equalizer settings for noobs

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Valence, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    I am a noob to audio, and I was wondering if there was a site that explained equalizer settings for the noob, what does what, what it does for overall sound quality, etc.
     
  2. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    Well, can anyone help me out?
     
  3. 04

    04 Guest

    Well what do you want it to do?

    I would leave it flat and don't change anything.

    If you know how to use an equilizer than it can IMPROVE sound quality. However, I don't know your definition of sound quality so I don't know what you want to do. Do you want a flat frequency response?
     
  4. Mycophiles

    Mycophiles OT Supporter

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    Ok, yea, this subject needs exploring in my world so let's talk.

    I have a pioneer deh-9300HU. Here's how it's setup now which is freaking amazing compared to how I've set it up before.

    I have the hpff set to 125 b/c the focals pop with it any lower (power problem-= too much power?) the Loud feature which auto amplifies quiet sounds and quiets loud sounds I have ON... umm.. shit I'm going to need to get on my HU to write all this out... umm.. then I have it set for the sub to recieve all frequ below 125hz (from what I understand) ... BBE I have off.. the stage is set to none ... the band set to default (this is like concert/jazz/etc. etc.) ... a couple more setting I'm forgetting... then I have the equalizer settings. From left to right it goes from 0-300hz (I'm guessing here) to the next up/down thing which is 300-500.. etc... etc.. Now these bars go up to 5000 or 8000 or whatever but I'm wondering what that means. Obviously from playing with them you can turn bass down and your high's up/down etc.. but what are these settings by definition (anyone know what I mean here. :) )

    Also I'd really like a response to that thing about the front speakers popping.. Could that be because too much power is being fed to them?

    Thanks. :)
     
  5. 04

    04 Guest

    Most of the stuff you are talking about isnt really equilizer related though. Setting the high pass to 125hz is a good idea, that means that the majority of the low frequency bass is blocked from your Focals. Setting the sub's crossover to 125hz is good as well. As for "loud" it is nothing more than a bass and treble boost, if you are looking for flat frequency response, you probably want it off. As for the equilizer, it can be very usefull, but you really need some test tones and a trained ear or RTA to set it right. Those settings like 300 to 800 or 5000 to 8000 are refering to the equilizer's frequency that it affects. It probably has a Q setting too right? Honestly, if you really need to know what all this means, let me know, and I will explain it, but it may be a lot of reading...

    When you say your speakers are popping, when do they pop? When you turn your cd player on/off??? Or during music? If during music, you most likely have it turned up too loud.
     
  6. Mycophiles

    Mycophiles OT Supporter

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    Your right. It's during music. I turn the music up too loud and they pop. Actually just the right side pops. I don't hear anything from the left side and also both speakers sound good all the time except for the occasional popping from the previously mentioned speaker when the sound is turned too loud.

    The reason that I am questioning if it's too much power is because of one specific variation. Remember I was talking about hpff on the front is tuned to over 125hz. Well lets say I turn that down to 80hz. The speakers will pop at a lower volume level. Also, if I turn the base hpff to a lower frequency... say... 80 hz the speakers will pop at a high volume level If I'm not mistaken. Seems a bit backwards to me.

    All in all I'm satisfied with my focals. They produce exactly the sound I was looking for. I got lucky there, but I've run into a problem concerning the tweeters. The tweeters have no install. Meaning they are not fastened down into a mounting. They are kinda 'free floating' and can move a bit. I'm working on an install for them but in the meantime I'm worried I'm creating an environment of possibly blowing the tweets. I've been told they are 'self-contained' tweets and so movement will not hurt them. Can get some feedback on that? Thanks. :)
     
  7. flynfrog

    flynfrog Cool isnt Cheap

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    movemnt will not hurt them they are not like a sub and dont require an encloser to use a a suspension
     
  8. 04

    04 Guest

    huh?
     
  9. Mycophiles

    Mycophiles OT Supporter

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    :stupid:
     
  10. 04

    04 Guest

    :wtf:

    I didnt understand a word he said... I realize he said it doesnt move around, but what is that supposed to mean? :confused:
     
  11. Mycophiles

    Mycophiles OT Supporter

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    I was agreeing with you. :wiggle:
     
  12. flynfrog

    flynfrog Cool isnt Cheap

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    sorry to many thoughts at once

    having them in free air will not harm a tweeter it dosnt use an encloser as its suspension like a sub woffer does
     
  13. 04

    04 Guest

    Ahh, gotcha.

