Fun with Ear Training!

So I thought I’d share this particularly interesting set of exercises I had to do when I went to music school for my studio recording classes. There was a lot of musical theory ear training, which we can discuss if there’s interest, but this one is specific to audio equipment!

Basically the website allows you to drop a wav file of your choice in and then perform exercises to hear various audio effects being applied. Equalization, dynamic compression, reverb, etc.

My first semester of studio recording we had do Memory tests witht eh standard parametric eq settings (1 octave, one band, +/-12dB across 63-16khz) and practice until we got 10/10 every week. By the end of the semester we were expected to be able to do a single listen without referencing pink noise and get 10/10 across all combinations of dB cut/boost.

After that we would have class quizzes where we had to identify cuts or boosts as low as 0.25dB. Real tough stuff.

Semester 2 started distortion and dynamic compression tests. If there’s any interest I’ll post up the curriculum for that!

Here’s the site:

I find this a great tool to keep my ears in shape, and it’s fun to do this training and see if you can correlate it with measurements or just what you are hearing with your own headphones and recordings.

And Here’s my week 1 results! I’ll be going through the results and hopefully posting weekly, so feel free to follow along and post your results too!


Wow. Thanks for this. Great stuff.

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Thanks! I’m curious to know everyones’ thoughts on it. It’s been a very helpful tool in helping me learn about how to describe what I’m hearing.

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Absolutely appreciate you providing this. Very interested in seeing how I do and how the group does. Thanks.


Had a few minutes so I did this one a bit early. Moved on to +/- 12dB across the frequency range.

I’m out of practice! It took me a little while to figure out a question about a cut at 16khz and I had to reference the pink noise, which I’ve been trying not to lean on. I suspect I need a better reference track than the random Cowboy Bebop OST track I picked. Definitely a reminder to have nice wide-bandwidth reference tracks going forward.

Afterthought: Putting on a classical track with lots of spatial information and hall sound made the 16khz cut much more obvious.


This is brilliant! Are there some instructions on how to use this tool and do those tests?

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I’ll make a short video on it soon, but basically you pick a music file you have, drop it into the bottom and click ‘next question. The Original file plays, the question is some modification to it, and then your answer (which you adjust using the controls in the middle) will play when you click on that.

I try to listen to the original for a few seconds, then while I’m listening to the question adjust the answer sliders to where I think it is (say 4000hz at +12dB) and then switch to my answer from the question and see how I did. If I got it wrong its usually obvious but occasionally I’ll go back and check pink noise which plays the original, question and your answer with a pink noise reference instead of the music.

Once you’ve checked your answer you can hit next question to get a new question to try and hear.

The first week was the default parametric eq settings. Otherwise check the top of my results pictures for the settings I’m using!


First wrong answer today! I firmly believe in celebrating fallibility - every engineer and producer I know will openly admit we could SWEAR we’ve been rocking an 8dB boost at 2khz only to look down and see the EQ in bypass. Celebrate the mistakes, we’re all human. In this case, it was a cut at 16khz that tripped me up on a kind of bassy edm track.

I did give myself the additional challenge of not using the pink noise reference at all. It’s helpful when you’re first practicing, but I’m trying to not lean on it at all to make it more challenging. Next one we’ll be going down to +/- 3dB.

I’m also using the Utopias for this but I’m finding it a bit challenging to hear 16khz and 63hz properly. It’s not a matter of them not being present, it’s more a matter of clarity. I find the LCD-XC significantly easier to do these with. Both are being eq’d to something that roughly resemble the Harman curve with much lower and less bass boost and none of the enormous treble rolloff.

I decided to up the difficulty a bit and do 3 bands, all combinations of cut/boost (12, 9, 6, 3)
Tricky! But looks like I still have my chops.
One thing that continues to occur to me as I revisit these ear training exercises is just how much they improve your aural memory. Yes, you learn frequencies and amounts of gain, but I notice they also improve my ability to retain and recall the differences increases as well. I wonder if this translates to a better ability to compare/contrast gear or at least to retain the impression of it for longer. It might not be intellectually rigorous, but its a subjective obeservation. I’d welcome your thoughts on this!


This is awesome - thanks for sharing! @Grover