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What is the most important tool in your tool kit?

Your ears are the most important tool you have as a sound engineer, producer, or musician.  And the best thing about them is they are FREE!  They don’t require any software, measuring microphones, or computers.  They are with you wherever you go

I’m not saying that computer based tools and other measurement devices are not worthwhile, but they are just tools and should only be used as such.   The problem comes when you start relying on those tools to tell you how things sound.  After a while you just stop using your ears or simply forget to ‘listen’.

When I was very young I learned how to play piano by ear.  I was actually pretty good at it until I started taking piano lessons.  Once I learned how to read music somehow my ability to pick things up by ear got lost.  It seemed much easier to get the sheet music for whatever song I wanted to learn rather than spend the time plunking away at the keyboard to...

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