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Written by Ramsey Brown.
If you want to opt music as a profession, remember that ear training is the most essential skill to become an expert. As a music professional, your listening skills must be above average. Listening skills can be made better at any age by using various tools.
Music artists and producers are able to notice even the slightest change in the modulation of sound. This happens due to their extraordinary listening skills. Note that this skill cannot be developed overnight. You need to put in years of efforts and have training to be able to catch the slightest details of the music.
In this regard, Soundgym and TrainYourEars are the two most incredible tools available to train your ears for music. Though both of these work great at enhancing listening skills, are they really worth it? We will find out about it in this article.
Soundgym is an online tool made for music professionals to train their ears for a better understanding of music. This helps them in making the right decisions during music mixing.
Soundgym is the perfect name for the purpose it serves. It aims at training your ears so that you will be able to scope the music correctly every time you listen to it.
For the enhancement of listening skills and better music detection, Soundgym came up with several games that help to train your ears. You are going to build a number of different skills with this tool.
Soundgym conducts several different tests, which include a lot more than mere frequency recognition. You also have this option on Soundgym to tailor your programs so that it can focus on some specific skills.
• Basic Membership: This membership is completely free. However, you will gain access to only some features of Soundgym.
• Pro Plan: This is a paid plan. After purchasing it, you can benefit from all the features of Soundgym. Moreover, you can purchase a monthly plan, which costs $24.95, or a yearly plan for $119 per year. You can also get lifetime access to pro features of Soundgym for $395.
A lot of unique features combined together in this tool make it one of the best ear training tools. Let us dive deep into its features to see how Soundgym actually works.
• Soundgym Doctor
This is the most effective feature provided by Soundgym. It helps us in finding out our limits of hearing. You can detect the highest level of frequency your ears can bear by using Soundgym doctor. By comparing your ears' capacity to that of the other's, you will be able to determine at which level your ears stand. In short, you can find out the frequency capacity of your ears using this tool.
Soundgym is an online social platform. It works like online games where you will be able to compare your ears' capacity to other people's ears' capacity. Soundgym builds up a community and the stats of all the other users will be visible to you. This helps in making the right comparison.
This is the main feature that you will be using to train your ears. The games are of various types, each for a specific skill. You have to choose the game you like to focus upon at that time and with the improvement in skills, you will receive the results side by side. These games are:
Dr. Compressor: You will be able to detect more compressed sounds in this game.
DB King: It helps in selecting the correct amplitude change in DB.
EQ Knight: This game focuses more on equalization skills.
PanGirl: Selecting the right panning setting for a certain sound is taught in this game.
Distorted Reality: You have to find the more distorted sounds among the given two in this game.
Soundgym is not limited to these games. There are many others, each of which develops a specific skill.
From the beginning to the end, your progress will be presented to you in the form of stats. The best thing about this feature is that you will be able to track where you rise and where you decline. Also, you can compare your results with other users, or if you like, you can compare with your friends only.
• Set Up Virtual Studio
After completing each task or achieving a certain level, you will gain coins throughout the game. With these coins, you can purchase several instruments of your choice. By purchasing them, you can build up your virtual studio. This is a fun way to learn music.
Apart from the games, there is a School feature on Soundgym that offers several learning programs. These include recording, mix and mastering, audio engineering, and several others. In addition to those games, these learning programs will turn out really beneficial for you.
Most of all, you will receive certification by Soundgym as an achievement.
No doubt Soundgym is one the best online ear training tools around, but there are several downsides to this platform as well. Let's take a look at the best and worst features of Soundgym.
The sense of competition with the players around the world makes it much more motivational.
Games and exercises with results at the end make it super effective to acquire different skills.
Users show a positive response with improvement in their listening skills.
Soundgym is well suited to both beginners and professionals of the music world.
You can connect with other users on this platform as well.
Establishing a virtual studio is another positive aspect of this learning platform.
You can benefit from Soundgym only if you own a laptop or PC. It cannot be played with the comforts of a mobile phone.
The free version of Soundgym is essentially useless due to its lack of features.
Soundgym is really expensive. It makes no sense to spend $24.95 monthly on this platform. However, the yearly and lifetime plans are still cheaper.
