Want to mix better? Then you’ve got to train those ears. And you can win a copy to help!
Reviewed by John Pecak
Quiztones from Audiofile Engineering is a useful teaching tool that will be of benefit to those starting out in the world of audio as well as the seasoned engineer.
One of the most important things that an audio engineer can do is train his/her ears, both musically and technically. On the technical side, this would include being able to hear how different frequencies sound. Not only as pure tones, but also in context on common instruments. Being able to hear if something sounds thin, or boomy is good, but knowing WHERE the harshness or boominess lies and getting there quickly is valuable and a big time saver. Understanding what different frequencies sound like is just like taking off the blinders. Quiztones helps you by offering a series of quizzes that will sharpen your skills and save you much time and frustration when trying to find that pesky frequency range where your bass track muddies up the mix, or what would add presence to an acoustic guitar.
The version of Quiztones that I used was loaded on my Macbook Pro. Installation was painless and straightforward. Once launched, a main window appears and you are ready to start quizzing. Difficulty levels range from easy, to hard and expert. Each quiz consists of 10 “questions”. Scoring is as follows: correct answer = 100 pts, 2nd guess = 50 pts, 3rd guess = 25 pts, 4th guess = 0. Total possible score is 1000 pts. Once the questions are asked, I was able to engage and disengage the EQ so I could A/B the two sounds. There is also a loop button that does just like it is named, allowing for continuous play while engaging/disengaging the eq. Once you answer all 10 questions, your final score will appear.
Taking the quizzes was easy and revealing. No matter how long one has been in the industry, it is always good to see where one’s strengths and weaknesses are. Quiztones helps reveal that.
All of the quizzes and scores are stores and the results can be accessed from the main “windows” dropdown. While it is nice to see a summary of the scores, it would also be nice to delve deeper into each quiz to see what areas one has the most problems with. Am I good on the low and mid frequency range, but have trouble with higher ones, or vice versa? Hopefully a future upgrade might give more detailed analytics.
At $19.95 for the Mac version, it is not a “cheap” app, The IOS version is considerably more affordable at $4.99 and has in-app add ons for additional fees. Being that it is a specialized tool with a relatively selective market, these prices are expected.
That being said, utilizing an app like Quiztones will provide one with benefits that far exceed the cost. See John’s full video demo:
For more on why training your ears as an engineer is important, check out Jamie Rio’s Houses of the Holy from SPL ezine, #03 HERE.
And for a chance to win a copy of Quiztones, check out our giveaway page.
John Pecak has been an audio professional since 1989. He has studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and graduated with a BA in Music.This background, along with his technical aptitude has given him the expertise to bring a fresh creativity to productions. He has written and performed on regional and national commercials including True Value Hardware and GNC (General Nutrition Centers). John is President of Full Circle Creative Media Services, Inc., a full service media production company specializing in Audio and Video production and Corporate Communications. In his 13 years of professional experience, he has had the pleasure of working with many of today’s top corporations including: McDonalds Corp., Allied Van Lines, Minute Maid, Sprint, GlaxoSmithKline.