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Ear training Studio Headphones
Old 13th November 2017
  #1
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Thread Starter
Ear training

What resources could you point to, for me to systematically train my "ears", other than the usual experimentation and listening? I remember reading of a well known mastering engineer who would test intern applicants with a CD of various tracks which contained phase issues etc... I've wondered ever since then if there was something similar I could use proactively, to help me identify problems on set faster.
Old 13th November 2017
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klimermonk View Post
What resources could you point to, for me to systematically train my "ears", other than the usual experimentation and listening? I remember reading of a well known mastering engineer who would test intern applicants with a CD of various tracks which contained phase issues etc... I've wondered ever since then if there was something similar I could use proactively, to help me identify problems on set faster.
Become a musician and then you get all the ear training you will ever need ...
Old 13th November 2017
  #3
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Thread Starter
Yes, many of us have got decades of that... it's a methodical "engineering ear training" curriculum that I'd happily pay for. Your analogy is spot on... people practice instruments daily, why not some randomized materials to work through for 30 minutes a day, as a kind of disciplined brain exercise? My difficulty is that in the heat of a session I wish I could identify some odd reflection or other issue with speed. I don't do this every day, so I need a workout routine other than general critical listening.

Perhaps the consensus that this always requires in-person mentorship? Sometimes I wonder how much beer money some of you fellows would want, for a guy like me to shadow him regularly.
Old 13th November 2017
  #4
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Jonathan Race's Avatar
I used to use TrainYourEars

They brought out a V2 which I bought yesterday. So useful. There are 2 modes.

Mode1:- Guess. A frequency is added / subtracted to either noise or your music. You have to guess which frequency and (depending on difficulty) how much by

Mode2 (which is new to V2) :- Fix. You aren't given the "before" only the new sound with a frequency change. You then have to "fix" this by adjusting. E.g they might knock out 60Hz by 6db so you have to dial 6db of 60Hz to make it work.
Old 13th November 2017
  #5
I've used TYE and I agree that it's great for identifying tonal & timbral issues. What I would love is an addition to the software that allows you to ear-train for things like phase, (level) compression, (file) compression and various types of distortion.

I've been a pianist for 23 years, but I couldn't hear compression until I started mixing. I think it's an entirely different listening skill.
Old 13th November 2017
  #6
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Jonathan Race's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I've used TYE and I agree that it's great for identifying tonal & timbral issues. What I would love is an addition to the software that allows you to ear-train for things like phase, (level) compression, (file) compression and various types of distortion.

I've been a pianist for 23 years, but I couldn't hear compression until I started mixing. I think it's an entirely different listening skill.
I think they said a long time ago they might have had plans for a compression based one but it never happened... shame

Distortion would be awesome. They do the EQ one so well it would be a shame for them not to expand and offer more products
Old 14th November 2017
  #7
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Last edited by Folkie; 14th November 2017 at 05:00 AM..
Old 11th February 2018
  #8
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danvales82's Avatar
Hi everyone, I'm currently following an online mastering course.
In many examples little changes in the spectrum are performed using EQs that shows how these lead to an evident improvement in the final sound.
To be honest it's hard for me to appreciate these improvements and even listening over and over the same track I can't notice differences from the original one.
Actually my setup is only a laptop and a pair of AKG K-141 Studio headphones.
I ask myself if my ears are not trained enough yet, if should I appreciate the differences even with my setup, or if in a good listening environment all becomes more evident?
Thanks a lot,

Daniele
Old 11th February 2018
  #9
I recommend this recent publication from Routledge/Focal Press, which is geared specifically towards "technical" ear training -- in this respect, it has much in common with older classics like the Moulton books. The book is useful, as is the excellent web-based training app, which is similar to the TrainYourEars software. A link for the book is here:
Audio Production
Old 13th February 2018
  #10
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Try getting speech right, very few can, always too close, obviously processed or limited
When you have cracked that try piano and then piano and voice, these are benchmarks to our hearing and we are very sensitive to them
Listen to good talk radio and radio drama on excellent active monitors or the best open back cans
Hear all their cockups in glorious detail
Learn from them, In the past I edited 1/4 inch radio tape and transferred miles of Nagra tape to Mag stock, hearing all of that gives you a library of what not to do
Experience does the rest
Roger
Old 13th February 2018
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Try getting speech right, very few can, always too close, obviously processed or limited
When you have cracked that try piano and then piano and voice, these are benchmarks to our hearing and we are very sensitive to them
Listen to good talk radio and radio drama on excellent active monitors or the best open back cans
Hear all their cockups in glorious detail
Learn from them, In the past I edited 1/4 inch radio tape and transferred miles of Nagra tape to Mag stock, hearing all of that gives you a library of what not to do
Experience does the rest
Roger
Very good post. Spot on.

I think one has it or one doesn't. Education, exposure and experience are what is required. I hear so much poorly recorded dialog and music on the radio and web now, its astonishing. But I am told change is good.
Old 26th February 2018
  #12
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danvales82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Try getting speech right, very few can, always too close, obviously processed or limited
When you have cracked that try piano and then piano and voice, these are benchmarks to our hearing and we are very sensitive to them
Listen to good talk radio and radio drama on excellent active monitors or the best open back cans
Hear all their cockups in glorious detail
Learn from them, In the past I edited 1/4 inch radio tape and transferred miles of Nagra tape to Mag stock, hearing all of that gives you a library of what not to do
Experience does the rest
Roger
Great idea, thanks.
I believe that a very good listening environment is crucial to perform an appropriate ear training.
Any good ear training course or book should begin with your suggested steps in order to appreciate the quality of more complex scenarios.
Old 27th February 2018
  #13
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The comments above are all good. Also, the "mixing audio" book by Izhaki/focal press may be helpful. Mixing Audio - Your Mixes. Refined.
The book includes many references to downloadable audio clips to illustrate the concepts and run through referenced examples.
Old 27th February 2018
  #14
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Perhaps it's just me, but I find that whereas some issues are easier to hear on headphones than on loudspeakers (bad edits, clicks and pops and excessive sibilance being examples), other issues that are obvious on speakers can be quite hard to detect on headphones. Those include things like the vocal level in a mix, the amount and tone of added reverb, pitch-related issues and also some frequency issues such as the amount of fullness in the low mids.
Old 28th February 2018
  #15
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Technically, ear training is a misnomer...we train our brain to process/identify what we hear.

Similar to how musicians learn how to identify notes, sound technicians learn to identify those same sounds but as frequencies instead. Learning to identify acoustic anomalies requires a combination of experience and time.

Last edited by Samc; 28th February 2018 at 01:33 AM..
Old 28th February 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Try getting speech right, very few can, always too close, obviously processed or limited
When you have cracked that try piano and then piano and voice, these are benchmarks to our hearing and we are very sensitive to them
Listen to good talk radio and radio drama on excellent active monitors or the best open back cans
Hear all their cockups in glorious detail
Learn from them, In the past I edited 1/4 inch radio tape and transferred miles of Nagra tape to Mag stock, hearing all of that gives you a library of what not to do
Experience does the rest
Roger
You can’t know what’s wrong unless you know what’s wrong...just like how you can’t automatically know and identify f# just by listening to someone play the piano, training is required.

The “cock-ups” were recorded to tape most likely because the recordist didn’t identify them as kock-ups...and you should also be able to identify anomalies with and without headphones, this is something good live mixers learn to do over time.
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