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About BloomingLate

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    Chocobo (+20)
  • Birthday 04/25/1985

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  • Biography
    I'm a 32 year old male from Europe. A Christian, married, a musician-in-making, and battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Asperger's while at it.
    Due to my severely limited energy and near constant pain and fatigue I have to take life in small bites. My access to the computer is limited to protect myself. As a result, I may take some time before replying to messages, but feel free to contact me and say hi or something.
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    formerly Front-End Developer (IT)

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    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
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  1. BloomingLate

    Video Game Addiction

    I saw this thread a while back and felt like sharing my story, but I never got around to it and figured it was too late to do so. But seeing how it keeps popping up in the recent topics list I figure I'd jump in anyway. I didn't watch the video by the way, but I read through most of the comments and can kind of figure out what it is about. My story Video games have been a part of my life for a long time before I became a Christian 'for realz' (2008/2009). I suppose I fit the description of a typical gamer: introverted, not very popular with the girls, wears glasses and listens to electronic music. I only got my first console (SNES) when I turned 11 or something, but I got exposed to Atari, Sega and Nintendo through friends and classmates before that time. I always found myself attracted to what I saw. Seeing the first SNES commercials with DKC just blew my mind! When my nephew got those I was just amazed and got all these creative impulses that made me want to draw fantasy worlds and design games myself. Over the years I invested more and more money into Nintendo consoles and eventually got Playstation 2 because the Wii was a serious letdown to me. I had always put in many hours into my games, but that wasn't a problem at first. It became a problem when I went to trade school. By that time gaming was the ultimate escape for me, as @HoboKa mentioned. For a long time I have been depressed, lonely and overwhelmed with school work. Gaming provided the distraction that I thought I needed. Sometimes I would take really bad care of myself and would skip meals or sleep. I wouldn't learn from mistakes either. I had a particularly low point where I got so frustrated with Star Ocean 3 that I trashed the console. Yet the game wouldn't let me go so I caved in under pressure and bought a new console just so I could finish it. After my conversion to Christianity God started working on my conscience. I started to realize I could no longer subject myself to games, particularly because of content (a separate issue). I was able to put my beloved consoles away and focus on more important matters. When I finally moved out of my father's house to start my independent life I decided not to bring my consoles with me. At the office where I worked I would however be confronted with games again and found myself going through a particular pattern, resembling the A.I.D.A model: A game grabs my attention I resist I drop the resistance and start looking for information about the game I check game play video's on YouTube I see if I can get a hold of the game I start playing the game in secret I notice the game starts to control my thought life and I'm neglecting my other duties I get seriously stuck playing. I have to do it or I get stressed. Even when the fun part is already over and the "hard work" begins Weeks pass by. I eventually confess the whole thing to my wife. I repent and turn back to God and get rid of the game altogether. Peace returns and everything is back to normal. No more cravings for the game. My boss introduced me to a new type of game which got me instantly hooked. Someone in my family is also heavily into gaming (also using it as an escape I suspect) so when I visit him I risk getting exposed to games which will start the process. Since I'm married my gaming habits no longer just effect me, they effect my wife too. Her first experience with a display of my addiction was pretty bad for her, and ever since that time she gets very nervous when I'm snooping around games again. The worst cases post conversion and post marriage where with Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and later Star Trek Timelines. I don't even like Star Trek all that much, but the game had exactly the right components that will ensnare me (RPG elements, easy rewards, plenty of things to do, collectables). At another low point I had literally spent 40 days in a row (not non-stop) playing and paying no attention to God, prayer or Bible reading. It involved searing my conscience and keeping secrets from my wife (not a healthy thing either). With Star Trek I ruined my birthday by getting out of bed the night before to try a new update and unlock Darth Vader at last. I learned that I cannot possibly be satisfied with just an hour a week or something. It is all or nothing with me. Games will take control of my life and so it is best for me to shield myself against them completely. Kind of like the recovering alcoholic who is still vulnerable to the drinks but is okay as long as he avoids them altogether. It sucks, but it is a vulnerability I have to accept and deal with. As for cause and effect... I'm not sure where it begins with this addiction. I suppose I have a vulnerability inside of me or at least I developed a certain way to make me unable to really control myself. I could easily do a whole day of Bible study too (which would be a good thing) and suffer the effects of that (a bad thing). I do everything to excess if I'm not careful. One thing I do know is that there is a fundamental difference between the games I played when I was young and modern games like Star Trek Timelines and Angry Birds Epic. The latter seem to be designed to be addictive (lots of rewards in the beginning, free stuff, gambling elements, sounds on every button and event, daily login prizes etc.) To end on a light note: it is probably my being cheap that prevented me from succumbing to the lures of premium content. I never once spent real money on such games and could not be enticed into doing so. Otherwise I could have easily brought more problems into my marriage.
