The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

listening to the lab countdown Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Today was awesome as I had my first Materials and Processes lab. I got to see how the CI worked in a group of 7 people crowded around one testing station. For practice, I listened to them read off the measurements, then looked at the other kid’s papers so I could copy down the numbers, and was doing well with that, but had trouble separating out numbers when they blended together.

One awesome part was how much audible and detailed the sound of the Sinair camera shutter clicking shut was. And I was a few feet away from the monopod and could still hear it very clearly.

The other thing that is amazing how different listening to music (some songs) with the CI is. I didn’t really notice it until I was doing my homework for Poetry and writing about Music. As I was working, N.E.R.D.’s “Lapdance (Paul Oakenfold Swordfish Mix)” started playing on my iPOD.

At the very beginning of the song, there’s this crackle just right before it goes into the musical part of the song. Then I could hear the individual staccato raps of the snare drum, and the vibration that it makes, that it almost makes a visual in my head of the drum hitting the head, and the reverb motion of the stick (yay for playing the drums). Then there’s the warble/distortion of the melodic part that comes right after the staccato of the drum beat (not sure what instrument it is, probably a synthesizer).

I love being able to listen to music and break down the individual components of a song, figuring out which instrument is which, and envisioning or seeing in my head how it’s being played. Sometimes I see colorscapes, almost like those visualizations that you see when you play music on the computer, but slightly different.

It is very exciting getting to hear these even more minute details, these inflections that these instruments have upon playing a song, and how it can really change the whole meaning, and gives it a whole new level of intensity to it. The notes have much more fullness and shape to it, and it makes me so excited to see just what the tip of the iceberg is so far!

I’m also getting asked by random people how I like the CI, and what it has been like. I also get to hear stories of people they know who have a CI or want to get a CI. Some of these are people who I have just met, strangers, or teachers/staff that I don’t know, but approach me about it. It’s definitely been interesting, to say the least.

I watched the season premiere of “House” tonight with about 20 people from PHouse, and I could still understand what was happening on the TV when the captioning dropped out (only with lipreading though), and even with all the random background noise that makes up life in a college dormitory.


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