When it comes to listening to tracks, there is a huge difference between a hobbyist and a professional listener or player. It is no secret that a well-trained ear goes a really long way in this industry.
This is why all musicians and people venturing into music need to train their ears. Achieving this often means taking expensive classes and struggling to schedule lessons in your busy schedule, something that may not always be feasible for everyone. Luckily, today’s technology has brought with it many marvels, not least of which is software specifically designed to train the ears of any music lover.
There are lots of software out there that have been designed to train your ears and teach you to listen to music better. Most of them are easy to use, efficient, and quickly boost your skill levels. There is such a wide variety of them that things can get quite overwhelming when you find yourself having to choose just one.
This list will help ease that burden for you as we take a look at the top 3 best ear training software in the market. Let’s begin.
Earmaster, a Danish company that specializes in making music software, recently released the latest instalment of their popular music theory and ear training software, EarMaster 7.
This version is a complete overhaul of EarMaster’s older software, which had already made a name for itself having been nominated at NAMM Tech Award in the “Best Educational Tool” category.
The updates come after taking all user feedback into consideration and combine the company’s years of experience, leading to the creation of one of the most efficient and modern instruments for music theory training.
Earmaster 7 Key Features
EarMaster 7 comes packed with many great features. First, it has over 2500 interactive music theory exercises that cover ear training, rhythm training, and sight-singing. Users of EarMaster 7 get to enjoy practical activities that help them learn to recognize chords, intervals by ear or scales, sight-singing scores accompanied with real-time evaluation of rhythm accuracy and pitch. They are also able to transcribe musical pieces, to sing back melodies and complete rhythmic and melodic dictations and clap back rhythms.
Secondly, perhaps one of the most notable features of EarMaster 7 is its additional complete music theory course for beginners. This course takes an unassuming approach to covering all core musical and ear learning training aspects. This additional course offers a great introduction to different concepts of music theory. It takes a learn by doing approach that enables users to practice what they learn instead of learning then staying with unused abstract concepts.
Other highlights for EarMaster 7 include revised standard courses, jazz courses, a pitch detection algorithm, new statistics instruments or tools, a completely new user interface, and many more improvements.
Exercises in EarMaster 7 are given to you via an array of courses and workshops. These workshops are available in all skill levels. There is even a special set of workshops for jazz. The lessons here have been designed by teachers of music from renowned schools and are intended to cater to everyone, from beginners to advanced learners.
EarMaster 7 has courses that have been proven to be great tools for people preparing for exams in RCM, ABRSM, AP Music Theory, Trinity and many other similar standards.
With the latest version 7, it is evident that EarMaster wants to provide easier access to courses offered to musicians enrolled at music schools to people that aren’t. This is really helpful since anyone that has a passion for music can now get to perfect their skills without going to schools and paying a huge amount of money to sit in a class.
EarMaster is also working to change a popular negative attitude towards music theory and ear training. Most students and musicians in music school dislike these two courses, even though studies clearly show that they are the easiest way of being a better musician. EarMaster demystifies these two courses, presenting them in a way that is attractive to everyone interested.
Another great thing about Earmaster 7 is the fact that it comes in many different languages, which means many different user groups are catered for. The languages offered by EarMaster 7 are English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Danish, and Portuguese with many others on their way.
EarMaster 7 has a free version available. This version has 15 lessons for introduction to music theory for new users, and also comes with 2 ear training exercises that are customizable. These exercises will help learners identify chords and intervals by ear.
There is also a pro version that comes with all the features by EarMaster. This version is available for download and can also be bought in a box from authorized dealers. If you are interested in the pro version, it will cost you around $59.95. It comes with multi-seat licenses for up to 3 computers (as a family pack) and site licenses for up to 5 computers and over for educational institutions.
EarMaster 7 also has its own EarMaster Cloud which is subscription based. This is great for music schools and has user licenses for students and teachers. It enables synchronization of results and assignments via its cloud technology.
- It has a cloud feature which streamlines synchronization between multiple users
- It has a free version that offers quite a lot of value for absolutely free
- The courses are designed to mirror professional coursework so it can almost substitute formal school
- Available in a variety of languages
- It is not as effective as a few other tools out there
- The cloud storage subscription service is expensive. It should have been included with the price of the product to make it a one-off fee instead of making it subscription based where you end up paying more.
Another great software for ear training is TrainYourEars 2.0 (YTE). This is a simple application that is compatible with Mac and Windows and can teach its users to listen to EQ adjustments in various sounds. It helps users zero in on their frequencies while mixing.
The Three-Step Process
It is a very simple software to use, with everything being conveniently set up in their three-step process:
1. Decide where your music will come from
This step involves selecting the track you would like to use. You can either drag and drop tracks onto the player’s window, use the player in a live mode or use different types of white or pink noise. You can also choose different devices, levels, channels among others.
