Have you ever done ear training? If you studied music theory in college, you probably did.

I remember my Theory II class with Dr. Linton. He would sit at the piano and play an interval, and we would have to accurately guess. He started slow, but that didn’t last long.

Bum…BUM. “Major fourth!!” BUM…bum. “Minor third!!”

He would also play chord progressions, and we had to guess the chord AND the inversion. Pling…pling. “Four. First inversion!” Pling… “Five. Second inversion!”

A lot of folks hated it. I loved it. (Don’t even get me started on fixed-do solfege exams. Whew.)

Ear Training for Engineers

So if music majors in college are so focused on ear training, shouldn’t we as audio engineers focus on ear training just as much…if not more?

Probably so.

I can’t tell you how many time I’ll adjust an EQ because the settings look right on the screen. That’s so lame. I might as well turn off the studio monitors and take off the headphones. What good does it do to make audio decisions with anything other than your ears?

So I’ve got some ear training for you today. I may post more stuff like this down the road. We’ll see.

Listen Up

I’ve got two clips of a full drum kit. It’s the same exact performance; it’s just been mixed differently.

Rather than tell you what to listen for (which inevitably manipulates your mind into hearing things that may or may not be there), I’m simply posting these files for you to listen to.

Listen to them first, then make your guesses in the comments section as to what you think is different between the two.

The only rule I have is that you don’t read the comments below until you’ve listened and made your guess.

Here are the files. They’re 320 kbps mp3’s, so they sound pretty good.

  • [audio:http://hsc-audio.s3.amazonaws.com/Drum%20Test1.mp3]
  • [audio:http://hsc-audio.s3.amazonaws.com/Drum%20Test2.mp3]

I’ll post the answer tomorrow.

[Photo by fauxto_digit]