part of the event. But if it's a challenge you're throwing out: when and where? Twisted Evil

The less time each competitor has, the more competitors the event will have, which is what you want. And this year had what 3 people? With so many laptops on hand that's it? I admit, 3 minutes isn't for everyone and performing on a laptop certainly isn't for everyone either. I posted the rules as something to consider for next year's event in hopes that it may attract more people to have a wider range of music to judge.

Kevin-
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.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I wasn't there so I'm a little bit in the dark. Reading this thread to get a sense of it all, I can't imagine what all this talk of "competition" and "battles" has to do with an electro-music festival.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Acoustic Interloper wrote:

Typing up this list and leaving it at the mixer would help, actually! One tends to forget.

It's funny, as I recall I announced performers last year when Jeremy and I did the sound in the B Room (with some on-site volunteers/draftees), but this year I spaced on that aspect.


Hey Dale
I want you to know that I thought you and and all the sound people did a fine job and I wasn't speaking in regards to anyone in particular in my suggestions earlier.
I was just formulating an idea to accomplish all of those tasks that seem to be needed.

A list for soundman/stage manager/streamers/mc is a good idea!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BananaPlug wrote:
Well, I wasn't there so I'm a little bit in the dark. Reading this thread to get a sense of it all, I can't imagine what all this talk of "competition" and "battles" has to do with an electro-music festival.
Hideing


I told rainshadow about it and she said "men", lol! We're just overdosing on testosterone and planning to kick each other's asses! hahahhah...

This year two people won, but I'd suggest that everyone win. Judges can give awards like "best DNB" or "best hi NRG" etc. to everyone involved perhaps. Or not. One thing is sure, Michael Peck and I have got a real challenge here. I'm sure that if we met today he would win, however I've got a year to polish up my craft and you might be amazed at what can happen in a year.

Are you ready for a smash down M.Peck?

Les

p.s. I joke but not really...

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

shanemorris wrote:
I wasn't speaking in regards to anyone in particular in my suggestions earlier.
I was just formulating an idea to accomplish all of those tasks that seem to be needed.

Oh, I know, I wasn't taking it as a critical comment. I was just marveling at how I basically spaced out about performer intros this year. Lack of sleep, maybe, although in some ways the festival was different, context was different. I think that tag teaming with Jeremy last year was different because we did have two people working the room together much of the time, with him being the lead sound engineer and me doing the MCing. If we get enough volunteers, it would be good to have 2 sound engineers working a room in tandem like that. For a number of hectic, late setups last year, I was sending him hand signals from the back of the room as the ensemble was ramping up. Sound engineer dueting has some advantages.

One other important aspect of the sound person is patience and people skills with the performers. The more demanding performers improve the sound setup. One performer with high standards complemented me on getting the room sound and the monitor sound lined up so well. He ran some tracks during setup and walked to the performance area and audience area to compare the sounds, and was very appreciative of the effort that went into getting them to match. It's a great opportunity to learn.

Sad to say that my single disappearing volunteer spent just enough time at the mixing board to change all the EQ settings that the artist had just set 5 minutes earlier, and then unceremoniously split. Volunteers need to know that other volunteers and performers are counting on them. Fortunately that sort of problem was an exception. Greg certainly did a great job coming up with volunteer list / schedule. I was happy to see that.

We also need a way to do sound check in one room without stepping on performance in the other. That is one limitation of this venue, because a couple of sound checks downstairs caused disturbances in The Force upstairs. I guess we need to simulate sound checks at lower amplitudes, and tweak them as the performers start playing. That's tough to do.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I must confess to complete ignorance about how other people do laptop battles. I don't have much interest in trying to do things the way others do. We'll do whatever works best for our community. However, I like the idea of making them shorter - 5 minutes sounds good to me. That way we can put them into a single session, so interested parties and especially the judges can hear them all together. I don't care about restricting the instruments or placing other arbitrary rules, as I don't see this as a real competition. More of an opportunity to have some fun by trying something a little different.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

We always face a difficult choice between allowing more people to perform and having more time for the other activities. I usually try to squeeze in as many performances as possible, because many artists won't come if they don't have a chance to perform. I fret about not having enough audience to attend everything, but the best solution to that is to try to draw more audience to the festival. I agree with Shane that more local publicity should help. If we didn't schedule performances and seminars concurrently, that would mean about 30 fewer performnace slots (or fewer seminars). If we allow an extra 5 minutes between concerts, that's about 10 fewer performances. Some of the things I think we need to do next year are:
- no scheduled sessions after 1am (the sound engineers and other volunteers are pretty much wiped out by then). Jam sessions can continue, so there will still be music as long as someone wants to play.
- as we discussed, find a good way to keep people on time
- If we have last minute cancellations, I'm leaning towards letting the schedule breathe a bit rather than fill in the spots by giving artists a second performance
- keep the collaborative sessions at midnight (I also enjoy seeing artists invite other attendees to support them in their set - we should encourage more of this)
- do a better job of announcing and posting the times for each set

Now, the other big dilemma we face is how to get enough volunteers to do all the things we would like to do. This year we barely had enough to cover the sound engineering and streaming. This is with each volunteer doing a half day (about 7 hours). And with Paul holding down the streaming almost the entire time. Many of the suggestions in this thread will require additional volunteers. It would be cool if we could offer volunteers free tickets, but we'll need a big increase in attendance before that becomes possible. So, when making a suggestion for a new procedure, activity, etc. think about how you would staff it.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mohoyoho wrote:
I suggest that the time of the festival not be close to the time of other established festivals such as Different Skies or City Skies.


Unfortunately, I think we are destined to overlap or be very close to Different Skies. Their most likely time next year is Sept 26 to Oct 2, and our window of availability for Star Lake is mid-Sept to mid-Oct.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

egw wrote:
I must confess to complete ignorance about how other people do laptop battles. I don't have much interest in trying to do things the way others do. We'll do whatever works best for our community. However, I like the idea of making them shorter - 5 minutes sounds good to me. That way we can put them into a single session, so interested parties and especially the judges can hear them all together. I don't care about restricting the instruments or placing other arbitrary rules, as I don't see this as a real competition. More of an opportunity to have some fun by trying something a little different.


Five minutes it shall be then! Are you ready for the challenge M.Peck, or can you only last for three minutes? I joke of course! This year I did a "performance" complete with comedy and fun. Next year, given only five minutes, it will be all power and no sympathy! I suggest someone keep time and subtract points for overages, eh?

Les

p.s. all in good fun, but... You got your game on?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Greg,
What if we started the festival a little earlier? I believe things didnt get fired up until noon.

How about starting at 9 or 10 am? It didnt seem like people were really staying up all that late. Would help with the time issues.

If we started at 10am say... thats 6 extra hours over the course of 3 days.

I was thinking a workshop, collaboration, or swap meet would work during this time.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What was the disturbance that Art Cohen addressed during his performance with Steve? Were there people playing synths in the audience? Was that a common ocurrence?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mohoyoho wrote:
What was the disturbance that Art Cohen addressed during his performance with Steve? Were there people playing synths in the audience? Was that a common ocurrence?


I think this was due to the layout of the Downstairs area, performances were not well insulated from the swap meet / modular exhibits / food / other distractions including the slamming doors and entrance noise.

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