In this post below you'll find my TrainYourEars review. If you've read my previous post on frequency ear training, you know how important regular audio ear training drills are by now. As a producer or audio engineer you need to know not only which frequency you hear, you also want to be able to decide which changes to apply to frequencies to get the intended results you want in your mix.
Good EQ skills, as you probably also know by now, take a while to develop. The reason is because your ears and nervous system need many varied EQ experiences to learn to recognize frequencies with accuracy.
Audio frequency ear training allows you to fast-track the learning process.
Below, you'll find my review of a program called TrainYourEars
which, as you can imagine, is designed to help producers, artists and
engineers like me and you train our ears.
TL;DR: In short, I recommend this audio ear training software to music producers, artists and engineers
at any level as it does what it says on the box. It trains your ears with various ear training drills and methods.
It's also fun to use!
Read the TrainYourEars review below right now to get the low-down...
Players - You'll find 3 types of players - Music, Noise, Live.
Exercise Designer - This feature allows you to select, duplicate or modify preset training exercises or create new ones from scratch.
Training - The Training view is where you do the actual training drills and quizzes.
You can use any music you want to train your ears. It's a good idea to upload music you know really well because that gives you a good reference to work with from the start.
You can also use pink and white noise to train your ears should you prefer. Choose one of these options in the built-in noise player.
Your next step is to either choose a pre-designed exercise or design your own. I suggest you start with the exercises that come included and design your own exercises later on when you feel you start to get diminishing returns from the pre-designed exercises and want a bit more of a challenge to step up your game.
TrainYourEars gives you the choice of 2 different types of ear training methods:
The installation, which was on Windows in my case, was quick-and-easy.
I started with the most basic exercise. The program applies a random band filter and either cuts or boosts a frequency. I had to guess which frequency in the signal was adjusted and whether a cut or a boost was applied to the frequency. I was, not to brag, pretty impressed with my score for this basic ability even though I did get 3 wrong. Not bad.
My self-congratulatory ego inflation was not long-lived...
So, I was still decent at guessing band-pass filter positions and correcting opposing shelving filters. The narrow vs. wide Q factors exercise however had me stumped. It became quite apparent that I could do with some more training in this area.
Ego-hurt pushed aside, I kept at the exercise. I decided, after a few more bad guesses, to really listen and think about it before I guess. This improved my results. I noticed an even greater improvement after 5 days of training 10 minutes a day.
A few of the ready-made preset audio ear training drills that came with the program include...
Basic boost and cut with Band filter
Learn Octaves with a Band Pass filter
Find opposite High and Low Shelf filters
Narrow vs wide Q factors
Find 2 bands in a 7 frequencies equaliser
Low Cut vs Low Shelf
High Cut vs High Shelf
Resonant high and low cut filters (like in synths)
You'll find many more presets included and you can also design your own exercises. So, there's more than enough to keep one busy for a while!
This ear training software is fit-for-purpose and definitely worth more than it sells for when you consider the crucial listening skills you develop with the training.
I recommend it for any engineer, producer or artist who
wants to speed up their music production progress because it's one of the best ear training methods available. I like doing 10 minutes at least twice a week now and find it great to calibrate a mental reference point before I start any mix job.
Marius is a musician, producer, trained sound engineer and educator with 20+ years in music production and live AV events.
He's also the founder and editor of RenegadeProducer.com, a site that helps music makers make more music, faster and better.