Chris Knight - Acutus Trading Ltd.
EarMan for Mac OS X Provides Ear Training with Subliminal Hints
April 26, 2011 in Music and Recording
[prMac.com] Rochester, New York - RoGame Software announces the release of EarMan 1.5 for Mac OS X. A good ear is the key to all musicianship. One of the most basic skills for any musician is the ability to correctly identify intervals, something that is typically practiced in class or with a private tutor. It is an affordable, no-nonsense application that can help you improve your skills with a structured curriculum and fully customizable practice sessions. Completing a training session in EarMan takes about 1-2 minutes, only a fraction of a typical tutored lesson. All sessions are graded immediately and results are made available in the results section. This makes EarMan the perfect tool for students as well as professionals that might want to brush up on specific areas.
Most major design decisions in EarMan were made using the input of professionals. As a consequence one overall goal was to make the application instrument agnostic. There are no keyboards or guitar necks cluttering the interface. Following the direction of college level ear training focus is maintained on the aural aspect with the addition of a representation in music notation in a choice of clefs. Since students often get lost in the vast array of tangential and much advanced areas of ear training like perfect pitch and harmonic training, EarMan hones in on the very basics for a sound foundation. After completion of EarMan's curriculum the student will be able to name the interval of any two notes sounded on a piano or other instrument.
Practicing with EarMan the student follows the curriculum. Each session builds on the last and has to be completed with a passing grade before proceeding. Throughout the course different interval sets (i.e. seconds, thirds) are introduced building towards a test including all intervals. All tested interval sets will also introduce unisons and complementary intervals towards the end of the session. The curriculum eventually increases the range of intervals from one octave towards the full range of a piano and and proceeds from playing intervals upwards to the opposite direction to conclude with all intervals being sounded simultaneously.
With the curriculum serving as a roadmap students can at any point complete one or more so-called quick sessions. These don't figure into the final grade and are completely adjustable in terms of interval set, range, playback direction, etc. Quick sessions are meant as a way to gain some proficiency before moving on to the next curriculum session. Quick sessions are also graded with the same criteria as curriculum sessions and logged as well. A record of all completed sessions is kept in the results section of the program.
There are several learning aids built into EarMan - one of them being a number of interval songs that can be sounded before the begin of a particular session. One very unique feature in EarMan, however, is based on some recent research and called subliminal hints. It appears that a strong correlation of shape and sound can quite dramatically improve the ability to identify intervals. To take this concept one step further EarMan's subliminal hints feature displays interval specific shape animations during test sessions. By controlling opacity these animated shapes are not visible to the conscious mind, but are still processed by the brain. This approach aims to further the ability to "just name" an interval that is known to most advanced musicians.
To keep track of one's progress across several computers, EarMan features data-handling optimized for Dropbox. A convenient Preferences setting allows for placement and location of the relevant data. This feature will be extended to incorporate the EarMan iPhone and iPad applications as well to provide a seamless training experience across all iOS and Mac OS X platforms.
Much thought went into the design of this application. Ear training is a skill that needs to be practiced to stay relevant. EarMan's clean and concise interface, undeterred focus, logically laid out curriculum and advanced features make it an excellent constant companion for any musician.
* Structured Training Program with 105 Sessions
* Fully Configurable Quick Sessions
* High Quality Samples
* Music Notation
* Choice of Clefs
* Silent Mode (for Practicing Intervals Visually)
* Interval Songs as Mnemonic Aid
* Clean and Concise Interface
* Incorporation of Complementary Intervals
* Selectable Playback Range and Direction
* Automatic Grading of Sessions
* Subliminal Hint Technology
* Dropbox Sync Support
* Detailed Reports
* Localized into Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
* Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
* 64-bit processor
* 28.3 MB Hard Drive Space
Pricing and Availability:
EarMan 1.5 for Mac OS X costs $9.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and is available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Music category. Educational discounts as well as a limited number of teacher copies are available.
RoGame Software is located in Rochester, NY and provides quality software for iOS and Mac OS X systems. All Material and Software (C) 2011 RoGame Software / All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.