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Simple ear training?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by iamfrobs, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    Hi guys,
    I realize that the title of this post may seem misleading, but I was thinking yesterday, and is there any way to train your ear throughout the day? Maybe I'm crazy. If so, kindly ignore this post. I was just looking to express an idea.
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    You could get a properly tuned keyboard or guitar, and a mic, and announce single notes and record them to a CD/IPod/et., to listen to.

    "E 6th string open... (strike string clean) EEEeeeeee"
    "F 6th string 1" (for fret1) "FFFfffff"

    Or, start with a nice tone from a keyboard. Do the same thing. "A...(hit key) AAaaaa".

    Maybe even hum them as you hear them? Maybe even combine the keyboard and the guitar. (Of course, the guitar won't go as low as a keyboard...sooo).

    "A..(strike string/key)..AAAaaaa...."hummmmmm".

    Do this for a while. Then make the latter half of the CD a random quiz. Hit the note first, and see if you can guess it before you announce the note on the recording?

    I think there may even be some free ear-training software out there that you can do while at your computer. I downloaded one once that would add a longer series of notes to guess. And, If I remember correctly, it even had chords...."F#m", etc. And also interval training, where it would do, basically, a slow-pick between two or more notes.

    You could even make a CD to play while you go to sleep. "A..Aaaaaa", Bflat....BFllaaattt", etc. Over and over. You'd be surprised what your brain picks up like that.

    Fairly soon, you may be able to name the pitch of a factory whistle or car horn.

    Just something I threw against the wall.

  3. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    I work in an industrial setting during the day, and the shop I run has a spectrum analyzer. So often I take a guess at the predominant frequencies present in a particular area of the plant. Then later when I have a chance I capture the spectrum. Then I compare how close my ear was. Although some think I am crazy, using this method I have been able to catch things like motor bearing wearing out before they overheat.

    I really like Kapt’s idea. You can do a similar thing with pink noise and an EQ. Put Pink noise through the EQ and make a specific cut or boost and then record what you did. Same type of guessing game, as the Kapt mentioned earlier.
  4. mrbwnstn

    mrbwnstn Guest

    That's a great idea Kapt. I'm gonna try it.
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Ear training can mean quite a number of different things. There's so much that goes into listening. It's not just pitch. It's not just tonality. It's not whether it has or is free from distortions. It's the full Monty.

    All of the suggestions made are good and marvelous! Yes, equalizing Pink noise with a graphic equalizer will teach you much. What it won't teach you is actually how to listen. For that kind of ear training I love to go to busy restaurants, or other noisy places with lots of conversations. I then attempt to "eavesdrop" on others conversations. I'll generally try to find people who I can first see. Then I tune in to them, tuning out all others. You then have to look away yet staying tuned in, to their voices & conversations. Incredibly difficult to do but it will certainly train your hearing apparatus in a different realm from mere pitch alone. Don't freak out if you can't comprehend it all. After all, the conversation is not aimed at you. But a mind is a terrible Digital Signal Processor to waste. The most powerful in the world. No PCM. No DSD. But Direct Brain Stream.

    In a different realm of ear training, I'll listen to a well recorded work of any genre. I'll then focus upon the sound of a single instrument/voice within the mix. By doing this, you'll learn how to listen deep into the mix. After you've listened to the one instrument/voice, you go back and listen again to a different instrument within the mix. Do it with headphones. Do with speakers. Do it with members of the opposite or same-sex, just do it. Over & over again. And don't forget to do it again after you've done it again.

    Hearing things I shouldn't
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    That's something that really didn't occur to me, and it may have been what he meant in the first place...ear training for mixing. I hear "ear training" and assumed it was simply for pitch and interval recognition for helping to play music. But, as Remy and Link suggest, it also helps to train for frequency detection to quickly spot offenders in a live or recording mix. I have gotten fairly good at quickly isolating problems in things I try, or noticing things in other stuff by shifting my focus from one instrument to another.

    Kapt.Krunch :wink:
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Definitely, I agree.
    Based on what I hear in a song now, I used to miss 50% before I started to listen properly. Even playing on the same headphones I used before I still hear it. Things like harmonies, echoes, whole new instruments, anything predominantly above 6KHz...

    It started when I got my new headphones and they make everything clearer - so it becomes easier to notice and suddenly, you realise there is new stuff to listen to, and you listen to it.
  8. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    hahaha, thanks for the awesome responses guys. I am going to music school, so pitch and tonality are something I think will be covered in the next few years, but remy, in addition to making me laugh, was about the closest to what I had in mind.
    I guess it would be called something like "active listening". My mom always said I needed to do more of that.

    Thanks so much guys.
  9. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Sorry iamfrobs..can you repeat that? I guess I wasn't actively listening :shock:

    Kapt.Krunch :wink:

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