Several people have asked me to explain the rules for the NGADM so I have mostly copied one of Step's old posts with a few modifications (but it's essentially the same).
1.) Every track you make in the knockout contest has to be made from scratch, by you, for the competition. No remixes, covers, arrangements, or revisiting old tracks. Having said that, you may ask someone to play an instrument for you or sing for you*.
2.) If you entered as a team of you, then your round's submission must be a collaborative effort.
3.) Keep in mind that this is a MUSIC competition. We won't judge voice-acting, experimental noise, sound effects or anything that doesn't count as music.
4.) If you finish a round's track early, you may start another one which you can use for the following round, assuming you make it through.
* A note on enlisting singers/instrument players: it's OK to do this, even if you didn't enter as a team! The ONLY rule is that ANY form of composition or production was made by you, and not the instrument player/singer you're working with. That means no asking for improvs and no giving creative freedom. If you have an instrumentalist or singer you plan on working with a lot for the competition, consider asking him/her to enter with you as a team.
And some GENERAL RULES:
1.) All tracks posted to the competition must be uploaded to Newgrounds.
2.) Keep any suggestions, arguments and complaints to PMs. Do NOT argue or complain about a judge's score, for example, in the thread. That includes anything from passive-aggressive remarks to butthurt rants. I cannot stress this enough.
3.) Use the NGADM submissions threads to post your submissions, but you must keep discussion to the announcement threads. That said, try to keep it NGADM-related or music-related. As we say every year, you can talk about how your cat bit your arse which suddenly gave you inspiration to make the most amazing song ever, but you can't talk about your cat and you certainly can't talk about your arse.
4.) All Audio Portal rules apply, and all BBS rules apply. This should go without saying!
5.) This contest is tough. You're expected to churn out a track every few weeks. We love the huge turnout we get each year in terms of participants, but if you can't keep up with the pace, consider backing out of this one. Walkovers will happen no matter what, but we'd like to keep them at a minimum.
6.) Lastly, this contest is and always was a means to have some competitive fun, keyword being FUN. Do not enter it with the sole intent of winning; we encourage friendly discussion, posting reviews on each other's tracks and being a good sport. However, don't all be softies either. This is called a deathmatch for a reason! Now put your game face on.
Am I getting any reviews on my audition track?
Not necessarily. There are nearly 200 audition tracks and it's pretty much impossible to review them all. Some judges do post occasional reviews and may take polite requests, but don't count on it.
Am I getting any reviews on my competition track?
Yes, you'll be getting reviews from the judges for each competition track you make barring the audition. For the first round or two, however, you won't necessarily be getting a review from each judge, as the reviewing workload will be split.
Where will results be posted?
They'll be posted in a new thread for every round. You'll be tagged upon the publishing of any results that concern you.
When will results be posted?
Check the schedule below. The results thread can be posted ANY TIME during results day.
Will I get more/less marks for being in a team?
No, every competitor, whether in a team or solo, will be judged equally.
Can I submit a cover/arrangement?
Unless it's for the auditions, no you cannot.
Can I collaborate with someone else on a contest submission?
If you haven't entered as a team, then everything you make has to be done solo. The only exception we make is having singers or instrument players in your track. As long as you do ALL of the composition and production yourself, you are allowed to, say, send MIDI files to other people and have them play an instrument/sing for you.
Can I work on music for the contest before the contest starts?
No, every track has to be made within the 2/3-week period of the round it is in. However, if you finish your round track early, we permit starting to work on your next round's track.
Is there a maximum/minimum length requirement for the contest track?
No, but use your common sense! Anything too long will be harder to keep interesting and coherent/structured, and anything too short might not have enough memorable content in it.
Where do I post my round submission?
In the results thread of the previous round.
Who will be judging my submissions?
What is the judging criteria for the music?
This is asked very frequently and it's a very hard question to answer since every judge is given free reign on how to judge the music. However, for general guidelines:
- Don't focus on just one or a bunch of areas of your track and neglect the rest. Judges will take into consideration everything, from mixing to mastering to melodies to harmonies to structure to transitions to everything in-between.
- Originality IS a factor we consider, just like any other positive factor of a piece of music.
- Make sure your track is one cohesive experience, has a suitable amount of content and adequately maintains interest from start to finish. This means that "background music" that's 8 minutes long and only changes slightly once every 16 bars, 1-minute loops with little musical content and tracks that sounds like three different tracks or movements glued together all will have marks deducted.
- Do NOT blame any shortcoming of your track on the genre it's in. Comments like "This is house, obviously it will sound repetitive" or "This is orchestral, it doesn't need good mixing" will get you nowhere. This competition receives submissions consisting of many different genres and we try and be as unbiased as possible, so we won't be closing blind eyes for gripes we have with tracks just because of the genre they are in.
- You are in a music competition. The less your track sounds like a piece of music, the less you have a chance of making it through. Experimental noise, atonal ambience, voice-acting, sound effect compilations, etc... don't make it very high on a judge's score sheet.
However you can count on reviews, front page exposure and PC games for the top 3 positions and more.
8th July - 22nd July. (2 weeks)
1 week judging.
29th July – 19th August. (3 weeks)
1 week judging.
26th August – 16th September. (3 weeks)
1 week judging.
Contest results: End of September.
Note: Timezone used is Newgrounds time: GMT
Note 2: All dates are inclusive. For example, if a deadline is on a Tuesday, then the actual deadline is Tuesday at midnight GMT, meaning you have all of Tuesday to finish your submission.
Note 3: The first round is 2 weeks long for an arbitrary reason - I am unavailable the week after so it had to be this way.
Note 4: This year the later rounds are 3 weeks long as we've often found in the past that 2 weeks can be tough when you have to churn out so many tracks. We want to promote attention to detail and quality production this year.
@Step Thank you for posting such detailed rules in the past, I hope you don't mind me borrowing this!