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Hi. I'm Andrew. Audio portal junkie since 2010, supporter since January 2017. I always want to improve what I do! I make music, run the NGUAC, and am active in the writing forum. I love this site, and I want to make it the best I can. :) Formerly TheDoor6

Andrew Mikula @TaintedLogic

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NGUAC 2019 Rules

Posted by TaintedLogic - June 24th, 2019

The following is a list of rules and scheduling details regarding the NGUAC 2019, the 6th annual audio contest here on Newgrounds. If anything is unclear, please PM me.


  • Submit a piece to the Knock-out or Final Round that you worked on before the round started
  • Submit a collaboration as your tryout piece when you’re not on a team
  • Update your track in the project system during the judging phase
  • Submit your track after the deadline
  • Use copyrighted or stolen content


SECTION I: General track requirements

1.If you are entering as a solo artist (i.e., not part of a team), YOU CANNOT HAVE A COLLABORATION AS YOUR TRYOUT PIECE or as any other piece for the competition. If you are entering as a team, you cannot collaborate with anyone besides your teammate. Having someone sing or play an instrument for you is fine, but you must still compose the music and lyrics yourself AND mix/master the piece. Your singer/instrumentalist is not allowed to improvise for your track.

2. You may only submit one song per round.

3. The pieces you make for the competition should be full-length songs of the musical variety (of any genre). We won’t accept audio that has the sole purpose of being comedic, not to mention sound effects or voice acting.

4. You may use pre-packaged loops and samples in your piece, but be aware that after a certain point abusing presets compromises your track’s originality. Songs that use full-length acapella vocal tracks or drum loops with little modification - even if they’re not copyrighted - will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

5. For tryouts, it's okay to submit covers, arrangements, remixes, remakes, mash-ups, and pieces with samples downloaded from the internet.

6. In the Knock-out and Final rounds, no participant may submit covers, arrangements, VIPs, mash-ups, remakes, or remixes. 

7. You must be able to submit your song to Newgrounds in order to enter the competition. This mandates compliance with all general NG Audio Portal regulations, as well as that you need a Newgrounds account. No submissions from Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc. will be accepted!  

8. You may submit a song to the NGUAC that you had previously submitted to another contest on NG, like the NGADM or AIM.

9. In order to submit a track, simply link the piece you want the judges to consider in this forum thread. You can also change the piece you’d like us to judge by CLEARLY stating in the thread you’d like to change it, but only during the submission phase.

SECTION II: Schedule-related rules

1. The contest has 3 distinct rounds (tryouts, a knock-out round, and finals) each consisting of a submission phase of roughly 2 weeks and a judging phase of 3-7 days (the judging phases get shorter as the contest goes on because there are fewer submissions to judge). 

2. There is a separate forum thread for each round, as well as one for the final results. Participants submit their songs by posting a link to the song in the corresponding forum thread.  

3. PARTICIPANTS MAY NOT start working on their Knock-out or Final Round tracks until the corresponding forum thread is posted. You also can’t create samples for the purpose of using them in a Knock-out or Final round piece before that corresponding round begins.

4. No one is allowed to update their track (i.e., replace or delete the audio file in Newgrounds' Project System) during the judging phases until results are released for the following round.

5. All submission phases close at 23:59 (11:59 p.m.) Eastern Daylight Time on the final date of each phase (see the schedule below). Submission phases open as soon as the forum thread for that round is up.

6. Immediately after the tryout submission phase, the participants will be grouped evenly based on their fan totals. This ensures that the best of the “Underdogs” advance as far as possible without directly competing with more experienced and knowledgeable musicians. It’s kinda the premise of the entire competition.

7. Late submissions will be accepted up until 24 hours after the deadline with a “tax” on your score, according to the following paradigm: <1 hour late = 5% off final score; 1-3 hours late = 10%, 3-6 hours = 15%, 6-24 hours = 20%; >24 hours late is unacceptable. If you’re, say, EXACTLY 3 hours late, your tax will be accounted for in the “3-6 hours” category. 


