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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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Joined on 3/12/09

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Midnights-Ocean's News

Posted by Midnights-Ocean - July 29th, 2021


So I just got my skulpt se synth. For some reason it’s dual mono output, not true stereo. Strange. You’d think they’d want a good stereo image, not flat mono sound. Oh well, it doesn’t sound bad. Bank 6 has a lot of rather nice things I could use. Well, that I WOULD use, if the synth didn’t blue screen on me every time I turn on a light. Not kidding, every time I turn on my desk lamp, the synth goes completely dead. Doesn't matter if I have it powered by USB or batteries. After a reboot or a few, it works again. There's also another interesting thing it does. When I turn the synth off, it often blasts me with digital noise at full volume, even though it’s OFF. It literally wont stop till I’ve ripped the batteries out of the damn thing. It might just be me, but this digital dysfunction is a rather common problem. 90% of the digital gear I have bought over the past 20 years has been glitchy to some degree or another. I guess this synth is just reminding me, why I prefer analog gear. Lol


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - July 25th, 2021


The toy synth market, as it has been dubbed, is an interesting thing. Personally, I judge instruments based on overall integrity, not by words, size, or price. Baring extreme prices though, since it's difficult to produce integrity for too little money. On the flip side, too much money can cut out integrity on the user end. These things still do need to be played by a person right? lol. Point is, if only twatty celebrities can afford an instrument, it’s sadly, as if it doesn’t really exist to the rest of the normal world.


I kinda just go "eh" when ever I hear a new super expensive synth has come out, because as good as it might be, if you can't get it in many hands of talent, it just kinda seems mostly pointless. Like super cars. Sure, neat to watch, ultimately pointless though. Honestly, even IF I had the money, I wouldn't blow big bucks on a car or synth. Medium bucks sure. I think a lot of companies are afraid to make a good synth that's simple and thus affordable.


Now, some frown upon the toy synth market because they “aren’t real instruments” and are driving up the cost of real synths (cheapening the industry). Though I agree to an extent with the later statement, I would point out products within the toy synth size/price point that are anything but toys. Rarewaves comes to mind, vermona, dreadbox and others. Other point is, most people aren't making enough money to afford anything other than a toy synth. Which is why I think the toy synth market is here for a while longer. Regardless if you get an all metal giant killer by rarewaves or a ridiculous plastic gimmick box from “fill in the blank”, either way, out of necessity, you aren’t dumping 6 or 15 grand on your next instrument.


I’ve had many toy synths over the years and I usually sell them after a half year or so, either because they really ARE cheap junk, I need money or I just get frustrated with limitations. My newest acquisition is the skulptsynth SE by modal. Looks like a toy but upon closer inspection, it seems noticeably better engineered than a toy. IMO it sounds better than the modeled analog toys from roland. Will it hold up? Will I end up selling it in 6 months? We’ll see I guess.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - July 14th, 2021


The problem with the analog verses digital argument is, it can not be made properly, except in person. Once you digitize an audio signal, it is forever changed in ways that are apposed to the physics of analog sound. Computers draw sound waves with straight lines, nature does not. Computers are limited in resolution, nature is not. You literally can’t compare digital sound to analog sound in a youtube video, because all the sound is digitized to be on line in the first place. Half the significance in detectable difference is lost. Mostly what's left is to argue time quantization and harmonic saturation, which can be mostly synthesized in a computer, if you know what you are doing.


Therefor, I think I finally realize in a bigger sense why only those who have spent extended time listening directly to analog sound, fully understand how and why analog is different and desirable. It really is something you have to hear in person. If at any point between your ear and the source of sound, digitization has been applied, you are likely to miss arguably half the entire appeal of analog.


This also explains why it drives some analog enthusiasts nuts, when instrument companies add digital effects to an analog instrument without a 100% dry pass through in the circuit. Or why same enthusiasts refuse to use digital effects on their analog instruments.


It’s like cooking vegetables. Even just a single digitization changes the sound and like a piece of parsley, once it’s cooked, it’s never the same.


This also explains why it seems some think me elitist when I rave about the sound I get from my analog instruments. They can’t hear everything I do, from over the internet.


