We’ve had our monthly BandLab Contests going on for a while now, and some of you may be wondering, how exactly do I go about entering a BandLab Contest? What should my track be like to stand a chance of winning? What else do I need to enter a BandLab Contest? Read on for your all-in-one guide to entering a BandLab Contest that might just get you that win.  

Pay attention to the BandLab Contest theme

Our three monthly BandLab Contests always have a theme. Whether it’s rapping to sweet bars for #Rapsody or chilling out to #LofiVibes, make sure your entry follows the theme! You’ll also want to make use of the contest hashtags when posting them, and that your track follows the contest rules (especially important for a BandLab Contest that requires for your track to be forkable, or a collaboration). 

If you’re worried that your entry isn’t showing up on the contest page, fret not! As long as you’ve used the contest hashtag in your description, the judges will see your entry! 

Your BandLab Contest entry also has to be published within the contest month, so you can’t be using tracks that have been published before! However, if you’ve got a beat cooking and it hasn’t been published anywhere yet, you’ll be able to use it for the contest.

Best practices for your BandLab Contest track

Let your personality shine with some great cover art, a project description that tells us how your track relates to our BandLab Contest theme, and use the appropriate contest hashtags. If you collaborated with other musicians, singers, or producers, make sure you credit them, and most importantly, DO NOT plagiarise other people’s music! We can’t stress this enough – don’t you want to win with your own beat?!

Production quality  

Having a clear audio recording without any background noise is important in helping you sound your best for your BandLab Contest track. Try and get a good balance between the different instruments by controlling the track’s volume. Using EQ and panning could even help with the overall dynamics and help your mix sound better. Be sure to use our multiple presets available, or just customize your own!

Make sure your track isn’t clipping or peaking, or not too soft. This will all help to prepare your track for mastering, the final step to balance your mix, unify sonic elements, and optimize playback response for all file formats and devices. 

Read more: What is mastering and why is it important? 

Marketability (Getting people to listen to your music)

Great! Now you’ve got a BandLab Contest track you’re ready to share with the world! But how do you go about promoting it? Winning tracks aren’t judged just on the beat alone, but also on their marketability.

The first step, get your profile up! Add a nice-looking profile picture, a description about yourself, connect your other social media accounts and if you’re comfortable, let us know where you’re from! This will help to grow your fanbase and other users with identifying you.

BandLab Contest profile

Popular entries get to the top of the contest pages – that’ll get you noticed, but it’s not a popularity contest! More importantly, great music will get the attention of our judges. When a track is good, it naturally gets tons of likes, comments, and most importantly, plays. Promoting your BandLab Contest track organically through sharing and using hashtags will help to increase your chances of winning (but it isn’t a guarantee!). 

Avoid flooding someone else’s comments asking them to listen to your BandLab Contest track. Users found to be in violation of the BandLab Community Guidelines or contest rules during the contest period will be automatically disqualified from the winner’s selection process.

Read more: 8 tips that’ll help you grow your followers on BandLab

Now, you’ve got all you need to enter that BandLab Contest! If you haven’t won before, chin up! There’s always next time, so don’t give up! BandLab is always here to empower you to make the best music for yourself and your fans. Check out the latest BandLab Contests here and get those creative wheels spinning! We can’t wait to hear what you’ve got for us! 

Read more: Beat Maker Series: How to layer and process sounds using BandLab’s free web Mix Editor