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Innovative laptop battle, sponsored by Mackie

Published: Thu November 06, 2008  News Feed

The Onyx 1640 is a deadly weapon. Just ask the guy who created the worldwide Laptop Battle competition.


Mackie is psyched to sponsor the Seattle-based Laptop Battle. This may entice the more imaginative readers to conjure up images of scantily clad she-warriors hurling iBooks at each other in a fight to the death. Oh…no? Maybe that’s just me. The Laptop Battle is much more interesting and certainly more entertaining. 

In 2003, Kris Moon and Zach Huntting from the Fourthcity collective created an original concept to bring people and music together…the Laptop Battle.

Kris Moon

We thought it was a great idea to expose some of the underground talent that was really starting to come of age in Seattle around that time. The event was also a reaction to boring shows with laptops, a phenomenon that has grown less frequent with the advent of better MIDI controllers and bigger audiences for electronic music straight off the hard drive.

You don’t have to be an established musician or have loads of high-end equipment to participate. A wide variety of musical sounds are welcomed…there are no rules at all regarding content. In fact, the rules are very simple:

Gear Specifications:

· Up to one MIDI controller and one soundcard

· All gear must fit into a 2’ x 2’ square

The battle is a single elimination tournament and battles are randomly chosen

Battles are 3-minutes long. After that time is up, the MC will fade out the contest’s output

The choice of material, software and everything else is completely up to the contestant. This leaves room for a tremendous amount of creative freedom.

2008-Laptop-Battle-xBenAt the center of it all is a Mackie Onyx 1640. The crew hooks several battlers into the mixer, drastically minimizing the time between acts.

The Mackie is at the heart of the Laptop Battle.  It sits on the junction between two 6' tables, with four laptops on either side.  It's the perfect mixer for the show, we hook eight laptops into it at once, filling up all the channels, and send the front of house our stereo mains.  After the first four battles, we break down and set up another eight lappys in about 10 minutes, and a big part of that speed is the ease of use of the Onyx 1640.

The Laptop Battle is growing and Mackie will likely sponsor this great event for years to come, including the National Championship in February 2009.

We've continued to throw battles, moving from the Deep Down to Chop Suey, where in 2004 the first ever Championship event was held.  Early on in 2003 and 2004 several other cities started throwing battles, including Philly and Dallas.  Fourthcity also took a tour down the coast, and rallied winners from SF and LA.  Since then, we've had many other cities join the fold. At our 5th Championship event on February 20th, '09 at Nectar Lounge, we will have contestants from Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin, Seattle, Philly & Dallas. 

The Laptop Battle has also grown overseas, with outposts in Tokyo, New Zealand, Germany and the UK.


Laptop Battle winners will enjoy some choice Mackie gear as regional champions will receive a copy of the Tracktion 3 Ultimate Bundle and the national champion scores a pair of HR624mk2 High-Resolution Studio Monitors.

For more info on the Laptop Battle or Kris Moon and his projects, visit:

http://soundcloud.com/kris-moon - - Kris' favorite new way to share music

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