Equalisation [EQ]

shooter

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I've had some great results using a digital EQ in my system of late because for a long time i've had issues with very poor bass responce. I set the speakers up the best i could at a 1m off the corners and 30cm off the back wall, that possition gave the best overall balance, further away from the back wall and the sound started to get 'thin', closer and the bass started to 'boom', the overall sound still lacking though, basically i needed more cones.

I've lived with the set up for a few years but over time have been putting all my music on a HD and playing it through iTunes. With it i started playing around the iTunes own 10 band EQ which gave me the option of tweaking and it helped with the poor low frequencies in the room though but felt i needed more control.

Now i'm using Apples free AU Labs 31 band EQ with Soundflower which gives me more control. I dont know if its totally transparent but it has transformed the music, just by adding a very small amount of db's (scaled 0 to 2db's) from 50hz down to 20hz has added a solid foundation with bass that goes deep but still stays clean, perfect!

As a bit of fun i've also been able to play around with the EQ to counteract the "energy" i have in the upper mid by flattening the peaks a db or two.

Chuffed!
 

Crocodile

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Jan 15, 2009
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Having been through a number of speakers & amplifiers in recent years & never being completely satisfied with the result, I've been playing around with some test tones & an Android SPL app & found that my room seems to suffer with some anomolies. Especially with an apparent spike in the response at arround 2.5KHz. So I'm looking at sourcing a decent mic to give the Room Equalization Wizard (REW) software a go. That should provide an accurate sound map of my room & I will them look at measures to counteract that if this spike is verified.
 

Overdose

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Out of all the must have gadgets or accessories related to hi-fi, a good EQ system must come close to the top of the list.

A good system can easily be hampered by less than ideal room accoustics, which does not seem to get as much attention paid to it as it should. I had a quick lesson in this regard when trying to set up my sub. Initial placement of the sub created a null point right where I sit, so the sub had to be relocated. Subsequent frequency sweeps revealed various other anomolies that may only be sorted with EQ.
 

MattSPL

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Adding an Eq into the system may or may not degrade the signal quality slightly, but somebody once said to me

"As far as the signal path is concered, it's my opinion that the acoustic interactions of loudspeakers in rooms are 95% of what we hear. If slightly reducing the other 5% improves that 95%, then it's a worthwhile tradeoff".

I've just bought a Yamaha YDP2006 Eq for using with a DIY sub i'm going to build, but i'm going to try the Eq with my speakers once ive got another set of xlr cables, as it will be a while before the sub is finished.
 

MattSPL

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Overdose said:
My apologies to the OP for going off topic, but MattSPL, how do you find the quattro DAC?
Although ive only compared its performance to my Arcam Fmj cd33, it sounds very, very good.
I use the Quattro as a pre also. Its a bargain at about £400.

The Quattro is basically a copy of the Benchmark Dac1 usb, with the volume control from the HDR model.

You really need to use the xlr outputs of the Dac though to get the best from it. You can adjust the gain of the xlr's with internal jumper bars.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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I experimented with this with J River - it does all of the eq in the 64 bit environment to shouldn't degrade the signal noticeably. I tried to counteract the spendors slight dullness by adding a little lift in the treble, but I kept resetting to switched out, somehow it just wasn't "right". I found that even a a 0.2db was noticeable when doing a quick A/B comparison, so the changes need to be small. There is a room correction programme in the software that I haven't tried yet, and is designed to compensate for room acoustics etc.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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Mar 11, 2011
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FYI. that's what Vandersteen (a speaker manufacturer) has to say about room correction and equalising. it's quote from their FAQ. worth reading IMO.

"

How about those new room/speaker electronic interface boxes that promise incredibly flat response through room correction?

This is an interesting concept. Add an equalization box to the system that changes the response of the speakers so that they zig where the room zags. Instant flat response!

Things are never as simple as they seem. We humans are very good at differentiating between the source of sound and the effect of a room. Put your best friend in 10 different rooms with very different sonic characteristics and he or she will still always sound like your best friend. No matter how bad the room acoustics, they will not become a different person. This is because the mind gives preference to the source (direct) sound and partially or totally disregards the effects of the room.

But, modify the tone of your friend's voice to counter the room effects, and now you have a new best friend. The mind still locks onto the source and the source doesn't sound like your friend. The same thing happens to a violin, a piano, a quartet, or an orchestra. Modify the tone for flat response in the room, and the accuracy and realism is lost. You make the source sound inaccurate and the source is what we hear.

So why is there a positive reaction to these boxes in the market place?

Because even though they screw-up the overall sound, they do have one social redeeming value. At the lower frequencies where wave lengths are long and the direct sound and room effects are homogeneous, (Below about 150Hz) humans cannot differentiate between the source and the room effects. Equalizing these bass frequencies for flat response can provide very positive benefits. And since these low frequencies form the musical foundation and are critical to conveying the music's emotion, some people may consider the benefits there more than the the negative effects through the midrange and treble.

