geralt / Pixabay

This comes up on account that I was asked how I manage to edit videos without the use of sound.  I’ve stated before that with audio I have assistance of online friends that check it out for me and give me advice on what needs to be done with the audio, including helping me pick background music and the like, but when it comes to video itself, how do I manage to edit it?

Just like everyone else really, the difference is that while someone that can hear normally is able to have audible cues to tell you when and where to cut and what to splice together, I utilize visual aids in order to know the same things.

In my raw footage, even if I’m doing a first person POV recording, I will have a hand sign in front of the camera so I know what to chop, where each scene begins and ends, which take of a particular scene I’m viewing, etc.

This isn’t that different from that clacker board thing you see in professional video/movie production, just instead of a board with numbers and whatnot on it, I use basic handsigns that I understand to tell me what is what.  These hand signs are not ASL, nor are they BSL, they’re a custom home signing that I personally use and haven’t taught anyone.  This would be confusing for someone else editing the vdeos for me and if I were to hire a professional editor I would simply just end up changing from my unique home signs to something more mainstreamed such as an audio cue at the very least.

Hope that helps in understanding how I go about it.  My software of choice for editing videos is Kdenlive, however if I have to add special effects, my go to is Lightworks.  My editor changes largely depending on the needs of editing.

Pexels / Pixabay

Of course this comes from the perspective of a deaf guy, and you might ask “But if you’re deaf, then how the hell would you know if music today sucks or not?” well it sure as hell sucks bad enough that even I can tell it sucks, so sit down and take a minute.

Truth be told I can hear to a degree, as with a lot of deafs, I have residual hearing.  I can enjoy low tones and pitches and can hear a good amount of the vowels from most men.  And yes I had to say most men as some men seem quite content with themselves sounding like Vitas when he’s screaming, thus making it so I can’t really catch what they say all too much if at all.

(This 24 minute Vitas meme has more rich sounds than the average song in the music industry)

You’ll notice though that with most music today, even the lyrics are just as repetitive as the beat itself.  So when I’m mostly looking for something that feels good with conduction headphones, and tickling what bit I can hear out of fancy because I do enjoy hearing what I can, music today is no different than a 24 minute loop of Vitas doing the same thing over and over again.

Modern music has a 3 to 5 second beat that doesn’t change through the entire song and the vocals, and yes I can tell without lyrics on screen that the vocals are horse shit too, it’s all the same.  Is your CD on repeat?  You can’t tell!

Music from the 1950’s – 1990’s were some of the best music.  Though I will admit from what I can tell musical talent peaked around 1955-1960 and gradually went downhill from there getting progressively worse and overall samey as time went on.  Even the millennial whoop is annoying as hell to me.  “Ohohoohohohohhohoooh” like god damn you having an orgasm in the microphone keep that on pornhub and xtube I mean DAMN!

You can have rich music with a variety of sounds from numerous instruments, even digital.  Even Skrillex who thinks Mac is a musical instrument comprehends this to a degree.  It’s one thing to have a consistent beat, it’s another to have a non-stop looping of a 3 second clip playing over and over.  And another thing entirely to have that 3 second loop with repetitive lyrics.

Seriously how many times does one need to say Gucci Gang in one freaking song?

(The award for the weakest vocabulary goes to ….)

Seriously, there is absolutely zero passion in that song what so ever from this artist.  If you can even consider this an artist, I sure as hell really don’t.  And it’s not just him.

“Cmon cmon” and even the whoop is in this, yes I can tell, that’s how bad it is.  “Ohhhoohhhohhhhhhhhh, my body’s saying let’s go.  Ohhhohhhohhhhh, but my heart is sayin’ no” and I’m also saying no to this song, begone thot!

Now I do understand having a chorus that repeats itself, my problem comes when the chorus appears the be the whole song or the vast majority of it.  Then there’s Christina’s “Genie in a bottle” music itself, it too is nothing more than a loop with no differentiation.  It’s not got any good depth to it and is samey all throughout the piece.  And this is a “hit” somehow.

