Burnout, and How to Avoid It

Here’s a scenario for you.  Read it, and then close your eyes for a few seconds and remember what this feels like:

It’s extremely late and you have a deadline early tomorrow morning.  You’re in this position because of a last-minute ask by your client, and you want to go above and beyond to do well for them – so you’re getting it done.

But this time is different than the 3 other times you’ve pushed through in the last 2 weeks.  You feel a sore throat coming on, you’re not thinking quite straight, and you’re really irritable.

In fact the only thing you really want to do is either sleep or lay down, watch Netflix, and turn off your phone and email.

But you can’t – because then something catastrophic will happen.  Money will stop flowing, clients will stop calling, somebody will think you’re weak or bad at your job.

You’re stuck.

Except you don’t have to be…

Time to give you some tools.

Continue reading “Burnout, and How to Avoid It”

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

2 Excel Formulas to Save You Hours

I work with thousands, or hundreds of thousands of assets every day.

I know exactly how difficult it is to keep tack of large amounts of data, and if I were to have to do it by hand I’d be tearing my eyeballs out regularly.

If you find yourself in this same situation – say you’re working with a large script, or keeping track of assets and their related integration events – you only need to learn two Excel formulas and your life will become literally exponentially easier.

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Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

Wwise 2017.1 Lives!

Wwise 2017.1 has gone live today – congratulations to my friends up in Montreal!  Go get your hands on it right now by downloading Wwise.

This release includes the Wwise Authoring API I’ve gone on endlessly about, as well as Wwise Spatial Audio and other awesome features!

For an example of one cool thing WAAPI is being used for – check out the sweet Soundminer integration done in this video by Justin (stop by and tell him it’s awesome)!

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

How to not get a gig

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to run across a potential opportunity for freelance audio editing work.  Though I’ve done similar work before, I’m focusing pretty heavily on programming these days and therefore wanted to help connect a client with someone I knew would take care of them.

This happens pretty often right?  Most gigs don’t happen because of a resume.  Most freelance audio gigs happen because someone needed help and you were in the right place, right time.

So it astounded me when the entire process was pretty much a giant pile of failure.

I assumed (incorrectly) that I could put out an APB in my online channels and would be given good shit from my people.  I assumed I would have 25+ names to sift through before providing their information to the client.

I was totally wrong.  It runs both ways too – I screwed up, and my audio colleagues did too!  So here’s a giant postmortem on both how to not get ideal candidates, and how to not get a gig.

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Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

Playing sound with SDL/C++

In my ongoing adventure to get up to speed on C++, I succeeded in getting a tutorial to work and play audio on my machine using only code (via SDL).

Unfortunately the tutorial kind of sucks at explaining the process of actually getting up and running.  If you just throw the code in, it won’t work.  Having rarely worked with C++ before, I had to learn the concept of includes and linking.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go through the tutorial I linked and use this blog as a reference to help you.  I’ll give you all the code so you can copypasta as you wish.  Keep in mind, this post is focused on Windows users only.

Continue reading “Playing sound with SDL/C++”

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

Free Beginner C++ Course

I’ve been spending a good chunk of time getting acquainted with C++.  If you’re looking to get neck deep in audio programming (ie: anything that affects the properties of audio itself), you’re going to want to tackle C++ eventually.

There’s a number of good books on the subject, but I’ve also spent time looking for videos and online courses as well.  I’ve come across one that I like over at Cave of Programming.

John Purcell has 2 courses, the beginner one is free and “advanced” is $29, so everything is incredibly affordable.

As with any other tutorial/course, John leads you through all the basic concepts before sending you into creating a fully functional program.  The part I really like about the beginner course is you wind up creating a visual particle fire system with SDL.  SDL also has audio-related code in the library as well, so if you get a little acquainted it shouldn’t be too hard to pick it up and play around a bit.

Additionally, John takes his approach to teaching pretty slowly.  You don’t quickly jump from one concept to the next.  Instead, most everything builds on itself very gradually.  While this may initially be frustrating, you’ll be thankful when you get into more difficult concepts and actually building out program bits yourself.

So if this has been something you’ve been looking to dive into – this is definitely an entry point I’d recommend.  Good luck!

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

Batch Files on Github

Recently I’ve started using the command line pretty heavily, especially for workflow and file management purposes.

In my regular job (not the work here) I’m generally managing thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of assets.  Due to that, my biggest enemy tends to be human error.  Thus my strive to automate and build tools for a lot of my work (which, in turn started this site of mine).

So I just threw up a selection of batch files I use on Github as an open source project.  I don’t think there’s anything necessarily particularly earth shattering, but it’s certainly fun to launch processes, browsers, and get file lists from the command line.  Processing file lists between excel and shifting file locations is a very integral part of what I do daily, so it’s a big deal for me!

If you have any cool, interesting, or helpful command line batch files you use – feel free to add to the project!

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

How to get a lot done

Have you ever gotten to the end of the day and felt the exhaustion of working a whole day and having pretty much nothing to show for it?

Maybe your work wasn’t any good.  Perhaps you were stuck all day trying to learn how to solve one problem and could never quite get there.

I have a personal rule I try to keep in these situations to solve this problem.  Instead of wasting a day, getting frustrated, or feeling exhausted, I tend to walk away with more energy and solve my problems faster.

Let me explain.

Continue reading “How to get a lot done”

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.

How to land your first client

In 6 months, I’ve gone from not being an audio programmer to having 3 downloadable products, one contract client, and a bunch of other business ideas.

This didn’t happen because I’m smart and really good at both audio and programming.  I know people who excel much more than me in all 3 of those areas.  Realistically, I’m just like you.  I’m a person with a skill set that isn’t quite the best at any particular thing.

I’m willing to bet some of you are also like me in that you want to have your own business, or at least freelance.  Shout out to most every sound designer, composer, etc.

But honestly, when you don’t have clients or you’re just starting, most of you suck at getting the first one.  Don’t worry, I did too.

So for the TL;DR of you, here’s the two things you need to do to land your first client.  I’ll elaborate more below (also feel free to argue with me on Twitter about it):

  1. Do awesome work (and get noticed for it)
  2. Listen to the potential clients who noticed you

That’s it.

Continue reading “How to land your first client”

Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.