Misophonia and the Agape Orifice

The longer you live, the less you know. I have always had “sensitive ears” — meaning that small sounds really drive me insane. That ear sensitivity can be helpful, though, in a radio career, or during audio production, because I can catch errors, and erroneous sounds, that others around me, miss. However, having “super hearing” is also a curse because you can hear dogs barking from far away, children crying two floors away, and every street sound echoes in your head all day, every day.

This week, I just happened to stumble upon the exact medical description of my Superpower Curse: Misophonia!

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Best Bedroom Amp Review: Orange Rocker 15 and Henriksen Bud

It’s been awhile since I posted a “Boles Blues” review of guitars, guitar amps and other musical gear. Two things were conspiring against me over that time. One, I injured my left wrist. That’s my “fretting” hand, so playing was difficult. The second conspiracy came in two parts, a couple of years apart: Floods! The first flood that hit my apartment came from three flights above and ruined half of my guitar collection. The second flood, two years later, arrived from the same burst pipe in the same apartment on the third floor, and ruined every single guitar amp I owned. The water damage ruined my musical collection and — because I pay for my own gear — I knew it was going to take awhile to get musically re-established.


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That Ringing in Your Ears is the Music of Your Mind

We have a horrible new neighbor living above us, and she’s young and preppy and VERY LOUD!  She bangs things on her wood floor/our ceiling all day and all night long.  She walks heavy on her heels back and forth and back again.  She drags her furniture across her wood floor/our ceiling that creates fingernails-on-chalkboard by osmosis.

I have taken to using earplugs when she’s at her most obnoxious and the earplugs do seem to filter out the precise range of her banging on our heads to make her terrorism from above us sort of tolerable.  I’ll leave the whole injustice of, “Why should I have to wear earplugs all day long so I can’t hear you being obnoxious?” question for another day.

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The Mastered for iTunes Review

Last week, I was intrigued to read about the new “Mastered for iTunes” albums that are now appearing in the online store:

Enhanced Audio on iTunes: This week, Apple quietly introduced a new section of its iTunes store called Mastered for iTunes, with albums whose sound has been adjusted by engineers “for higher fidelity sound on your computer, stereo and all Apple devices.” Mastering, the fine tuning at the end of the recording process, has long been tailored to specific audio formats, and Apple’s changes come after years of complaints by musicians, including Neil Young, that sound quality suffers from the compression used by digital services to reduce a file’s size.

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Dead Sound? Change Your Strings!

I know so many amateur guitar players who spend thousands of dollars buying a great axe, but they won’t spend a few dollars on a regular basis to put fresh strings on their guitar!  The one thing that will improve the sound and the heart of your guitar when it sings for you is always making sure you have new strings on the instrument.  Dirty strings are dead strings.  Dead strings depress you.  When you’re feeling disappointed in your musical sound, you practice less, and you avoid playing more.

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What is the Sound of a Silent Bell?

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City asks a wonderful question that it will try to answer in a series of Wednesday night sessions in June and July:  “What Sound Does a Bell Make When It Is Not Ringing?”

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When Neighbors Intrude Without Entering

There is a good chance that television and movies have spoiled me with regards to how I expect neighbors in an apartment building to behave. I understand that not every neighbor is going to be aware of the rules for urban dwelling and certainly isn’t going to make cups of sugar available for loan, but some things that our neighbors do just defy the imagination.

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