Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch 2017!

2017-05-13 15:34:05 by ChronoNomad

Why, hello there!  Consider this newspost to be the premiere spot for useful info on the 2017 reboot of the Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch (NGADM)!

The AUDITIONS are over.

The ROUND OF 64 has come to a close.

The ROUND OF 32 is also done.

The ROUND OF 16 has wrapped up.

The QUARTERFINALS have ended.

The SEMIFINALS are complete.

The GRAND FINALE is finished at last.


Tournament Bracket

Don't know what I'm talking about?  Need a refresher?  Read on!


The contest itself is split into two phases: the AUDITIONS phase and the TOURNAMENT phase. Each phase has its own separate rules, so make sure you read them all, because - plot twist - some things which are banned in one phase are totally okay in the other! Keep in mind that you're allowed to enter either solo or with a partner.


Rules for the AUDITIONS phase:

  • You are allowed to post a track that you've made from scratch, or a track that you've made in the past.
  • The audition track may be a cover/arrangement, but unless you're entering as a team, the track cannot be a collaborative effort.
  • If you posted your audition track but change your mind and wish to change it, state CLEARLY in the thread.
  • 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 made by either one of you individually.
  • Auditions posted after the deadline will not be accepted unless it's for a ridiculously good reason.


Rules for the TOURNAMENT phase:

  • Every track you make in the knockout tournament 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 and/or sing for you.*
  • If you entered as a two-person team, then your round's submission can be a track by either one of you or a collaborative effort.
  • 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.
  • 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 okay 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 or her to enter with you as a team.



  • 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 and require a valid reason.
  • Keep any suggestions, complaints, and arguments strictly to PMs. DO NOT argue or complain about a judge's score, for example, in the contest thread. That includes anything from passive-aggressive remarks to butthurt rants. I cannot stress this enough.  Let's keep it professional, folks!
  • 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 just talk about your cat, and you certainly can't talk about your arse.
  • This contest is tough! You're expected to crank out a new track within 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 and last-minute dropouts tend to happen no matter what, but we'd like to keep them at a minimum.
  • Lastly, this contest is and always was a means to have some competitive fun, the key word being FUN! Do not enter it with the sole intent of winning; we encourage friendly discussion, posting reviews on each other's tracks, and good sportsmanship. However, that doesn't mean you have to go easy on the competition. This is called a Deathmatch for a reason. Put your game face on and give it everything you've got!


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?



@ADR3-N (formerly EDM364)





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 to remain as unbiased as possible, so we won't be turning a blind eye to any kind of shortcomings simply based upon the genre of a track.
  • Remember that, first and foremost, this is a music competition. The less your track sounds like a piece of music, the lower your chances of success. Experimental noise, atonal ambience, voice-acting, sound effect compilations, etc... don't expect these to make it very high on a judge's score sheet.



Newgrounds Supporter Upgrade

1st Place NGADM 2017 Forum Signature

$120 in Prize Money

VSCO 2 Orchestral Sample Library

£25 gift certificate for Kontakt Hub online store

First Pick from Gaming Pool

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Newgrounds Supporter Upgrade

2nd Place NGADM 2017 Forum Signature

$54 in Prize Money

£10 gift certificate for Kontakt Hub online store

Second Pick from Gaming Pool

Frontpage Showcase



Newgrounds Supporter Upgrade

3rd Place NGADM 2017 Forum Signature

$25 in Prize Money

Third Pick from Gaming Pool

Frontpage Showcase



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From start to finish, the entire contest runs for a full five (5) months:

May 28 through October 28, 2017.

Three weeks for Auditions, two weeks for each Knockout Round.

Each round is followed by one week of Judging.



Begin May 28, 2017

End June 18, 2017


Begins June 18, 2017

Ends June 25, 2017



Begins June 25, 2017

Ends July 9, 2017


Begins July 9, 2017

Ends July 16, 2017



Begins July 16, 2017

Ends July 30, 2017


Begins July 30, 2017

Ends August 7, 2017



Begins August 7, 2017

Ends August 21, 2017


Begins August 21, 2017

Ends August 27, 2017



Begin August 27, 2017

End September 10, 2017


Begins September 10, 2017

Ends September 17, 2017



Begin September 17, 2017

End October 1, 2017


Begins October 1, 2017

Ends October 8, 2017



Begins October 8, 2017

Ends October 22, 2017


Begins October 22, 2017

Ends October 28, 2017


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

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.



You must be logged in to comment on this post.


2017-05-14 11:42:54

Everything looks great. Excited to hear some good music soon!

ChronoNomad responds:

You know it!


2017-05-14 15:32:46

I guess I'm in, even though I will most likely be knocked out in the first round, but I will at least give it my best try in my first NGADM.

ChronoNomad responds:

Who's to say? The important thing is to have fun and try not to stress over the deadlines. I participated myself several times, and it's always been an excellent opportunity for artistic growth.

Hope to see you there in two weeks!


2017-05-16 13:54:48

Well, will be waiting for May 28th. So excited!

ChronoNomad responds:

You and me both!

I'll be sending out a PM to all judges with the game plan for tackling (hopefully) lots of entries. Depending on how many are submitted, I may even decide to split the workload.


2017-05-17 10:43:22

So how do i enter? I just post a track and say its for the deathmatch?

ChronoNomad responds:

When the 28th rolls around, there will be an Auditions thread. You simply post your track in the thread, and...voilà!


2017-05-19 00:55:22

This will be my first time! I'm crossing my fingers that I make it past the auditions!
By the way, is there anywhere we can view the past competition winners/songs submitted?


ChronoNomad responds:

Then welcome to the musical melee!

