battle/song ideas

i have thought about several battle rules throughout my participation in the battles, and thought it would be nice to start a thread for a few reasons.

1. a person who wins may not be particularly inspired to actually create new rules and might want to draw from this thread for an idea, whether directly, or any combination of ideas from the multitude of creative minds here.

2. someone might not be into battles at all, but looking for a new way to think about starting song or project.

3. i have lots of ideas, and it would be hard for me to choose any one direction if i ever were to win the honor.

i’m sure there are other cool ideas out there that folks have that would be cool to hear about, for all reasons above.

additionally, although we may have already done one idea or another, it would be cool also to repeat a rule set, since at a different space or time, the outcome of the battle might be entirely new and different. i would love to do another “analogue battle” for example.

here are some that i’ve seen already on the forum:

kraftwerk battle
use a single classic album (sample as much as you want from any song on that album)

here are some other ideas i’ve had, which could be embellished, altered to the rule-makers taste and/or mashed up:

sample any of the songs from the previous battle - (also may use patches from those songs if the original creator is willing to provide them)
in & out battle - can bounce audio from tapes out to a computer and reprocess the audio using any SW or HW effects back in thru the line in
mad libs battle - finish the paragraph
"i used the (1 internal synth) for the lead. the (1 internal drum kit) provided all of the beats in the track. i used the (single patch) from my (single external instrument) to add some additional sounds to the mix. i sampled (single artist song from youtube)….and so on"
progressive battle - post your song every 1-2 days and replace it on soundcloud as you move closer to the deadline as it continues to evolve (the idea is to get a sense of how a track evolves)
time sensitive battle - give points for folks who turn their tracks in sooner, and have it influence the voting
mash-up battle - sample anything from at least 2-3 artists (like 2 Live Crew vs Astrud Gilberto vs Iron Maiden)
producer battle - sample any of the works of a single outstanding producer (David Axelrod, Brian Eno, Nigel Godrich)
tempo controlled battle - all songs must be at 110 bpm (would create a single tempo across a full playlist of submitted tracks)
other gear battle - only use external gear recording to sampler or to tape
vinyl battle - only can record from vinyl (or youtube videos where vinyl is the source for those without vinyl record collections)
a capella - everyone make a backing track to a vocal

Good ideas in there.

I was really hoping the battle going on during the Elektron competition would use the “we’re not talking about a simple looping device” sample to show some of those folks what the op1 can do.

@lymtronics - haven’t jumped on the elektron bandwagon yet, although tempting. I like the idea of restrictive battles as well though. just sampling only one spoken phrase, (even the elektron one) or even a few beats out of a classic break would be cool too.

those guys should listen to the oh-pee-battles soundcloud to get just glimpse of what can be done with an OP.

@Lymtronics, that exact same thought went through my head too :wink: Given what we’ve been able to produce with noise, glitches, the metronome, etc in the past, I imagine we could conjour up some decent tracks with that phrase :slight_smile:

Super ideas, @kln!

OST Battle

Find a spoken word story on the internet (or create one ourselves) that contains just speech (no background noise). Then our job is to provide an Original Sound Track to the story. Eg, if the story was Little Red Riding Hood, we could provide a sinister soundtrack complete with sound effects.

If I won or was given the opportunity to create a battle it would be a sample based competition dedicated to the guy who really inspired me into going it alone in music making on computer and gear after previously being in (indie) bands … DJ Shadow and in particular the Endtroducing album.

Endtroducing is a completely sample-based album with Shadow creating songs from multiple other rare and obscure songs he’s sampled from.

My brief would be to have a sample based competition where you could use anything from any song that shadow sampled in Endtroducing.

There’s a massive mixed bag to choose from!

actual Top Hits n tits op1ed , i mean destroyed by OP1 seems like honey on my pizza

meaning bullseye on top bullshit or kilimajaro sex .see ya in court

I have skipped the last few battles (although the rules were interesting, they didn’t sync with my direction enough at the moment), my participation in the past was predicated on wanting to write the rules of a battle one day (that, and the battles are a really fun way to use the OP-1 and get outside of your usual ‘box’). Granted, I got to do the rules once, but it was a collaborative win, so I didn’t get to write the exact rules I wanted. I hope, one day, to get the chance, but winning a battle, on my own. Until then, I’m keeping my idea to myself. Having said that, I like this thread, it’s cool to get ideas from these suggestions. Even if I don’t use them directly, I could see being very inspired by some of the suggestions.

OST Battle is a fantastic idea! @Yoof We can produce a movie soundtrack every month, I would participate. Yes, I lost a few Battles in the past, but I’m willing to come back :slight_smile:
And thanks to you @Kln for your thoughts. Might be important for the next ones!

