Robotics Tournament Music

What music do you guys play at robotics competitions? What software do you use to play them; Spotify, Grooveshark, iTunes, Windows Media Player etc? I want to get a playlist of good songs together.

The rules for the songs.

  1. No offensive language
  2. dubstepy?
  3. Robotics qualified


You’re going to need to clarify “offensive language.” Is Thrift Shop (Macklemore) okay?

I have a MASSIVE iTunes library (80+ gigs) and we typically just use music from that during meetings. We make a massive playlist of music that people like, and put it on shuffle. I assume the same idea would work for a full competition. Hook it up to whatever sound system you’re using and just turn it down a bit while you’re announcing matches. Bonus points for having music where all the Pits are that stays on the entire time.

You want good DubStep? Try Excission, but screen the music first. I like Modestep’s “Evolution Theory” album, too, and I think all of their stuff is clean. Some stuff by Skrillex is good, but not everything he did is as amazing as you hear. DubStep is a huge genre of music that gets talked up really big, but generally isn’t that good due to how many amateur producers there are.

As for other music, you really can’t go wrong with what’s popular. Imagine Dragons’s “Night Visions,” (Clean) and FUN’s “Some Nights” (Mostly clean) are two of my personal favorite albums out right now. Green Day has some good stuff, but they don’t have any albums I would listen to in their entirety. If you’re really in a bind, music from the 90’s is going to be fairly clean. AC/DC, Journey, Asia, Def Leopard, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi (and some of his newer stuff) would all work. Some other bands you may want to check out include Breaking Benjamin, Evanesence, some of Taylor Swift’s new (or classic) albums, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Nickleback (ignore the internet’s hate, they’re actually pretty good), 3 Doors Down and Ed Sheeron.

Make sure you don’t forget the songs everyone knows. Radioactive (Imagine Dragons), Catch My Breath (Kelley Clarkson), Give me a Reason and Try (P!nk), Some Nights, We are Young, and Carry On (FUN), that kind of thing. Nothing gets people’s enthusiasm up like singing along to amazing music.

Let me know on how clean the music needs to be, and I can always get some more ideas for you.

No cuss words or anything. Um, no. That’s not ok ;p

Ask your mentors for suggestions, those of us who finished high school in the 80’s remember when music didn’t have to be vulgar to be entertaining. There’s plenty of classic rock that would be enjoyed by most without offending anyone.

Just had to check. We play basically anything here, with very few exceptions.

Sadly that rules out basically everything Macklemore did. Which is a shame, becuase his “The Heist” album is excellent. The “Some Nights” album should be fine apart from “Some Nights (Intro)” which isn’t quite the right mood anyway. Everything else I mentioned was clean, according to the filter on iTunes.

Any genres of music you’re partially fond of? Most of what I suggested was rock/pop, but there’s tons of other stuff out there. I don’t know how well smooth jazz would fit a Robotics Tournament, though.

I remember tournaments around Omaha having a lot of classic rock. US nationals in 2009 had a lot of Queen, Styx, and other older bands. “We are the champions” seems to play at the finals often. I don’t know anything as far as software to play it goes, since this year’s nationals I was behind a microphone, not a laptop. One of the other announcers suggested playing one or two themes from Pokemon.

ALSO: although it’d be hard to find something robot related, you can never go wrong with Led Zeppelin

I don’t think music is entertaining because of vulgarity. The 80s had plenty of that anyways, take off the rose tinted glasses.

Personally I’d second the Modestep suggestion. Avoiding lyrics in your music lets it not only be less of the focus and more of background and filler, but also gets you past the issue of language.

One thing you could try out is picking a genre on Pandora and getting music from the artists that come up as it plays. I wouldn’t use it during competition however because of the ads and potential for unfiltered songs to crop up.

It might be also worth looking into BBC Radio 1’s essential mixes, I believe those are all at least censored and it solves the playlist issue for you.
Here are links to a few of those.

Sorry if posting links is not allowed… unsure on the rule with that.](
you could also try to use the search function :stuck_out_tongue:

Ooh, another idea. Soundtracks.

Look at stuff from Final Fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Kingdom Hearts, Halo, Pirates of the Carribean and especially Doctor Who. Not every song will be a good fit, but I’m sure you can find something in there.

Personally, I’m a fan of “One-Winged Angel,” “To Zanarkand,” “1000 no Kotuba (1000 Words in English),” and “New Bodhum” just to name a few tracks from various Final Fantasy soundtracks. I think those are from 7, 10, 10-2 and 13-2 respectively. Basically everything from this new Doctor Who series will be a hit with students, too.

EDIT: Mass Effect has some excellent tracks, too.

Soundtracks, you say?

Although it’s probably not as recognized, Battlestar Galactica had pretty good music. Plus, the whole humans vs. robots thing makes it relevant.

On the other end of the recognition scale, Star Trek’s soundtrack would do well, I believe

I agree with this there are usually good songs from movies that can fit the moment, but mix it up so there will be something for everyone :slight_smile:

I highly suggest the Portal 2 sound track; I like it a lot, it is 98.4375% lyric-less, it is totally robotics qualified, and totally free!
The Batman soundtrack. Or anything from Hans Zimmer…
The LOTR soundtrack is quite good also, maybe not very robotics qualified.

With lyrics: (all clean)
Skillet (They have a new album too)
Lecrae :stuck_out_tongue:

As far as media players go…
Most competitions do not have free WiFi, so no internet reliant programs unless you are sure that you will have interwebz.
I personally use foobar2000, but Windows Media Player should work fine as well.

I was hoping you would post. I really enjoyed the music at US Nationals. Would you mind sharing the playlist you used?

I really like all your suggestions. Thanks!

That music was not mine, it was Delta’s. Maybe PM him? I don’t have the playlist, sorry.

Sorry to burst your bubble but… don’t you need permission to play copyrighted music to a public audience or something?

Was actually thinking about this too, poshe. I’m unable to find anything about it in google searching though…

Actually, under the DMCA the use of copyrighted material is permitted for multiple reasons. One of which is education.

This counts.

However, if we’re comparing robotics to a sport like it ought to be, I think the line blurs between educational use and commercial. Does anyone know the rules for sporting events? I know that at basketball games at my school they’ve had music playing over the intercom, but that might have been an isolated case.

Not sure about that, perhaps one of the event partners could comment. I thought an ASCAP/BMI license was needed.

When at all possible I make sure that all the songs I play have no profanity in them. However there have been a few that have slipped by mainly because the word is fairly obscure (example: In the end - Breaking Benjamin, Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day, or Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5). I don’t think vulgarity make the song any better, in fact I would argue the opposite but if it is good enough song I can overlook it.
For a media player I use Media Monkey, or J River Jukebox because I like the customization. And as far as bands go, Lindsey Stirling, Dragonforce, and Petra are among my favorites to play at tournaments.