  2. These past few days have been a good experience for me. Taking some time away (even just a few days) has helped me to overcome some of the discouragement. Having found some helpful YouTube channels that deliver their teachings in a style that works for me has been good too. The whole thing doesn't feel so overwhelming anymore. I see I can learn new things step by step. I drew up a list for myself detailing how I would like my attitude to be towards the whole learning process. I can refer back to it whenever I feel overwhelmed or discouraged again. Thanks again everyone for your input! PS: As I suggested in this post I am considering investing in non-free libraries. I just need to get over that psychological barrier and accept the fact that some products are expensive because a lot of people put a lot of effort in them (as the Bible says "The worker deserves his wages"). I also need to convince my wife that it is worth our money [I keep a mental list of things I want to buy when my wife passes away too...whichever comes first ]
  3. I actually found out that the "pumping effect" (provided we're thinking about the same thing) is actually the thing I used to hate about electronic music Go figure. Anyway, I found some helpful tutorials online that help me understand the principles of compression and side chaining. The latter still requires some research. Okay, so I have an updated version again. I played around with compression on my snare and eventually figured I want an entirely different sample. The new sample sounds much better i.m.o. and doesn't seem to require further compression. You mentioned the muddiness caused by the piano. I think this is the last thing that I need to work on. Would it be better if I separate the piano chords (the lower register) from the melody (higher register) by creating two instances of the piano and tweaking each individual piano? I'm kind of at a loss here about what to do. I'm already using panning to separate the instruments. When you say "experiment with the mid frequencies" do you mean making them louder/softer or should I try to filter out excess sounds from the other registers? Would you agree that the problems start at around 1:29 (when the piano kicks in) and again at around 2:18? Latest version here: Thanks for your time and feedback!
  4. That's a good idea! Just having one theme follow up on the other might not be as interesting. I really hope I'll be able to finish this at some point; it is quite a challenge to weave together the parts.
  5. I heard about that and I'd like to first understand what I'm doing and why, when I use that technique. Most video's I've seen on side-chaining just show people doing stuff, but I don't want to just copy paste techniques. I've uploaded an updated version with different kick and snare samples and I feel like the new kick is present enough as it is, so maybe you can take a listen and tell me if it still needs compression etc.? I'll then have to seriously dive into the material to see if I can get a grasp of it. Updated version here:
  6. You're right, thanks for pointing that out. After just a few years of piano lessons I found out I could do a lot more than I would have ever dreamed of. So who knows what I'll be able to do with more time, practice and patience. Too much on the analytical can be not so helpful, yes. I definitely need to go against the very fiber of my being when my teacher tells me to "stop thinking and feel the music". It is much more rewarding when I play a piece imperfectly but with feeling in it, than when I play it perfectly with no feeling in it. The analytical emphasis comes from my desire to discover patterns and laws/rules that always apply (which gives a level of security), but I recently found out that the theoretical principles don't always have to apply. That's cool! I can imagine how you must have felt when you found that out. I only recently learned of those Greek sounding names for... what, scales?, and the way teachers present it online is just utterly useless for me (so I decided not to bother with it yet). You're right, knowing the jargon doesn't help if you can't apply it. I don't want to give the impression that I'm just looking for the theory as information. I am interested in the application obviously. Other people have said the same thing, so maybe you're on to something there. OCRemix has definitely been an amazing source of inspiration with so many different styles and genres being applied to the same source material. I also like to take my old favorite tracks and then try to reproduce them on the piano or in Musescore with just simple instruments. That way you can learn a lot of cool things and you practice your ear while at it. I'm glad it was beneficial to the both of us :)
