It's a shame to see some negative vibes in this thread. First time i've ever seen confrontation on the old or new STBB forum as it's always such a congenial place full of like minded and often supportive individuals.
There has evidently been issue with the interpretation of the rules, and like you Von, I also wondered at first if pitched up instruments like synth bass and guitars were allowed, and I totally appreciate that you made your track in good faith thinking they were. When Joa then clarified the rules to you since he heard what you had done, he didn't know that you hadn't understood that it was against the rules, so it was really just a case of a little misunderstanding and confusion, and really no need for anyone to start getting snippy.
I can also appreciate you may feel Joa has a history of pulling you up about the rules, but he's just doing his job as we obviously need to make sure we all do stick to them so it's a fair battle. Importantly though, please note that he's not trying to cause issues or annoy you. He's just clarifying the rules as they were intended, regardless of how long after the OP that is. (Clarifying the rules and changing the rules are different of course. The latter shouldn't be done once the OP has been made)
I'm sure we are all mature and chilled enough to manage such issues respectively without anyone falling out with each other.
Going forward to best try and mitigate such misunderstandings happening again, we all just need to think carefully about making sure the rules are very clear and there is nothing open to potential misunderstanding, as it can of course be easy done such as in this comps case.
Now let's all put any bad vibes behind us and all keep making great music.
PS Von, is that your Moog Grandmother on bass duties? Whatever it is it's phat.