Making a meditation and study background music

In this post, I explain what motivations lead me to create Mind Ocean for Android, our app for meditation and study music with sandbox you can try here.

I also give a general description of the process of making it and, finally, give you a preview of the next update I’m preparing for the app.

What is Mind Ocean?

Mind Ocean is an app that allows you to listen to relaxing music and sounds to meditate, study, reduce anxiety, or help you sleep. Inside this app, you will find more than 80 different sounds with endless possibilities.

Why create a meditation music app?

If you jumped into this post you might be wondering why would anyone go through all the trouble of making a meditation/relaxation music app when there already lots of them out there. Despite it may seem like a waste of time to do something that already exists, it was a worthy effort because I didn’t just learn more programming, music, or mindfulness, it provided me with a tool and an app I can keep on using and improving over time. And the best part of it is that other people can use the App and benefit from my effort too. It was totally worth it.

With the current crisis, it is very common to feel anxious, stress, and even down. Some of us have felt panic, fear, rage, pain, grief, frustration, and many more emotions.

For almost the last two years I have been an entrepreneur, a freelancer. This is a position that requires lots of hard work and is very often associated with anxiety. Just a few months after I start my journey as an entrepreneur, covid happened. 

Panic reigned. No one knew how to deal with the situation. Lots of people losing their jobs, small businesses being forced to close… 

It was frustrating to see everything becoming harder, more difficult to achieve, and uncertain. It didn’t matter how much you had studied, prepared, or reviewed the business plan. The situation was overwhelming.

As time went by during lockdown, many of us intuitively looked deeper inside ourselves. Many of us looked for ways to deal with anxiety. We wanted to be comforted and feel relief amidst the terrible situation mankind was facing.

When the pandemic started, a governmental consultor for entrepreneurs recommended I take on some Mindfulness courses. That way I would be able to have more tools that would help me deal better with the situation. 

I’m glad I did listen to that person because taking on the journey to practice mindfulness really helped me a lot.

Despite my academic background is in Bioengineering and Bioinformatics I have always loved music and other forms of art. During this pandemic, I used music, meditation, and mindfulness to help me keep going and work on the project, doing a lot of creative stuff. 

That’s how, after some time meditating and looking for ways to fight anxiety, I decided to create an app with music for meditation from scratch. The app is currently available for free on Google Play Store. 

 

Try Mind Ocean for Android - You will love it!

How I made it:

I used Unity to create the app from scratch, using some UI elements made by ramxgerm for some other of our apps. She also created the Wheel we use as logo for the app, Mind Ocean.

For the current version, I used music, sound effects, and graphics which are licensed to the project. 

I recycled part of my previous scripts but added quite some new ones in order to control the music, effects, menus, etc.

It was a very interesting experience to use Unity’s AudioMixer with scripting and to mess around with the different sound parameters.

First, I created the sandbox mode, including the main library of music and sound effects. My idea was to give the user the freedom to bring different sounds together to create the best sound environment. I created the different controls for the music and the sound effects, including sliders to adjust volume, pitch, and panel.

Later on, I included the play/stop/pause buttons and coded the managers to deal with activating and deactivating sounds inside the sandbox mode. This part of the app currently has over 25 background music tracks and over 50 sound effects.

In order to motivate the users to meditate, I created an unlock system based on gems and a reward or cheat code system. Gems are generated as you stay in the app meditating and enjoying the music. 

In about two weeks I had a working prototype and I was already starting to create my own sound environments. I built a prototype into my phone and plugged my earphones until I came up with the meditation mode.

I created a menu to facilitate access to the different meditations or sound environments I was preparing for the first build to be published Google Play Store.

The development process, of course, included adding the translation of the app to Catalan and Spanish languages, which are my native languages.

I continued iterating over the different features I was adding to the app in order to make it better. I included features like a screensaver; a function that dims the screen after some time; quotes related to mindfulness; and so on.

The development, of course, wasn’t as simple as I am describing here. I had to also take care of processing the audio files and compressing them in order to reduce the final size of the app build. By default, an app built with Unity weights at least 15MB with just an empty scene, without taking in consideration the images and other resources which are needed for the app itself. 

But the effort, as I said before, was completely worth it because by version 3.3, Mind Ocean already had 45 different meditation environments.

For the current published version (3.4), I included new scripts in which I used mathematical functions to give more variability and breathe some more life to the sounds, thus creating more dynamic sound environments for the meditations.

 

Try the app for Android - it will be worth it!

What's next:

In the next update, I will include new features, including new modes and settings. The user interface will also be updated to adapt to the new changes.

Furthermore, to give you a better glimpse of what will be coming on future updates, I created this 30 minutes track using my MIDI keyboard and Ableton. This track will soon be available in a new update of Mind Ocean.

If you want to try to meditate with this track, I recommend you find a comfortable position and close your eyes before you hit play. Simply focus on the breath: in and out. That’s the key.

A final word

Inside the settings menu of Mind Ocean, you will be able to use reward codes in order to get free gems. The gems will allow you to unlock content inside the app.

We will soon be publishing the reward codes on the Instagram page we have created for the app. So don’t forget to make sure you follow us on social media to see all we are doing!

Don't forget to get the app!

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