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Greetings all!


Roy Louis Smith
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I'm a bilateral implantee with no residual natural hearing. My surgeries were in 2013 and 2014. I use Rondo 3s most of the time and Sonnet 2s for things that need direct connection or benefit from their different frequency spectrum. I also have legacy Rondo 1s that I use during workouts. 

I'm a fairly serious amateur musician and luthier, and I'm finding that my musical experience with CIs continues to improve even nine years in. I'm also somewhat of a sound-gear junkie; I've got a professional-grade PA system and some other audio equipment that works well with my processors. 

I've browsed this forum from time to time, usually to learn about the advantages and limitations of new processors or assistive gear, and I should have joined long ago as a member and participant. So, hi, everybody! I'm looking forward both to learning and to sharing whatever I have that might be useful.

Best regards, Roy

 

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Hi Roy, its encouraging to hear that sound can continue to improve, even after 9 years! I am curious if you are referring to music played through typical home speakers or streamed through a phone. Are you able to go to concerts? I am 3 months post-op and have found some decent success with streaming. I can distinguish lyrics fairly well, although the overall sound is scratchy. With music played through speakers, whether at home or in a car, the sound is pretty poor. I am hoping this will get better, just wondering if this just improves over time. I am implanted on one side and have no residual hearing on either side. My overall experience so far is nothing short of amazing. Understanding speech, especially in the right environments is excellent, which is the biggest priority. Enjoying music again would just be a home run!

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@Mike F

Sounds like you are off to a terrific start!  For me music started to make progress at the 3-4 month mark and improved A LOT over time from there.  Listening to music, playing the piano, using the Auralia Pitch Comparison app and the Melodic Contour Identification app all helped.  
 

Now music sounds terrific!  All kinds of music.  Live bands, arena concerts, broadway shows, listening through speakers at home and in the car, even singing to the radio in the car with the windows down.

Music was an unexpected gift from my CIs.  Enjoy your journey.

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Thanks Mary Beth, that is so excellent to hear. Listening to music is such a big part of life, the thought of loosing it is very discouraging. I want to be realistic in my expectations, but I am now more hopeful that sound will improve over time.

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@Mike F

I thought about it this way…. I will never know how great music will sound with my CIs until I actively listen to a lot of music, train musical pitch and give my brain time to sort it out.

After activation every note on the piano sounded the same!  Now I can hear when I play a wrong note on a busy musical piece.  The journey is really amazing.

Playing scales repeatedly on the piano helped a lot.

Here is a link to a captioned video about my music journey if you are interested.

 

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Such a great video! I can relate to a lot of points that you touched on. Even before I had my profound hearing loss in January of this year, I was in a slow hearing decline that left me feeling very isolated. I found myself unable to follow conversations at dinner with my family and I started just tuning out because it was so exhausting trying to keep up. My job requires me to speak to different people all day, every day and I began to think that I would reach a point where I couldn't continue. Unfortunately, I had also just seen the movie, The Sound of Metal, which left me extremely discouraged about the prospect of CI's. That was only 6 months go. Now, with my CI, I have a new lease on life.

 

I just tried the pitch comparison app that you suggested and I am able to distinguish pitch pretty well. Thank you. I think I will try to be patient and continue to listen to music and see what time brings. You're persistence at the piano obviously paid off. The idea of being able to see live music again is something that I don't want to give up on

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@Mike F

I am glad the video helped.

Don’t give up.  Enjoying live music has been one of the most special gifts from my CIs.  Keep us posted.  Wishing you the very best.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I apologize for starting the music discussion and then wandering off. 

My experience parallels Mary Beth's. I listen to music by any available means - direct FM connection, bluetooth streaming, stereo speakers and live concerts. It all sounds very much as I remember it from 50 years ago when I had normal hearing. I also play guitar (both steel and nylon string), 5-string banjo and ukuleles of various sizes, and they all sound like they're supposed to. I have no problem distinguishing timbre, which I was warned might be a problem.

In my early days after activation I focused mainly on speech until I got past the "Greek chorus" stage (i.e., six people speaking in perfect unison but at different pitches) and acclimated to my own voice. But speech came to me relatively quickly, so I began to work on music.

I started with pieces that I already knew well from my hearing days, sometimes putting the player on repeat for five or ten rounds and focusing on what I knew should be there. After six months or so these well-known songs began to sound like I remembered them, so I started to mix in new material. I've now reached the stage where I can once again learn music by ear, though not as quickly as I once did. And I remain a bit "tone-stupid" - not tone-deaf, but still not instantly able to place myself into a key and locate the root note. When I play in public I have to be very careful about key shifts from one song to the next - only fourths, fifths or relative minors. Other shifts might take several minutes to sink in. Oddly, this isn't a problem when I listen to music, only when I'm singing.

And yes, don't give up - being able to listen to and play music again after 30 years is a special gift indeed!

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Hi roy! I have a question...have you recorded your singing, and played back?  I winder because while making this virtual band video, when i play back my singing it sounds a little off! Im wanting to know if this is my imagination, lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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@Roy Louis Smith

Just saw that you are performing at the Sound Sensations Festival Finale!!  Congratulations!  That is awesome!

DC900BE3-42DB-43B5-A189-11BBBBC32386.jpeg

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Why thankyew Mary Beth! I'll be playing (and singing, which is a pretty big leap of faith for a bilateral CI user) two duets with my wife Janet, who'll be playing bass.

We're really psyched!

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@Roy Louis Smith

I am so excited for you!  Can not wait to watch it and hear all about your experiences.

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