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How to equalize your headphones: A Tutorial - Page 17

post #241 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post
Is it just me or does that Electri-Q PMEQ introduce some distortion in the treble region?
did you try NyquistEq5? it sounds so much better than Electri-Q in the treble region IMVHO
post #242 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
What mode are you in? I've never heard anything out of place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
did you try NyquistEq5? it sounds so much better than Electri-Q in the treble region IMVHO
Never mind guys. It turns out that I've been running PMEQ and Foobar's internal equalizer in tandem. No wonder the sound becomes really funky.
post #243 of 970
actually, unlike most EQ's NyquistEq5 doesn't have gain compensation :
KVR: Nyquist EQ Feature Request, automatic gain compensation

that might be why I prefer it
post #244 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
actually, unlike most EQ's NyquistEq5 doesn't have gain compensation :
KVR: Nyquist EQ Feature Request, automatic gain compensation

that might be why I prefer it
It's too bad one cannot adjust the gains and stuff numerically with that Nyquist EQ.
post #245 of 970
well it's a "look ma! no hands" EQ, it relies on your ears and is very flexible to use
post #246 of 970
Thread Starter 
It isn't good to rely on your ears when trying to do something as precise as what is outlined in this tutorial.
post #247 of 970
well actually the vertical lines stand for 1K each I think, so it's not too hard to figure out what you're doing
post #248 of 970
ah well, I was using Ozone4's bit meter and the winamp VST bridge I was using in ffdshow resamples everything to 16int

from the Ozone help file :



FFX-4(DX>winamp wrapper) does support 32float processing, so I need a DX EQ plugin that doesn't do AGC...any idea ? might try my luck on some Waves EQ.

I guess a graphic EQ(like the SuperEQ from shibatch, that's built-in ffdshow) is not gonna cut it
post #249 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakooon View Post
Phew !!!!
Finally made it through !!! I never thought i would get it as im really new to all these things !! But im suprisingly satisfied with the result, and didn't took me a week to notice the difference!! That's awesome ....Really .... thx to all you HEAD-FIer whom explain us those golden trick.Especially you PiccoloNamek
Not to mention my music (Trance,House related) sound more smooth then ever, but i can enjoy my wife's music (Punk,Alternative) as i never did ! I already know that's going to be more easy on my ears when im working a couple of hours on my mixes !!
Well... enough ... This is how it end up for me...




Im just wondering if its normal that the notch depth of my highest peak is only of -4db ?!?!
Im using Ultrasone PRO900.I dont know if it has something to do with it.Or maybe i screw up something ...

Quoting my own post cause i redid the EQing as my previews one end up sounding finally worst then i though. The new one here has hit perfectly on removing ONLY the sibiliance from PRO900. And it finally look a bit more like it was suppose to considering OP explanation ! REALLY recommend it to everyone using PRO900 without an headphone amp.(I still dont know those phones sound properly amp)


post #250 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiccoloNamek View Post
Our hearing is more sensitive in the 2000-4000hz (approx) because of the effect the pinnae have on the sound. With headphones, this effect is nearly eliminated. Anyway, it wouldn't be an issue to equalize your speakers to a response that would be perceived to be flat. You could use the same methods described here and end up with a response that actually sounded totally flat (even if in reality it wasn't).
You experience reality with very peaky hearing, with your hearing's response varying wildly depending on where a sound originates -- why try to "fix" your ears when listening to music?

The only problem I see with headphones is that they're not speakers in front of you, and so will sound different than a speaker setup. However, your response to the flattest responding of speakers placed in front of you still won't be flat, nor will your response be flat to a live event in front of you. Does real life sound unnaturally harsh as a result?
post #251 of 970
hmm..good read, I'll have to try this. thanks!
post #252 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by fufula View Post
I'm a newbie when it comes to this stuff, kudos for the guide, it really helped me find a few peaks here and there, but I have a question.

Around 4.1kHz the volume in left headphone seems to be going more and more quiet as I go up. Then the right headphone goes quiet as well. A little later (still going up slowly), when both headphones are really quiet, I can clearly hear that the volume is getting louder in the right headphone until it gets back to normal, and then the left one goes back to normal as well and all is fine again at around 4.6kHz. There's a huge peak after this.

I know it's not in my head 'cause I've asked for other people's opinion without even hinting what's wrong and they've noticed it as well. Are the headphones borked or is it something else?

Well, if others had not heard the pattern that you describe, I would have suggested hearing loss. Piccolo's thrust is to "equalize out" a specific non-linear FR characteristic of headphones. However, his method equally applies to the equalization of non-linear characteristics anywhere across the audible range, whatever their cause. Hearing loss is certainly a common cause of perceived non-flat response. Great care should be taken with equalizing for hearing loss, however. Hearing losses of 30-40 dB are not uncommon. Cranking in such a large boost could, for example, cause an 80 dB musical passage to produce 120 dB of sound pressure. For awhile, one might hear sounds that he/she has never heard before, or for many years; but before long that person would likely suffer an even greater hearing loss. Such boosts would also likely exceed the dynamic range of one or more elements in the music chain, causing significant distortion.

Bruce
post #253 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by LnxPrgr3 View Post
You experience reality with very peaky hearing, with your hearing's response varying wildly depending on where a sound originates -- why try to "fix" your ears when listening to music?

The only problem I see with headphones is that they're not speakers in front of you, and so will sound different than a speaker setup. However, your response to the flattest responding of speakers placed in front of you still won't be flat, nor will your response be flat to a live event in front of you. Does real life sound unnaturally harsh as a result?