The music industry has lost it’s flair.  It’s lost it so bad that even I can tell.  When the deaf is telling you that your music blows goats, it’s probably time to have some introspection and improve.  It’s not piracy killing the music industry, the music industry is killing the music industry.  Your music sucks.

quimuns / Pixabay

It’s amazing how often I actually get that specific statement “Deaf people can’t speak!” or “You can’t be deaf, you talk!”  This is sorely a myth.  Only 20% of the deaf population rely solely on signing, never saying a verbal word in their life.  The remaining 80% of the deaf population do, in fact, speak.  My preference in communication is verbally with my voice.

You can clearly hear me speaking in even my video on reviewing the Britzo hearing aid system in which I’m speaking using a crappy microphone.  I’m deaf and have been deaf since very early in my childhood.  Granted initially school administrators thought I was literally just retarded and put me in special ed initially in kindergarten only for the special ed teacher to inform them “This kid isn’t retarded, he just can’t hear.”  Thus the speech therapy classes were started that would last for 7 years from that point.

I can speak well and articulate my words with proper enunciation and often focus on what I’m saying so I don’t “sound deaf”.  I have a problem in which I am personally always worried about how I sound.  Generally this results in me not speaking in a lot of cases unless I absolutely have to.

thisismyurl / Pixabay

And yes, I am able to sign, it’s not my language of preference though.  I was mainstreamed, and most of my friends including even my husband are all hearing or hard of hearing.  I don’t bother teaching them how to sign unless they ask me how to sign something specifically, with the exception of this one roommate who wants to learn to sign for reasons of having a second language and being unable to find a class nearby.

Generally, though, I find things more accessible to me to speak using my voice.  There are rare instances in which I’ll go mute, but to save on confusion I don’t sign in those cases.  What I do instead like when I go into a gas station by myself, I’ll type on my phone in a note that reads, “I am deaf, I need $20 in gas on pump 3.” and communication problems averted.

Every so often, I run into someone working that knows basic signing.  Enough to tell me my total and say thank you usually.  In some very rare cases, I run into someone I can call fluent in signing and they bust it out.  Some hearies think it’s offensive to just suddenly start signing when they learn someone is deaf, but trust me, it’s really not.  It’s no different really from having a hispanic customer with limited and broken English and you suddenly just speaking Spanish to help the customer out.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Well, I say there’s no difference, but the difference in reality is I do know English.  So why do I go mute from time to time?  Even with hearing aids, communicating verbally with someone is very stressful, and it’s exhausting over extended periods of time.  So it’s literally easier on me mentally to not have to pay that much extreme attention to detail just to communicate with someone when I can get by with less stress just passing my phone back and forth if I absolutely have to communicate in those cases.

It doesn’t mean I can’t speak.  The problem, though, with using my voice isn’t just me worrying about how I sound.  It’s also that ugly myth that keeps rearing it’s ugly head “Deaf people can’t speak”.  People learn I’m deaf and assume that I can’t be deaf because I can verbally articulate what I want to say.  I know this myth comes from two different sources.  Popular entertainment media and Deaf Culture.  In Deaf Culture it’s taboo for a deafie to use hearing aids or to have cochlear implants and it’s just as taboo to use your voice even if you know how to with or without a deaf accent.  You’ll be “Not deaf enough” for that crowd.  So that group itself perpetuates the myth.  “If you speak, you can’t be deaf” because those involved in Deaf Culture insist that deaf people don’t speak and must rely solely on signing.

TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

Just don’t believe the myth is what I’m getting at.  Just because someone can articulate and enunciate well, doesn’t mean they aren’t deaf, they very well could be.  They could’ve had low hearing and gotten worse with age, or they were deafened later in life for some reason (and there are multitudes of ways you can go deaf, by disease and by accidents and on purpose).

At The Rim (ATR) responded even to my blog post on listening to music as a deaf person titled “Falling on Deaf Ears” and you can read that on his blog.  He was deafened later in life, he can speak and sign (BSL) and has much the same issues I have with Deaf Culture across the pond in the UK.  In his response to my “Falling on Deaf Ears” article, he states, in brief here, that he was deafened later in life, knows what sound and music is and all its intricacies (so do I as a vague memory in my youth) and now avoids things like sound systems and equipment because it’s stressful and depressing.  We’re not all alike and this is worth mentioning.

OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

My point is, I’m not the only deaf that can speak.  There’s actually a lot of us that can and do.  Even the deaf YouTuber Rikki Poynter speaks with her voice when she’s not trying to cozy up to Deaf Culture that hates her guts for the crime of using her voice.

