As of Feb 11 09 the change log goes here. Visit the ear training page for the actual program.
Don't see updated version?
Click refresh on your browser to update the program. The browser "caches" it so it doesn't have to load it up every visit, but to see recent updates you'll need to refresh the page or clear the browser's cache.
Added some accessibility properties to the dropdown menus and some buttons. Thanks Natalie Kehr for reporting issue with delete stats not working for perfect pitch and sometimes disabling keys. Also for suggesting a quick key for the MyAnswer button, which is now " ; ".
Removed fullscreen link because of abuse. People were linking directly to the flash instead of to this page. Linking to the main page increases this site's ranking and helps other people find TrainEar.com . Donations are about every 3 to 6 months so there's no real incentive to provide a direct link for download. Infrequent donations would be nothing to complain about but the site receives a steady stream of visitors and I'm frequently asked lots of questions. If you did donate in the past I apologize, feel free to email me and I'll send you the program. People without the know-how to download will continue helping support this website by seeing the ads. This is stupid and not how things should be but the end result is I keep more traffic, I get more people linking and the 31 cent a day ad money I get goes up.
I've freely released a download version in the past. The concept would be that people would share which causes more people to link or donate, both of which help, but none of that really happens. They usually just use offline and don't go back to the site. I still keep getting bug reports for stuff that has long been fixed because someone had an older release.
The anon comments make me lose faith in humanity, once again. "Click play or hit right arrow key for a new interval.' => Anon: "YOUR PROGRAM IS STUPID THERE IS NO FKN RIGHT AROW BUTTON". Most of the comments have been a scary level of pure stupid, reminding me my efforts are wasted on a very few minority with this fully featured version. It needs a hard-core dumbed down version. I did get a bug report saying the anchor feature no longer worked, which has been fixed. Thank you! -And thank you to all who have sent emails saying your appreciate the program, especially those that didn't ask me to send you the program or explain everything and teach you personally after the kind words.
The following David Lucas Burge's perfect pitch scam ads have been banned.
I'm concentrating my efforts on other projects for awhile.
(11/5/09) Minor update
Tweaked GUI again. Greensleeves vs Star wars will be the default selected questions now. A lot of people seem to have problems with here comes the bride vs. star wars as the starter. I think it's better to make it a little easier by default while people figure out how the program works and gain a little confidence. "Here comes the bride" really isn't the name of the song, it's called something-or-other-wedding-march, but that's less likely to make them understand what I'm talking about. Greensleeves seems to be more internationally known, even though a lot of people don't know the name, and is probably regarded as a more enjoyable song.
Now when it's correct it still gives you the full details (suggested by John Pezouvanis).
I've also added a small box that changes color. Green when correct, black when incorrect. The little blue guy is Nu from chrono trigger. The only reason I put him there was so peoples eyes go to the instructions when they first see the program. Otherwise they get distracted by all the shiny buttons to click.
(11/4/09) GUI Update + Listen: Sing Intervals
Repeatedly identifying intervals makes it relatively easy to break down a song and identify the components. However, the speed it takes to sing a specific interval on-call is only partially improved by identification alone. To be able to generate an interval in your head almost instantly, given only the starting notes and the distance, is not only useful to singers but all musicians. I've found it to especially help when you have a song in your head. It doesn't matter if you've mastered your intervals, the next note may seem fuzzy because it's slurred, in some kind of chord or just hard to pinpoint. You can make things more clear by trying to whistle or sing the continuation and find what sounds right, but I've found being able to quickly reproduce the intervals, not just identify them makes this process much faster.
With "listen: sing intervals" you're given a start note, then my voice says a number from 1 to 12, it waits the specified question to answer timeout specified in options and it plays the next note. The number corresponds to the interval as defined by the amount of semitones. So if it gives a tone and then it says 7, try to whistle or sing a perfect fifth before the answer is played. This is similar to how the sight singing option works but you can do it while doing other things and you won't have to look at the screen. I chose numbers instead of the proper name because: saying the numbers takes a short amount of time so people who are good can practice rapidfire, knowing the intervals numbers is probably better because then you can do quick interval math, also it's easier for someone who doesn't speak english to learn english numbers 1 to 12 than the minor/major + number with its ridiculous unstandardized placement conjugation.
It doesn't voice ascending or descending yet if you have them randomized. Harmonic won't make much sense selected. The voice sounds bloat the file size 25% to 400K, but an 80K increase isn't too bad for 12 sound files. I think adding this trainer is worth it.
- Fixed perfect pitch stats. Looked garbled with new gui.