EQing along with mixing is one of the most important skills in the music industry. During the mixing process, you need to be a lot more conscious than usual as a lot of things can go wrong. EQ is one of them.
In order to train your ears for a better EQ approach, a software quite literally called TrainYourEars popped up in the market. This software aims at providing you with the knowledge of frequencies and stabilizers. This is important in making the right decisions when it comes to music production.
A variety of exercises and tests in this tool will improve your EQ skills. You will have to apply equalization moves to an audio file of your choice. By comparing the edited version of the audio with the real one, you will understand exactly how EQ changes and works.
Train Your Ears is comparatively cheaper than other ear training tools, costing only 49 euro. After the payment, you will gain access to all the features of Train Your Ears for a lifetime. You do not have to pay any extras afterward.
• Exercise Designer
It is a kind of test, which you can select and edit or even create according to your own choice. Exercise designers also let you know about the mode of exercise, the number of attempts, and your overall score.
• Audio Player
With this feature, you can directly add any music of your choice from your hard drive to the player. This way, you will be able to create and practice exercises of your choice.
• Live Input
This feature of Train Your Ears enables you to drag and drop the music of your choice from whichever source you would like. It can be your sound card, connected microphone, and even Spotify or YouTube.
• Noise Player
This is a really helpful feature that includes white and pink noises. It is important to deal with it right before you start with the mixing process.
It is much more flexible and easy to use than many other platforms. It teaches you how to deal with EQ adjustments for the correct sound mixing. You can learn the tactics on this platform in three simple steps.
You need to select and add the music or audio file. It is as simple as dragging and dropping onto the audio player window. There is also a method of live input where you can play whatever is playing live on the sound card. Nevertheless, you can choose music from Spotify or YouTube if you like.
Connect the sound card with the software and make sure that all of the out plugins, such as your headphones are connected well with this software.
Start the training process. You can give one test at a time. TrainYourEars also keeps a record of your tests with the correct and incorrect answers. This helps you keep track of your progress and shows how good or how bad you are going.
TrainYourEars brings around 13 tests in the beginning. Starting from the top, you will see the most basic and simplest band boost and cuts. Here one of the 7 EQ bands must be cut. Moving from the original sound to the audio file containing EQ, you will be able to differentiate between the two. You have to select the band that has been changed. After hitting the solution, you will see the correct answer and your selected answer.
This exercise is over once you hit the reset button. Your score will increase or decrease according to what you have marked.
This software works equally well for beginners as well as experts.
You are able to design exercises on your own according to your preferences.
No doubt, Train Your Ears has an easy to use interface.
It is quite affordable when compared to other such software.
This tool majorly aims at developing your frequency memory.
You will surely have improved EQ skills if you consistently use this tool.
You can play any music of your choice, and you can drag music anywhere from the internet.
The tests on TrainYourEars do not have many variations.
It does not work for beginners who have zero knowledge of equalizations and frequencies.
It works on PC and Mac, but not on a mobile phone.
You need to have an active internet connection to run this software.
Soundgym trains your ears for a number of different skills using various types of games. Learning programs are also available for which you will be granted certificates.
With a community feature, you can interact with other Soundgym users and compare your ear limitations with that of the others. Soundgym can be beneficial for both beginners and experts.
However, all these features come with a price. Soundgym is a lot more expensive than TrainYourEars.
TrainYourEars focuses on developing equalization skills with exercises and music of your choice. There is no such thing as community and interaction with other users on this platform. Also, people with zero knowledge of equalization and frequency can get nothing from TrainYourEars.
TrainYourEars is relatively cheap and you can gain lifetime access to this tool at a very low price.
In short, you should go for Soundgym's lifetime access for $395 in order to receive better features. If these go heavy on your pockets, then there is no point in spending so much on it. Simply go with TrainYourEars for some good learning at a cheap rate.
Ear training tools are a thing, and they definitely work. By knowing your needs and considering your budget, you can get access to the right tool.
Soundgym and Train Your Ears are both legit tools and can bring improvements to your listening skills with all the tests and practice exercises they offer.
Go for the one that is light on your pockets and effective at the same time.
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