The schedule will be similar to past contests. There will be 4 rounds. You will have 8-11 days to write, record & send in your song. There will be a short break between each round. During this time the song will be voted on, reviewed & prep for the next round will be made. For more info click: HERE.
There will be 5 judges who are not participating in the contest, but will be allowed to shadow. Each round they will individually rate all the songs from favorite to least favorite. Then the judges scores will be posted & added up. Here's an example of what the judges scoring would look like:
In past contests, points never carried over to the next round. This will be the first time we've attempted cumulative scoring. In round 1 rankings & points will work exactly as the example above shows, with there being a 1 point difference between each successive rank. Round 2 & 3 will be slightly different. There are always a couple people who drop out of the contest or get DQ'ed. Too keep the rounds weighted evenly, the most points you can get in rounds 2 & 3 will be the same as round 1. So if 21 people turn in a song for round 1, but 3 people drop out for round 2 here's how we would score it. We would rank the 18 remaining people as we did in round 1. Then we would divide 21 by 18 to get 1.16 (not going to use numbers past the 100th). The first place person will get 21 points, and then we'll subtract 1.16 from 21 to get the score for the 2nd place person. And keep subtracting 1.16 for each person down the list. If more people drop out in round 3, we will use the same process to find a new number to subtract by.
The top 4 scoring competitors after round 3 will move onto round 4, where their points would NOT carry over. In the final round the 4 finalist all start on a level playing field & will as usual...be judged by their fellow competitors.
With cumulative scoring their will not be as many eliminations each round. HOWEVER, if you fail to meet a deadline or challenge (determined by judges) you can & will be eliminated from the contest. You HAVE to complete every challenge of the contest on time to have a chance of winning SpinTunes 10. Just like past contests.
There will continue to be a popular vote in the sidebar, but only in rounds 3 & 4. It will only be used as a tiebreaker if needed. If somehow that is a tie as well, the final deciding factor is me.
In the last round, everyone who has been eliminated (who also submitted at least 1 song) will be allowed to rank the songs. This round the judges have no say in matters, but they will still be required to review each song. Rules for a tie are altered just a bit. Popular vote is the first deciding factor, then the judges, and then I am the last deciding factor.
If you go through the old challenges you'll see that they could be anything. You could be given a theme, restrictions, a technical challenge and hopefully you're forced to do things you've never done before. The challenges will be created by myself & the other judges before the contest even starts.
- Entries must be received by the given deadline. Otherwise it'll be posted as a shadow. Received means that it has to appear in my e-mail inbox by the given deadline. I will be going by the time stamp on the e-mail in my inbox. PLEASE do not wait until the last hour to send me something. If there is a blackout in your area, your computer crashes, or your dog actually eats your thumb drive...I will not care. You are allowed to send in a draft of your song early just in case something horrible happens & you miss the deadline. Then you can add polish to your song & send in a better version closer to the deadline. 1 minute late is still late people.
- Send your file in a format that Bandcamp accepts. (.aiff, .wav or .flac) (at least 16-bit/44.1kHz) You can find the specific requirements for Bandcamp files HERE. You do not need to send in MP3's.
- Name your file the song's title, but without spaces & punctuation.
- Title of the e-mail should be the title of the Challenge & your band's name.
- Include the song lyrics in the body of the e-mail. (If your song doesn't have lyrics...consider yourself eliminated. Instrumentals can be pretty, but SpinTunes does require lyrics.)
- Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collaborated with someone.
- If you have a BandCamp account, you can just send me a link to your song on BandCamp if you include all the info I mentioned above. Make sure you have it set as a free download, and have it set so that I don't have to put in an e-mail to download it if you pick this option. THIS IS THE BEST FILE SHARING OPTION!
- Alternate file sharing options if you need them: Sound Cloud, & Drop Box. Please send an e-mail as I already stated, but with the download link if you need one of these services. Please follow directions so your file doesn't wind up in my spam or trash folder accidentally.
Each round I'll be uploading the songs onto BandCamp as an album. The songs will be set for free download only. BandCamp makes it easy to download songs, you can share 1 song individually or the album as a whole.
If you want to be entered into the contest, your song must be on the album & made available to everyone for free. Otherwise you are DQed from the contest.
I didn't plan on there being a prize. No trophy. No cash. I’ll be happy to mail you a t-shirt that says you’re the new champion, but the real prize is knowing you won & the music itself. If you need gifts & thousands of fans to motivate you to write songs in this competiton...it ain't for you.