- Fixed text saying 'replay' instead of repeat (Natalie Kehr reported)
(10/15/09) New option
I've added a new option called 'previous note reference' to the first dropdown. I think it's an extension of the song mode concept. Kind of like an infinite song mode. You get a regular interval as the first question and all subsequent plays only give you one note. You'll have to use the last note of the previous question as your reference.
I haven't implemented it so it respects the options for what to do on correct or wrong and I'm not sure I will. It's kind of a mix between song mode and intervals. I recommend mastering the intervals first anyway enough to not have to rely on songs by the point you use it.
I've also added an anchor option to the speed math trainer. For example set it to 9 and set the operator to multiplication only and you can practice your 9 x X multiplication tables. It just anchors the first number while the other is still randomized based on your presets.
- Added back instruments and difficulty presets to options menu
- Fixed Interval Math: Note to Note and Note to Interval (reported by Natalie Kehr)
- Ctrl + D or Alt + D is now a quick key to delete stats.
- Added ads in this site, jimmyr, eliteskills roleplay to help monetize things and keep it up.
(10/13/09) UI Update
I've tried to improve the program's look a little. I'm not all sure it's the best but I think it's an improvement. Grouping the objects makes it easier for the eyes to parse what's important at first look. The enable/disable answers section didn't have a label and was uncomfortably too short for text and spanned disgustingly too long. Putting it in a scrollable area should clean things a bit.
I've removed the difficulty presets. There were too many dropdowns and my new customizable options list can't really handle how I had set them up before.
The spacebar to play has been switched with right arrow key. I don't know why but the 'comboBox' component of actionscript 3 doesn't release the key bindings after selecting a drop down list. You have to click somewhere else first. If you use spacebar or enter after selecting something in a dropdown it causes an error and craps out.
Thanks to Natalie Kehr again for helping me track down the statistics issue and play quick key not working.
- Spiffy new small and dynamic length buttons. Idea inspired from the gmail dropdowns.
- Better management of button size and increased space
- Messy Deactivate/Activate Question section cleaned up, widened and quarantined in a nice little scrollable box.
- Temporarily removed difficulty presets and instruments dropdown
- Fixed stats issues from previous release.
- Fixed: Options menu would disable quick keys on exit.
(10/11/09) Options Menu Update
1. From now on, by default it will not play a new question automatically after you answer correctly. Too many people I asked to sit down and figure out how the program worked failed to understand the autoplay after selecting a correct answer. You can set it to how it was before in options. I'll annoy the older users for the benefit of having a higher rate of newbies figuring out how to use the program.
2. The quick keys no longer work as they did. Before ctrl or command on the mac were like a switch that indicated major or minor. Now it's more sane, you just click ctrl+Number to make it major, no ctrl to make it minor. I have no idea why I didn't have it that way before.
Thanks to Natalie Kehr for the feedback, suggestions and corrections, most of which I haven't fixed yet.
- Dynamic Tabbed Option Menu with Help Buttons for every feature. Now I can add more preferences and options without much effort or clutter.
- Added to options feature which lets you change the default action of what the program does when you are correct or wrong.
- Added song mode option to customize the type of action taken when repeat is selected.
- Added option to automatically repeat the question after X amount of time. It's in milliseconds so be careful. Set to 3000 or higher. Setting it back to 0 and clicking play will stop the repeats. May be buggy.
- Corrected Bali'hai, putting it in octave instead of maj7. The youtube vids I watched had it as maj 7 but the original movie has it as octave. (Natalie Kehr correction)
- Corrected maj 7 desc as not being revenant wings song but a secret of mana song.
- Added division to speed math option.
I've gotten pretty decent at Erlang, a programming language good for making severs. I may make some kind of multiplayer version of the ear trainer. I really need to dumb things down hardcore.
- Added a tutorial about how the statistics section works.
- Added 'Piano Memory Game' to the first drop down.
- Stop button working correctly now for listen modes and not interfering in intervals.
- Fixed score stat for individual intervals.
- Harmonic works again in song mode, though has some glitch where won't give new question when all correct.
- Added min/max option for amount of notes for triad X breakdown.
- Published torrent on legal torrents along with all tutorial videos.
(7/3/09) New Video Tutorial
I've made a new video tutorial. One of the most lacking parts of the ear trainer has been updating the documentation enough to where beginners can get started. The ear trainer has changed substantially so the original video tutorial was lacking. In the video I assume the users know nothng and try to detail the basics of how the ear trainer works and how it can be applied to a musical instrument.
I felt I needed a very general video overview of the ear trainer. I'll try to make a few more short videos very specific to elaborating different sections of the program. I won't post this stuff to youtube, at least not until I get some tech stuff tutorials done.
