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View Profile Midnights-Ocean
I make music and sounds. I post mostly on newgrounds so people can use them in games and such. My full albums can be found on my home page below.

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Ocean

Joined on 3/12/09

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Midnights-Ocean's News

Posted by Midnights-Ocean - 5 days ago


So ever since the deluge of clones hit the analog synth market, I've been able to use numerous analog synths for dirt cheap. This is super cool but for some reason, I predictably sell them within roughly 6 months of purchase. The engineer side of me does not understand this. I mean, if the schematics/designs are the same and side to side no one can tell the difference in sound, then, why on earth would I get rid of them? It's not like they are very valuable money wise. Every time I get a clone or other cheap mass manufactured synth though, I play it, maybe record a song, then shortly after, something inside me just goes, "eh *shrugs*" and I totally loose interest.


Artistically these clones just feel really dead and yeah I know they are made with cheaper components/construction and you could argue the bad mojo ethics of intellectual property, treatment of workers, big corporate evils, blablabla, but, artistically, there is no math I find to explain why I just loose interest. In they come, out they go. Another resale on reverb.com. It's like clockwork to the point where I don't even chuck the box they come in anymore. I know, it's probably going to be history in no time.


This really didn't become apparent to me, till I recently bought a local hand made analog synth from rarewaves.net and was looking over my past sales/purchase records on line. I realized just how much gear I had bought and quickly hawked. The only analog synths I actually legit regret selling, were all hand made stuff from either UK/Europe or north America.


There's also the issue of the sound from this new rave waves box. Holy crap. It's like serious liquid magic inspiration. It really feels ALIVE. I know that sounds kinda gay but the artistic side of things can be like that sometimes. Maybe there is no common math to explain artistic feelings. I suppose it also doesn't hurt that the rave waves synth is designed extremely well and biult like a tank with high end components. The oscillators are SOLID. I mean, like, DEAD stable. Unlike any of the clones or general mass manufactured stuff I've tried from the "affordable synth" market. I will tell you, I am NOT selling my rave waves. Not unless I'm literally starving to death. The funniest thing is, rare waves's stuff isn't actually that expensive. All things considered, it's competitive.


Out of curiosity, I checked sales trends on reverb and such to see if I was the only one who had this issue. As it turns out, I wasn't. There is a very LARGE quantity of resale for clone synths and cheap mass manufactured synths in general. Still makes half of me go "wait what?". I mean people supposedly keep raving about the clones and stuff, so why are they dumping them so much? I never see many resales of hand made synths. I was once told, you can tell the real quality of gear, by how many people are dumping it on the secondary market or not.


The whole thing leaves me more appreciative of the smaller, more integrity-full synth companies. As tempting as it is to buy every time behringer, for example, releases a new clone, I think I'm done with the marry-go-round of buying and selling cheap ass gear. I'd rather save up and buy something worth hanging on to.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - 2 weeks ago


So I had a thought. Some people simply adore the sound of white noise. Pink noise, rain, a fan blowing. What ever flavor is takes. So perhaps a modified mental reaction is the appeal to noise based music in general? Personally I like distortion that has a high saturation and smooth top end, while retaining good stability in the bass frequencies. I would refer to this as a full and stable sounding noise. bit and hard clipping effects would be more a destruction based type of noise. On a rare occasion, I find a noise type in music I really like. A great example of it is this track: https://youtu.be/41S7bP3wnRA It's interesting how the timbre of noise can make it either intolerable or soothing in a way. It can also define how easy it is on the ears.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - 1 month ago


Something funny happened to me the other day. I was mixing, as one does, and I noticed the tunes I’ve done with live takes sounded more holographic, than the ones done completely in the box. Not talking about the music composition, so much as the sound quality it’s self. It just sounded more real somehow. It wasn’t limited to acoustic instruments either. Even very artificial instruments, sounded different. A difference that was separate from WHAT sound I recorded. It seemed to only matter that the sound WAS recorded, instead of constructed purely digitally, having never left the computer for any reason.


