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Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is included in the package?

What does the test consist of?

How is the test given?

Can the test CD be played on a home stereo system or should it be taken on our facility P.A. system?

Is the test intended only for PROSPECTIVE sound people or will it benefit my existing soundperson?

How is it possible to ‘judge’ something as subjective as a ‘sound’ mix?  Doesn’t every soundperson mix differently?

Why is it important to identify INTONATION when the soundperson can’t correct it from the mixer?

Is the test ‘biased’ by the developer’s ‘ear’ for sound?

Will the musical examples be ‘dated’ over time making the program ?

Is there a listening sample I can hear before I buy the program?

If someone does well on this test, does it mean he will definitely be a good soundman?

 

What is included in the package?

The package includes a TEST CD and an ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS CD.

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What does the test consist of?

The TEST CD has 30 tracks containing custom produced listening passages.  A question is posed at the beginning of each track.  The person taking the test is asked to respond to each question in writing.  (Most responses will require less than six words.) 

The test is designed to determine a person’s ability to identify sonic issues in regard to INTONATION, INSTRUMENT IDENTIFICATION, VOCAL BALANCE, RHYTHM SECTION BALANCE, and OVERALL SONIC QUALITY.  Some ‘advanced’ examples will help determine a person’s level of experience and technical understanding.  The advanced questions do not affect the person's grade. 

The ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS CD will replay each passage and give a list of acceptable answers.  The terminology used in the answers is not important all long as the correct point is made.

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How is the test given?

The TEST CD can be played on any compact disc player.  No special equipment is required.  Track #1 will introduce the program and explain how it works.  After the test has been taken, the ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS CD will give the correct responses.

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Can the test CD be played on a home stereo system or should it be taken on our  facility P.A. system?

It is HIGHLY recommended (even stated in the introduction of the TEST CD) that this test NOT be taken on a BIG system in a LARGE room.  This is a LISTENING test.  The entire concept is to determine if a person can HEAR sonic issues.  Headphones would be the best way to take this test.  There are three 20 second “reference” tracks that demonstrate what the program considers to be a “sonically good mix”.  Once the person taking the test adjusts his sound system tone controls to what HE/SHE considers to be a “good” balance of bass, midrange, and treble tones, that is all that is required.

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Is the test intended only for PROSPECTIVE sound people or will it benefit my existing soundperson?

Although this program was created for “future” sound persons, the ANSWERS & EXPLANATIONS CD will be VERY helpful for existing soundpersons as it will help them determine areas that could use more attention.

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How is it possible to ‘judge’ something as subjective as a ‘sound’ mix?  Doesn’t every soundperson mix differently?

Yes, every soundperson has a different perspective of what sounds good, but there is a ‘middle ground of acceptance’ that nearly all professionals will acknowledge.  This program was BETA tested by many industry professionals, music instructors, and others directly involved in the music / live sound fields.  It was overwhelmingly agreed that this program will greatly aid in determining a person's potential for success in mixing sound for the ‘masses’.

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Why is it important to identify INTONATION when the soundperson can’t correct it from the mixer?

Although the soundperson cannot correct anyone’s intonation, he is often arbitrarily placed in the position of PRODUCER.  If (for example) there are two guitars playing, and ONE is extremely out of tune, it would be wise for ANY soundperson to reduce the level of the out-of-tune guitar.  If a soundman cannot tell the difference, the audience will know and suffer as a result.

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Is the test ‘biased’ by the developer’s ‘ear’ for sound?

No.  This test is only ‘biased’ by the experience and MANY professionals.  A great deal of caution was taken to ensure that this program does not express the opinions of ONE person.  It was developed to help discover the talents of those desiring to successfully enter the audio field as a soundperson.  

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Will the musical examples be ‘dated’ over time making the program obsolete?

No.  The difference in sound mixes from the 1960’s to 2007 is dramatic, but not enough to say that a “good” mix now will suddenly become “bad” in 10 years.  Many 1950’s mixes; where only a few microphones were used, are still considered classic.   A well mixed vocal quartet will STILL be good many years from now.  This program will stand the “test of time” and can be used over and over with repeatable results.  

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Is there a listening sample I can hear before I buy the program?

No.  It was decided that samples on the web site would not be a good representation of the entire program.  Since five specific audio concerns are addressed (and with varying difficulty levels), it would take several samples to give an accurate picture of the scope of this program.

More importantly, the speaker system on many computers (especially laptops) would NOT deliver the quality of playback required to make an accurate judgment of the program content.

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If someone does well on this test, does it mean he will definitely be a good soundman?

No!  It means he is trainable from the perspective of what he can discern SONICALLY.  It means he is ready to advance to the training stage.  Once it is determined that the prospect has the aptitude, the next step would be learning the mixer (among other technical concerns).   There are also several topics that have nothing to do with sound, that have a bearing on whether a person will be a good soundman.

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