The video is only 6mb 640x480, h264/mp3 5fps, but vimeo and howcast seem to re-encode it to crap quality somehow. Vimeo wants me to encode to 1280 x 720 just to get 'HD quality', which requires a lot of redundant letter boxing and many screen still getting a crap resize quality even on fullscreen because they use 1024 x 768 res.
(7/1/09) Disney Songs
Updates may come slowly again. I bought a wrist brace which may help but since this is a free time project I'll keep to messing with the comp only for what I need to do. Sennheiser finally sent me my headset back from repair so I can hopefully make some tutorials about the new features.
- Song mode dropdown in options: fixed the ones that didn't work
- Added a lot of random disney songs for interval associations.
- Fixed issue where stat buttons wouldn't change after going to perfect pitch option.
I've been meticulous about writing down all ideas and features to add so when I decide to another coding time attack there'll be plenty of stuff that gets added. Even if I'm not coding there's always random ideas that come up, even if not so useful most the time. I've also been spending a no-life amount of time reading about erlang, a programming language made for concurrency and interaction. It seems perfect for making the ear trainer multiplayer, lol, somehow. Even though this doesn't seem too logical, practicing with other people in competition is always more enjoyable so some half reasonable implementation to build upon could be worth while.
- Song mode listen
- Song mode Listen Breakdown
- Detailed Statistics for perfect pitch
- Improved random X breakdown
- all listen modes now have stop buttons (to stop before, select something else from the first dropdown). Click play to resume again
- Minor Color changes (or rather removal)
- simple speed math, just because, (last flash projects were speed math programs)
- Fixed issue where other tests kept counting as skipped question
Wrist / finger has started to bother me. No more coding for a week or two.
(6/7/09) Minor Additions
- Note Comparison
- Note Comparison: Tuning
- Sight singing
- Identify Notes in Bass clef has full range
- Interval Math: Note to Note, Note to Interval
(6/5/09) Dumbing down
This should probably go in a dev blog section but one doesn't exist. Maybe I should start thinking in a different direction. Instead of adding features I should dumb it down, to the extreme. Most likely I'll branch off a super simplified version of the ear trainer and make it default on the frontpage, with the more fully featured one linked. Before my most recent updates most people that would send me questions or complaints wouldn't have had issues if they watched the tutorial. Or they'd complain and ask for a tutorial even though there was one right below the ear trainer.
With the new version I thought it would be way easier now because it's just a game of song identification. Two notes are played, guess the song. No minor / major anything or special vocab. There's instructions in bold letters right below the buttons and now most things have explanations, eg switching to song mode. The first thing I noted when I made new version was that it's more cluttered than the previous version which may make things a bit overwhelming at first, but by a large degree it's more straightforward. Apparently some people think its confusing and chaotic (but good-ear is great!), I should think iPhone instead. On reddit someone submitted my video tutorial on how playing by ear works, which is followed by the TrainEar.com explanation. The top comment about was someone saying, "you should use good-ear everyday" with several upvotes. FML. For those of you don't, know good-ear is an ear trainer as old the internet made in visual basic and put on the web via servlets on an old microsoft webserver. When I tried to post my ear trainer directly on reddit it didn't get much attention and only one comment (bonus for being a dumb one).
I've been getting similar feedback in different places. Some of the feedback is positive and appreciative but I get a disproportionate amount of confused people and angry critics that don't know they're also confused people(Your program sucks because X and X, Me: You're doing it wrong, embarrassingly wrong). People who report bugs often phrase it in the most douchebag of ways and don't give details helpful for fixing it. This makes development more of a hassle and boring. Comments like that on youtube / newgrounds are common but it's more frustrating that he's right, no one had pointed it out before, and it had to be reported in such a way. A new tutorial would be helpful but my headsets are in repair. The rate of people that watch compared to the new visitors is still negligible though.
I believe what would make the program "good" in the minds of most first time viewers would be
- Remove the statistics completely
- Remove the piano and notes visualization
- Automatically increase or decrease the difficulty based on their performance
- A very hold-your-hand-through-everything in-game tutorial
- Dropdowns, gone. They can select from chords, intervals, scales as huge buttons before they begin.
- Changing the presets while with song buttons doesn't switch them to the chrome looking buttons anymore.
- Song mode now will continue with solfege or song buttons when selected instead of switching to intervals or not chaning the song on asc/desc switch.
