The Bionic Sound Project

this girl’s journey to sound

Get Your Hands Up! Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Filed under: ipod,music,school,sound discovery,sound identification — Allison @ 6:10 pm

I’m in the PPL lab working on my website for my web design class, rockin’ out to my iPOD as I’m coding away. I’ve been on a hunt for new music to listen to, since I’ve been getting bored with music lately, as there isn’t THAT sound that’s catching me.

So I picked Fergie’s “The Dutchess” album, since I haven’t listened to it yet, other than “Fergalicious” and “London Bridge”.  I have no idea what tracks are on this album, so I’m not even paying attention to it.

“get your hands up (x8)”

It caught my attention that I could understand the words faintly in the background, at the beginning of the song.  I picked up my iPOD to find out what song it was, and it was “Get Your Hands Up”, which I haven’t heard before.

It’s not even listed in the lyrics online, as it’s “background” lyrics, but I understood it clearly, and on my first time listening to this song, without even paying attention to it.

To fellow students at school (and to people online), I’m more than willing to sit and talk with you or answer any questions you may have about the cochlear implant. I really appreciate those of you who come and ask me questions about it, and I hope I can help you in any way!

I promise, I don’t bite. 🙂


Every Breath You Take Friday, April 20, 2007

Filed under: friends,music,sound discovery,sound identification — Allison @ 6:19 pm

At this very minute, I’m riding along in the car on my way to Buffalo, music blasting my eardrums out. In the midst of the din, the words stick out.

“Is this ‘Every Breath You Take’?” I ask.

“Yes it is,” says Lauren.

However, we’re having an argument over who sings this song.

It sounds like the version I have, and if it is, it’s the one with Christina Aguilera in it.

We’ll find out when we arrive and I can dig my iPOD out of the trunk.

I am super-excited, because I can’t hear the music very well due to the loudness/distortion of it, yet the thing that stood out the clearest was the words, which helped me to identify the song.

That itself is amazing!

Now let’s see what sounds Canada and Niagara Falls brings!


Breaking News (Online Live Video) Monday, April 16, 2007

Filed under: accessibility,media — Allison @ 1:58 pm

Nothing like breaking news (the Virginia Tech shootings) to force you to try to use your hearing to understand what’s going on.

Live online broadcasts that aren’t captioned (since I’m stuck in the ESP lab working on photo stuff, and everybody’s talking about it over here) plus I’m getting bombarded by IMs from my friends about what’s going on.

Brian Williams (of NBC News) has an excellent voice for listening…I can understand about 60% (conservative guess) of what is being said, without any lipreading.

However, it would be nice if there was still closed captioning.

One of the worst things about being deaf is that if there’s something going on, you’re usually one of the last people to know about it. 9/11 was a perfect example of mass chaos and no information of what was happening, other than the pictures.

My thoughts are with the people who have been most affected by this tragedy. It’s sickening to just hear about it.


More News From Friday Sunday, April 15, 2007

Filed under: accessibility,listening therapy,mandy,observations,work — Allison @ 8:57 pm

Friday morning’s therapy session consisted of me doing better than anticipated on every activity Mandy had planned, that we ended up finishing early.

She picked a selection from Alphacats (rhyming alternatives), consisting of the “S P D T” sounds. I breezed through them with the CI and the HA on, getting 100% on discerning the differences, and understanding what was being said/what letter it was (for the most part). In a moment of curiosity, I tried it with just my hearing aid, and did not do as well (about 4 wrong). The interesting thing was that it took me longer to figure out if it was the same or not and guessing what the word was.

After that, my super-cool boss, Sheila, asked me if I could cover a shift Friday afternoon, and since I didn’t have a research team meeting, I went over to the office early. While talking with her over lunch, her sister called on videophone from Hawaii.

I’ve done videoconferencing (when the technology was still relatively new) and only with people who sign (my big sister Krista, my ex Mike). But we usually would type back and forth on AIM because the video was too jerky to capture clear motion, and my signing skills were not up to par. If it was a hearing person, we would just watch each other for reactions while typing back and forth. It made for a much more interactive conversation.

I had a lot of fun talking with the two of them, and it was interesting to note how much better it was to hear with the CI than with the HA, because it helped with hearing sounds.

Now I wonder if I can get my family into videoconferencing, instead of having to use the relay. That would be awesome.


Fall Out Boy And The Birds Saturday, April 14, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Allison @ 9:56 pm

Last night was the formal for Photo House.

My accomplishment of the night – recognizing the band that was playing. It was Fall Out Boy (who I have been listening to for JUST one month).

“Hey Jen, this song sounds like Fall Out Boy.”

“It is.”

“Seriously? AWESOME.”

“You know this one, Allison. There’s no way you can miss this one.”

“This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race”


“Hmm…ok…how about ‘Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends’?”

“NO. Come on! You definitely know this one!”