    I thought you were talking about the back of the dome not having a chamber or something....
     
  14. mbriant

    mbriant Guest

    One of the biggest mistakes noobs make with an equalizer is to adjust too drastically. Adjustments should be subtle...like 1 or 2 clicks up or down...preferably down. The less adjustment you make, the cleaner your system will sound.

    Instinctively, people want to increase certain frequencies because by doing so, they can notice the change quickly. However, boosting a frequency range with an equalizer too much ( actually, at all ) results in a strange, artificial ringing sound given to that frequency. The more you boost, the worse it gets.

    If you feel you need more low bass for instance, instead of boosting the 50hz, 80hz, 125hz by several db, it's cleaner and better to leave them at zero or if you need a lot of boost perhaps +1 and then cut all the other frequencies (200hz, 500hz, 1000hz, etc) by a few db's. ( one or two clicks down depending on the EQ you are using.) You'll wind up with the same curve as if you boosted the bass frequencies 3 or 4 clicks and left the others at "0", only the curve will be lower down on the graph. By reducing the higher frequencies, you will effectively "boost" the low frequencies without distorting the sound. It will lower the overall volume level of your system slightly, but results in a more natural end result. It's also safer for your speakers.

    It gets more complicated (and more accurate) when using a parametric EQ, but this is the general idea. It's the way recording engineers mould their sound as well.

    When adjusting your EQ, use a CD you are familiar with ... preferably one you've listened to extensively on a high quality home system so you are familiar with what the final result should sound like. If you are familiar with the music performed live...even better. (Assuming you are going for accuracy and realism....if you happen to like exaggerated, pounding bass for example, set it up to your liking)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2003
  15. 04

    04 Guest

    That is incorrect. One or two clicks of the equilizer will create less distortion? What kind of distortion, phase distortion? I find it hard to believe you have any practical experience with "high-end" car audio, as almost EVERY high end SQ competitor uses one or two stereo 30 band EQ's... And they do a lot more than 1 or 3dB adjustments...

    I find it hard to believe you have any practical experience installing or listening to stereo's in cars. The response anomlies created by the car's interior cause MASSIVE dips and peaks in the response, more than "a few clicks"

    You say that It sounds unnatural to boost a certain frequency? What if you have a massive dip at that frequency? How would you accomplish removing the dip?

    Saying that reducing all the high frequencies, instead of boosting the low frequencies is completely illogical and will sound WORSE, not better. How are do you plan on figuring the exact Q of the filter, the exact frequency, and how it will interact with the other filters? You are going to have a REAL hard time getting a flat response doing that. And why the hell would it be any easier on your speakers? YOU WOULD STILL HAVE THE EXACT SAME RESPONSE ALBIET WITH MORE PHASE AND AMPLITUDE anomlies at higher freqencies.

    Also, a 1 or even 3dB gain or reduction of sound pressure level will hardly make any difference.
     
  16. mbriant

    mbriant Guest

    042801 : Sorry to have upset you so. I just found this site and since it's called "Home and Car Audio" and the question starts out "I have no experience in audio", I didn't realize this was actually a high end professional competition site nor expected the poster, as a noob, to be using one or two professional quality 30 channel equalizers nor realized it required a high-end, competition level professional answer. How foolish of me.

    I figured he was talking about an inexpensive 7 or 13 band EQ...most likely one incorporated into a head unit. Like the ones normal people have. Try boosting any frequency to any great degree on one of those and tell me it sounds right. And try to get a perfectly flat frequency response out of one.

    I never claimed to have tons of experience installing high end car audio. I have none. But I do have 35 years of car stereo ownership and was the publisher of Sound & Vision magazine ( Canada ) for 16 years. I've also studied recording techniques at a 24 track studio.

    I'm also sorry if my "one or two clicks" description was vague. On my internal EQ, 5 clicks up is full boost. I imagine other units could have more gradations to chose from. And I don't know the name of that specific type of distortion, but it's the ringing sound you get when you boost an lower priced eq frequency too much ... the sound, to my ears at least, is obviously distorted. That can't be good.

