Sound Girls. Sound Guys. Audio Engineers. Sound Techs. Noise Boys. Whatever you call yourself, there are a lot of aspects to doing your job well.
First, you have to master the consoles you work on – the patching, routing, groups, busses, and plugins. You’ve got to know your way around!
Next, which microphones should you use on those drums and where should you put them? Where’s the best place to put a mic on a saxophone?
You also have to understand speaker design and basic physics. How many loudspeakers do you need to cover the room? Where do you point them? Do some of them need to be delayed?
We read manuals, watch YouTube videos, and participate in Facebook groups to learn all of these things.
But one of the most important skills that those in the Pro Audio or Live Sound Industries often neglect is ear training.
Do you sweep your EQs to find the offending frequencies? Do you rely on an analyzer to quickly find the frequency that’s feeding back?
What if you could train your ear to quickly identify not only feedback frequencies, but be able to listen to any instrument and know right away which frequency band needs to be cut to clean out the mud or make room for another instrument competing for the same area of the spectrum?
I recently discovered SoundGym.co, an online ear training membership site for Sound Engineers.
At SoundGym, you can learn to identify frequencies using music or single instruments, recognize compressed vs. uncompressed sounds, detect panning, pinpoint small differences in level, distinguish delay times, and more through fun games.
There is a free version that lets you do a few of the games and a little bit of training.
The paid membership gives you full access to all of the games, more tracks to train on, membership into the SoundGym community, and even a bonus 8 hour course on the basics of Live Sound!
I encourage you to check it out by signing up for a free account and playing some of the games. If you think doing these exercises regularly will help you become better at what you do, you can sign up for a monthly, yearly, or even lifetime membership. Don’t forget to grab your 20% off coupon by clicking here or on the image below.
Watch us play some of the games in the SoundGym membership.
This game is called Peak Master. A piece of audio is played and you can toggle a mystery bell filter boost on and off. Your job is to pick which frequency the boost is centered on. The closer you are to the right frequency, the more points you get! With a paid membership you can use many different types of recordings. Here’s me playing with an isolated vocal track. Make sure you are listening on a good pair of speakers or headphones.
Here’s a screen recording of me playing the same game (Peak Master) with drums as the audio.
This game is Filter Audio. It plays a piece of audio (an isolated vocal in this case) and shows you a couple of EQ filters. Your job is to compare the two affected pieces of audio and pick which one sounds like the filters shown.
Tha Balance Memory game helps teach your brain to listen for the balance in a mix. You listen to a mix for as long as you need. Then you try to recreate it on the mixer as close as you can. Afterwords, you can compare your mix to the original and see how close you got!
The dB King game lets you practice listening for both large and small differences in level. Was the level difference you hear 2dB or 5db? This game can be hard!
The EQ Cheetah game is a race against the clock. It’s basically the Peak Master game we played above, except you can’t take your time. You have to move fast. You try to get as close as you can as fast as you can.
Now that you’ve watched me play, go try it yourself and grab your
free SoundGym account.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a SoundGym membership through our links, we’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.