  7. My experience so far has been somewhat similar to yours. I just started playing around on the piano, gradually "discovering" more things like chords, 8th notes and what have you. And then after having made the so many-th song using just whole note chords I figured its time to move on to something more interesting. I did simultaneously dive into music theory using the website with the same name. I understand perfectly what you're saying and I think the "just do it" approach does work well enough most of the time. I do personally benefit from a bit of theoretical approach because I had zero knowledge when I started. I need those basic building blocks or I'll stay paralyzed. Usually I'll take whatever I learned and work that into a new piece. Things that are yet too difficult I just drop and forget for the moment. I mainly learn by literally seeing how something is done (I'm more of a visual learner I think) even if something simple like seeing my piano teacher do the circle of fifths. That's why I found one OCR member's video on EQ-ing profoundly helpful. I can see what he's doing and hear the result of what he's doing at the same time. I need that connection between the theory and the practice or it won't stick, and if I do, it will stick amazingly well. Your comments on those questions that arise in your brain when you're listening to music ("Why does this and that sound do this or that to me?") are very helpful. You may think "Well, doesn't everyone have that?", but ever since I got my diagnosis (Asperger's) I learned that I don't do a lot of things that other people do naturally. Consciously asking myself such questions is one of those things. But once I am aware of such principles, I can start applying them anyway, so thanks for bringing it to my attention :). In general, I do have a good feel for where I want my musical piece to go, but the difficulty finishing has more to do with stamina, discipline and dedication than with creativity per say. To draw a parallel with painting: it is easy to come up with an idea for a picture, drawing up the lines and putting down the broad strokes. But when it comes down to the details and those tiny strokes, that's where I tend to break down. That's when the motivation starts dropping and the discouragement kicks in. Like you, I do keep a list of things I learned. And I do experience that joy when I realize my next mix is better than the first was. I need those encouragements or I'll feel like I'm not getting anywhere. My piano teacher would agree with your statement "Don't listen to the voice in the back of your head..." Thanks for your detailed response!
  8. Thank you everyone for your responses. I will come back for a proper response when I have a moment to sort everything out. EDIT 1: I'll answer your responses to point 4 first, and then gradually update this post when I have more time (these things can get overwhelming for me): Point 4: I can relate to what Jorito says a lot. I always wanted to play piano and when I got my first instrument I quickly discovered I love coming up with my own compositions as well. A few years later I could see that I probably am more of a composer than a performer. Of course I want to keep investing in my piano playing skills which will help me become a better composer as well (plus, I just want to be able to play pretty songs). I also love orchestral instruments, so if I can make my piano tunes better with some strings, I'll want to be able to do so, at least for my own enjoyment. And then there is the other skills that come into play when you really want to produce something for an audience. I don't aim to become some kind of best-selling producer/artist, but I do want to see how far I can get. Its about the music first. For me, especially because of my autism I will have trouble with keeping oversight and if you literally don't know what there is to know about music and where to start, things can get really overwhelming. Which is why I can see the value of JohnStacy's approach. Rather than going after everything you can possibly learn, just start with where I am lacking now. His comment also made me realize how very little exposure I have to other people's music in general. Its tough if you have to figure it out all by yourself. Maybe I need to expand my horizons on that. As for Timaeus222's learning log: something like that seems helpful enough. Just being aware of some of the basic vocabulary of music production can help me move along. Stuff like EQ, filters, sidechaining etc. A bit of a compass when on the wide open sea... Patience is a bit of a thing for me. My piano teacher always has to slow me down when I get all worked up about things I cannot do yet. I'll be back for more. EDIT 2: Okay, back to provide another bit of answer. I hope this isn't going to make things too messy. Point 1: I think I should clarify what I meant, because it seems you can interpret my words differently. What I was trying to communicate was the experience of, if you will, physically not being able to properly listen to music anymore. Not just the experience of being "bored" with or used to a certain song of genre of music. I generally have a higher resistance to repetition, so that's not really it. Maybe it's just fatigue or the drop in mood that clouds my perception. I used to have this with my photographic works too. My very favorite pictures would suddenly seem absolutely dull or overly manipulated and I'd just hate my entire portfolio. With music I can get into a phase lasting for a few days where I experience a lack of coherence between the different sounds of a song. The instruments seem disconnected, I might not hear any bass and sometimes my ears just plug up. I feel pressure building up in my nose and ears and the entire listening experience just becomes terrible. I guess all I can do at that point is wait until my