This is the last thread from my 4 part series: What’s the best way to test and compare in-ear monitors?
Whether you are using your in-ear monitors for stage use, for mixing and mastering, or for simply listening to and enjoying music, I’m about supercharge your user experience. The secret that I’m about to tell you will make your in-ears sound even better. And this is completely independent of whichever make and model you are using. Plain and simple. If you want to enjoy your monitors even more and develop an even greater understanding and respect for the technology, then practice ear training exercises.
The better that you can hear notes and frequencies, the more you will enjoy what your monitors are capable of doing. In the last 3 installments of this series, we’ve talked about using a tone generator to test your monitors. We discussed overtones and harmonics of different instruments. And we’ve talked about analyzing a mix for the buildup of sonic energy. Each of those articles was a buildup to this simple fact: ear Training is the single most important function that you can do to test and enjoy in-ear monitors.
And whereas all of the recent articles focused on the “why,” none of them focused on the “how.” I told you to pay attention to tones and I asked you to listen for buildup in between 140 Hz and 6000Hz, but I never told you just how to listen. And that was on purpose because there is no way that I could explain the how better than Christopher Sutton and his London-based music education technology company, Easy Ear Training.
Start wherever you feel most comfortable. I like to think I know a thing or 2 about audio but I started right from the beginning and have been filling in holes in my knowledge base ever since. You can use the Easy Ear Training techniques via iOS apps or through interactive eBooks.
Once you feel pretty comfortable with recognizing relative pitches and noticing intervals, you may want to branch out to frequency ear training exercises.
And don’t forget to check out their Resources andFAQ sections. There’s more info here than anyone can readily digest. So come back often and feel free to reach out to anyone over at the Easy Ear Training team.
Before I sign off, I’d just like to tip my hat to Christopher and his crew for putting all of this together for all of us to enjoy and learn from. I wish I had a resource like this 15 years ago when I first started out. Gear is important. I'm not taking anything away from that. But the perception of listening and hearing is as important as your gear. Plus, it's a lot cheaper to upgrade your perceptions.