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Karaoke Song Format

Last Updated: Nov 02, 2016 05:35PM PDT
  1. Deliverables. We expect you to provide your song in one of the following deliverable formats: Database number (from our system) or self-provided physical media, as specified below.
    1. Database selections. You may provide a song number from our database, available for browsing at
      • Songs should be indicated as a “Karaoke” track. Songs that do not have a “Karaoke” variant will need to be vocal dampened and may sound significantly different from the original.
      • We do not guarantee the availability or accuracy of any song or lyrics listed in our database.
    2. Self-provided physical media. You may provide your own music for the contest on a portable flash drive or audio CD, with restrictions:
      • No iPods, MDs, portable music devices, or cassettes are allowed in the contest.
      • mp3, m4a, flac, wav, or aiff files must be submitted on a PC/Mac-readable USB flash drive. This is a required format for submission if your track will require vocal dampening.
      • A CD with standard CD-audio format (Red Book) is allowed if your tracks do not require additional vocal dampening.
      • Please check your media before submitting it and make sure it works in a standard player.
    3. If submitting your own CD specifically for the contest:
      • Please write your name on your CD.
      • Track 1 should be your preliminary song.
      • Track 2 should be your semi-finals song (finals song if group).
      • Track 3 should be your finals song (for individuals only).
      • When the contest is over, please claim your CD. We are not responsible for lost or unclaimed CDs. All unclaimed CDs will be disposed of at the end of the convention weekend.
    4. If submitting materials on a USB flash drive:
      1. Have a readme.txt file on the USB drive containing your name, email address, and phone number.
      2. Include your prelim, semis (if applicable) and finals song on the USB flash drive in a single folder.
      3. If possible, no other files should be contained on your drive.
      4. When the contest is over, please collect your USB flash drive. All unclaimed USB flash drives will be disposed of at the end of the convention weekend.
  2. Lyrics. Contestants should bring their own song lyrics, if needed. The lyrics you sing must be the original lyrics from the song.
  3. Audio alterations. Your audio file may not be altered in any way from the original source, with the following exceptions:
    • Vocal dampening. Fan-made “karaoke versions” are allowed.
    • Count-off and pitch-centering additions. You may add a metronomic cue or chordal “start tones” to center yourself vocally before the beginning of a song.
    • Fade-outs and cropping. You may fade or crop your song to accommodate the time limit for your round or at any point within that time limit (at a “TV size” fade point, for example).
      1. Please see the “Song Length” section for more details.
    • Pitch-shifting. You may modify the pitch of your source audio provided that no other excluded alterations are made.
    • Encoding. You may encode or decode, change file format, or otherwise change compression levels, bitrate, etc. as required for technical purposes (converting a .wav file to an .mp3, for example) so long as the audio modifications are imperceptible.
    • Notification. You MUST notify us at check-in of any permitted audio alterations (as indicated above). Failure to notify our staff may subject you to immediate disqualification.
    • Prohibited alterations. While all non-exempted audio changes (as defined above) are prohibited, the following are subject to immediate disqualification: Tempo modification, remix/mash-up work, or the addition of any prerecorded vocals, backup vocals, instrumentals, or other materials made by a contestant. This is a karaoke contest, not a music production contest.
  4. Karaoke tracks and vocal dampening. We want to hear your singing voice, not those of the original singers. To that end, tracks with the existing background vocal are discouraged.
    • You do not need to provide a karaoke version of your song, however, it is highly encouraged that you do.
    • If your song still has the original vocals on it, it will automatically be run through a vocal dampening system. For those who are not familiar with this, vocal dampening automatically removes or masks the original vocal track so that your singing can be heard. Vocal dampening has been known to have unexpected effects with some songs, so if you don’t have the karaoke version of a song, we strongly suggest that you test out the song first at home, or make your own vocal-removed version.
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