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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

SpinTunes #1: Official Rules

Ok...ever since Ken Plume pulled the plug on Masters Of Song Fu, some people that used to participate have been sort of wondering what to do now. I've been in chats with a number of people where the subject turns to starting a Song Fu replacement. I've suggested people try Song Fight & Nur Ein, but most were more interested in having their own thing.

I know Jeff MacDougall toyed with the idea of starting something, but thus far it was only discussion with a few of the old TMA crew (as far as I know). Lots of ideas have been floated around by many people. A few have suggested I do something with Spintown, and I've always come up with excuses for not doing it. A recent discussion over at ArtiFiction with Bryce, Heather & JoAnn finally got me to thinking it's something I can handle on a small scale here at Spintown.

This contest will not be It would be Song Fu. It will be a cross between Song Fu & Nur Ein, hopefully taking what most people like best about each. After the first go around we might make adjustments, but for "SpinTunes #1", here are the official rules.

It will have a similar schedule to Song Fu. There will be 4 rounds. You will have 9-12 days to write, record & send in your song. There will be a short break of 5-7 days 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.

The voting will be done like Nur Ein. There will be 5 judges who are not participating in the contest. Each round they will individually rate all the songs from favorite to least favorite. Then the judges scores will be posted & added up. Popular vote only counts in a tie. Here's an example of what the scoring would look like:

Each round people will be eliminated from the competition. There are 31 people signed up. 9 people will be eliminated after round 1, 10 people will be eliminated after round 2, 10 more will be eliminated after round 3, and of course that leaves 2 people for the final round. If you are eliminated or fail to enter the contest, you can still enter shadow entries. This is not a head to head contest, each round the competitors with the lowest vote totals are eliminated. After the eliminations everyones point total goes back to 0. You don't get to keep points from previous rounds.

(Note: Because of the deadline casualties in round 1, only 8 people will be eliminated in round 2. Round 3 & 4 remains the same as I stated above.)

Ties are settled by a popular vote in the form of a poll I'll start for each round. If somehow that is a tie as well, the point totals from the previous round will decide the winner. The final deciding factor is me if by some miracle everything is tied.

Final Round:
In the last round, everyone who has been eliminated (who also submitted at least 1 song) will be allowed to vote. 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, and then the judges are the last deciding factor.

If 1 of the 2 competitors fail to enter a song, a shadow song from someone who competed in the 3rd round will be judged & have a chance at victory. If there are multiple shadow songs, the person who had the most points in round 3 gets the opportunity.

The challenges will be similar to the old Song Fu & "Non Optional" Nur Ein challenges. 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.

Submitting Entries:
- 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.

- Song must be sent in MP3 format. If possible send it in a format that Bandcamp excepts as well. (.aiff, .wav or .flac) If you don't, I'll convert it for upload onto Bandcamp myself. Don't complain if my converter sucks & your music suffers though. If you decide to send in that second file, you can find the specific requirements for Bandcamp files HERE.

- Name the MP3 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 collabed with someone.

- File sharing options if you need them: ZShare, MediaFire, RapidShare & YouSendIt. 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, and Heather Zink will be uploading them onto a widget that I'll embed on the blog.

The songs will be posted on a temp basis here, but permanently on BandCamp. The songs will be set for free download only. BandCamp will make it easy to download songs, share 1 song individually or the album as a whole.

I didn't plan on there being a prize. No trophy. No cash. I wouldn't be against someone designing & donating a T-shirt for the winner. But the real prize is knowing you won & the music itself. If you need gifts & hundreds of popular votes to motivate you to write songs in this competiton...it ain't for you. Nothing against those things, we just ain't having it. (aside from tie breakers) If this goes well, and enough people demand it, I'll consider giving the popular vote more of a role in future competitions.

The winner will be allowed to be a judge in the next competition, unless they wish to compete. They will also be featured as Julia Sherred's Band Of The Month.

Listening Party:
I was hoping to have a listening party for each round. Hopefully much like Song Fu we can all get together in one virtual place while the songs are played for the very first time for people. Usually this took place shortly after the submission deadline, and the songs were posted onto the site after the listening party.

Jules has kindly offered to host the listening party, and seeing how that's less work for me, I jumped all over that opportunity. :p Jules has a U-Stream account, and the listening party will be held on her channel (HERE). So if you have time drop by Geeky Pleasures and say, "Thank you Jules." The date & times for the listening parties can be found on the schedule.

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:

Heather Zink (The Spur In My Saddle)

Julia Sherred (webmaster of Geeky Pleasures)

Joe "Covenant" Lamb (winner of Masters Of Song Fu 5)

Sammy KABLAM! (Yes...that Sammy Kablam.)

Niveous (creator of Nur Ein)

* I am the alternate judge. If a judge is unable to do his/her job, I'll step in and take over. I'll still review & be at the meeting/s even if I don't have to be a judge. (Buck stops with me, but then I blame Heather.)

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. I'll try to update the Twitter feed, but I have a feeling I'll end up neglecting it. Best way to stay up to date is to follow this blog.

Song Sharing:
Ken did one thing with Song Fu that I hated. At one point he tried to stop people from sharing their music with each other before then big reveal. 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 listening party, 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:
Yet another situation has came up that I didn't plan for. (shocking I know) Some people sent in their MP3's 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.

Wrap Up:
I can't promise there won't be a bump or two as this competition goes along, but I can promise that I'll be more open & reachable then a certain someone who's name sounds like doom. You can ask questions on Twitter, here by leaving a comment or even on Formspring. (links in sidebar) I would rather people didn't use my e-mail UNLESS you're a judge or competitor.

Oh and remember, if anything does go wrong...it's Heather's fault.

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