I’m pretty confident that like me, the overwhelming majority of visitors to this site spend an unhealthy amount of time ogling gear. Much has been said of the importance of getting to know the equipment you already have rather than being distracted by shiny new toys. We all know that the most important studio equipment we have is our ears but how many of us actually try to develop our listening skills?
Upgrade Your Ears With How To Listen Software
How to Listen is a desktop software application for Mac and PC, developed by the Harman International R&D group for the purpose of training and selecting listeners used in audio product research, development, and testing. By auditioning audio and having to select the EQ curve being applied by A/Bing against a flat version it is possible to genuinely blind test your perception of frequency content. You can find the free download Here
Usefully it is reasonably straightforward to upload you own audio rather than rely on the supplied examples using the practice session and selecting choose. It doesn’t seem to play AAC files but is happy with WAVs and Mp3s and comes supplied with a selection of 48 and 96KHz WAV files to use. The user has control over the type and amount of filtering applied, cuts, boosts, cuts and boosts, high pass or low pass and there are options for incorporating unwanted artefacts such as noise though I haven’t tried them myself.
This software is quite addictive, with a task like this which requires such close attention it is surprising just how tiring it is and how your results are affected by fatigue. Proof if it were needed that taking regular breaks can make your mixes better. I thoroughly recommend this software, just a word of warning, you might find you’re not as good as you think you are.