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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Canada, Québec
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    235

    Default Golden ear training

    Hi,

    I'm not a singer, I don't play any instruments and I'm not an audio engineer... so I'm looking for a way to train my ears! I want to do more than just listen to my favorite recordings when I'm voicing/auditing a speaker.

    Got any advice ? I'm open to suggestions!

    I should add that I'm not completely noob and have already done some reading ... (Sound Reproduction, Master Handbook of Acoustics, Testing Loudspeakers, etc).

    I've tried this trick but turns out to be not so practical!


    Thanks,
    Chuck

  2. #2

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    harman's got this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Canada, Québec
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    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by asdf View Post
    harman's got this.
    This is exactly the kind of stuff i'm looking for!!!

    Edit : I've just noticed that this is your first post! Welcome on PE's forum!

    Thank you very much,
    Chuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Baltimore
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    4,138

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    That's an actual job though.

    Go to an acoustic concert.
    रेतुर्न तो थे स्रोत

    return to the source



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WV
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    3,735

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    I've found the work of Mastering Engineer Bob Katz ( Mastering Audio: The Art and Science ) to be insightful. He conducts seminars on critical listening.

    Even this simple tool helps pitch ID acuity.
    http://sft.sourceforge.net/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    WA
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    303

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by greywarden View Post
    Go to an acoustic concert.
    I agree. If you don't know what a band or specific instruments sound like in real life, then it's pretty inane to try and judge speakers by how "true" they reproduce music. Some of the most amazing stuff I've heard is genres I don't really listen to, E.g. a live bluegrass trio playing in a local coffee shop without the need or use of amplification-- just plain instruments. If I ever hear some speakers that can sound like that kind of live music, then they are winners for sure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Lil' Rhody
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    3,881

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    +10 on the acoustical concert. Take in unmiked guitarists at coffe houses, and jazz bands at colleges. There are a lot of sources. Live rock band praticing is great, too. Then you hear some plugged in stuff but not through a whole arena. Can really bring out some education as far as what a Les Paul sounds like throug a dual 10" marshall driven by tubes.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    The only thing you have to remember when listening to a recording through your speakers is that you are not listening to a live event. You are listening to a recording of some event that is manipulated in a massive manner straight from the microphone placement on down the line to the mastering engineer's studio.

    The most accurate way to assess loudspeakers might actually be to graph them. Of course a comprehensive set of measurements is beyond most of the DIY community. "might" is an understatement. Of course you then have to know how to interpret the graphs. Sounds like you've read the best book on the subject.

    Getting an EQ and fiddling with it is actually a very good way to train the ear. Cut/boost bands and adjust the Q of the filter and listen to what happens to the sound. When you get it down pat what happens when you cut/boost one band, go to 2 and then 3 and on down the line.

    It's definitely much simpler and faster to graph and a more stable, objective way to do it.

    Just my opinion,

    Dan
    "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
    http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Canada, Québec
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    235

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by greywarden View Post
    Go to an acoustic concert.
    Ok! I'll do... well I'll try. I live in small town (< 7000 people) and frankly I don't know where I could listen this kind of event near where I live ... but at least I'll try!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    I've found the work of Mastering Engineer Bob Katz ( Mastering Audio: The Art and Science ) to be insightful. He conducts seminars on critical listening.

    Even this simple tool helps pitch ID acuity.
    http://sft.sourceforge.net/
    Thanks, I'll give it a try when I get the chance!

    Quote Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
    The only thing you have to remember when listening to a recording through your speakers is that you are not listening to a live event. You are listening to a recording of some event that is manipulated in a massive manner straight from the microphone placement on down the line to the mastering engineer's studio.
    Exactly what I thought... listening to a "Live Acoustical Event" may be educational but it has nothing to do with an actual recording ...

    Quote Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
    The most accurate way to assess loudspeakers might actually be to graph them. Of course a comprehensive set of measurements is beyond most of the DIY community. "might" is an understatement. Of course you then have to know how to interpret the graphs. Sounds like you've read the best book on the subject.

    Getting an EQ and fiddling with it is actually a very good way to train the ear. Cut/boost bands and adjust the Q of the filter and listen to what happens to the sound. When you get it down pat what happens when you cut/boost one band, go to 2 and then 3 and on down the line.

    It's definitely much simpler and faster to graph and a more stable, objective way to do it.

    Just my opinion,

    Dan
    I've a full measurement setup and know how to take measurement for over design. I don't have an EQ but I've lspCAD Auralizer (crossover emulator) setup and fully functional. Truly a wonderful tool to understand the role and impact of each crossover components on the sound.

    Thanks,
    Chuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    3,735

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Ok! I'll do... well I'll try. I live in small town (< 7000 people) and frankly I don't know where I could listen this kind of event near where I live ... but at least I'll try!
    I live in very small town, but having been around family and friends that were musicians all my life builds a strong frame of reference.
    ( they make their own music though it an be a very expensive hobby )

    Listen to solo instruments like a piano ( with it's extended octave range ) or instruments with narrow ranges for their nuances. Solo voices ( because of evolved acuity to that ) also.

    I've been willing to travel a good distance to hear a good show.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, USA, Earth
    Posts
    2,415

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    as with others, +10 for listening to a lot of live music, especially acoustic and vocal. You may want to get a nice 31 band graphical equalizer (easy to do on a PC), and play with boosting or cutting specific frequencies. Not to make the speakers sound better, but to train yourselve to hear things. I once saw a chart of bass to treble frequencies marked with too little or too much emphasis. Adjectives like boomy, chesty, throaty, dry, hollow, nasal, muffled, sizzling, and such. This is essentially how great recording engineers develop their ears.

    There are no short cuts. This will take a while.