“I don’t know….*listens some more*”

She’s staring at me with an excited and hopeful look on her face, and finally I say, “Is it “Dance Dance”?

“YES! You got it!”


Intuitively, I knew it was the song “Dance, Dance”, which is my favorite FOB song, but I kept guessing the other ones (the current hits) cuz I didn’t think they would have picked an older song from FOB.

It’s a record for me, because usually I have to listen to a song for several months in order to recognize it. And recognizing a band after only listening to them for one month off and on? Forget it.

According to iTUNES, I’ve only listened to “Dance, Dance” 8 times on my computer, I don’t know what my iPOD says about that, but it’s probably like 16 times.

Today I had a photo shoot off campus, and my friend Ed and I grabbed some dinner on the way home. We sat down to eat and watch an episode of House, M.D. since he has yet to see it.

Throughout the episode, I was getting very annoyed because I was hearing what sounded like faint “talking” in the background, but it wasn’t quite talking.

Finally I said to Ed, “What the heck is going on? There’s all this chatter that I can hear outside. What’s going on that’s got people talking loudly? It’s driving me crazy.”

“Oh, it’s the birds.”

Darn those birds. (Don’t ask about my “the birds” moment).

Mary Karol warned me that my first spring with the cochlear implant would be amazing.

Guess I’m starting to see a preview of noises to come, because it’s still unseasonably cold here. Oh boy.


Harmony Release Schedule Thursday, April 12, 2007

Filed under: 120-channel processor,advanced bionics — Allison @ 3:09 pm

The announcements for patients implanted prior to 2007 will be mailed out by Monday, April 16.

I’m bummed out, because I want my Harmony now (just like everybody else) but at least my hearing’s in good shape now (as compared to a few months ago) so now I can maximize the benefit of the Harmony.

From the email sent out:

1. Free Exchange of Auria Processors:

In accordance with our Harmony Processor Exchange Policy, we will exchange UNOPENED Auria processors
at no charge for patients who had an initial stimulation on or after January 3, 2006. The exchanges will be
carried out based on the following schedule, beginning with the patients who have the earliest initial stimulation

2006 Initial Stimulation Date Free Exchange Notification and Processing Begins
January and February April 16, 2007
March and April May 16, 2007
May and June June 18, 2007
July and August July 16, 2007
September, October, August 16, 2007
November, and December

For patients who are under the Pediatric Warranty Extension Program, we will make replacements when they
schedule their ear-level processor fitting.

We will accelerate the Free Exchange Program in the event we have sufficient inventory. We will offer the Free
Exchange Program until the end of 2008.

2. Purchase Program (including full-price purchases and trade-ins):

Beginning April 16, 2007, Harmony Processors will also be available for all CII Bionic Ear and HiRes 90K patients for purchase or for paid trade-in (i.e., patients implanted since April 2001). Purchase and trade-in information, including Harmony’s features/benefits, insurance, and ordering information, can be found in Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) at A condensed version of the FAQs is included for your convenience.

Because there are a large number of users eligible for this Program and because we want to be able to accommodate all the calls that we anticipate, we are asking patients to contact our Harmony Team to begin processing their Harmony orders based on the following schedule:

CII Bionic Ear or HiRes 90K Users Year Implanted Purchase Request Processing Begins
2001 April 16, 2007
2002 April 23, 2007
2003 April 30, 2007
2004 May 7, 2007
2005 May 14, 2007
2006 May 21, 2007

We will offer the Paid Trade-In Program until the end of 2008.


The Last 3 Weeks

So much for writing in here on a daily basis, but I do come bearing plenty of news.

1. I went to the store on March 29, and as soon as I walked into the store, I recognized the song that was playing. Eiffel 65 – “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”. I went over to the cashier and asked her if that was the song that was playing, and she said yes.

2. I’m starting to pick up more phrases here and there, but nothing all at once. It’s slow going, but patience.

3. The CI panel was excellent. It was fantastic getting to talk to other CI users, and hear about their experiences. In addition, we got to educate the audience about cochlear implants and answer any questions they had.

4. I have a new input device for my iPOD. I am no longer using the DirectConnect cable, as I’m tired of changing them around. This one works with both my hearing aid and the cochlear implant, and just requires the flip of a switch. It’s not the HATIS, but I can’t remember the name of the manufacturer off the top of my head right now but it’s called the Freedom. The best part, the cord is white, so I get to look “cool”. :-p

5. Mandy and I are both upset about the Harmony release news. I have to wait till July to get mine. More info on that in an upcoming post.

6. NAG is coming up soon, and Mandy and I are busy preparing for it. I’m nervous, but excited at the same time. It’s been interesting putting together the timeline and all the data for the booth.

7. I’m behind in writing back emails, so I apologize to those who have been waiting for a response.

Anyway, more soon! Hope all is well with you!