Dumb stuff I make like indexing anime from streaming sites, putting funny pictures found on a million other sites, making a simple relocation search tend to get infinitely more traffic than the complicated, useful stuff I make. The few people that know what they're doing and can appreciate it don't tend to at the least link to my site or share it. They won't think twice about linking my stupid blog for funny pictures though. People like stupid stuff. spydergreywolf: "There's a piano there and I play guitar so this program is useless". Fuck everything.
- Visualization Piano now supports full range of notes and dynamically updates based on intrument selected.
- Song mode feedback works + added red circle visualization of mistake on piano.
- Skipped questions are deleted with the delete statistics button
- solfege buttons reverse on descending intervals (not yet dynamically updated for song mode)
(6/4/09) Minor Updates
- Improved in-game documentaiton
- improved online picture guide documentation
- Repeat button in perfect pitch now works
- Using sine waves shouldn't fail so much.
- Triad Breakdown rewritten and also added Listen: X breakdown
- You can now set the timeout between question and answer for listen mode in options.
- Links work
(6/1/09)/(6/2/09) Bug Fixes
Sorry about the bug when randomizing asc/desc. I think it's finally been fixed. The feedback text has also been set so it doesn't make things look so cluttered. It also now has slightly better instructions.
In the song editor the play button would play at the lowest pitch possible, this has been fixed.
Let me know if you find any more bugs and I'll fix them asap.
(5/31/09) Uber Updated
To get the old setup back just scroll down to "intervals" in the first drop down. I made it by default "song buttons" because the scary standardized terminology seems to deter many beginners. Putting songs makes it more of a music game than an "advanced music theory course". Many of the goals I had were accomplished so I posted this update, but there's still much to do.
Yes it's cluttered. It already was before and now more. Oh well, it's becoming somewhat competitive in features to the major ear trainers.
- Most all the code is super cleaned up and efficient
- Scales added
- Chords added
- Perfect pitch feature improved
- Presets to guide beginners to mastery (for intervals only)
- A few minor bug fixes
- Added music notation visualization with dynamic key signature
- Note identification
- Scale identification / number of sharps & flats
- Score for each interval now shown on vertical bars
- Scores for most associated shown on vertical bars in interval stats
- New select all feature for checkbox
- Ear Trainer todo list has page of its own.
(5/19/09) Song Mode Update + Tweaks
Wow, I can't believe I hadn't updated this thing in so long. I'm just now noticing based on the timestamps here, time really flies. I didn't want to start coding again until I had rewritten some critical parts. Most objectives were met but there's still a lot to do.
Most this update focuses on song mode. Many people emailed me saying Song Mode was really difficult so I decided to add easier forms and many different configurable behaviors. Song mode basically makes the leap from intervals to playing actual randomized note sequences (songs?). The beauty of song mode is you can train working on only the intervals you have trouble with or only a couple at a time. With statistics targeting where you need work, this makes it more efficient than spending time playing real songs by ear. Often the most repeated intervals are m2 - p5 with smaller leaps occurring more often. Spending time really gaining a mastery in differentiating them when linked will help give more fluency when playing by ear, especially perfecting m2 vs M2 in song mode.
- Lots of code rewritten and cleaned up, possibly getting closer to open source
- Song mode single works like song mode except it selects 1 interval to make up all 4 notes.
- Various forms of song mode now
- Song mode now records statistics
- Ascending and descending misses are also recorded
- Added many options based on what you want song mode to do when you miss or answer correctly.
- I broke the splash page lol
- More songs
- Thanks to Hayden Betts for pointing out two of the ??? songs
- If a song goes too low or too far above the prerecorded notes the program has it just changes an octave.
- You can now anchor any note you want (suggested by Tom de Jongh)
- Made options page not look so crappy
I added a few songs. FFXII for m7, Song of Time for desc 5 (thanks Sashank Veligati), FF2 NES Octave. Yasunori mitsuda the guy who made a bunch of good music for square (chrono trigger) just worked as composer for arc rise fantasia for the wii. The song has a pleasant melody and it's another good example of m7. Yep, it's all video game crap.
I'm getting closer to being able to add a scale trainer and chord trainer without so much complication but I'll leave that for later.
Possible Considerations for Next Update
- Update help page with updated documentation
- Get the piano working again for song mode
- chord ear trainer?
- scales trainer?
- Improve the draw piano and piano code
- rewrite how it sets ascending / desc / randomize for more efficiency
- Make listen mode more intuitive (remove stop listen mode)
- Update the export feature for asc / desc misses and other stuff I've added lately
- Add splash screen back or different level / tutor options somehow. Maybe add a kids mode later removing all the scary abbreviations
- rewriting the drop down code could save like 100K, but make the drop downs look crappy.
