Deaf musicians

Discuss the music that you love to hear.

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AC-130U
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Deaf musicians

Post by AC-130U » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:51 pm

We all know about Beethoven.

What about modern music? Any deaf musicians make it big?

A bit of background into why I ask:

I am deaf. I have recently gotten cochlear implants from Advanced Bionics in order to give back what I have lost and to give me what I have never had in the first place.

Now, I do some reasonable attempt to create music and ambients on a synth setup... only my synth setup is strictly software (VCV Rack). Would love to get into hardware modular synthesis at some time in the future along with video synthesis (using LZX stuff).

Some of my patches are up on YouTube. Before I got implanted I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to hear well enough to try to make music. Now... well, you be the judge.



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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Divinital » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:55 pm

I swear I read this as "decaf musicians" when I glanced over it. I was just reading about Beethoven in an article though, quite an interesting experience I presume...

Nice work and congrats on the implants. More upvotes for using a module that references Tool. It would be very interesting to make music completely deaf, especially with synthesizers, because although one can start from an init patch, you would never quite know the nuances of the sound unless you could hear it.

Bitnik
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Bitnik » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:57 pm

Percussionist Evelyn Glennie is probably the most famous profoundly deaf musician. She's been profoundly deaf since the age of 12, and often plays barefoot so that she can feel the music through her feet. She also plays the Scottish bagpipes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Glennie

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Yes Powder
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Yes Powder » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:10 pm

Dude, right on! :tu:
You have some interesting soundscapes here. I'll be interested to hear more for sure; subscribed! :guinness:
I think you'd have a lot of fun with hardware, and video synthesis.

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beyourdog
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by beyourdog » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:13 pm

A lot of Eurorack musicians could be easily qualified as either tone deaf or completelly deaf...

Sorry, I had to do it...

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beyourdog
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by beyourdog » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:15 pm

:sb:

onthebandwagon
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by onthebandwagon » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:20 pm

That’s amazing! Robert Fripp often referees to himself as being tone deaf not that it’s a fair comparison...
Last edited by onthebandwagon on Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by skylab001 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:26 pm

My first real band had a deaf drummer, he really did a great job and was the tightest drummer we played with. He was very mathematical and had memorized nearly every beat in the songs, it made improv hard but we played to a click at the time anyway so it worked out. He would take out his hearing aide out and wear headphones, they were so loud that I could hear them 10ft away on stage. Later he got a cochlear implant and could plug the click line straight into his new earpiece. Anyway kudos to anyone who’s hearing impaired and enjoys making music.

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Arneb » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:34 pm

In a sense, it was easier for Beethoven than for modern musicians. Modern artists rely on feedback via monitors/headphones/In-ears/whatever. This wasn't the case for classical composers - deaf or not, there was no recording technology anyways, their monitoring was in their heads.

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by AC-130U » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:20 pm

Beyourdog: LOL valid point about tone deafness!

Yes Powder: thanks! It is one of my goals to have a hardware setup where I can do the audio portion of synthesis and my deaf wife can do the video portion (with a little patch through from audio to video).

I mentioned in a local synth group that I might still be looking to collaborate with some people; I have not gotten any responses at this time. Yes, I am still somewhat interested in collaborating at least so that I know that certain sounds that may sound a little weird to me does not necessarily translate to "weird" for normal people (remember, I have to work with the limitations of my CI sound processors).

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Christopher Winkels
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Christopher Winkels » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:52 pm

Bitnik wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:57 pm
Percussionist Evelyn Glennie is probably the most famous profoundly deaf musician. S

<snip>

She also plays the Scottish bagpipes.
I'm sure those two statements are in no way related.

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Christopher Winkels
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Christopher Winkels » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:55 pm

I'm not really a musician (though I did stay at a Holiday Inn once....)

I'm almost completely deaf in one ear and have been since the age of 4. It doesn't massively impact my life, though it makes stereo imaging and consequent location of an audio source very difficult.

