Golden Ears

Total Recording

More Info for: Total Recording

the product

There's little difference between today's recording musician with a song to  mix, and a chef preparing a gourmet meal. Each is trying to create a masterpiece out of his or her sonic/culinary ingredients - a rack of effects; a rack of spices, a little more salt; a few more dB at 600Hz...

You've got to feel sorry for the chef who doesn't know how to bring the whole  thing together, or how to salvage a dish that lacks flavor or style, especially when the ingredients are great... Well, it's the same for the recording  musician, especially now that the gear we use - ADATs, Hard Disk Recorders, etc. - is really capable of showing off and revealing all the recording and musical skills we may have. So, it's worth the effort to learn more about the use of reverb, delays and the frequencies we use in equalization, while we are tracking, overdubbing, mixing and mastering.

Golden Ears is an AUDIO eartraining course - not perfect pitch or piano lessons- that sets out to teach your ears to hear the frequencies, the signal processing, the compression, the stereo, the distortion and the  amplitudes used in your recorded material. It comes to you on (up to) eight audio CDs (depending on which volumes you buy), and you use it on your regular CD player with good speakers or headphones . Created by Dave Moulton, Grammy-nominated recording engineer, educator, musician and acoustician, the  lessons it contains represent thirty years of his extensive studio and teaching  experience. As you work your way through the hundreds of exercises, you'll find yourself hearing recordings (and not just your own) in a completely new light. The purpose of the course is to help you "hear into" your recordings, to understand and be able to describe the elements that those recordings contain, their spectrum, dynamics, reverb and other audio qualities.

Once you get a feel for these ingredients, you can take better control of  your recording gear, and approach the process of tracking, mixing and engineering with A LOT more confidence and awareness.

So how does the course work?

There are four volumes, with two CDs per volume, each covering different components of the recording process.

Take Volume 2, for instance: after you've followed instructions for  optimizing your listening set-up, you'll go through a series of A/B drills using excerpts of recorded music. The first recording (A) is the reference piece and  the second (B) is a clone of the first with an applied amount of anonymous  signal processing, frequency boost or some other audio alteration. Your task - with the support of answer sheets - is to learn to identify the difference between the two recordings. To assist you, we have limited the number of  options, and grouped them into six families of effects: amplitude change,  distortion, compression, equalization, stereophony and  time-delay/reverberation.

Itís similar with the other volumes. There are setup instructions and  introductory demo materials, followed by drills that lead you through the problem at hand: octave band equalization, reverb time, etc. The drills are  usually progressively more difficult, but after youíve completed them and gotten good at them, you can do the drills in random order (itís set up so you canít identify any drill until itís over), just to keep your ears in tune forever. Nice, eh?. Dave is still using them for himself, thirty years later!

Golden Ears will teach you:

  • to recognize the effect of compression on a variety of different signals
  • to identify fast and slow compressor release times
  • to hear musically relevant equalization problems
  • to recognize when loudness is the only difference between two signals
  • to distinguish ranges of 1 - 10% and 10 - 30% Total Harmonic Distortion in musical examples
  • to recognize anomalies in the stereo image (reverse image, mono summation, polarity reversal, pseudo-stereo etc.)
  • to identify channel-to-channel time differences over the 1 - 50ms range
  • to recognize gated and ungated reverb and
  • much, much more, including 1/3 octave changes and double octave cuts and boosts

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