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Hey! My name's Stephan Wells, and I'm a musician, mixing engineer, programmer, proofreader, gamer, aspiring game developer, audio moderator, and former host of the NGADM. Thanks to Youkos for the user image and profile icon!

Stephan Wells @Step

26, Male


Utrecht University


Joined on 11/4/07

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Step's News

Posted by Step - February 2nd, 2021

Hey all! It's been *literally* almost 5 years but I'm going to update this page with another news post!

I am now on Spotify. I only uploaded one song on there so far, which is my song Lucid, and if you want to support me as a musician or just have an easier way to listen to my music then go ahead and drop me a follow!



Posted by Step - February 12th, 2016

I've been regretfully a bit inactive recently, but I think it's about time I replace the outdated NGADM newspost with something new. So... I'm happy to say that I've released some new music and have more on its way!

Check out this orchestral piece I've been working on for quite a while now. It's an arrangement of some music from the game Guild Wars 2.

As for upcoming music, look forward to multiple animation scores, a singalong collaboration, and hopefully more, if my workload permits.

Also, I'm approaching 1,000 fans, which is pretty amazing! Anyone who wants to help me out here will be handsomly rewarded with copious amounts of internets and cookies.

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day.


EDIT: Apparently I hit 1,000 fans. Thank you very much, this is a huge milestone!


Posted by Step - July 4th, 2015

Why hello there! This is a newspost full of tons of useful info for the NGADM (Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch) 2015! Don't know what I'm talking about? Click on that link to find out more!



Just like every year, this year the contest is split into two; the AUDITIONS phase and the KNOCKOUT phase. Each phase has its own separate rules, so make sure you read it all, because - plot twist - some things which are banned in one phase are totally OK in the other! Keep in mind that you're allowed to enter either solo or with a partner.


Here are the rules for the AUDITIONS phase:

1.) You are allowed to post a track that you've made from scratch, or a track that you've made in the past.

2.) The audition track may be a cover/arrangement, but unless you're entering as a team, the track cannot be a collaborative effort.

3.) If you posted your audition track but change your mind and wish to change it, state CLEARLY in the thread.

4.) If you're entering as a team of two, your audition can be a collaborative effort between you and your collab partner, or a track by any one of you individually.

5.) Auditions posted after the deadline will not be accepted unless it's for a <em>ridiculously good reason</em>.


Here are the rules for the KNOCKOUT phase:

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 can be a track by either one of you or 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.



1.) All tracks posted to the competition must be uploaded to Newgrounds. Audition tracks which aren't uploaded to Newgrounds are accepted ONLY on a case-by-case basis.

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 threads to post your submissions, but you may also post any kind of discussion. 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 two 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 have a notification PM'd to you 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-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.




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Note: Timezone used is Newgrounds time: EDT (GMT - 4)

Note 2: All dates are inclusive. For example, if a deadline is on a Tuesday, then the actual deadline is Tuesday at midnight EDT, meaning you have all of Tuesday to finish your submission.

Note 3: (J) denotes a judging period.



Posted by Step - June 28th, 2015

Toto - Africa cover. 13 people involved. 22 different vocal lines. I did the mixing. GO LISTEN.

Posted by Step - June 10th, 2015

To Be With You cover. 11 people involved. 13 different vocal lines. I did the mixing. GO LISTEN.

Posted by Step - May 19th, 2015

Summer of 69 cover. 13 people involved. 9 different vocal lines. I did the mixing. Go listen.

Posted by Step - April 19th, 2015

What happens when nine musicians/singers get together? THIS.


It's a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson". Check it out!

Posted by Step - January 19th, 2015

My good friend @stunkel finished his first ever album, a minimalistic earcandy-filled listening experience called Balloons. Check it out here, here, here or possibly even here!



Posted by Step - January 17th, 2015

WOW. Thanks a lot, Newgrounds. This is huge.


Quick shameless advertisement: For whoever wants to check out my stuff, here are some good places to start!


Anyway, really flattered right now. Thanks to everyone who made this happen and thanks to you for checking out my page!



Posted by Step - December 26th, 2014

Hope you've all had a merry christmas! To end the year, here are some arrangements I made for the free Smash Bros arrangement album Harmony of Heroes: Final Smash:


Snake Eater Arrangement

Super Mario Galaxy Medley


Feedback would be great!