I first reviewed hearEQ by Ten Kettles back in April 2014 soon after it was released. Essentially, this app provides an EQ training utility. It is very easy to use with a clear and simple design and, providing you have the self-discipline to spend time using it, for a chump change price (the app is currently UK£3.99/US$4.99 and offers a couple of inexpensive IAPs to expand the feature set), it will undoubtedly help improve your listening skills and your ability to identify specific frequency ranges when mixing your own tracks.
Anyway, after a period of relative quiet since the start of the year, Ten Kettles have released v.2.0.0 of the app as a free update a few weeks ago. This was a fairly substantial overhaul of the app and, while the underlying concept remains the same – an array of increasingly difficult tests you can try to test your ability to identify frequency bands within a mix – under the hood there had obviously been some considerable work done.
Anyway, a further update hit the App Store today – v.2.1 – and, if you are happy enough to add the Advanced EQ IAP (it is priced at UK£2.29/US$2.99), then you really can push your ears to see just how well they can identify specific frequency ranges; the IAP now includes a 30-band EQ option. If you thought the 10-band testing that is supplied with the base app was quite challenging, then doing the same thing across 30 – much narrower – frequency bands really does take the task to another level.
Having given this a very quick go this morning with a few tracks that I’m very familiar with, I have to say that I failed miserably :-( More practice required!…. which is, I guess, the point of the app. It is, however, a very sobering experience even if you only use it as a bit of cold hard truth of your own ability to play ‘spot the frequency’….
With their other headline iOS music app being Waay – a rather neat ‘teach yourself basic music theory for songwriting’ tool – Ten Kettles are carving themselves a bit of a niche in terms of training utilities for iOS musicians.
Buying an app like hearEQ and sticking it on your iPhone or iPad will not instantly produce better mixes for you. Just like a gym subscription will not get you fit if you don’t use the treadmills and weights machines, buying the app will not train your ears unless you put some work in. That said, hearEQ is a ridiculously inexpensive way of getting some ear training. This is a genuinely useful tool that you can take with you and use wherever you can carry your iOS device…. if you buy it, just remember to use it; the results will follow :-)
If you want to see Ten Kettles video introduction to hearEQ, then feel free to watch below:-