I realized a significant part of this effect was due to background noise. Not having the best of the best equipment or situation to record, there’s a little, what used to be called “tape hiss” in the background. Basically low level white noise. From what I ascertained, the reason low level white noise makes sound more 3 dimensional, is simple. In the real world there’s always natural background noise. Even in a dead quiet field in the middle of nowhere, if you listen, there’s light background noise. Even if you are in an anechoic chamber, you will still hear it, because you are a living thing, full of energy, motion, movement and squishy things. Well unless you are dead. Odd place to die. In an anechoic chamber that is.


Anyway, the background noise gives the subconscious a more real life context to what it's listening to. The subconscious notices when that background noise is absent in music and therefor makes it sound more artificial. I guess this is perhaps why a lot of mastering plugins these days have a noise knob, so you can add in a that little “imperfection” that we were convinced was a bad thing back in the day before digital audio. Yes it’s true, digital audio is still a very new thing in the grand scale of musical history.


Background noise, liken to natural harmonics and saturation, in a way, gives music a subtle but noticeable and (if done correctly) very positive property. Making for a more holographic sound.


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3

Posted by Midnights-Ocean - February 25th, 2021


I can’t recommend this company enough!


https://www.thinkpenguin.com/


After hobbling my way along with broken or old computers for the past 20 years, I finally was forced to buy a new computer.


What made it an easy decision was I finally found a great computer company who’s wholly against big corporate BS. There are some others out there but this is the first I found that really knows their stuff and stands behind their products with REAL customer service, from a REAL intelligible person, you can ACTUALLY predictably talk to on the phone.


For anyone who’s sick of apple and MS, you can now buy an affordable fully functional Linux computer that works straight out of the box, with full tech support that’s actually worth a damn. They also offer great accessories and a VERY affordable VPN, which was easy to set up and actually works well. Some online merchants wont let you checkout if you are connected through a VPN though, so I love how I can turn the VPN on and off with just a click of a mouse.


Got the most basic model computer but even with that, is super nice. Was very cool that I could select only the hardware options I actually wanted. Was built and shipped super fast. Boots up in literally 1 second.


Linux has come a long way. One of the few remaining weak spots is graphics cards though, so, gaming isn’t the strongest but that’s why I have dedicated standalone game systems.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - January 28th, 2021


Not a bad start to 2021 at all. A tune I didn't even think about. Didn't expect anyone to notice. Just kinda came together while I was sitting listening to little birds flutter about outside. I want to take a moment to thank the NewGrounds community. You peeps have held on through thick and thin. 2021 and still kickin.


Peace. : )


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - October 27th, 2020


https://midnightsocean.bandcamp.com/album/the-land-where-devils-can-not-be


Still a few little mastering details to finish up but yup it's done. Looking like it might be the last album I make. We'll see I guess. Feedback welcome.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - October 19th, 2020


So since I lost my studio some 5 years ago, I've had the interesting challenge of finishing a life's works without most of the tools that make music post production easy. Sure I'm no stranger to doing post production 100% inside the box but not like this. A lot of people I know on line, just guess. Well, they say they have a method but the results are often akin to shooting in the dark. At first I was just making educated guesses based on experience. Experience is a pretty heavy hitter when it comes to getting music production right. Never before though had I been forced to do this much blind mixing/production. No reference monitors. No reference room. No buddies with amazing ears who could stop by for tea and listen to my latest mix.


So, for the first few years of studio-less life, my mixes did not turn out well. Nothing world ending but not good IMO. I don't quite remember when but I finally realized, to just mix by real time spectra graph. Such a simple solution, I kick my self for not realizing this years ago. Just look at the real time frequency spread and mix till it averages out to a nice even slope angling down from bass to treble. The more forward you want the mix, the more gradual the slope.


Turns out this method works brilliantly and takes out of the equation any gear, budget or human relativity effects. changing ears and opinions no longer drive me nuts changing every day or week. No more heading back to fix things for the millionth time, because my ears decided it was too *fill in the blank* that day, or some person decided to convince me of their mixing opinion, because they *knew* better that day, which usually means they watched a youtube video and think that counts as experience in a real life studio. No more getting pressured into thinking my mix needs some new piece of, usually expensive, gear.


One more time, the best solution, was simple and right in front of my nose the whole time.