hearing restores and not force myself to work on a track. The discouragement comes especially when I've waited for days and days and when I sit down to work, I feel stuck still. I may need to work on my self-control so that I don't allow myself to get to that point where I'm overexposed and hurt my perception of things. Quit when things are still going well enough. EDIT 3: Point 2: In other words: I don't have to pursue every idea to completion? I'd hate to have to finish "several thousand" pieces but at this point I'm struggling to finish even one. My Volley Fire remix is just haunting me! I did start working on multiple mixes at the same time to keep things interesting, but leaving them all unfinished would be a bit of a disappointment. I suppose I should allow myself more time. Its not like I have deadlines. Sometimes you can create your own pressure when there is none. Like: "the people on OCR are just dying to see my completed mix so I better get my act together." That kind of thinking is just not helpful. EDIT 4: Point 3: These are definitely golden days when it comes to technology and the availability of free things, compared to earlier days, that's for sure. We could probably have a whole separate discussion on this point, but I'll keep it brief. I think there is a psychological effect in play and I probably need to rethink my position on spending money. Let's face it, things come with a price and you can't go through life expecting everything will be free. That's a mindset thing. That said, there is a psychological barrier to purchasing digital things costing more than the price of a video game. Its not that I cannot afford a more expensive package; the question is: is it responsible and worth it? I guess you have to take risks from time to time; I just might end up with something good that I actually do use. The fact that you can't return these products and get your money back is slightly annoying (but understandable). I read somewhere that its not a good idea to gradually update to a better package. For example: start with the cheapest FL-studio instrument pack ($15-20-ish) then move on to a slightly better pack for $30, then $80 and finally $190. I definitely don't want to waste money. Would it be a good idea to start by tackling things one by one? Consider what I want to achieve eventually: Make energetic songs featuring electric guitars. Make emotionally rich orchestral music Make piano solo pieces All of the above in one If I take it point by point and start with 1, I'll probably need to dive into the basic of guitar playing first, learn about the differences between say lead guitar and rhythm guitar, learn about different amps, come up with a tune, and finally find a suitable VST. Rather than getting some expensive guitar thing, orchestral thing and piano thing first and then finding out I don't know what to do with them (and end up discouraged). Then again, perhaps there is a single package that has the above and more that would be comparatively cheaper than the individual components. Just thinking out loud here.
  9. Hello guys and girls, I'd like to share a bit of my experience with discouragement when making music and ask if you have similar experiences and perhaps suggestions on how to deal with it. Basically, I experience trouble in these areas: I might suddenly no longer like the sound of what I have produced. My enthusiasm and appreciation just completely drop. They may come back at other times, but I can't work on something while I think it just sounds utterly horrible. Perhaps this is due to over exposure to (the same) music? Its not just that I don't like the song anymore; the sound just doesn't register well in my brain. I might get stuck on the ending of a track and never get around to completing something. I can finish a piano solo piece well enough, given that I can actually play it on my instrument. Complex multi-instrument remixes however are liable to ending up unfinished (I suffer from this defect in other areas as well, like when writing articles). Not having a great sound library for my DAW can be discouraging. I don't want to invest tons of money in good stuff yet before I have some confidence in my production skills. On the other hand, it is hard to increase my skill when I have nothing to work with. I'm trying to make the best of whatever is available for free, but a lot of stuff is quite frankly just horrible. Not really knowing where to start or where to go next in terms of learning things can have a paralyzing effect. I guess I can be impatient too. My composition skills appear to be somewhat ahead of other skills, particularly mixing channels and getting everything to sound right. Any encouragements, advice or insights?
  10. Thank you for sharing your creation with us Daniel. The overall feel to it is very special, not sure how to describe it. I don't know many other piano pieces that produce this mood (then again, I don't know too many piano pieces!). I did find myself losing attention sometime after the 3:20 mark. I don't know if that's just me, or if maybe it needs a slight change to keep it interesting for the second half. Other than that I think you did a nice job and the performance itself is also very nice. I'm still a learner-pianist myself (3rd year) and I can't wait to get to the level you're at.