Our view is that this technology should only be used below 150Hz where the results are purely positive. It should never be applied to the midrange or treble or even be in the signal path. This is how the technology should be used and how it is used in the Vandersteen Model Five Loudspeaker.

"
 

SteveR750

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It's possibly why a hi fi system will never sound like the real thing, even if it does, because our brains modify the perception. It's why cables do sound different perhaps.. >)
 
A

Anonymous

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SteveR750 said:
It's possibly why a hi fi system will never sound like the real thing, even if it does, because our brains modify the perception. It's why cables do sound different perhaps.. >)
Very dangerous, almost life threatening, but from the scientific point of view: wise words! :clap:
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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Surely an EQ adjusts the levels of various frequencies and not directly affect the frequency response of the speakers themselves?

The 'best friend' analogy doesn't work for me either, for one, speach occupies a limited frequency range, unike music, which is far more complicated, also if your 'best friend' was speaking to you in a large empty room, there would be a lot of reverberation. Still your 'best friend', but the reverb would give them a particular sound, hence why room reflections alter the way we hear sound. A good EQ simply removes the room effect from the listening experience.
 

paradiziac

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Jan 8, 2011
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Very interesting, it's like whether it's preferable to have the musicians playing in your room v attempting to recreate in your room the band playing in the acoustic of the recording space.

My gear isn't hi-fi enough to know which I'd prefer.
 

Overdose

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I think your gear would be plenty capable of letting you hear the difference.

I started looking at room accoustics when I got my sub. Its quite interesting when you play a frequency sweep test tone, to hear the relative loudness change in different frequencies. This was particularly noticeable for me when setting up the sub, around the band from 50 to 80Hz.

Have a look at these...

http://www.audiocheck.net/soundtestsaudiotesttones_index.php

There is another site that I used, but it gives you an idea.
 

shooter

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paradiziac said:
Very interesting, it's like whether it's preferable to have the musicians playing in your room v attempting to recreate in your room the band playing in the acoustic of the recording space.
I think taking any given room it would have to be live every time. Home audio just doesn't get close to live, evan amplified live. As instances you just dont get that transient attack and snap of a snare, punch of a kick drum or the crisp highs of any instruments with source material, there's to many varients and most of them are the producers/artists.

It may be just me but a bass guitar is one instrument that sounds better recorded. The sound never sounds tight enough live, always hard to distinguish it and give it its place amongst the other instruments, most of the live stuff i go to is electronic/rock/indie and may be different with other styles.
 

SteveR750

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shooter69 said:
paradiziac said:
Very interesting, it's like whether it's preferable to have the musicians playing in your room v attempting to recreate in your room the band playing in the acoustic of the recording space.
I think taking any given room it would have to be live every time. Home audio just doesn't get close to live, evan amplified live. As instances you just dont get that transient attack and snap of a snare, punch of a kick drum or the crisp highs of any instruments with source material, there's to many varients and most of them are the producers/artists.

It may be just me but a bass guitar is one instrument that sounds better recorded. The sound never sounds tight enough live, always hard to distinguish it and give it its place amongst the other instruments, most of the live stuff i go to is electronic/rock/indie and may be different with other styles.
I agree. My hi fi system doesnt really come close to the sound of my les paul + marshall at full chat with me stood next to it playing it. I think it's all about that transient "snap" and dynamic range. Recording studios and hi fi are useless at capturing the sound of a drum kit.
 

shooter

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oldric_naubhoff said:
........

Because even though they screw-up the overall sound, they do have one social redeeming value. At the lower frequencies where wave lengths are long and the direct sound and room effects are homogeneous, (Below about 150Hz) humans cannot differentiate between the source and the room effects. Equalizing these bass frequencies for flat response can provide very positive benefits. And since these low frequencies form the musical foundation and are critical to conveying the music's emotion, some people may consider the benefits there more than the the negative effects through the midrange and treble.
Thats it on the button really. My system always lacked the foundation of something solid and its very easy without upsetting the fundementals of the music to get that with the EQ i'm using. It doesn't change the structure or tone just adds depth which then adds reality/emotion to the source.

I'd imagine it would work in reverse, as in reducing a 40/50/60hz peak if its their, though i have no experiance of it and could be wrong.
 

shooter

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May 4, 2008
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SteveR750 said:
I experimented with this with J River - it does all of the eq in the 64 bit environment to shouldn't degrade the signal noticeably. I tried to counteract the spendors slight dullness by adding a little lift in the treble, but I kept resetting to switched out, somehow it just wasn't "right". I found that even a a 0.2db was noticeable when doing a quick A/B comparison, so the changes need to be small. There is a room correction programme in the software that I haven't tried yet, and is designed to compensate for room acoustics etc.
I agree SteveR, those high frequencies are a different kettle of fish to the low ones and with very small movement can sound very odd. There just seems to be alot more riding in those high frequencies than you realise until you play around with them, and it's easy to upset a balance that way. Those low frequencies dont have all that energy that integral, easy to manipulate.
 

paradiziac

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Jan 8, 2011
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Apparently there are quite a few iPhone apps that can measure a room, here's a nice example of how to use EQ to get a flat frequency response:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKjskxpNL5c&feature=plcp&context=C4dc437aVDvjVQa1PpcFPZs2HQJ-tuc8d6FsS5xqMU8VcgdJkUnek%3D

If you have speaker/room issues that you can't solve by placement/room treatment, digital EQ is surely worth a go.

