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The Myth of Golden Ears

Are the best sound engineers and producers born with better hearing, a pair of  ‘Golden Ears’ as they say?

Not necessarily, but what they do have is a pair of well trained ears. 

EQ’ing is the manipulation of frequencies. In order to do that effectively, you need to be able to identify what you hear and what adjustments need to be made so you can achieve your desired result.

The first step in doing this is knowing how to listen.

Your ears are always on however, you’re not always listening. We use our ears all the time but exactly how much do we hear and how do we hear?

Hearing is different from listening.  How much of your environment are you tuning out on a daily basis?  If you live in the city, do you even notice the traffic noise anymore?  Sirens blaring, horns honking, garbage trucks emptying dumpsters? If you’ve lived in a noisy city long enough, my guess is that has all become part of background noise that your brain...

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Mixing Keyboards and Playback Tracks

I talk a lot about getting great sounds from the source.  This includes balancing keyboard patches and playback tracks.

When you’ve got a keyboard player with a variety of keyboards, synths, and rack full of sounds it’s very important to work to get not only the levels but the tones balanced.

It’s equally important with playback tracks or stems that can come in many different configurations and from many different sources.

I’ll start with keyboards.

There can sometimes be a big difference in what the keyboard player hears coming from their rig in IEMs and wedges, versus how it translates through the PA.  For example, they could be compensating with extra high end to cut through their monitor mix while that extra high end is far too much for the FOH mix.  

This becomes a problem when you've got for example;  a string patch where the high end is screaming and an organ patch that is too muddy and needs more highs.

The ideal thing to...

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