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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

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Utrecht University


Joined on 11/4/07

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NGADM 2014!

Posted by Step - July 5th, 2014

Heya! This here is the newspost for the Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch 2014! What is this mouthful of a name, you ask? Well, it isn't in orange for nothing. Click on it. Also check out camoshark's list to keep up to date with the contest!



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!


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. Remember, though, that the prize will have to be split between both of you! Make sure you state clearly who your partner is in your audition, and preferably link to his/her user page.

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, as long as all the composition and production is done by you.

2.) This year we want to really encourage entering as a team. Remember that you can enter as a team and not even do one single collaboration, deciding to simply split the workload (one musician does one round, another musician does another, etc).

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.

5.) Keep to the deadlines of each round! This contest is massive and tough; you're expected to dish out a track every two weeks until you're eliminated! If you can't keep up with this pace, or you know you're going to be busy, then reconsider taking part. Walkovers just make things messy and hard to handle. Having said that, if you notify one of us as early as possible, we may consider asking the highest-scoring loser of a previous round to take part instead of you, so feel free to let us know if something crops up during the contest and you have to go.



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 special-case basis, so you'd better have a good reason.

2.) Keep any suggestions, arguments and complaints to PMs. Do NOT argue or complain about a judge's score, for example, in the thread. Please also note that Back-From-Purgatory is watching the thread closely, analysing it for any foolish rule-breaker who he can use as his next play-toy.

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.) Lastly, despite the cash prize, 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.





First Place NGADM '14 Forum Signature

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Second Place NGADM '14 Forum Signature

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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.

Comments (35)

Nice! Going to work on a track from scratch, hoping to make it through the auditions.

Good luck mate!

I'd love to enter, but I don't think I'll make it through! :(

Give it a shot! You never know. There really isn't anything to lose! :p

Can't enter this year sadly to say. Good luck everyone

Lol, just realised I must've forgotten to respond to this.

Anyway, shame you can't join in. If we do the NGADM again next year, maybe you can make a comeback then!

But my cat is wonderful and my ass is the most beautiful thing you'll ever have the pleasure to read about even if you don't get to see it

why can't I talk about it

Don't be foolish! We must not speak about such wonderful and divine things in a mere Newgrounds thread.

Woohoo! From a listener's perspective, the best time of the year is soon here!

Woo! I can't wait to hear what the competitors come up with too.

I'd love to join, but I'm still shit and that the laptop that had FL Studio and all my samples/plugins is dead.



In all seriousness that sucks. Did you lose all your project files too?

Why can't I talk about my ass; it's braying nonstop outside my back door.



also whatever happened to Skype again

Aaaand I forgot about Skype again.

Well, technically the hard drive isn't dead. The motherboard is. They're safe, just inaccessible and sobbing uncontrollably until I get it out.

Oh that's good to hear at least. Why don't you buy a hard-disk enclosure? It's basically a casing to house an internal hard disk. Then you can open up the laptop, take out the internal hard disk from the laptop, place it into the enclosure and essentially use it as an external hard disk to copy your stuff onto another PC.

It's great that you two are organizing this again! It's a shame that I won't be able to enter this year though (conscription sucks) D:
Hopefully, there WILL be a next one ;)
I'll try to follow the competition anyway, and see what cool stuff people can come up with.
Good luck everyone! :'D

Aww, shame you can't join. Hope you enjoy the contest anyway!


I thought you loved me, Step.

Also, what about judging? Don't you always use Skype for that?

Yeah I'll probably make another Skype chat for judging this year.

Don't you worry, I'll be filling you with some fiiiiiiine metal.


Alright, I'm in! I won't have my usual music stuff next month, but who cares, let's do this! I hope my orchestral skills have improved enough to be picked &lt;3

Good luck to everyone :DD

Good luck mate!

I have entered my audition, hopefully I can make it past auditions at least this year! Also my usual PC I work off of is 'handicapped' right now, so let's see how well I manage without all of my usual resources.

Computer problems suck, especially when contests come around. I know the feels.

Best of luck.

Thanks for continuing to host this contest every year, Step. Lotta fun for a lotta people!

You're welcome! Really is our pleasure. Nice to see you taking part again this year.

http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/582212?updated=1 This is my submission for the Audition, thanks to everyone that listen to it :)

Good luck :3. Make sure you post all audition-related stuff in the thread; this newspost is pretty useless apart from showing the rules and schedule!

And those (J)'s in the schedule, what are those?

Those are the judging periods.

I submitted an audition a couple days ago. It occurred to me that I had my sister sing the lyrics, but I will be entering the competition alone. If my other track is an illegal entry I would like to use this one : http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/582007


No that's alright. We don't consider working with instrument players or singers as collaborations, as long as you're the one doing all the composition and production.

I got my laptop's hard drive into an external casing thing.
wat nao

Now just use it as an external hard drive! I'm assuming it's got a USB port. Grab a USB cable, hook it up to some other laptop/desktop/whatever and back up all your stuff.

Usagi-chan is the only play thing for me.


Good, I would have it no other way <3.

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