You can always scan the news posts of Step (Stephan Wells), who used to host the NGADM along with Echo. In recent years he was able to put together Playlists, and you can find those here:


2017-05-21 17:32:10

I'm going to take part in this for the first time ever. :) Bit nervous about the whole finishing a song in 2 weeks thing several times in a row, but I think it ought to be healthy stress to get the creative juices flowing. :3 (If I make it through auditions to begin with!)

ChronoNomad responds:

I am honored to see you join the fray, Sir Mich!

Throw down the gauntlet.

Fight until your final breath!

None can say what the future may hold...


2017-05-23 01:25:46

Can't wait!!

ChronoNomad responds:

Nor I, brave knight. The battle commences soon!


2017-05-25 09:55:44

Good luck to all participating; honestly though, I don't see the point of having tag-teams in the Audio Deathmatch, even as a bystander.

ChronoNomad responds:

Good luck to all participants, indeed!

They're going to need it...


2017-05-27 19:13:03

"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."

Does this mean that we should steer clear from dubstep production for the contest unless it's rather melodic in nature? Based on how I recognize some of the judges (if not all) from last year's contest, it seems like that would be more beneficial.

If that is the case, I have no problem with that. Just let me know how I should approach this, since my style varies quite a bit depending on my mood lol.


ChronoNomad responds:

It would almost certainly be wise to do something more melodic since this contest is based on the full range of musicality. Beyond that, I would say to simply use your better judgment.

Do what comes naturally! And by all means, if the spirit moves you in the direction of Dubstep, do not ignore that spark of inspiration. While I cannot speak for the other judges, I do know that we all cover a variety of genres, and I myself tend to be rather eclectic, both in my own musical tastes and the music I produce.

I hope you found my response helpful. :)


2017-05-27 19:22:57

I don't know if it has been stated yet, but I as look, I do not see anything mentioned on how the brackets are going to be assembled. I'm curious what the method is going to be pairing up individuals in the beginning from the audition round. Will it be based on musical style/genre, or will it be like pulling names out of a hat?
Whatever the method may be, after the audition process I would really prefer to have a visible tournament bracket available for everyone to see as this will eliminate any suspicions on how people are paired up. It's also fun to predict the outcome as well by looking at it. Let me know if you need any help putting that together.

(Updated ) ChronoNomad responds:

I do plan on making up a Tournament bracket, so no worries there! The pairings themselves are going to be entirely randomized, akin to pulling names out of a hat, sans hat.

Hey, I don't even like sports, but I fill out a March Madness bracket every year just for the fun of it. It's always strangely entertaining to watch teams rise and fall. For the NGADM, I want to evoke a feeling similar to Russell Crowe's famous moment in Gladiator: "Are you not entertained!?"


2017-05-27 22:49:15

You sir, have brought back much honour to the tradition of NGADM, and you have proven yourself worthy to carry the mantle.

(Updated ) ChronoNomad responds:

High praise, indeed. To me it is a simple standard; a work ethic, if you will. I take this responsibility quite seriously, and hope to see the NGADM tradition continue for a long time to come.


2017-05-28 08:10:27

My hype cannot be contained.

Also, "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."

Assuming this means we can write during the judging period, this helps me out a lot, especially with how busy August is going to be.

I'm excited

ChronoNomad responds:

Yep, that's a nice little bonus for anyone who's quick on the musical draw. It may not equate to much, but every little bit helps.

Also, good on you for taking the time to comprehensively read all the rules! Not that I mind answering questions, but if they're already explained it takes away time that can be spent doing other NGADM-related things.


2017-05-28 11:10:45

work hard but don't forget to play hard, ppl.

ChronoNomad responds:

Amen to that!


2017-05-31 08:00:32

> No revisiting old tracks: Can we finish unfinished track ideas?

(Updated ) ChronoNomad responds:

Not for the Tournament rounds, those have to be 100% new and original. But for the Auditions, you can submit older tracks or finish any unfinished ones, even enter with a cover/arrangement.


2017-06-03 06:18:34

This is gonna be great, first time i participate, GL to everyone :)

ChronoNomad responds:

May you find glory in the arena!


2017-06-04 04:41:09

My second time here :3 im excited.

ChronoNomad responds:

Welcome back to the spectacle that is the NGADM!


2017-06-07 15:41:00

no shoutout to me? :P lol everything looks good, you're doing a great job, i knew you could do it. I'm glad I passed it to the right person. Wonderful job.

(Updated ) ChronoNomad responds:

Don't all the folks Auditioning with their AIM submissions count as a shout-out?

But hey, you totally deserve one for picking the right guy for the job! Hell, you're the one who thought to revive the NGADM when it had already flat-lined for a year. It may have transferred to my hands now, but that probably wouldn't have happened otherwise.

So thank you! ^__^


2017-06-07 16:07:41

Sounds Interesting, I'll join!

ChronoNomad responds:

The battle is joined! Welcome, brave combatant.


2017-06-07 16:21:09

thanks mayn.

ChronoNomad responds:

Stay frosty, broseph.


2017-08-01 00:05:22

So, there will be another NGADM next year? Man I don't know why I didn't signed up before :/

ChronoNomad responds:

That is currently unknown, though we certainly remain hopeful that there will be a 2018 NGADM!

I have already been told that I must return to the front lines as a competitor next year so that I can team up and collaborate with a particular artist, though I won't disclose who at this time...

Because who doesn't love a good mystery? :D


2017-09-24 06:29:23

You're user of the day!

ChronoNomad responds:

Apparently so! Well, that's pretty cool, I must say. Not to mention rather unexpected. :D


2017-09-24 23:59:39

Congrats on User of the day, man!

ChronoNomad responds:

Many thanks, BoxerBraydog! Looking forward to your next haiku.