    I've always been told that "less is more" when it comes to equalization and that cutting was always cleaner sounding than boosting. At least in a recording studio. Ask any recording technician. And I believe I suggested making a "few or several db's" of adjustment. The +1 I mentioned was in reference to "clicks" on the EQ.

    I've set the 13 band EQ in my current Pioneer double din deck the way I described and it sounds pretty good to me. But then I'm not planning on being in any competitions. Although I am not a proud professional car audio installer like yourself, I'm basing this on 35 years of being an audiophile, 16 years of dealing with all the major audio manufactures as publisher of the largest circulation A/V magazine in Canada, and using my $40,000 home system as a reference point.

    So please feel free to correct my gross mistakes and explain to this noob how you, an obvious car audio guru, would set up a pair of 30 band EQ's in a multi-thousand dollar car audio system...whether that's what he's looking for or not. At the same time, you may want to lose a bit of the nasty attitude with new members who are just trying to help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2003
  17. 04

    04 Guest

    This is not a high end competition site. I never said it was. I was simply trying to illustrate that an equilizer is NOT a bad thing like many people make them out to be.

    I already corrected your gross mistakes in my previous post. If you think I am arrogant then fine. But you are the first person to call me that.

    My issue is that your "views" on equilizer settings have no factual basis behind them. In fact, many of the suggestions you made would almost always result in a WORSE sound than before. Seriously, can you give any logical reason as to why its better to cut all bands except 50hz and 125hz than boost them?

    If you studied recording techniques then you should know better than say what you did. There are a few prosound guys on the board, and to say they would disagree with you is an understatement...

    If you were indeed the publisher for Sound and Vision, I assume you knew one of your technical writers: Tom Nousaine. Ask him what the thinks of your equilizer views. His email is [email protected] I believe.

    I also find it odd that you assume I am a professional car audio installer. I am actually a junior in college.

    Tell me, if you are really trying to help, then why are you being so sensitive to this? You are wrong in some of the things you said, I am sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it just happens sometimes. Shit I make mistakes all the time, and when I do, I would HOPE people would correct them rather than just let it slide. People actually read what we post in here, and might just do the same in their car.
     
  18. 04

    04 Guest

    Wow, did you really need to edit your post to add all that sarcasm? :rolleyes:

    Lets review, you never posted on OT before, just found this board, and then posted a long winded response to a topic that died close to a month ago?
     
  19. mbriant

    mbriant Guest

    What I took exception to is your very first sentence..."that is incorrect" What is incorrect? Everything I said? Then the next sentence where you say "One or two clicks will cause less distortion?" I still stand by that. It will cause less distortion than 3, 4, 5, 6, or more clicks. ( I know "clicks" is not the proper term for increments of boost, but it's all I know) Do you disagree that the more you boost any given frequency on a real world EQ, the sound gets increasingly distorted? Get's a ringing sound to it?

    I guess I didn't like the entire condecending tone of your reply. All those "I find it hard to believes". It still continues when you say "If you were indeed the publisher of Sound & Vision..." and "If you studied recording techniques then you should know better than say what you did." So you are inferring I'm a liar as well? Yes, I have studied recording technique at a professional multi-track studio and I was indeed the publisher of Sound & Vision (Canada) from 1981 through 1996. Not the Sound & Vision you know. Today's S&V used to be Stereo Review which scooped my registered name as well as my editor, Ian Masters, as soon as my copyright expired. I shared many writers with Stereo Review, Audio, and High Fidelity magazines which at the time were the 3 largest in the world. ( Since you are young, you won't remember them... but no, I'm not lying.) Another former editor of mine, Alan Lofft went on to become editor of Audio magazine. (the second largest circulation audio magazine in the world at the time) Yet another, John Phillips became a senior editor at Car & Driver magazine. I've been out of the industry since '96 and don't know the fellow you mentioned.

    The "less is more" approach to equalization was taught to me by professional recording engineers. If you check out some sights on the net, you'll find they agree with what I said ... cutting unwanted frequencies is preferable to boosting wanted frequencies. By not boosting, the EQ is not introducing it's own distortion. Ask the engineers on this board you spoke of. If they are indeed audio engineers, they will know.

