Every competition needs some rules, so does this one. These are here to make this actually a challenge, but also to make it easier for everyone to maneuver it and to provide a level playing field. Beyond these rules, above all, we hope you have fun and contribute to a culture of fairness and sharing!

Note: These rules may be amended if deemed necessary before the start of the competition, so be sure to check them again before you start with your entry!

The competition is organized by the Open Source Audio Meeting Cologne, represented by its member Christopher Arndt.


Update 2019-09-20: changed submission deadline to be the end of 2019-10-19.

A. Submission Rules

  1. To enter the competition you MUST create an audio track (aka a "piece"), upload the audio file to archive.org and submit the link to the track via the submission form (https://nexus-challenge.osamc.de/submit/) between the start of the competition (19.09.2019 00:00:00 UTC) and before the dead line for submission (19.10.2019 23:59:59 UTC).

  2. Every person can enter the competition with one entry only. You may submit your entry under a pseudonym or using your real name, but you must supply a valid email address to identify yourself to the site and allow the organizers to contact you during the competition and for the announcement of the winners.

  3. Your audio track MUST be downloadable without access control and the audio file MUST be FLAC encoded and properly tagged with (at least) artist name, track title, year (2019) and "Open Source Music Nexus Challenge" as the album title. The audio file MUST be stereo and have a sampling rate of 44100 Hz and 16 bits per sample.

  4. The length of your submitted audio file MUST be no less than one (1:00) minute and no more than five (5:00) minutes.

  5. Your audio track MUST be created specifically for this competition, not released elsewhere before, and the composition SHOULD be a new one (we know we can't check this, but please be honest).

  6. You MUST license your audio track under a Creative Common license (CC BY-NC-SA or more permissive).

  7. Your track SHOULD be a musical piece in the broadest sense (e.g. including ambient, soundtrack, abstract music etc.) and MAY be in any genre you want.

  8. Your track SHOULD be in the style of a well-known artist or song, but not be a cover, remix or direct copy. I.e. you SHOULD NOT copy any harmonic or melodic material of an existing song without alteration or giving it a new context and rather copy the structure and/or sonic landscape of your source. Think of your track as an homage or a musical pastiche.

  9. Your track MUST incorporate at least one recording of a physical sound source, which you made yourself. This may be a recording of you playing an instrument, singing, or banging on your kitchen pots and tools, or a field recording of your environment, etc. In addition, you MAY use other, pre-recorded samples, for example for drums or sampled instruments, provided they are compatible with the license of your track as required by rule 6.

  10. You MAY only use Open Source software (see below under "Open Source Conformance") in the creation process. This includes (but is not limited to) tasks such as recording, sequencing, mixing, mastering and preparing the audio track for upload (e.g. encoding and tagging). Absolutely no proprietary, non-Open Source plug-ins are allowed.

  11. The following exceptions to rule 10. are granted:

    • You MAY use hardware devices to make digital recordings of physical audio sources or to transfer analog recordings into the computer (e.g. field recorders, smart phones, digital recorders, ADAT converters, etc.)

    • You MAY use proprietary DAW software (e.g. REAPER, Bitwig, Tracktion and similar products). But you MAY NOT use any of the included plugins, unless they are Open Source or are necessary for the signal flow (e.g. Send/Return plugins in Tracktion).

  12. When submitting your entry, you MUST list all plug-ins you used for creating your track and also any other sequencing, recording and mastering software you used. The competition organizer MAY request access to our project files if there is a reasonable doubt that you followed the rules properly.

  13. To be eligible for winning, you MUST vote on the other submissions into the competition (see below under "Voting Rules"). If you don't vote, your submission will be disqualified.

  14. You SHOULD make the patches you created for the synthesizer(s) and other plug-ins, which you used for your track, available for download, preferably under a permissive license or public domain. Doing so is not a requirement for being eligible for winning the competition.

B. Open Source Conformance

  1. Software regarded as Open Source MUST be released under and conform to one of the licenses listed on https://opensource.org/licenses.

  2. This means (but is not limited to) that the source code for the software MUST be freely downloadable and distributable according to the rules of the license.

  3. The software SHOULD be packaged for a current version of a major Linux distribution or available as a binary installer for Linux from the software's creator or third-parties (so that everybody has a realistic chance of using the same software).

C. Voting Rules

  1. The voting period starts immediately after the final submission date for competition entries (see rule A.1) and lasts for seven (7) days until 26.10.2019 23:59:59 UTC.

  2. Voting is open to every person, contestants MUST vote to be able to win.

  3. Everybody has one vote, which consist of fifteen (15) points distributed across five (5) competition entries, where one entry gets five (5) points, another four (4) points, and so on, down to one (1) point.

  4. The vote may be changed (but not retracted completely) as often as desired during the voting period.

  5. Voters must go to https://nexus-challenge.osamc.de/vote/ and provide a valid email address, which will be validated during the voting process by sending a personalized confirmation link to said email address. The voter must open this link to get access to the voting form. This link may also be used to change the vote until the end of the voting period. The email address will not be used for other purposes.

D. Winning Rules

  1. Only those contestants can win, which are not disqualified by the competition organizer due to not adhering to the rules.

  2. The contestant who gets the most points wins. In case of a tie, the entry which has the most four and five points per individual vote wins.

  3. Second and third place are awarded according to the same rules, where the loser of a tie from a higher tier takes precedence over the next lower tier.

  4. The final decision in case of disputes lies with the competition organizer.