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  12. #12
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    Sep 2010
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    Baltimore
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    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by fusseli View Post
    I agree. If you don't know what a band or specific instruments sound like in real life, then it's pretty inane to try and judge speakers by how "true" they reproduce music. Some of the most amazing stuff I've heard is genres I don't really listen to, E.g. a live bluegrass trio playing in a local coffee shop without the need or use of amplification-- just plain instruments. If I ever hear some speakers that can sound like that kind of live music, then they are winners for sure.
    Speaking of... Mumford&Sons rocked the SH!T out of the VMAs lastyear. I'd like to see those guys at a small venue show.
    रेतुर्न तो थे स्रोत

    return to the source



  13. #13
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    Sep 2010
    Location
    Baltimore
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    4,138

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by donradick View Post
    as with others, +10 for listening to a lot of live music, especially acoustic and vocal. You may want to get a nice 31 band graphical equalizer (easy to do on a PC), and play with boosting or cutting specific frequencies. Not to make the speakers sound better, but to train yourselve to hear things. I once saw a chart of bass to treble frequencies marked with too little or too much emphasis. Adjectives like boomy, chesty, throaty, dry, hollow, nasal, muffled, sizzling, and such. This is essentially how great recording engineers develop their ears.

    There are no short cuts. This will take a while.
    रेतुर्न तो थे स्रोत

    return to the source



  14. #14

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    http://www.moultonlabs.com/full/product01

    A little pricey, but worth it if you can get through the whole set.

    Greg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    3,735

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    I ( and others involved in sound ) have found the type of chart that Greywarden linked invaluable.
    The only problem is variation in interpretation and agreement of the subjective terms: such as where "boomy" or "thump" is in the frequency range.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    in front of a computer
    Posts
    1,082

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by gregbegland View Post
    We went through the frequency ID test part in one of our audio club meetings. This played all of the 10 bands of octave band pink noise in order and then asked you to identify the frequency band of the following randomly ordered tracks. As self-reported, all of the club members did pretty well on this test, not that it was incredibly hard.

    You could make a CD set like golden ears pretty easily on your own with Audacity. Start with pink noise and do some boosts and cuts of various levels, then move to music of several styles boost and cut and distortion of various types and then if you have patience, move to more than 10 bands.

  17. #17
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    Oct 2005
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    Ballwin, MO 38.597554, -90.547423
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    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
    The only thing you have to remember when listening to a recording through your speakers is that you are not listening to a live event. You are listening to a recording of some event that is manipulated in a massive manner straight from the microphone placement on down the line to the mastering engineer's studio.

    The most accurate way to assess loudspeakers might actually be to graph them. Of course a comprehensive set of measurements is beyond most of the DIY community. "might" is an understatement. Of course you then have to know how to interpret the graphs. Sounds like you've read the best book on the subject.

    Getting an EQ and fiddling with it is actually a very good way to train the ear. Cut/boost bands and adjust the Q of the filter and listen to what happens to the sound. When you get it down pat what happens when you cut/boost one band, go to 2 and then 3 and on down the line.

    It's definitely much simpler and faster to graph and a more stable, objective way to do it.

    Just my opinion,

    Dan
    It's always great to get a plot of the actual response, but that alone should not dictate when one is "done" with a particular crossover. There's many versions of "flat" since no real world speaker is free of "wiggles" here and there. The measurement I consider a starting point, from which one adjusts for best sound with small changes to values followed by long listening sessions with a variety of recordings.

    Sometimes (rarely) the first version of a crossover made after taking on-baffle response plots is the last version. Most of the time, listening will cause the alteration of the first "flat response" crossover, in favor of another "flat response" crossover with a different character to the overall tone and balance.

    I like to think about a speaker design like a recipe created by a chef. I don't know about you, but I'd rather my gourmet meal be prepared by a human being with actual taste buds, than a computer chef.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Flat FR doesn't mean good phase, either. With an EQ you can really muck things up by shooting for flat awhile not knowing what is going on in terms of phase. I've seen people try to fix comb filtering with an EQ... Change a band by 6dB, then wonder why it sounds so bad even though it's "flat".

    Mark K has a good writeup on linear distortion and is the only person I've seen extrapolate phase in to the discussion.
    http://www.audioheuristics.org/prime...distortion.htm

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Listening to acoustic music (i.e. a band or skilled friend playing the guitar), listening to any sound that might be recorded, and listening to good recordings on good speakers works for me. I hear things the average Joe doesn't and I've never heard one musician think my speakers are off. For example, when I listen to a song or watch a youtube clip and a voice scares the $HIT out of me because I think someone is literally next my ear, it sounds real. I don't play instruments, but that doesn't mean my senses aren't up to par. Listening on good proven speakers is a decent start.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Golden ear training

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Schumacher ® View Post
    It's always great to get a plot of the actual response, but that alone should not dictate when one is "done" with a particular crossover. There's many versions of "flat" since no real world speaker is free of "wiggles" here and there. The measurement I consider a starting point, from which one adjusts for best sound with small changes to values followed by long listening sessions with a variety of recordings.

    Sometimes (rarely) the first version of a crossover made after taking on-baffle response plots is the last version. Most of the time, listening will cause the alteration of the first "flat response" crossover, in favor of another "flat response" crossover with a different character to the overall tone and balance.

    I like to think about a speaker design like a recipe created by a chef. I don't know about you, but I'd rather my gourmet meal be prepared by a human being with actual taste buds, than a computer chef.
    I've yet to hear a bad flat, but your point is taken: nothing is perfectly flat so there is some wiggle room in there and you may prefer on wiggle over another. Do I have you correct?

    Dan
    "guitar polygamy is a satisfying and socially acceptable alternative lifestyle."~Tony Woolley
    http://dtmblabber.blogspot.com/
    http://soundcloud.com/dantheman-10

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