This is also why, mostly older people who grew up with analog hifi systems, understand why such systems are special or desirable.


So what's the point of analog if next to nobody records/releases purely on analog media anymore? Well, there are things that do translate, like the before mentioned saturation and time signature effects. The other half at this point in history, is something purely for the benefit of those playing/recording the analog source. I guess it's what keeps the art "alive" for the artists. They at least get to hear it the way it really sounds. That is until society looses it's shit from too much digititus and goes back to analog media as the norm.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - July 5th, 2021


So I think I'll just swim into open ocean with nothing but a flashlight and pocket knife. I'M SURE NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN AT ALL!

lol

So I finally picked up subnautica for me switch. They had it on special, both games in one, so I was like, *sigh* fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Aside from a few gripes, like there not being such thing as even A SIMPLE HANDHELD HARPOON, I'm actually enjoying this game a lot. Who knew a dark and mysterious game centered around oceanic exploration would appeal to a person like me *sarcasm* XD *sarcasm* :P


I keep having to rebuild my seamoth though. First one got stolen by an electric octopus. Second one ALMOST got eaten by sea monster. 3rd one actually GOT eaten by a sea monster. >.>; I'm adding flippin missiles this time.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - June 11th, 2021


Just got on special, the babyaudio smooth operator. Got on special because I’m dubious over the concept of charging more than roughly 35 bucks for a plugin, though a select few might be worth more. Now, babyaudio kinda, looks, like a gimmick plugin company but this is the second plugin I've gotten and they are both quite useful. Add to that, quick/awesome customer relations. So IMO Baby Audio is NOT a gimmick company.


At this point, for me, it's unavoidable realizing, plugins are getting advanced enough that it’s breaking the sound of instrument's natural behavior. Going passed simple adjustments and downright openly modifying deeper, more complex, fundamental characteristics. In the here and now, this is a good thing. I don’t think it’s a replacement for good engineering/mixing but it certainly makes the process faster.


In the long run though, I see this sort of thing backfiring. The more computers modify recorded sound, the father away from nature it gets and we as humans can’t remove ourselves from nature, because we ARE nature. Most people don’t realize it but we are just as much nature as the rest of the organic world. Eventually people will realize they have lost something important, throw down the daw magic and go back to simpler recording/production processes. Some of the most beloved recordings of all time, were of this sort. A band. Analog instruments. All recorded to reel to reel with only simple real time production tools.


Back in the present, personally, I find the smooth operator very useful so far. I just wish someone was smart enough to create acoustic instruments good enough not to easily "benefit" from all this processing. One might be amazed at how much you can do, purely with proper acoustic design but that's another subject for another day.


So, plugins, DAW effects processing, the future, thoughts?


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - May 6th, 2021


There's really no politically correct way to say it. So many people in this world are so busy being jealous of other people's talent/natural gifts, that they don't even discover their own gift. I am a firm believer that every person has their own unique gift. It's not something you earn. Not something you learn (though learning can help one master it). Not something you buy. Not something someone else gives you. It's something you are born with. It is though, something you HAVE to discover.


It’s not a question of: Some are born with gifts, others aren’t and that's just tough titties. Truth is, some people ignore their gift, while attempting to destroy those who haven’t ignored their own.


We.


We are not all the same. We are not all “equal” but it isn’t through superficial means that this is true. It’s true, only because we choose it to be so. The decision society makes, is: Will we all be equally poor, ignoring our gifts and destroying others out of self hatred, sloth like behavior and petty jealousy? Or, Will we all be equally rich in embracing our gifts, understanding we don’t have to all be the same, to be equally happy.


My enlightenment as an artist started when I realized, I didn’t have to be good at everything. Being good at what I was naturally good at, was enough. More than enough in fact, it was freedom. Envy is a cage. When you are envious, you make your self inferior. It’s a self fulfilling negative state of being. Reject such emotional traps and you can fly.


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Posted by Midnights-Ocean - April 16th, 2021


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 theft, 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 - April 2nd, 2021


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 - March 19th, 2021


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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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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