SECTION III: Regarding teams

1. Participants are allowed to enter the competition as a team of two.

2. If the members of your team would otherwise be placed in different groups as solo artists, the team will be placed in the group corresponding to the highest fan total among its members (e.x., if one member has 20 fans and the other has 60, and the All Stars each have 50 fans or more, the team will compete in the All Stars group).

3. Both members of a team don’t necessarily have to contribute to all of the pieces submitted as part of the contest.

4. Teams of more than 2 are not permitted, even if your band of 3+ members shares one Newgrounds account.


SECTION IV: Code of conduct

1. If you have any complaints about judges’ scores or the contest in general, please PM THEM instead of getting combative in the thread. Standard BBS and Audio Portal rules ALWAYS apply.

2. The judges should give participants a score out of 10 and be able to thoroughly explain how they arrived at that score by considering a variety of parameters. These parameters may vary by judge, however. Scores are averaged among the judges to determine who advances to future rounds. Most rounds, any given judge won’t score all of the competitors; we’ll divide it up by group. 

3. If you change your username at any point during the competition, please let me know. Keeping track of username changes is time consuming and confusing. 



1. Prizes will include forum signatures for the top 3 finishers boasting of their success in the competition, as well as spots on the front page of the Audio Portal the week after the competition.


Contest Schedule:

Phase - Start date - End date

Tryout submission - 6/24 - 7/14

Tryout judging - 7/15 - 7/21

K-O submission - 7/21 - 8/4

K-O judging - 8/5 - 8/11

Final submission - 8/11 - 8/25

Final judging - 8/26 - 8/30

Thank you in advance for following the rules. Good luck and (most importantly) have fun! :D



Just a little question about the "Section 2, Rule 6" :

You said that we would be groupped evenly based on our *total ammount of fans*
So basically, if we also have fans from the art portal, they will be counted right ?

Yes, that is correct. I don't have a good way of determining why each fan decided to follow a particular user. Based on your fan total now, you'd probably be an All-Star, the group with the most fans. Last year, the cutoff was around 50 fans, I believe. I have debated making the groups uneven in order to isolate the most experienced musicians even more, but then determining eliminations becomes messier.

@X3LL3N @TaintedLogic It's alright, at least we'll have some fun :)
You could determine the experience of each musicians with more than 50 fans but that would take a lot of time x)

"8. You may submit a song to the NGUAC that you had previously submitted to another contest on NG, like the NGADM or AIM."

Does this mean I can submit the same song that I might submit for this year's NGADM, or should I submit something different for the two?

You can submit the same song for both contests. Thanks for asking!

I have a question about the second sentence of Section II Rule 3. If you're on a preset or sample spree with no intention of using any of them before a round and you find that one or two of them could work, are you allowed to use those, even if only one or two?

Thanks for your question. It's about the intention behind the sample spree. If you're browsing samples because you habitually browse samples every Thursday at 5:00, sure, keep at it. If you're browsing samples because you're thinking about entering a music competition (and I suspect that music competition would be on your mind after you've heard about it), maybe it's best to wait. Hope that helps! :)

What I'm getting is that we submit the songs one week, the get judged the next, then the next round the following week is that correct? How will the judging work in each round? Also, what classifies as a full length song? The shortest one I plan on submitting (or that I've made so far) is 2:39, it doesn't have to be like Bohemian Rhapsody long does it? One more thing hopefully. "PARTICIPANTS MAY NOT start working on their Knock-out or Final Round tracks until the corresponding forum thread is posted. You also can’t create samples for the purpose of using them in a Knock-out or Final round piece before that corresponding round begins." Does this mean we cannot upload a song already created by us, or do we have to make one just for those rounds? Sorry if all of these are answered in the rules, I suck at understanding. Sorry for all the questions. There are more of them the further I read into the rules.

No worries, man! I'd much rather you ask the questions up front than risk breaking the rules down the line. Generally, you have 2 weeks to make a track, and the judges take 5-7 days to judge them, depending on the round. Judges each submit a score out of 10 for each track in the group they're judging, and then the scores are averaged to form an overall score that determines who advances to the next round. Acceptance rate to the Knock-out Round is usually about 50%, and to the Final Round is about 20%.