    Perhaps an expensive 30 band parametric EQ can be set up with all sorts of frequencies boosted...but on a plain old 7 or 12 band Alpine or Pioneer EQ, (which you could never hope to squeeze a flat frequency response out of) anything above a minimal boost introduces that ringing distortion I spoke of. If you were to boost the bass frequencies to any great degree, it is harder on your speakers because of the higher low frequency amplitude produced and because of the distortion that a cheap EQ introduces into the system. Again, I'm talking about a real world, average priced EQ here .... like I imagined the noobie thread starter would be using.

    Again, check out some recording websites and you will discover that professional technicians prefer to cut rather than boost.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2003
  20. mbriant

    mbriant Guest

    quote: "Lets review, you never posted on OT before, just found this board, and then posted a long winded response to a topic that died close to a month ago?"

    That's correct. I noticed the thread and noticed the guy never did get an answer. Like I said, I was trying to help.

    quote: "Wow, did you really need to edit your post to add all that sarcasm?"

    Also correct, although I did it while cleaning up my typos. It was being changed sometime after you had copied my original but before I received your reply to it. Also like I said, the tone of your response ticked me off.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2003
  21. 04

    04 Guest

    Ok, I will buy that less is more, if all you need is less for a flat frequency response. But that isnt always the case, and sometimes more is more. If you have a hole in your response that is 6dB, would it not be better to boost by 6dB rather than 1 or 2?

    I will also agree that cutting is preferable to boosting, unfortunatly you cannot just cut all 7 high and mid frequency bands to get an increase in low frequencies.

    [​IMG]
    As you can see, that isn't a flat response, and that would be pretty similar to what would happen if you adjusted a normal eq with a bandwidth of one half octave per filter. You can see that the phase and amplitude are not a flat, linear line like they should be for maximum "sound quality" However, when we boost only the low frequency knob, centered at say 50hz, we get only one change in phase response, and only one change in amplitude response. The chances for the excessive ringing that you describe are now only going to be at the low frequency range. This is of course only an example filter setup, but I think it proves my point...
    [​IMG]

    While a cheap equilizer will produce distortion (any change to the signal will, no such thing as a perfect filter) the amplitude gains or cuts can actually improve the sound. But, in my first post in this thread, I said that it will depend if you set it up right for your system or not. For a newbie, VERY FEW will take the time to get anything close to an accurate response, and most will just boost the treble and bass. Like I said before, if you have a hole in your response while everything else is at the zero level, your best bet is probably to boost. If you have stuff all over the place that needs correcting, then you probably want to cut.

    The loss of power handling by boosting is also very real, but sometimes unaviodable. Personally, my 30band stereo parametric eq at home used for my subwoofer doesnt have any boost settings.
     
  22. 04

    04 Guest

    oh and on those graphs, the red line is the phase response and the green one is the frequency response....
     
  23. mzmtg

    mzmtg New Member

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    Well, I went and turned all of my EQ setting down one notch. (I only have a 3-band parametric) Now they are all in the -1 to +1 range. I think it might sound better.

    It's probably the placebo effect. I'll have to spend some quality time driving and listening this weekend.
     
  24. 04

    04 Guest

    Well it very well could sound better. Depending on the response of your car's interior, you might find it to be more preferable with less equilization. My dad's Explorer has a Pioneer deck with a 3 band parametric EQ, and frankly I just kept it off except for a slight boost in the bass section.
     
  25. mbriant

    mbriant Guest

    Getting back to the original request in this thread, this site, while recording specific, seems to give a good overall primer on EQ's.

    http://www.recordingeq.com/EQ/req0900/primer.htm

    I can't find much of anything on EQing cars however. Which is surprising. I guess the industry wants to keep it's secrets to itself.

    042801: This is embarrassing, but I've been thinking about Tom Nousaine, and in fact he did start contributing to S & V during our last few months of operation. I spent the majority of the last year closing the mag down in an orderly fashion (1996) and was preoccupied with that depressing task. Since my chief editor handled the writers, and I had never personally met Tom, I completely forgot about him. All of our writers were freelance and most lived in the U.S. so the only time I'd run into them was at the CES shows in Chicago and Las Vegas. How did you know he worked for S&V? Or is he now working for the new S&V?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2003

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