@kln I agree that revisiting old rules would yield completely new results and would be into giving the same set of parameters another go.

@tribrix - i feel you. i hesitated to start this thread for a long time, holding my ideas as an inspiration to finish (and hopefully win) the next battle. (i have several ideas that i haven't shared yet. ha!)

@spacetravelmadeeasy - funny you mention Endtroducing. i had been thinking about a set of rules that would allow the use of samples from any tracks used to make Brainfreeze (Shadow & Cut Chemist). i'd be "all in" for either battle.

@yoof - another idea i had (a terrible idea that is), similar to yours, was to find a youtube clip of a music video and make a new song to overdub the existing music. but i like your idea better, since it doesn't rely on working with movie editing software and the like...yours could still all be done in the music.

here's some more from my ever expanding unwritten list...(but not all of them). ha!

Star Wars battle - sample the soundtrack and any sound effects or dialog
collaboration remix battle - anyone can make a drum kit and some stems and post for others to work from for their final entry
battle by committee - make one rule yourself, and then let the first 3-4 people who chime in on the thread make additional rules
animal battle - bird chirping, dog barking, whale song...must use an animal sound in your track
align with a Beatport remix contest - pick one of the remix contests they do and create your track using their stems & OP-1 primarily, enter both competitions
battle of eras - choose an era 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's and sample, cover or emulate the sound of that era. (could be any genre, and could be a modern rendition of that era's song).
love/hate battle - pick a song that you despise and sample it to recreate something that you love

I love those last two ideas @kln. Imagine a 50’s style Doo Wop battle :slight_smile:

@kln Brainfreeze is probably THE greatest mix ever :wink:
I used to be obsessed with that mix (used to DJ old dirty soul n funk) and have all the tracks on vinyl.

Extremely proud to own Mystic Moods “Cosmic Sea” and Nu Sound Express Ltd “Ain’t it good enough” on seven inch :slight_smile:

Would be VERY much up for that battle!

Fantasy Battle Idea: Drum Kit Battle!

The rules are:

(1) Make the best Op-1 drumkit that you can make using whatever means of putting it
together that you like (VST Drum Utility, hand rolled the Op-1, etc) and whatever
sound sources you like. Upload the drumkit to soundcloud and make it downloadable.

(2) Put together a track using nothing but the drumkit as the source for audio. You are free
to resample however much you like, dropping things into either sampler, using the white ear,
go crazy with effects, bouncing to album and back to tape - all good. As long as all audio has
originally come from that drum kit. Finally, bounce the track to album and upload to soundcloud.


Voters are invited to download all the drum kits and play around with them on their Op-1's.
Voting is done by providing a single vote which is based on both aspects of the battle:
(1) the drum kit and (2) the track.

I was searching back though the battle pages to see if any of my ideas had already been done before when i found this great thread. I’ve got a few ideas I’ll drop below…

  1. The ODD BATTLE. A significant portion of your track must be an odd time, and by odd time I mean anything other than 4/4. The odder, the better!

  2. The FACE YOUR FEARS BATTLE. Use an area of the op-1 that you are least comfortable with. If you can’t stand finger drummer, that should be where you start and come up with the bulk of your track. Who knows, you may even end up liking it by the time you’re done!

  3. RHYTHM VS MELODY BATTLE. Upload two tracks. One of them strictly drums and rhythmic instruments (no melodies or leads), and another using strictly melodic elements (no drums). They can be totally different tempos and don’t need to match in any way. This will afford you to use all four tape tracks to really delve into some extra crazy drums, and extra crazy melodies/harmonies!

  4. SKETCHY BATTLE. Use the sketch sequencer to come up with the main audio chunk of your track. When you upload to soundcloud, use a picture of your sketch as your track image!

  5. RADIO BATTLE. I imagine that many of these battlers are from all over the world, so it might be cool to use a local station as a sound source and post what country/state you’re from.


  1. The FACE YOUR FEARS BATTLE. Use an area of the op-1 that you are least comfortable with. If you can’t stand finger drummer, that should be where you start and come up with the bulk of your track. Who knows, you may even end up liking it by the time you’re done!

  2. SKETCHY BATTLE. Use the sketch sequencer to come up with the main audio chunk of your track. When you upload to soundcloud, use a picture of your sketch as your track image!

Sketch sequencer is my biggest fear.

haha @Plague I doubt you’re alone!

Sounds from silence:

No synths, no samples, no external sampling. Create all sounds from the background noise of the OP-1 (clicks from the tape, background noise of the effects). Internal resampling highly recommended.