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By Scott Fegette | Thursday, August 21, 2014

Songwriters: Make Royalties from Your Shows with ASCAP Plus

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It’s hard to make a living as an independent songwriter in today’s music industry—and even more so if you’re not already established in the field.

When budgets are already tight, it’s tempting not to register with a PRO (performance rights organization) if you aren’t anticipating enough (or any!) radio play that could net you a royalty check.

But here’s a reality check for you: If you’re a serious songwriter, you really do need to register with a PRO if you ever expect to see a dime for your work.

By Scott Fegette | Sunday, July 20, 2014

Deconstructing Game of Thrones' Visual Effects

braavos-harbor-vfx-plates-WEB

It’s often said that visual effects only succeed when you don’t notice them. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received a staggering 19 Emmy nominations in 2014, including Outstanding Special and Visual Effects. It’s no surprise, given the show’s beautifully integrated visual effects are largely responsible for immersing viewers into its fictional world of Westeros. German VFX house Mackevision recently published a video breakdown of its visual effects work on the show’s fourth season, and as stunning as it is, the FX techniques they employed to create the world of “Game of Thrones” aren’t as out of reach to mere mortals as you may think. First, watch the reel.

By Scott Fegette | Monday, June 30, 2014

GitHub for the Rest of Us

GitHub_Logo

Designers often work alongside coders on technical projects ranging from traditional web design to interactive documents and books, HTML5 web applications, and more. This not only means that we’re having to learn a little code ourselves these days, but also to integrate with code-centric workflows. And increasingly, the interaction between creative and technical professionals is happening on GitHub.

Although sharing and collaboration are popular reasons to use a GitHub repository to manage project assets, backup and recovery are even more fundamental reasons to “git” with the program and start using version control yourself. GitHub helps manage (and back up) text-based design assets like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, and it can also help track graphic and binary files as well. Once you get started, you’ll find a lot of reasons to keep GitHub looking over your project assets.

By Scott Fegette | Sunday, June 29, 2014

How To Use Web Fonts

How to use web fonts

Fonts used to be limited in number and flexibility for web designers. Those days are over. Although web typography still isn’t perfect, support for rich browser-based typography is comprehensive enough to stop waiting. It’s time to make your site’s text as beautiful as its layout and design by learning how to use web fonts in your designs.

By Scott Fegette | Monday, June 16, 2014

Using 3rd Party Drum Plugins with Ableton Push

Ableton_Push_Screencast

The Ableton Push is a super-flexible songwriting tool and its Drum sequencer view is particularly helpful for building out beats quickly. But when you add a third-party drum plug-in to a MIDI track, Push only gives you its general melodic keyboard interface, not the super-handy Push drum pad and sequencing interface. If you want to use a third-party drum module like NI’s Battery or Toontrack’s Superior Drummer with Push’s drum-programming interface, you’ll need to follow a few simple, but often-overlooked steps.

By Scott Fegette | Friday, June 13, 2014

Swift: A New Programming Language

Apple's Swift: A New Programming Language

Swift is a new programming language developed by Apple for iOS and OS X app development, which builds on the best parts of many popular languages like Objective-C, Ruby, Python, C# and more. Announced at Apple’s annual WWDC developer conference this year, Swift is the culmination of years of “skunkworks” development alongside optimizations made to Apple’s SDKs and developer tools.

By Scott Fegette | Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Five business skills beyond the degree

Build business skills beyond your degree

Explore these courses at lynda.com.

Is a traditional college degree enough to compete in today’s workforce? A recent Today.com article suggests that potential employers aren’t just looking for targeted skills. They want a broad set of skills that reach beyond your job-specific role into business, analytical, and interpersonal areas. Being an expert in your particular field of knowledge is critical—but here are some complementary skills that potential employers may also consider valuable.

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