The winner will be allowed to be a judge in the next competition, unless they wish to compete.
Tom Giarrosso will be hosting the listening party for each round (he will also help with uploading). Hopefully we can all get together in one virtual place while the songs are played for the very first time for people.
Meet The Judges:
Here's a list of the people that will be making the challenges, reviewing your work & of course voting on the songs:
* I am the alternate judge. If a judge is unable to do his/her job, I'll step in and take over. If the judge has to withdraw from the contest totally, I'll fill in until I can find a replacement. If I happen to have a guest judge lined up already, there will be no need for me to step in as alternate.
* There could be "Guest Judges" who drop by from time to time. A guest judge has to be approved by me ahead of time. I'm not promising anything, but if I can swing something cool for you all I want to leave that open as a possibility. When a guest judge ranks & reviews a round, it does count toward the scores for the round. If a song is disqualified by the regular judges, the guest judge's rankings will be edited to stay in line with the judges decision. There will be 1 or 2 guest judges each round if I can swing it. No promises though.
- Reviewing/ranking entries each round. Shadow entries don't have to be reviewed, but it would be nice if you found the time. You can type up your review or you can vlog it on YouTube. If you decide to vlog your review on YouTube, it needs to be kept private until after I post the reviews on the blog.
- Making the challenges via a super secret website I set up.
- After the songs get posted each round the judges will be allowed to post their thoughts on who failed to met the challenge. (in the super secret location) 48 hours after the songs get posted we need to have a decision on what songs did or didn't meet the challenge. If you don't speak up in that window of time you'll have to live with a decision I make on my own. I typically go with the majority decision of those who speak up.
- Checking your e-mail. Especially on deadline nights.
For those of you that don't want to check this blog every day, but also use Twitter, I'll be posting updates on Twitter as well. @SpinTunes was created just for this contest. You can unfollow it right after the contest if you want, my ego can take it. There is a Twitter list that includes all the judges & competitors (SpinTunes List). Well, at least all the ones I know that are on Twitter.
You are allowed to share your songs before the LP. In my opinion the songs will be better if you can go to another musician in this contest, share what you've got & get feedback. So if you want to share with a few friends or fellow competitors before the listening party feel free to do so.
I would prefer it if you kept it low key, and not pimp it all over the net (via Twitter, YouTube, etc...) until after the LP, but that's up to you as well. It does take a little excitement away from the LP if people have already heard the songs. Common sense. Just don't try to get feedback from a judge, or from me since I'm an alternate.
Rerecording & Remixes:
In previous contests some people sent their song in ON TIME, but then after the deadline wanted me to post an updated version onto the album (they added bells & whistles). My response to that is ok, BUT you will be judged by what you turned in before the deadline. So anyone who decides they want to make a better mix of their song, and have it replace the one they sent before...that's fine. Send me the info, and I'll switch the files out. I might not do it instantly, but it will be done. Now I'm not going to have someone send me a new mix every month because they like remixing their own stuff all the time, but I'll allow 1 update of each song down the road. These songs are something you should be proud of, and some people are bugged by not being able to add everything they want in that small window I give them...so hopefully this helps...while still being fair.
In the end, album order is determined by how you scored in the round. But until the judges have scored the round, album order is originally determined by submission order. Your order on the album will change if you send in an updated file.
You can enter 1 song each round until you are eliminated. There is no limit on how many shadow songs you can enter each round though. If you are still in the contest & have multiple songs you wish to enter, you just have to pick 1 song to be your official entry, while the other is listed as a shadow song.
You are not allowed to enter the contest as a part of more than 1 group. So if you enter as yourself, you will not be allowed to enter again as a part of another band
I will once again be busy with work & other responsibilities. I will enlist the help of judges & a few other trusted members of our community to help out from time to time. Don't be shocked if someone other than myself responds to you via one of the SpinTunes social media outlets.
If someone is banned from SpinTunes it means they are banned from competing, shadowing, judging, & all the social parts of SpinTunes I administrate. They are also not allowed to collaborate on songs. Anyone collaborating with a banned individual will be DQ'ed from the round & their song will not be played at the LP or put on the album. Helping someone evade a ban can also lead to me banning another person. I don't like banning people, so when I do, it's for a good reason. The people listed below are currently the only people banned from SpinTunes.