Rikki Poynter has a deaf accent when she speaks.  I do not.  She can’t hide in plain sight, I sure as hell can and have for a good long time.

But at least, now you know.  Coincidentally, I can also sing.

TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

When I go to theaters I turn my listening devices off because the theater is far, far too loud in the noises that I can hear.  A loud boom or explosion can hurt my ears.  And like with any movie theater in the back woods of Alabama, the theater doesn’t have subtitles in the movies nor closed captioning devices.  The others in my party can enjoy it with the sound while I miss a hell of a lot.  Being the fan of horror almost to a fetish, this is my take on Don’t Breathe on first impressions.

It starts out with this group of early 20’s adults that break into peoples houses and just steal stuff but for some reason decide to only steal so much rather than robbing the house blind, which I think would’ve been the smart move if you’re robbing someone already.  They target houses because one dude does this thing with a computer that has information about a home security company.

They find information about this blind guy that has a good chunk of money, and break into his house after googling his address.  They take off their shoes for some reason and walk around the place trying to avoid the blind guy.  Turns out the blind guy has a rape dungeon.

EvgeniT / Pixabay (Welcome to the rape dungeon, would you like cum with that?)

Chick already tied up in the rape dungeon tugs on some cord that rings a bell alerting the blind guy that she’s fussing around so he goes down to the rape dungeon and just shoots her because he can’t stand her making so much noise.

Blind guy eventually catches the female house robber and ties her up and then gets force fed his baby juice from a turkey baster.  Dude robber helps free chick robber.  They go for the money and try to leave, dude robber gets wrecked by blind guy.  Both males are now dead leaving chick and blind dude.

Chick ends up wrecking blind dude and leaves him for dead and escapes.  Blind dude somehow survived and police didn’t end up finding the blind mans rape dungeon somehow.

Was it a good movie?  Not really.  I strongly disliked how the bad guys (the robbers) had the attempt to make them out to being good guys by making the blind guy a crazy dude with a rape dungeon.  This movie would have been better if they removed the rape dungeon and just made it a survival horror trapped in the blind guys house trying to escape with or without the money just to save their lives.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay (How I see the characters introduced in the Aliens series)

By the time the movie whipped out the rape dungeon, I was rooting more for everyone in the house to die mutually rather than rooting for any particular group so thus killed any suspense the movie originally had.  It’s like watching Alien Resurrection in which they try to introduce all these various characters and their personalities when in reality we’re just getting a sneak peek at the buffet.

stevepb / Pixabay

It’s a common question and I can understand why it’s asked. Many people who can hear perfectly fine or are just hard of hearing even will ask a deaf person like myself “Do you enjoy music?” or “Are you able to enjoy music?” and the answer to that question is actually yes, I can enjoy music and I often do enjoy music.  I just enjoy it differently than you would.

While you would enjoy listening to the various tones of the sounds that your brain interprets I do similar involving the vibrations of the music.  Things like conduction headphones work wonders in this regard as it allows me to be able to feel the music far better than I could without them and without the need for a big speaker that would disturb others who can hear in my household.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Sure I can’t really catch all if any of the vocals in the music but I can enjoy the instruments playing and the varying ways they make different vibrations for me to enjoy.  If you go to a concert with a loud stereo system to compensate for a very huge crowd, do not be surprised to learn that deafies are way up front towards the speakers jamming out.  This allows us to feel the music since we can’t really listen to it to enjoy the sounds.

This, however, allows me to enjoy the music and be able to dance with the beat.  Granted there are deafs with cochlear implants that can bluetooth into a music system and hear the music in their head and can better enjoy the music in a similar way that a hearing person would.  But just because they have a CI doesn’t mean they’re suddenly hearing or hard of hearing, they’re still actually deaf.  Without their processor they hear nothing.

So if you have a deaf friend, don’t be afraid to ask if they would like to jam out to some tunes.  We might even suggest an artist alongside saying “Hell yeah”. 🙂

geralt / Pixabay

Total admission, I’m going to tell you how to have closed captioning on your livestreams with what’s commonly referred to in the deaf community as “Craptions” (which is better than nothing), but I’m going to also tell you right now, right off the bat, that this is going to take several hours of work on your part.  This method isn’t something you can just install and put into OBS and suddenly magically work with accuracy, not by a long shot.  This closed captioning system also only works on Windows 7 and up.  So if you’re using OS X by Apple or using Linux, this will not work for you.