  11. Since I'm here and uploading mixes I might as well update this post with the latest version. It is still in Musescore 2, but I'm taking a decisive turn towards an orchestral version instead of EDM. I hope to be able to finish it one of these days because this is taking me forever.
  12. Hello again Here is another WIP for a remix I'm working on. I'm trying to create a medley comprised of tracks that feature a certain pattern of notes and have similar chords. I had the following in mind: 1. Aerith's Theme (FF7) 2. Halo theme - bonus ending (see video at end of post) 3. Mermaid theme from Donkey Kong 64 4. A track from Xenoblade titled "Thoughts to a friend" The status of this track is that most of the FF7 part is done. There is a notable drop of instruments near 1:10, which is where I last quit. The Halo part is probably 50% done. I need to work on the ending/transition to the next part, which is tricky because I have to go from 3/4 time to 4/4 time. Part of the mermaid theme is already in there at the end, but I haven't done any original work on that yet. It just sits there as a placeholder. I could use some feedback on the transition parts and the overall composition. I've used MuseScore 2 with some fancy soundfonts, but it will probably need to move to FL Studio eventually for more control over channels and humanization. I'm also taking suggestions for a more fitting title Enjoy! Sources: The bonus part starts at 3:20
  13. UPDATE 2: Latest version post feedback See this post for details. --- PREVIOUS UPDATE: Finished version ready for tweaking and fine tuning per your feedback I added some more sounds (notably toms and some ambient pad), reverb and a somewhat proper ending. A section from the factory level makes a guest appearance. Kick and snare got a new sample, but the snare remains a bit of an issue I'm afraid. Overall I like it well enough. It started out as a bit of a joke remix, but gradually it grew on me. I'd like to submit it to the judges *lightning strikes* *wolf howls* - 0_0 - after I did all I could to add the finishing touches based on your feedback. Your input is much appreciated. The more specific you can be, the better (i.e. tell me at what point in the track something doesn't sound right or whatever). Thanks! --- Hello strangers I'd like to share with you a remix project that kind of materialized in my brain while I was supposed to be working on something else. This is a trance remix of Donkey Kong Country's mine level theme (Life in the mines). And by trance, I mean the kind of trance that I listened to growing up, mainly between the years 1999 and 2002. I just wanted to see if I could pull something like that off in FL Studio. I'm still learning to properly mix channels and all that good stuff, which no doubt will "show" through. I figured this would be a good exercise for that. Basically I'm going for that "old school" (European) trance feel. I'm not trying to be super original here. The track is still a work in progress. I plan on doing another breakdown/buildup thing at the end of it. I'm having serious trouble with volume. Somehow my own generated mp3's all sound really uhm, not loud. I'm not sure if its just my laptop, or my old PC speakers, or my crappy headphones. I'd like to invest in a good set of headphones for this kind of work soon enough. At this point I can at least tell the hi-hat is on the loud side, while the kick is possibly too soft. Anyway, what do you think? Am I on the right track producing that classic buildup/breakdown/buildup trance feel? Do these transitions work? Have I used a wide enough range of pitches (not sure if that's the right term there). PS: I made this from memory, and there is possibly a Halo influence in there which coincided with what I think the chords should be. PPS: for the title I have two options in mind: "Trance in the Mines" or "Frog Induced Trance" (a reference to Winky the frog, who appears in the first level this track plays in in the game). Link to Soundcloud file: Source:
  14. Hello everybody, I can't believe how fast time has gone by since my initial post last year. I haven't completed my Volley Fire remix yet, but I haven't been sitting still either. I would like to share with you - for your enjoyment and perhaps feedback - a new piano piece I wrote and recorded on my digital piano. I name it Step by Step - it is a kind of exploration of different intervals and bass-styles. I'm a sucker for these emotional pieces and I'm particularly proud of this one. What do you think? Thanks for listening! Link to Soundcloud:
  15. Okay, posting the FL Studio version I managed to squeeze out of the demo version before my laptop signed me out and blocked my access to it This one hasn't changed much in terms of structure, but I had already started working on an improved version with some new ideas, that I'll continue on when I decide to get FL Studio or not.