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General questions

What's there to win?
In each of the 6 categories (genres) there is a main prize conferred by HOFA. In addition, many attractive special prizes will be awarded.

How are the winners determined?
The main prizes are determined by the HOFA jury in the 6 main categories. Depending on the genre, the jurors pay attention to sound selection, songwriting, lyrics, musical performance, mix & mastering, sound quality and distinctive features. In addition, the special prizes will be awarded by the jury, taking into account the participants' voting.

Who is allowed to vote for a song?
Only registered participants who have uploaded their own song may vote for another song in the online voting.

What is the schedule of the contest?
The contest starts on June 1, 2021 and songs can be uploaded until August 3. The community can vote from June 1 to August 24. From August 25, the jury listens to the songs and rates them. With the announcement of the winners and awardees on August 31, the HOFA song analyses will also be published.

Who will receive a HOFA song analysis?
The song analyses will be raffled among all participants who have chosen a song analysis in the upload process - regardless of the ranking.

What is the HOFA song analysis?
The song analysis in the HOFA Song Contest is a written feedback of the jurors to your submitted song. We take a close look at various criteria for the evaluation: First we survey songwriting and arrangement. The second issue is recording and performance of the song, last we check mix and mastering. All these issues are essential for a good production.

Ideally, songwriting, selection of instruments and sounds as well as the arrangement come together and form a coherent concept. As the evaluation should be free from personal taste we base our judgement on standards valid for the respective genre.

The technical aspects include beyond an accurate recording and adequate performances of the musicians also mixing and mastering issues such as EQ-ing, dynamic control and spatial design.

Besides teaching material, support, online campus and studio workshops, the mix analyses are an essential part of the HOFA-College audio engineering courses. Experienced sound professionals listen to the students' mixes and create individual and detailed, multi-page feedbacks about the strengths and weaknesses of the respective work.
More information at:

What is the LQ/HQ button?
LQ (Low Quality) is a mp3 file with a bit rate of 192 kbps.
HQ (High Quality) is the unchanged original file.

Why can't I play the HQ version?
There may be various reasons. Depending to the format in which the song was uploaded, your browser may cause problems. In this case, you can either choose LQ or try another browser.
If you are using your mobile device, the bandwidth may be too low for streaming the original file. You have to choose LQ or find faster internet access.

What do I have to consider when using the Comment function?
We deal nicely with each other – friendly and constructive criticism is welcome. Comments with extreme political or religous positions and/or criminal, pornographic, xenophobic or defamatory content and content that is potentially harmful to young persons will be erased.

FAQ and rules for participants

Which kind of song may I upload?
You are allowed to upload a song

  • ... that is written by you and/or your band.
  • ... for whose publication you have the agreement of all involved persons.
  • ... that is not registered at the GEMA or similar collection societies.
  • ... that does not exceed 12 minutes in length.
  • ... that can be considered a „song“ from an objective point of view. Five minutes of noise is not allowed ;)

How many songs may I upload?
You are allowed to upload one song.

Am I allowed to replace the song subsequently?
Yes – but in order to do that you must erase the "old" song. Thus all corresponding votes and comments are removed. You can upload a new song then.

Am I allowed to upload a coversong or a remix?
No – you must hold all rights to the uploaded song. Excluded are covers and remixes of your own songs, of course.

There are explicit lyrics in my song. What do I have to consider?
Lyrics with extreme political or religous positions and/or criminal, pornographic, xenophobic or defamatory content and content that is potentially harmful to young persons are not accepted.

Are lyrics mandatory?
Not necessarily – instrumental music is also allowed. However, mere playbacks or e.g. beats without rap parts cannot take part.

What happens if I violate these rules?
If you break the rules, we reserve the right to remove your song and profile and exclude you from the competition.

Which formats are supported?
You can upload wav, aif and mp3 files. We recommend the uncompressed versions wav and aif, however.

Which sample rate shall I use?
Generally, you can use any common sample rate. You get the best compatibility with 44,1 or 48 kHz, though.

I can't classify my song in one of the (sub)genres. What shall I do?
Try to classify the song in the genre that's closest to your style. You can also file it in the respective main genre (e.g. Electronic Music)

Can I vote for several songs?
Yes. You can vote for as many songs as you wish.

I like one song especially. Can I vote more often for this one?
No. You can only vote once for each song. Attempts to defraud can lead to disqualification.