The Required Program

I’ll go ahead and get the software bit that you need to download out of the way.  Download This and unzip it somewhere, your desktop is fine or in an assets directory if you use one.  Then, once extracted, open the program itself up and close it to create the settings file.  You can use that settings file to change background color to green for chromakey if you use those filters in OBS.  Now open it back up, and do a window capture on the program and place it where you want (and add the chromakey filter if you’re going that route).

Best results need 3 lines.  2 lines for the stuff already generated, and the very bottom line that’s live captions.  This produces enough clarity for your hearing impaired audience.

Testing The First Time

Now, if you leave the caption software open and try speaking, you’re going to notice that it’s not accurate in the slightest.  So you should logically be aware that we’re not going to be able to comprehend what you’re trying to convey in speech via that inaccurate as all hell closed caption, it has to be trained.  Remember how I said you couldn’t just download and install something and it magically work?

kmicican / Pixabay (How you’re going to feel after 30 minutes of training your software)

Training Your Speech Recognition Software

This software is based on the Microsoft Speech Engine which is built into Windows 7 and up.  Hit up search in the task bar or cortana and type Speech and open Microsoft Speech Engine.  Set up your microphone accordingly and start training.  The more you train it with your voice, the more accurate it becomes.  And yes it can and will become quite frustrating.  You’ll also be reading through the same training sessions alternating between two or three of them, this is normal.

Example of Training Speech Recognition Software

I trained my speech recognition software for 4 hours.  My video on dlive titled “Testing and Training my Live Captions” shows you the captions going from inaccurate as all hell to catching some of what I say down to being okish within a couple hours.  I’ve further trained my speech recognition software built into my Windows system an additional 2 hours off camera.

Other Alternatives?

geralt / Pixabay

You can use Google Docs for their speech recognition as a form of diction software and overall using Google’s system is already pretrained by countless hours of numerous people all around the world training it in a cloud based system with AI in it’s backend.  So technically you could work something out with showing a Google Docs page on your browser and letting it’s diction be your closed captioning which would be easier to set up and use than my method in regards to not having to train anything, but at the current point in time, I’m not sure of anyone that’s set this up.

You could also, if you’re willing to spend money, purchase software like Dragon Naturally Speaking to create closed captioning using text files embedded in OBS as a text source.  These methods are methods I’ve not personally explored but they are available to you should you wish to tinker.  If you’ve developed a better method and would like to help out, tell me your process and I’ll help spread the word about how to do it better and easier.

Future Updates?

I will continue to experiment with other closed captioning options to improve ease of implementing so others wanting to make their live streams accessible don’t have to train their own software too much and make it easier for their dictions to have improved accuracy all the same.  As well as try to make it easy to overall implement into their streaming software.  This is an area of technology that is rather important to me since livestreams are hugely inaccessible and lip reading, while I can do it, is a royal pain in the ass and quite exhausting.

TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

Of course you’re getting this from the perspective from someone that’s deaf.  It seems modern movie goers believe that a horror movie isn’t any good unless its choked to the brim with non-stop jumpscares.  So movie writers, directors and producers no longer take the time to build upon the characters in their movies, nor do they build upon the atmosphere allowing for the senses of dread, despair, fear and terror but instead now solely rely on the body’s natural fight or flight response trigger.

Generally this is started by an initial loud bang or any sort of sudden, sharp noise.  It’s easily noticed that this is the case for a hearing person if you were to watch a horror flick and just mute the audio and enable the closed captioning.  All those various jumpscares that damn near make you shit yourself normally, no longer give you any impact in the slightest.

Don’t get me wrong, a good horror movie can cause me all these various forms of fearful emotions.  I can feel fear, dread, anxiety, fright, terror and abject horror and no those are not all different words for the same thing.  Each one describes a different emotion, a different feeling.

However if your “horror” movie relies too heavily on the jumpscares, then your story just isn’t going to stand out, let along be able to stick.  There are horror movies I can’t logically be afraid of like anything involving a little kid.  If the scary thing that’s freaking everyone around me out is a little girl being creepy, I just don’t find it scary in the slightest because I can just punt that bitch over a fence.  So needless to say The Ring sucked.