Not purist, I know ;)
 

shooter

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May 4, 2008
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Overdose said:
Out of all the must have gadgets or accessories related to hi-fi, a good EQ system must come close to the top of the list.

A good system can easily be hampered by less than ideal room accoustics, which does not seem to get as much attention paid to it as it should. I had a quick lesson in this regard when trying to set up my sub. Initial placement of the sub created a null point right where I sit, so the sub had to be relocated. Subsequent frequency sweeps revealed various other anomolies that may only be sorted with EQ.
Have you tried an Eq OD? Soundflower and AU Graphic are easy to implement on a Mac and may help you out.

There are other effects that are bundled with Audio Units (AU) if you need them, Band-Pass, Dynamic Processing, High and low passes, Shelf filters and loads of others can be adjusted on the fly. I havent tried any of them myself yet and tbh even after reading up on each effect dont no how they change the sound untill i do.

It will work on OS X 10.6 and 10.7, probably but not tried it on 10.4 and 10.5. If your interested i'll post up the recipe :)
 

Big Chris

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SteveR750 said:
shooter69 said:
paradiziac said:
Very interesting, it's like whether it's preferable to have the musicians playing in your room v attempting to recreate in your room the band playing in the acoustic of the recording space.
I think taking any given room it would have to be live every time. Home audio just doesn't get close to live, evan amplified live. As instances you just dont get that transient attack and snap of a snare, punch of a kick drum or the crisp highs of any instruments with source material, there's to many varients and most of them are the producers/artists.

It may be just me but a bass guitar is one instrument that sounds better recorded. The sound never sounds tight enough live, always hard to distinguish it and give it its place amongst the other instruments, most of the live stuff i go to is electronic/rock/indie and may be different with other styles.
I agree. My hi fi system doesnt really come close to the sound of my les paul + marshall at full chat with me stood next to it playing it. I think it's all about that transient "snap" and dynamic range. Recording studios and hi fi are useless at capturing the sound of a drum kit.
The problem is a drum kit can't be turned down in 'real life' unlike a recording.


TBH, I don't think you'd want the live sounding drum kit on your recordings.
 

Craig M.

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Mar 20, 2008
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screenshots of the studio eq stuff that came with my speakers.



left speaker



blue line is right speaker, red line is left speaker after eq.



both speakers after eq.

the sound in my room has been massively improved by use of (parametric) eq. it is also crystal clear why some speakers (atc) worked well in my room, and others (dynaudio) have given me bass problems.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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shooter69 said:
Have you tried an Eq OD? Soundflower and AU Graphic are easy to implement on a Mac and may help you out.

It will work on OS X 10.6 and 10.7, probably but not tried it on 10.4 and 10.5. If your interested i'll post up the recipe :)
That's for the info, I'll look into those.

And the EQ system for those Opals looks quite effective. Nice!
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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Big Chris said:
SteveR750 said:
shooter69 said:
paradiziac said:
Very interesting, it's like whether it's preferable to have the musicians playing in your room v attempting to recreate in your room the band playing in the acoustic of the recording space.
I think taking any given room it would have to be live every time. Home audio just doesn't get close to live, evan amplified live. As instances you just dont get that transient attack and snap of a snare, punch of a kick drum or the crisp highs of any instruments with source material, there's to many varients and most of them are the producers/artists.

It may be just me but a bass guitar is one instrument that sounds better recorded. The sound never sounds tight enough live, always hard to distinguish it and give it its place amongst the other instruments, most of the live stuff i go to is electronic/rock/indie and may be different with other styles.
I agree. My hi fi system doesnt really come close to the sound of my les paul + marshall at full chat with me stood next to it playing it. I think it's all about that transient "snap" and dynamic range. Recording studios and hi fi are useless at capturing the sound of a drum kit.
The problem is a drum kit can't be turned down in 'real life' unlike a recording.


TBH, I don't think you'd want the live sounding drum kit on your recordings.
It can, kind of. hit it less hard, or use brushes. It's not so much the actual SPL that it missing, it's the transient snap. A snare drum hit live sounds just so much more dynamic than anything I have ever heard recorded, even when played at realistic levels.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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Hi Shooter - I have downloaded the Xcode as well as Soundflower but I am unable to figure out how / where to get the EQ


Pls help.. a small write up or a url pointer will be of great help!
 

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