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by Rob_C » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:01 pm

A rather endearing three minute video about a musician and his deaf brother, made for Hewlett Packard:

Vimeo: Link->HP Spectre - Brothers

(lower quality) Youtube: Link->HP "Brothers"

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:07 am

My father worked in printing in the 70s when I was a kid. One day someone knocked on the door, my mother answered, and she couldn't understand a word he said. She ended up shutting the door on him. It turned out it was one of the Osmonds! My father was doing printing for them. The Osmond brother that was at the door is Tom Osmond, who is deaf and played bass in the band. He was stopping by about some printing project. I feel sorry for him because my mom shut the door on him, and I'm sure it's not the only time something like that happened to him.

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by GuyaGuy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:12 am

Obviously not the same as deafness, but Tokimonsta had Moyamoya disease which apparently made music incomprehensible to her. There's an episode of the NF show Explained called "Music" that talks about it.

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:32 pm

I noticed that you tend to use more low frequencies. I too like low frequencies. I think with me it probably has more to do with good memories of being a fetus. I get endorphins from low frequency stimulation. with you I have a theory that your fletcher munson curve is probably completely unique. I would imagine that implants have trouble with extended high frequency range up to 18KHz. it is also possible that your loudness curves are very different due to different methods of stimulation through different neural pathways. I think you probably excel at making music I like since we both have huge aesthetic bias towards low frequency avante-garde music.
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AC-130U
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by AC-130U » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:32 pm

With hearing aids I could hear the lows and mids much easier than the highs. The implants do extend the highs some to approximately 10kHz (the hearing aids have a lower HF cutoff frequency, approx 7kHz or so). The way I hear things have definitely changed, because of the expanded high end, but at a slight cost to the low end.

That being said, I do have residual hearing in my right ear and thus I can hear the UNTZ UNTZ of techno/IDM/d&b/etc). I have been trying to explore more of the mids and highs but to me the highs still sound somewhat jarring so I gotta figure out a way to collaborate with someone and hopefully learn how to mix the mids and highs better so that they are aesthetically pleasing to the hearing people as well because I realize that the way I hear may be significantly different enough that I am not sure how it sounds to the hearing individual (due to the limitations of the technology I have right now).

I hope this makes sense.

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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:52 pm


there was a rumor that this song is the same at half speed and double speed. some fancy layering. maybe that is relavent to a possible solution for someone with high frequency hearing problems. you could mix at low frequency and then double time it and layer it. I know deaf people can mix because I have done it before with span. I was in the studio mixing for many hours. my ears got tired so I just did it visually for a while then I checked it with my ears at the end. I shit you not the mix was pretty damn good just making sure the master was pretty flat and no frequency collisions. you could take that one step further with something like this and a second monitor + GPU.
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by 3hands » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:16 am

This is fantastic ! To the OP, that sounds great! Like what Eatyourguitar said, your Fletcher Munson curve must be incredibly unique.

While not deaf myself, the idea of making music that’s difficult to hear is not only daunting to me, but also incredibly inspirational.


Welcome to muffs, and would love to help you gain perspective on mids and highs in your mixes are some point. I’m just finishing up my own new EP, but we will keep in contact.
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Re: Deaf musicians

Post by AC-130U » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:06 pm

3hands wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:16 am
This is fantastic ! To the OP, that sounds great! Like what Eatyourguitar said, your Fletcher Munson curve must be incredibly unique.

While not deaf myself, the idea of making music that’s difficult to hear is not only daunting to me, but also incredibly inspirational.


Welcome to muffs, and would love to help you gain perspective on mids and highs in your mixes are some point. I’m just finishing up my own new EP, but we will keep in contact.
That sounds great. My main concern is that through my implants certain sounds that may sound "annoying" to me may actually be nice sounding to someone else, or vice versa. It may boil down to the mix or something else within the patch. I guess it's all about retraining my ears to the new expanded bandwidth that is accessible to me now through the implants. I now know that through hearing aids I never was able to get the clarity that I needed.

Out of curiosity, would an audiogram kinda give you an indication of what the fletcher-munson response would be like?

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