Ear training exercises, part 2 - instructions

As an audio engineer, it is very important for us to train our ears. Throughout the semester, we will use a range of tools to help us with this training.

For this ear training project, we will use software and training methods developed by Jason Corey, from his book Audio Production and Critical Listening: Technical Ear Training

Here are the instructions for this ear training exercise (we will also review this in class):

You should still have this program from our first exercise. If not, download the EQ practice modules from this site and run the software on your computer.

Select and audio output device from the list of options on the lower left of the user interface for the software. Turn audio on, select pink noise in the monitor section, and set the output level to an appropriate volume. It is probably best to do this exercise with good quality headphones.

You will complete at least two different practice types for this assignment. Before starting either of the exercises, spend some time just listening to 12 dB of boost at various frequencies, applied to pink noise. Turn audio on, and click on 'your response' to hear the effect of the EQ. Once you feel comfortable with the different frequency bands, you can move on to the exercises.

The basic goal for this exercise is to move into the harder settings of the training software, in order to improve your frequency identification skills. Since each of you have different backgrounds with this type of exercise, the settings will not be the same for each of you. Hopefully, you got a good feel for the easier settings from our first exercise.

Here are some suggestions (and some requirements) for hope to proceed.

Change the practice type: 'matching' is the easiest, and you should be past the 'matching' tests by now. Please start with at least the 'memory matching' practice type.

Change gain combinations: '+12 dB only' is the easiest, and you should be past this setting by now. Please start with at least '+ 12 / - 12' and go on from there if you need more of a challenge.

Change number of bands: If you are still finding the practices easy to do, you can increase the number of bands from 1 to 2. This will mean you have to find two changes and counter act each of them.

Change frequency resolution: If you still need more of a challenge, you can change the frequency resolution from '1 octave' to '1/3 octave' - this will make the session much more difficult, since you have many more frequencies to choose from.

As with your last exercises, your score will be automatically calculated as your proceed, and you can reset the counter at any time. Whenever you make a change in the settings, reset the counter and start a new series of questions. Once you have a collection of 10 or more answers that you are satisfied with, please take a screen shot that includes the EQ software, and your system date and time.

You are required to submit at least two exercises. You should do a fair amount of practice, and increase the difficulty as you go. If your scores plummet, back off a bit and keep practicing. No submitted exercises should be easier than the 'matching memory' practice type and the '+ 12 / - 12' gain combination. One of your exercises should increase the difficulty in at least one area (number of bands, gain combinations, or frequency resolution).

Once you are satisfied with your scores for at least two exercises, please email the two screen captures to me.

In the future, you might want to try using this practice approach with audio files from your music library.

General info / suggestions:

For more info, please take a look at Jason Corey's excellent book, Audio Production and Critical Listening: Technical Ear Training - also available in the Cook library in print and eBook format. For this exercise, I would suggest the following pages:
Intro pg. ix-xv
Getting started with EQ practice, pg. 37-49
Chapter 1

Don't try and do all of this in one session - this would probably be frustrating and counter productive. Try to work on this for a shorter period of time more often, maybe 15-20 minutes every other day, depending on how difficult you find the exercises.

If the exercises above are too easy, you can change the 'gain combinations' to some of the other settings, or email me for setting that will be more challenging.

Good headphones are highly recommended, and headphone info is located here

Info for making a screen image capture are here (for mac) and here (for windows). Please include the EQ software and the computer date and time in the screen capture.