The best horror is not centered entirely around the scary thing, it’s the characters themselves that are experiencing this thing.  Showing the characters on screen cowering in fear with abject terror on their faces, unsure of what to do, where to go and how to survive.  And it doesn’t even have to be that itself.  Take Psychological Horror as a genre for example.  Those movies are often misadvertised as a creature feature or a slasher to the public in the trailers and the audience is upset because “the movie sucked” when really it was marketed wrong and thus attracted the wrong audience and giving the wrong expectations.

One of the beauties of the remake of the Evil Dead when a group of friends and this guy brought the guys sister to a cabin out in the woods to help detox her from drug use or something along those lines (I’m deaf and relied on lip reading at that specific theater, cut me some slack) and something about mental illness running in the family.  And the chick gets possessed by the demons invoked from the necronomicon and then crazy crap starts happening all around and the druggy chicks brother starts to believe that maybe he too has a mental disorder and going insane.  It’s psychological in the fact that Mia nor the brother really know if Mia is just going nuts or if Mia and her brother are going bonkers.

Though I’m going to grant that this version of the Evil Dead’s monster reveal is far different (above) than the original Evil Dead (bottom) with the newer one having a much larger budget and larger crew than the original.  The above video isn’t the reveal of the demonic zombie, just the example of showing the newer Evil Dead.  So let’s break this accordingly.

Monster reveal of the newest Evil Dead (2013) actually started at the beginning of the movie.  And it was quite nice, but it left me wanting because who the hell were all these people?  Who was Burny McBurntFace?  Who was the old woman with the necronomicon?  Who is this dude and his daughter and why should I really give a damn about them?

Then there’s the reveal in the original Evil Dead (below).  Granted prior to this we’ve seen some camera movement in the woods that is meant to represent the evils movement through the woods towards the cabin and we’ve already also gotten the forest rape scene in which the woods come alive and breaks itself off a piece which results in the zombie demon reveal.

There’s many differences between the two movies in regards to how the demonic possessed dead look, especially in the eyes and the face makeup.

Hands down, though, the original Evil Dead wins in regards to building the terror needed most to be able to put me on the edge of my seat, however the newer Evil Dead does accomplish this similarly and giving those extra cringe of sympathy pains.  Like in the original an actor (rubber leg really) is stabbed in the ankle with a pencil while in the new one you have an Exorcist tongue moment where Mia cuts her tongue in half.  Both movies have a scene in which the forest breaks itself off a piece.

I’m saying both Evil Deads are relatively good in accomplishing more than giving me jumpscares.  It’s not entirely bad to have jumpscares in a horror movie, but looking at old VS new, you’ll notice the older flicks like Friday the 13th had 2 or 3 jumpscares while the newer one has 16-19.

And like I said previously, since I’m deaf that loud noise they use is almost always beyond the frequency that I’m able to naturally hear, so might as well replace it with a dog whistle and boom, same effect on the general audience.

All these various cliches are also something that should be taken out back and shot in the back of the head.  Close the fridge or misc door and suddenly someone is there, drop it.  Open a door and a crow flies through, drop it. Black cat, yeah just no, drop it.  Close medicine cabinet and see spoopy ghost, drop it.  Sudden tense moment when the actor turns around with a jump scare that doesn’t show anything scary but a dude drinking some coffee or something?  Drop that too.

Lots of horror fans are getting annoyed with modern horror.  We’re not watching horror to see how many horror cliches a writer and/or director can throw into a single horror movie.  We’re watching horror because we want to be terrified.  I want to watch a horror movie and then have to sleep with every light on in the house because I’m afraid.  I want to have nightmares.

If I wanted to see a ton of shitty jumpscares, YouTube is oversaturated with them.  You gotta stop and think, you can be sitting there, watching a YouTube video of My Little Pony with an eggtimer app going and forget about the timer and suddenly nearly jump out of your seat when the timer goes off.  There’s nothing scary about My Little Pony nor the eggtimer, but it still made you jump all the same.

Don’t get me started on the Found Footage genre.  We’ve had enough “Found Footage” and “Haunted House” and “Dolls” and “Demonic or Possessed Children”.  It’s a tired cliche at this point.  Come up with something original, or get the hell out of the horror entertainment industry because you suck.  Your jump scares don’t startle me and by the end of your shitty movie I’m left with the only truly scary thing being that I paid money to see that horse crap.