I would make a video update but my headphones broke and their being repaired right now.
Added a way to configure the timeout between question and answer in listen mode as well as an option to set how many notes are played in song mode. I've also added an option to delete all songs so you can test yourself without the song playback on miss. The quick keys have now been updated to work with song mode.
I really need to make another video tutorial about all this mess. Fixed the issue with listen mode, I think. Fixed other minor bugs. I added a splash page with a level selection. This way I tell beginners to focus just on the play and answer choices buttons so as not to get overwhelmed by the layout at first glance. It also notes that a new question is played automatically when you answer correctly, which seems to confuse people sometimes. Most people that pass by the page are complete beginners so it's no use giving them all 12 possible answer choices as default. If I ever make this thing multilingual the lanuage setup will also be on the splash page.
Added different modes in the "Direction" drop down box (where ascending / decending are): Song Mode, Listen Mode, Perfect Pitch, 3 note breakdown. I added some more songs, most notably some decent ones for decending minor/major seventh. I also switched the defaults for descending/ascending tritone, ascending fifth, and ascending minor seventh.
Advancing to the next question after missing the note required clicking the correct answer. Clicking play would skip the question and go to another. Many people emailed me saying my program was glitched because it doesn't count the questions wrong, despite this being in the manual, but hey who would bother reading that? The play button now counts the question wrong if you missed it and additionally all skipped questions are recorded in the "Total:" part of the statistics section.
Song mode will start playing six notes random based on the intervals you have enabled randomized between ascending and descending. You can try to play the song by ear using the piano or the interval buttons. If you miss the next note the song will be replayed and you start from the beginning.
This will play an interval, give a short pause, then play the associated song, repeating randomly through the enabled intervals and the selected direction. You can change to any in the direction drop down while it's playing, eg select harmonic or random. To stop it, select stop listen mode in the direction drop down. This for passively associating intervals to songs eg. while working / studying. All of those marketing tapes with a pitch similar to "learn x language while you sleep just playing our disks" are completely fake, however focus can be given to the program off and on and studying the few minutes before sleep often help most. This forces a constant pace but takes away any stress of being wrong and trying to maintain a decent score.
3 note breakdown
Random experimental feature. Multiple notes at the same time can be complicated to break down. After you've mastered harmonic style give this a try and see how often you're right.
Why not? The pianos already and all the structures were in place so it was easy to implement. It's not all that useful though as there's no way to limit / track stats. It plays a tone, you try to find it on the piano. If you're wrong it'll show you the correct answer. If you're right it will give you the green circle. Click play for another question.
Note About Development
I tried to keep things dynamic and cleanup as best as possible, unfortunately the code is too messy now. This is my first project in ActionScript 3 so I learned a lot of things in the process and regretted some of my previous implementations. Also as I added features many were added months later in quick-fix style, further stacking the mess. I won't add anything else until I rewrite / restructure it. Fixing bugs and adding songs are the exception.
Fixed it so if you're using randomize, clicking repeat won't randomize the direction again. Fixed red dot issue you select an answer outside the visualization range. Added more songs. Thanks to Nicholas D, Dennis Carlstrom, Stuart Nisted and Tom Gaston for the song suggestions. If I left you out or you don't want to be listed let me know.
GUI and responsiveness improved.
Uber update released. Rewrote sequencing engine and added piano and guitar instruments. I added a little piano so you can visualize and even enter in answer by playing the notes. It adds a green dot for the current location, red for you incorrect answer and blue for the correct answer. You can disable the blue dot by disabling feedback in options. I added text on top of a lot of stuff so people don't get too overwhelmed at first look.
Some people had trouble hearing the low notes so I've increased the bottom octave's amplitude by 40% and set the default audio volume setting to 100%. I decreased the volume of the highest notes. I added a feature in options to anchor the first note of the interval. I added a few more songs. Descending notes will now start a few notes higher to avoid a cutoff frequency range some speakers have.
More songs. Small fix in quick keys and in statistics if users click play after missing note. To avoid confusion ascending is now the default interval setting. The label of ascending songs and descending songs was placed in the songs section. Removed Disney: someday prince will come. Corrected Swing Low name. Added song references to this page.
Thanks to Michael Braz for correcting me and saying Hey Jude is a minor 3rd. The song was misplaced in the wrong group (major 3rd decending). I also fixed the timing on thema, the cradle song and added FF7 Vincents theme to M7.
First version of ear trainer ready for release. Site created and domain registered, with youtube video explaining how to use.
Tags: eartrainer changelog, change log, ear training tricks, interval song beginnings, interval song tips
Posted on Wednesday, February 11 2009