This whole “ear training” thing is pretty fun. Let’s do it again!!

This week we’ll take a look at acoustic guitar.

The Clips

I’ve got three clips for you. The first is the original acoustic guitar, no processing. The second clip has some processing. The third clip has more processing.

So the signal flow goes:

Clip #1 –plug-in–> Clip #2 –plug-in–> Clip #3

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to guess as to what processing I did to the audio. Be as specific as you can. This really helps you hone in your listening skills.

Don’t just guess “EQ.” Guess “a boost at 20 kHz, and a cut at 2 Hz” instead. πŸ™‚

Here are the clips (Can you tell I’ve been craving a poker night?):

The Flop

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The Turn

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The River

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Place your bets…er…render your guesses in the comments below. We’ll see who wins tomorrow.

[Photo by laverrue]

  • Purecountry70

    my guess is the Flop audio has no effects , the Turn has a HPF on it with a boost about 7 k, and the River had alot of compression

  • Sam

    A little late to the game, maybe… but here it goes:

    HPF to 170 Hz, slight cut at 400 (wide-ish Q), boost 2k (narrowish Q), shelf 12k 3dB or so.

    Then: some compression, relatively high ratio, (6:1?), medium attack, medium release. It definitely has a little pumping action going on… I’d say you’re pushing out 4-8 dB of reduction on the hard hits, if I had to guess, which I do.

  • Harold Mcfatter

    I’ll take a wild guess, just for fun.
    The Turn EQ F setting low 105Hz, L-mid 1.00kHz, H-mid 1.88kHz, High Shelf, 5.33kHz
    The River Multi-Tapped Delay added, Mod. Rate around 2.0Hz, Feedback 15-20%, Tap rate 1.0, Low-pass F between 3000-4000Hz

  • I have no idea what each frequency cut sounds like this early in my recording game, so I’ll just guess: Turn is hi-pass filter to 200Hz, and a cut around 300-400Hz, annnd River is all that w/ some compression. I’d guess 2:1 but no idea what the attack/release would be, something short probably? I’m a newb so I have no earthly idea…

    Makes me want to get out my deck of cards and chips.

    Very nice pickin’ BTW Joe, are u using a capo up on the 3rd or 4th fret?

    • Hmm…4th fret. The song’s in E, but I play it in C, capo’d on the 4th fret.

      • Awesome. Yay my music ear is getting better…only only half-suck at my intervals. haha.
        But at least I was hearing E, that’s a good start. It was high enough and w/ intricate picking I figured a capo was called for. Great stuff, thx again for these ear-training EQ lessons. Keep ’em coming!

  • carlisle

    the turn-hi-pass around 260 a boost at1122 khz, and a gain of 9.8 db.
    the river- I could not what happen πŸ™

  • Preshan

    My complete stab in the dark…

    1. Dry
    2. Cut in low-mids, I’d say around 200-400Hz. Boost with narrow Q in a specific high freq., I’m guessing close to 5kHz.
    3. Hmm… hard to tell any difference, but if there is, maybe some very light compression?

  • Alex

    The first plug in is definitely EQ, I’m guessing low cut around 150 Hz, and a wide cut at about 450 Hz. With a small high shelf boost between 10 kHz and 20 KHz. The second plug in sounds like a compressor, with a fairly light setting. I’m guessing 2.5:1 with at least a 20ms attack.

  • Steven

    I’d guess ‘The Turn’ has a large maybe 6 db cut at 500Hz; a boost of maybe 4dB with a sharp Q at around 4K and another softer boost around 10K and a hi pass set to around 100Hz.

    ‘The Turn also has 3:1 compression with a maybe 10ms attack andshort (40ms?) release

    I’d say ‘the river’ has another compressor on top of the previous one.

    My 2c

  • Kevin Blaine

    I think Ethan hit it right on the head. Only thing I’d change is that the HPF would be between 150Hz and 200Hz, not quite as high as 250Hz. I also think some low mids were scooped out. My guess is that somewhere in high mids, near 1kHz-ish there is a deep, narrow cut, taking out some resonant frequencies. No boosts though – all cuts.

    As for the River, light compression. Maybe 2:1 with the threshhold only letting enough in to kick in about 3dBs.

    How’d I do Joe?


    2. HPF @ 250 HZ. SLIGHT VALLEY @ 560 AND SHELF @ 10 KHZ

  • Ethan

    The Flop: Original
    The Turn: Highpass at around 250Hz, some cutting of low mid muddines at around 550-600Hz and a slight EQ shelf starting at around 6kHz??
    The River: Same as The Turn but with light compression.

  • Joe R.

    Just a Guess,
    The Turn:
    HPF around 200hz boost around 8k-10k
    I am sure thee is a cut in the mids

    The River:
    at first I was thinking compression but one note at the beggining jumped out at me. It sounds like a touch of REVERB

  • Great guesses so far. I wish I didn’t already know the answer so I could guess, too.

    Who else wants to play? Let’s hear your guesses!

  • Greg

    Turn: rolled off the low frequencies up to around 100 Hz. Also made a cut at around 400 Hz with a fairly wide Q. Sounds like a gentle boost in the high mids too…maybe 5KHz? All of this got rid of the mud and brought in more of the pick attack.

    River: sounds like gentle compression with a medium to fast attack and a medium release to bring the sound a bit more upfront.

  • Second one, HPF at 80-100Hz, and/or cut at 60-100 Hz, some shelf eq at 8-10k for plectrum.
    Third one compression, with not fast attack, maybe 10-50ms and relatively slow relase so it sounds snappy.
    Good exercises anyway!

  • This is new for me … so here it goes.

    1. Dry (like you said, so that was easy)
    2. Cut around 250Hz and boost around 6kHz
    3. 4:1 compression (second guess would be 2:1 ratio)

    This was fun. Let’s do more.

  • wwwald

    Turn: Hi pass filter around 300 Hz, broad boost (hi shelf?) around or starting from 8-10kHz.
    River: compression, but the parameter values would be too much of a guess for me πŸ™‚

  • Mack

    I agree with Andy MCC on the “turn”…HPF – not sure if it is all the way to 300 – and a shelf boost at 10

    On the “river” – I would guess just some very slight compression added.

  • hmm, the first definitely sounds like a high-pass, maybe around 250hz.

    the second, it sounds almost identical to me. i’m probably totally off, but it seems like there’s a little bit more distance or roomsound. maybe very slight compression (like 1.5:1)?

  • dand

    Might as well take a stab!

    The Turn: High pass at 150 Hz, a broad cut around 500 Hz, and boost around 4 kHz.

    The River: Compression, attack of 80 ms, ratio 3:1.

  • David S.

    My guess, although I’ve been wrong every time. Let’s see if I’m closer this time.

    The Turn: High Pass Filter to 100Hz, Cut @ 350Hz
    The River: Parallel Processed Compression- Low Threshold, 8:1 Ratio.

  • Inger

    A cut @ 150 – 300 and a boost @ 6 – 7 k for the first and a light compression on the second.

  • andy mcc

    The turn : high pass filter to 300hz eq shelf boost 10khz
    The river : same as the turn but with a touch of chorus

  • Can’t believe you’re already ready for another ass-kicking at poker. Name the time and place, I’ll be happy to take your money again.

    • I’m a poker shark. I was just pretending to be awful before.