There's no hard and fast rule for the length of the track, but there have definitely been strong tracks shorter than 2.5 minutes before. It's just a matter of structuring and progression. If your piece sounds like it's only the intro and one verse of a song, you might not get very far with composition points from me. If it sounds like you're repeating the same points of tension and resolve over the course of 8 minutes, you're also not getting many points from me. Check out my judging standards (https://taintedlogic.newgrounds.com/news/post/989340 ) for more info.

For the tryout phase, you can submit pieces that you made previously. For the knock-out and final rounds, you cannot. For these last two rounds, you have to make a new piece from start to finish within the 2-week period allotted. Hope that clarifies things. :)

@Sicarius771 I'm wondering about the length too.

Please see my response to Sicarius. :)

@TaintedLogic That actually cleared it up a whole lot! Thanks for answering my guy, I feel pretty prepared for this now!

@TaintedLogic That actually cleared it up a whole lot! Thanks for answering my guy, I feel pretty prepared for this now!

Great! Good luck.

I would like to participate

Great! Please post your submission in this forum thread: https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1442731/1 . Thanks and good luck! ^_^

Edit: nvm! You already posted something. :^)

Thank you for this post. I am going to try to get something together worth submitting. I am currently working on a rap song called "Sad Fucker Soup." Fueled by anger and resentment towards those who get off on making others miserable. Wish me luck!

Indeed, good luck! ^^

I have a few questions before the Judging phase begins:
1. How many judges will there be in this contest? Is it only you or are there more judges? (You don't have to list the judge's names.)
2. While the judges are reviewing our submissions, will we get some kind of reviews or thoughts about how well we did or will we receive a rating on our submission?
That's it, thanks if you reply!

There are usually at about 9-12 judges, or 2-3 per group. I currently have 8 that are definitely in, and I'm waiting on a response from a few others.

I can't guarantee that each judge will review each track as they're scoring it (reviewing 80-100 songs in a week is pretty crazy), but after the judging phase ends, I'll make it clear who judged each group so that you know who to ask for feedback.

Thanks for the questions and good luck! ^_^

Hi, I'm new to Newgrounds and I want to know what are forum signatures.

A forum signature is an icon that some users have that is displayed below any forum post that you make. For example, I've circled the signature on this forum post: https://www.newgrounds.com/dump/item/5481103bf2ed3d3834746de69e1da738

You can add a forum signature by clicking the edit icon that shows up on the right side of a forum post of yours, towards the bottom.

Hope that helps! ^^

I have just finished my song :) will be uploading soon I hope I win ^_^ also thx for the invite I loved being a part of this :)

I have 2 weird questions:
1 Can I enter the competition solo?
2 The songs must have vocal, or not?

I already PM'd you a response, but just in case other people share your questions:

Yes, you can enter the competition solo and no, the songs don't have to have vocals. :)

Just a little question: can you fall out of the contest in the tryout round? And if you made it trough, do you recieve a message? And if you're not trough, do you hear nothing?

Yes, you can be eliminated after the tryout round. Regardless of whether you make it through or not, I will tag you in the new thread. Thanks for your questions! :)

ayyy man, remember me? used to talk to each other back in 2014! :D

Of course I remember you! How have you been? Still making music?

Well, im now on a ,,new school", its new, but a lot of ppl are the same. i stopped making music 5 yeares ago, cuz they were deleted and i was like: ,,whatever". I started animating Madness in 2016 and I actually still do now, not that much like before, but when I have a feeling I should a part of some collaboration, I just join. And nothing that much. Turned 16 at the end of August. Doing good at school and I dont even know how :D And met some 2 new great ppl, wich thanks to them, my hate is less and less big. And you? Isnt life treating ya? :D

Good to hear you're involved in the madness scene! I'm glad you have some new friends and that school is going well. I'm done with school now; I've been working full-time for a little over a month, and I'm also trying to find a new apartment. See you around the Grounds, E-H! ^^