2. Check whether your sound card is set up well
This involves setting up your keyboard shortcuts to use if you don’t want to use your mouse for the activities in the software. Also, you have to route your software through any available monitor plugins on your computer. When setting up you have to select your favourite presets or design your own.
3. Start Training
Training on TrainYourEars is one test at a time. After each test, you have to reset the software. The software keeps a tally of your results. It records when you are correct and when you are wrong then gives you a percentage score of your tests (up to the last 50 done) this way you have an idea of how good you are and how much progress you are making.
This software comes with 13 sample tests that are perfect to get anyone up and running. At the top of the list of these tests, there’s the simplest of all – guess basic band boost and cuts. Here, the sound is played and one 7 EQ bands displayed is cut or boosted.
It is also possible to change between the EQ’d sound and the original sound then hone in with your ears on the changes made. At the top right corner of the window, you can also see its EQ graphics that show you the correct solution and the answer you’ve given.
Once you are done with one track or activity, you can hit the reset button and start another activity. TrainYourEars logs each test was done and percentages change accordingly.
TrainYourEars also tests simple frequency band boosts and cuts, bandpass filter, shelves, resonant filters like those on synth, and the entire 5 or 7-band graphic EQ effect on the sound. The software has the ability to upset anyone who believes they can hear even the slightest EQ adjustments.
In my opinion, TrainYourEars is among the best software of it’s kind because it helps its users find their listening weaknesses easily. It also enables users to design and save their own tests to improve their skills.
It has the test designer to allow users to choose the parameters that are going to be altered and can make the activity as simple or as difficult as the user likes. The most difficult and is when you have 10 changes to decipher in 28 different frequency bands ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz, there are also 12 various volume levels (that is +3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 or the same opposite levels), 6 various filter types and 6 Q-factors.
It is not impossible for users to get everything right on these tests, and there’s definitely room for everyone to grow. At this software’s simplest end, users can select 2 bands either cut or adjusted 18DB. Once everything is edited and set, all you need to do is to save and start training. The application does the rest.
TrainYourEars also has a built-in audio player with various options in it making it nice to use. It allows you to add a bunch of tracks at once, randomized them, play in mono or even loop specific sections.
On a general scale, the software is really important for people learning music as will help you to continuously improve your skills. The EQ feature is also among it’s most important for mix engineers and needs quite some time to master. The EQ is extremely fast on this application, which it adds to its advantages.
In the end, TrainYourEars is a very simple application to use. It is also much more flexible than any other training software and has different variations and complexities that are useful to experts and beginners alike. This application is, therefore, a must-have for music students and musicians alike.
- Good for beginners and experts
- Clean interface
- Users can design individual exercises
- Hard to get at reduced prices
Soundgym is also a recent audio ear training platform designed for sound engineers and music producers. Just like the ones mentioned above, it trains its users to detect subtle nuisances in tracks. It enhances users’ listening skills and helps them create better mixes or music productions.
With Soundgym, users get to enhance crucial listening skills while playing fun sound games. These skills include coloration, frequency detection, compression, spatial impression, difference detection and many more. Each game offered by Soundgym is designed to help improve specific skills while delivering an effective and comprehensive learning experience shown by measurable results.
Soundgym’s Key Features
This program provides its users with a personalized training experience that fits their current abilities. It is solely designed to help them achieve their individual personal training goals.
It features daily audio workouts along with the user’s ability to track their progress and stats. Plus, you also have the opportunity to follow friends and compare scores with other users. Players are also given goals to achieve and win awards and special prizes when they do so.
At Soundgym, the mantra is “Great ears are the key to producing great sounding music.” However, with the age of the home studio, while almost anyone can make music in his own bedroom, developing pro listening skills is still a long and frustrating process. SoundGym offers a fun and effective way to accelerate this learning curve.
A Soundgym membership is absolutely free. All you have to do is visit their official site and follow simple steps to get registered.
There is also a pro plan that enables users to get access to their full training program which is packed with training games, focused training, personalized workouts, premium sounds, among other great features and offers. This pro membership costs $14.95 per month or $119 charged annually.
- It makes learning music theory fun
- It comes with a free membership option
- All the training is personalized for the learner
- The pro plan is rather expensive for some users
Ear training definitely has huge benefits to anyone in the music industry. For students who go to school for it, the results are often almost instant, with many of them experiencing increased confidence in listening tasks, and they slowly learn to trust their ears above everything else. Musicians who do not wish to go through formal training also need this same set of skills.
It is therefore very important for all musicians to hone their musical ear skills through ear training. This is the only way they will be able to make the most of their listening abilities. If you wish to go down this road, try one of the tools reviewed here and you will be amazed at the difference they will make in your music.👉 Click here to Learn More about TRAIN YOUR EARS and enjoy the launch reduced price (45% OFF)!
👉 Click here to Learn More about EarMaster 7!