Cassette Battle F.A.Q. [last updated Feb 21, 2003] 1. Are outboard effects or processors allowed? -- No. Any effects boxes, guitar pedals, samplers, Echoplexes or other tape-based delay boxes, or any other pieces of effects gear are not allowed. Using or modifing an existing audio cassette device to provide certain effects is allowed (see rules 8 & 9) but in general ALL "EFFECTS" MUST BE AUDIO CASSETTE BASED. 2. Could I take a brand new commercial tape, put tape over the ends, and record while it's playing, so as to use the feedback during performance? -- Yes. 3. Can I use blank/recordable tapes? -- Yes. You may use regular recordable cassette tapes as an element of your performance. You may also modify recordable cassettes as long as they are still blank. All audio material must originate live from from published audio cassette recordings (this is to keep people from assembling a set on a recordable tape and then faking lots of cool tricks) but feedback, recording tape loops in real time, etc. using blank or recordable cassettes are all allowed. 4. Can I open up the tape player and mess with the tape while it's playing? -- Yes. There are no limits to what a competitor may do with their audio cassette tapes -- this is the point of the championship. The rules are simply meant to provide some sort of framework for the competitors and judges. As long as a competitor doesn't pre-produce any elements of their set on recordable tapes, just about anything is allowed. 5. I'm used to my own mixer, can I bring it? -- Yes. Contestants may bring and use any cassette players, recorders, or audio mixers they like. However, the rules about "all source material must come from cassette tapes" still apply (i.e. if you have a dj mixer with a sampler in it you can't use the sampler). Please also remember that, since most competitors will bring at least some of their own equipment, all competitors must explain their particular setup to the judges before they perform in order to help the judges score their set accurately. 6. Will any cabling be provided at the championships (such as RCA and the such to hook up brought in mixers to a sound system? -- Yes, we will have lots of cables and adaptors. 7. Will an amp/speakers/any sound system be provided or will each CJ have to provide? -- We'll have a PA system, and also we'd like to do soundchecks earlier in the day if possible. While one CJ is performing, the next one will be setting up/fine-tuning, etc. Since people will probably be bringing lots of their own gear, it would seem best to get as much setup ahead of time as possible. 8. Can I use a mic? -- This one was actually a little tough, but we decided to allow LIVE microphone usage. There are so many cassette recorders with mic inputs, it seemed silly to disqualify them. Though we have our "commercial cassette only" sound source rule, it is only meant to encourage performance and discovery of the magnetic tape medium. So in the end, someone using a microphone live to interact with tape seemed appropriate (but just singing or beat-boxing with no thought to working with the tape will not score points with the judges). 9. Can I use feedback? -- Yes (see rule #2). Feedback using tapes, built-in microphones, circuit bent tape decks, etc. is allowed. 10. Can I use a reel-to-reel? -- No. The only allowed format is the standard cassette tape. Reel-to-reels, mini-cassette devices, vhs decks, DAT's, and all other differing formats aren't alowed. 11. Can I use my four-track? -- Yes, as long as your four-track uses standard cassette tapes (most do). 12. What are some of the techniques that competitors used last year? -- To name a few, CJ Larry made some loop tapes from released recordings and rubbed off parts of the tape to get different rhythms; CJ Yergy Yelevi removed a tape head from a tape deck, mounted it on a pencil, and then "scratched" it back and forth over some suspended tape; CJ Howard Stelzer used some hand-held cassette players with mics and speakers to generate feedback (while using only Billy Joel tapes for source material); CJ LeDeuce used his four-track to play slow, ambient style washes mixed with half-speed Lionel Richie; CJ Freakface dressed up in a clown suit, played lots of eurodance hits, and pumped his fist (and came in third). 13. Is it outdoors? -- No, it's indoors. 14. Will there be free beer? -- We certainly hope so. 15. What are the major changes from last year -- There are no major changes since everything last year went so well. Only a few minor rule updates and some changes in setup and judging, mostly meant to increase the judges' objectivity. Also this year the Cassette Battle and the Version Festival afterparty are one and the same so please stick around for cj's, dj's, and bands afterwards. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Back to the rules.