A man named Don Waugh, friend of a CDM reader, is facing some serious challenges. He’s just lost his wife, and faces severe, possibly life-threatening health problems. There’s a campaign underway to get him a liver transplant. But Don doesn’t only want to fight for his health: he wants to make music, too. While significantly hearing impaired (or even arguably mostly deaf), he wants to make some of the industrial music he loves.

Chris G aka Metrosonus, Don’s friend, tells CDM he’s working on getting a gear drive together. What’s going unused in your closet could well prove something really meaningful to Don. I expect we might be able to wrangle some of the expertise here, not just the material stuff, to help get Don producing. Since I don’t know Mr. Waugh, I’ll simply post the details from Chris on the Harmony Central forum below and let you ask questions to him. But it sounds like a great idea – and, more generally, it’d be great to get unused and otherwise wasted gear and experience to people who need it everywhere.

Incidentally, about that liver transplant – check out the National Transplant Assistance Fund.

From the Harmony Central forum:

This is my friend Don.


He is deaf along with having an autoimmune disorder (whose wife just died of it this year) who is also facing a liver transplant and is also living off of social security. He’s the strong and silent type, to the point where he’s a pain in the ass because he won’t let anyone help him.

Anyway, he loves industrial music and has always wanted to toy around with writing some. He pitched the idea about buying ableton live on his livejournal.com account today and I thought you know, someone out there has to have a live lite they never registered that came with one of their controllers or something.

I know he has a computer so here’s what im asking.. if you guys have any gear laying around that you don’t use, please consider giving it to this guy a christmas gift. it doesn’t have to be anything great either..

That old 25 key controller you won’t bother to sell because you won’t get much for it.

A lame behringer audio interface that came with a something something..

Softsynths that you no longer use.


Especially live lite if you have it.

It would go to a good cause. Seriously. Please consider it.

I would love to kick down this guys door with a pile of gear.

If you have anything you’d like to donate, please post here or contact me via PM.


** edit.

I just wanted to add since it’s been asked, how he can like music if he’s deaf. Deaf people usually aren’t 100% deaf. I guess, politically speaking, that makes him hearing impaired. He has hearing aids and I’ve been able to carry on normal conversations with him face to face. It’s also true, generally speaking, that hearing impaired people tend to like dance and music with heavy bass to it because they can hear as well as feel the vibrations. This is especially true in his case and why I have such a personal interest in this.

Thanks, Chris.

  • I have an unused version of Live Lite as well, plus a bunch of other "light" versions of various DAWs and stuff like that.
    How can I send this to Don? Is there like an email address you can send it to or something?

  • now, i barely scrape by as is, but wouldnt it be better to fundraise for his livertransplant instead of handing him gear?

    also, you dont need gear to make music.
    just saying.
    if you really want to help him, give him 10% of your ad revenue instead. what say you?

  • Peter Kirn

    Hey, we're just talking about pooling some unused gear and discs. Costs nothing, may be just wasting space. But as I say in the post, beyond a couple of basics, expertise may be most invaluable: how would you recommend someone like this just getting started? And yeah, a lot of that has nothing to do with gear!

  • You can find basic musical knowledge theory on http://www.musictheory.net . It also allows you to save the whole site as offline and explore it just the way you explore a book: theory & practise ;)!

  • Nephrectomy

    This is awesome and a great reminder that CDM really matters in the current musical climate. gbsr gtfo, I'm pretty sure you need a little bit of gear to make music. You know, at least a lite version of something. Anyway, I have a full live 6 license if you want it. Hit me up in comments or email. j.tampalini@iinet.net.au.

  • Peter Kirn

    If you want to leave your email address when you comment here, I can forward to Chris. we don't publish or use that!

  • Thank you, Peter, for the very nice write up.

    To answer the questions about fundraising, through the efforts of his friends, he was able to raise 7 out of the 10k needed for the transplant. The remaining 3k, unfortunately came out of his late wife's life insurance and assets. Whatever is left out of that needs to go to supplementing his social security as he is not able to work as per Doctor's orders. And trust me, he would if was allowed to.

    As I said in my forum post, I'm not asking for much. Just something you don't need and may have moved past such as a small controller, usb interface or softsynth you wouldn't mind transferring the serial on.

    It would give him a start and make a world of difference to him. And as a closer, I plan on doing a sort of "Christmas letter" update with photos and thanks to everyone that donated.

    I'm not going to turn anyone down as I've had lots of offers but no confirmations yet, so if you've got it and want to help out, please send it in!

    I can be contacted @ moscowbuzzer@gmail.com where I will send you the details about donating and I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have about Don.

    Thank you again Peter and everyone else!


  • Peter Kirn

    I can say this, too — a sort of "how to get started making industrial music" could be priceless. I know sometimes I've found I don't need much equipment, but that what I *really* could use is some knowledge and expertise. (And yes, that's very much true even for me – and I sorta do this for a living. I hear the same from colleagues.)

    So, I think pooling some brainpower and unused gear would be awesome. And maybe Don will have some questions about where to start. I really look forward to hearing his music.

  • As I just said to Peter via email, getting him into the synth / music community is part two.

    I'm really personally enjoying this as I feel it's an opportunity for us to get out of our comfort zones and break down some barriers.

  • Hey Don–
    I'm sorry to hear about your situation, and i hope I can help you make some great music while you have the time. Forget about "Live Lite". I have recently been getting into a few powerful, studio-quality apps that can be had for free:
    Reaper DAW– A full featured digital audio workstation for Mac and Windows. The free "demo" is fully featured, not crippled, no nags, and has everything you need as a basis for your home studio– samplers, effects, you name it. If you want to buy a license for personal use, it's $40. 

    Mixxx – A free open source DJ program with lots of sampling and mixing potential. If you like to make music in a live, improvisational style, you might want to check into this. 

    DJ True School

  • I do believe I still have an unregistered Live Lite somewhere, although I suspect I may well have been beaten to that, as it’s not altogether such a rare thing to have laying about.

  • If someone gives him a copy of Kontakt 4 (if)  I'll give him all our new compositional/sequencing/pattern-based plug-ins…

  • I'm sorry Ableton, this is for a good cause:


  • I appreciate the offer, but I'm trying to keep it legit.

    In fact I have contacted Ableton, but to my dismay I haven't gotten a reply.

  • Ben

    I feel compelled to help a fellow music maker, I'm happy to give what I can 🙂

  • Aris

    I have a behringer usb audio interface I can part with. I can send it wherever you want on my expense.