So now, the way I come at mixing and mastering is humble, simple but highly effective. Yes, of course it wont "sound as good" as some super expensive studio mixing mastering but if your composition needs that sort of thing in order to be good, you are focusing too much on packaging and not enough on content. The universal truth in art is, it's always only as good as the writing. If you can't write for shit, post production is just polishing a turd.


Being low on money, my method can't rely on lots of expensive plugins either. I'm sure there are some suites out there that will "mix and master" for you. I am dubious about those claims honestly. For me though, free is the best. I found some great free plugins from meldaproduction. Logic Pro's EQ and adaptive limiter provides the graph, EQing and some light limiting while removing DC. Meldaproduction provides a great free loudness analyzer for LUFs, true peak and a not free multi-band limiter with saturation plugin that is mystical (saturation in general is an AMAZING tool). I've actually found these 5 plugins combined to be a 1000 times more effective than any compressors, even multi-band. I keep tokyodawn's nova active EQ on hand too, for the occasional hard to cure EQ issue (usually bass or that notorious 4kHz hot spot). Very rarely will I use a compressor. My rule of thumb is, if I need a compressor on the mains, the tune isn't mixed enough yet. So for the price of a cheap pair of useless monitors that wouldn't help, I got Meldaproduction's multi-band limiter. Which actually does what it's advertised to do, eliminate your volume handicap without trashing your sound. Oh man does it ever! A must for someone like me, since I actually want to keep as much of the quality and dynamics as I can. <:D


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1

Posted by Midnights-Ocean - October 18th, 2020


Ok some of you might know the iconic sound of sega's old FM engine back in the 1990s. So would you guess you could make those sounds with a garden pot? Believe it or not, I just sampled taking a mallet to a tiny new empty garden pot. I imported the recording into the simple sample synth. Once pitched way down, that original little "tink" sound turns out to be a dead ringer for sega's FM synth. Add some ADSR and you've got an organic retro FM synth patch. Just used it in this new tune for both a lead and a low low bass pad: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/972643 Crazy! I knew certain materials vibrated in a manner similar to FM waves but I didn't think I'd find a sound like this just sitting around the house. <:D


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - October 8th, 2020


Featuring the new strymon nightsky: https://youtu.be/xZ4_QbWt7EY


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - October 4th, 2020


I doubt this journal will get many responses. Most don't really but lets get into todays subject.


The scope of music changing on a personal level as the years go by and the times change. When the world was 20 years younger, what came to mind when I though of powerful music, were the 4 pillars of hardness, hard acid techno, trance, D&B, rock and combining the 4.


2 decades and it's societal “progression” later, something has changed. It’s probably me but I don’t care about rock anymore. In general, main stream rock feels like, noise, recycled for 80 years. The same 6 chords, 6 guitars, 6 amps. Maybe that’s what’s cool about it. Maybe cool isn’t cool anymore. I don’t know. As far as hard acid techno, trance and D&B are concerned, these days, it stays interesting for me, for about a minute and a half, before, something just turns off inside me. Not sure what but I just loose interest. I just think, heh that 303 was such a great little box and then I get a odd sad feeling and move on. Tis no wonder I don't create much in those genres anymore.


It kinda feels like, the passed is unraveling. Like the dimension where rock, the amen and the little 303 were king, is now just an illusion. As if, the time lines changed and it somehow never happened. All that's left are detached memories of a time, I no longer understand, which is very odd, since I was steeped in it for so long.


Nowadays, what comes to mind when I think of powerful music is: massive, earth reshaping, mega tsunami sized synth bass pads, with no beat, no rhythm-centric aspects, just pure massiveness. Speed and rhythm-centric music, it seems, have gotten smaller in my mind. Sure they are energetic but now it feels more like popcorn. Pooping popcorn is energetic but on the grand scale of things, it’s weak, small. Maybe fun for a short time but ultimately more agitating or annoying to me than moving.


Slow means large now and in a lot of ways it’s actually physically true. Because of perspective, the bigger something is, the more slowly it seems to move. This is why the robots felt so big in the first pacific rim movie, they moved “slow”, as if they were massive. Faster cycles mean smaller size. Atoms spin at mind boggling RPMs compared to your hard drive, vinyl record or the moon. Slow also means longer lived. Where as the faster things in life, are gone quite quickly. Interesting it is that, eh?


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