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EQ - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
It's much more sophisticated than playing with knobs. I had to use pink and white noise, frequency sweeps, and several individual sine wave files and at least a few hours of testing and fine tuning to eventually come the equalization setup that I have now.
Looks like you don't trust your own ears - no mention of listening during your setup. Flat response does not equate to good sound, btw.
post #17 of 29
Of course I trust my ears. In fact, the response shown above was derived entirely from listening to pink noise and sine wave sweeps. This means that it has been specifically optimized for my ears.

Also, IMO, a perceived flat response is always the best response in the long term.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hew View Post
This is the main argument against eq, which I tried to make on another thread about eq usage. I didn't realize that it actually had a technical name. My experience is that the frequency masking you describe is an artifact of the use of equalizers. IMO better to use hardware eq to get sound signature that you desire, that is, select components to balance the sound in the direction you want.
Re-read what bigshot said (and to which you were agreeing):
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
Those things actually do have to do with obtaining a proper frequency balance. There's a psycho-acoustic principle callled "frequency masking" that can make a big difference in the amount of detail. The basic idea is that if certain frequencies are imbalanced, even as little as 3 to 5 dB, it can mask frequencies an octave up.
Obtaining a proper frequency balance is the key here. Whether you do that by matching components or by utilizing EQ (or both), if you can attain that proper frequency balance, the sound will not suffer from the frequency masking he was referring to.

Your apparent experience is that you have not been able to successfully balance frequencies using an EQ, but the same can also occur when attempting to match components. This is not a problem unique to equalizers nor is it a certain result when using equalizers.

In the thread you cited, I was attempting to make the same point as the OP here: good sound is what sounds good. As you've said yourself -- it is better to trust your own ears.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hew View Post
Flat response does not equate to good sound, btw.
Flat response is what good engineers use to monitor their mixes with. If you want accurate sound, you want flat response. The whole idea of flat response is that it is calibrated to sound as close as possible from system to system.

Flat doesn't sound "bassy" or "trebly" or "analytical" or "veiled". Flat just sounds the way the original artists intended it to sound.

See ya
Steve
post #20 of 29
In many cases flat response doesn't sound much like music either, in most cases it just sounds "flat" and boring. Designers and audiophiles who focus on achieveing flat response at expense of all other factors are just plain wrong.

Personally, I am not into mixing music nor do I care to hear the music as the engineer hears it. My aim is to enjoy the music. I don't believe enjoyment necessarily increases with the accuracy of our equipment. If that were true no one would be buying tube or analog components over solid state and digital.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hew View Post
In many cases flat response doesn't sound much like music either, in most cases it just sounds "flat" and boring.
You don't understand what I'm saying. I'm not talking about a particular type of sound. I'm talking about *calibrated* sound.

The idea is that studios calibrate their playback equipment to reproduce a full spectrum of sound at a balanced level. That is what they mix to when they are producing high quality audio.

If you calibrate your playback equipment to a balanced response, the music will sound on your system as close as humanly possible to the way the music sounded to the engineers in the recording studio.

Naturally, if the engineers recorded the music poorly, it will sound just as poor as they recorded it. If you have an equalizer, you can try to correct for that. If you don't equalize your sound, you get what you get at random.

Accuracy definitely does sound better than random. But accuracy takes a lot of hard work and planning to achieve. Not everyone is willing to go to that effort. It's perfectly fine if you prefer random sound, colored sound, a transistor radio or two paper cups with strings between them. That's perfectly fine for you. I'd rather start from a baseline myself.

See ya
Steve
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Have you noticed that threads on head-fi resemble the Chinese whispers game?
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by flordenuve View Post
In a recent thread I wanted to discuss what good sound really is, or rather, what a good headphone really is. People eventually ended up saying that "what's good is good", which is, when you think about it, a pretty good argument.
So I was thinking, if good sound is only what sounds good, then it can't really matter how you obtain that good sound. Me, for example, I'm a sucker for treble, and I think every headphone I ever heard had too little treble (or perhaps all the recording I ever heard had too little treble?).
The good news is that I don't have to spend a lot of money to get a headphone with the exact amount of treble I want - I can just add a little treble on my equalizer! Isn't that great? People buy new and ridiculously expensive headphones because "there's not enough bass", when all the bass in the world is within reach of your hand.
I searched the post on this forum dedicated to the art of sound, and didn't find one single post about EQ.
Isn't that weird? Is there something wrong with EQ? Isn't good sound what sounds good?
Good sound is objective, but bad sound is universal.

When one starts getting seriously involved in a lot of (expensive) product markets, it's easy to see that there is no universally defined set of standards for what constitutes as "great" or "excellent." This same dichotomy exists in the photography business, the cycling business, the computer business, etc. What may be good for you may be excessive to someone else and not enough for another.

However, everyone can agree on what's bad. Most people can agree that products that have short lifetimes, are clearly not good enough for anyone, even as entry-level products, or are constructed poorly can be constituted as "bad" products.

With audio products, I've noticed that people get different headphones/speakers for different needs. I personally like a pair of headphones that are not only engineered for a dynamic range of music, but can isolate a good amount of noise, can withstand HUGE amounts of abuse and/or are a cost-effective option to replace if the need arises. That pretty much eliminates most headphones above $100 or so because while they might sound good, I'm not sure if they are designed to last a long time, which then makes them cost-ineffective to replace. Hence, I've been buying Sony EX-51 headphones for the last three years and after putting earplugs as tips and Rockbox on the iPod, I've been extremely happy.

However, I listen to lots of different music, from Bob Dylan to George Chopin to 8-bit madness. Some headphones are good mostly for close listening, which is a must for classical or jazz; others are good to pump up the volume, which is great for dance and hip-hop. I know that neutral sounding headphones, while great in the study or for my office, will NOT be good when I'm dropping the hammer on my bike.

Sorry for a long first post
post #24 of 29
As far as audio equalization, I'm a huge fan of it. Some people argue that EQ is not needed for a solid set of headphones, but I disagree. When I'm adjusting my EQ, I go by "feel," since that's more important to me than paying attention to quantitative details. Since I pay a lot of attention to drums, I use a live Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) recording, since he beats at just about every frequency that's covered in most of the music I listen to.

Hardware EQ is always better than software EQ
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
Hardware EQ is always better than software EQ
Why?
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjisme View Post
Why?
Honestly, a friend of mine told me that statement a long time ago, and he was right. I think it's just those placebos kicking in

However, I've been reading a little bit lately, and it seems that software EQs are not made equally, and are subject to the encoding of the song, where as hardware EQs directly control the hardware of the audio chip, which is format-independent and (I would suppose) more exact...
post #27 of 29
From what I've been told, it is a lot easier to make a clean accurate analogue equalizer than it is to make a good standalone digital one. However, I can't imagine that dedicating a computer to processing a RT EQ filter wouldn't be the best way. I always do analogue for real time on the fly and digital for post processing.

See ya
Steve
post #28 of 29
Analog EQ can be an excellent tool but it's often harder to design correctly. Noise is a big factor with analog eq design. Also, active devices can easily introdice phase shifts which can sound like ass. Then again, a digital system can be manipulted to sound like crap too. Digital is the way to go for studio work.
post #29 of 29
Analogue is only for real time correction of playback on the fly. Luckily, pro grade equalizers are relatively cheap. For $800 you can get a really good Rane or DBX. I agree that digital EQ is the best for studio work.

See ya
Steve
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