The reason that one would attempt to "fix" his/her ears (and the entire sound chain feeding the ears) through equalization methods is to normalize one's hearing to some theoretical norm (in these discussions, Piccolo has assumed that a "normal" FR is flat; however the recording studios may master to some other FR shape). Whatever the "normal" FR curve looks like, the general idea is to equalize in order to hear a track as the sound engineers mastered it to be heard.

And yes, "your response to speakers in front of you" WILL be flat if you follow Piccolo's method. That is the whole idea that many in this thread seem to be missing. Piccolo's method includes the entire sound chain, including the human brain and its perception. It is the Head-fier's brain that is perceiving the sound volume at each frequency as he/she performs the frequency sweeps and equalizes while listening to pink noise during the practice of this method. This is a closed-loop system, whereby the brain causes the fingers to tweak the equalizer. The brain then receives new information (as modified by the new equalizer settings) from the headphones, and again tweaks the equalizer, etc. This process continues until the brain perceives a flat response.

And yes, your perceived response to a live event could theoretically be normalized to flat (or to any other shape) if you controlled the equalizers in the sound system carrying the signals produced by the live event from where you were sitting. (Alternatively, you could probably accomplish a"perceived flat" result if you listened to the live concert with microphones, a preamp, an equalizer, a head-amp, and closed headphones. (This is precisely what new-technology hearing aids attempt to accomplish, by the way.)

And yes, music in real life may sound unnaturally harsh, whether listening via headphones or speakers, if any part of the sound chain causes an unnatural peak somewhere, as exemplified by the headphone anomaly discussed by Piccolo. Turning to another example, it is very common for music to sound very lo-fi to those of us with hearing loss notches at various frequencies. Of course, modern music tracks are not mastered to sound lo-fi. The hearing impaired may dramatically increase fidelity and soundstage by boosting frequencies that he/she perceives as notches prior to equalization.

C A U T I O N!!!!!!!

Note that excessive boosting to compensate for a very deep notch (e.g., 30-40 dB) can be VERY dangerous; because it may expose the person to damaging noise power levels during strong passages at the notch frequencies. Such a damaging situation is insidious because the affected person does not hear the damaging sound power at the notch frequency as excessively loud. That is, the body's normal feedback mechanism to warn of the damaging situation ("sound so loud that it hurts") is crippled by the hearing loss; and excessive boosting in the absence of the negative feedback creates the dangerous situation. This is analogous to a person with defective pain and pressure nerve endings who cuts himself and does not know that the event has happened until he sees himself bleeding or burns himself and does not know about it until he smells burning flesh, etc.

I have presented the extreme case of a person with a deep notch in hearing FR as an example that is not subtle and is (hopefully) easier to understand. However, the audiophile whose combination of equipment and hearing FR is flat (or conforms to the music mastering "norm", whatever that FR curve might look like) without equalization will likely be the rare exception. Because of the variability of equipment, ears, and brains, most of us will likely benefit from equalization of our audio chain (including electronics, sound transducer, ears, and brain) to a "normal" response, which Piccolo has reasonably assumed to be flat, in the absence of some other standard response curve. By the way, the mastering industry might do audiophiles a big favor in this regard by saying what curve they do master to.

It is also true, I believe, that our brains include wonderful compensation mechanisms that take over when one or more of our senses is impaired or absent altogether. Thus, the blind tend to develop better-than-normal hearing and sense of touch. The deaf may become more sensitive to non-verbal cues, etc. Likewise for those of us with less than perfect hearing. Changes in our hearing FR curve generally occur gradually over time, allowing the brain's compensation mechanism plenty of time to adjust. Thus, music may continue to sound pretty good to a hearing impaired person who has long forgotten what it used to sound like 20 years ago, for example. Such a person may be astounded to hear equalized music, though, which may reveal "new" sounds that have been beyond that person's realm of experience.

A fascinating corollary to this is that a sensory-impaired person whose impairment is compensated for (or perhaps permanently removed via a medical procedure) may not be entirely pleased with the outcome. Many of us have heard occasional stories of blind persons whose sight was miraculously restored, only to feel at least confused, if not disappointed altogether with their sudden, radically modified sensory experience. Might similar sensations may be felt by the hearing impaired when listening to equalized music? But I digress...

Equalizing the entire audio chain, including electronics, ears, and brain to some "normal" FR curve, including perhaps a flat line, establishes a baseline which may represent a transform of audio track information to an audiophile's perceptions as the mastering engineers intended, frequency and amplitude-wise. (As Piccolo mentioned, higher-order psycho-acoustics, if any, are beyond the scope of these equalization exercises.) Using such an equalized state as a starting point, some may wish to further equalize to add effects that are perceived as pleasing (e.g., pump up the bass, etc.), as Piccolo has suggested.

Bruce (EE, Patent Attorney)
post #254 of 970
A charming essay on important things indeed! Thank you for your input. It generally falls in line with my beliefs, so I can only cheer and nod
post #255 of 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
By the way, the mastering industry might do audiophiles a big favor in this regard by saying what curve they do master to.
Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple, either the way we hear or how EQ is applied during mastering. The base line for hearing is of course how we hear, unfortunately, the way we hear is not linear, either in terms of frequency to pitch or frequency to perceived volume (EQ). Human hearing rolls-off at both the high and low end of the spectrum and there is a resonant frequency in the ear canal, which creates a peak usually around 3kHz. In other words, to make a sine wave at 60Hz appear to be the same volume as a sine wave at say 3kHz, we would have to boost the 60Hz sine wave by about 60dB (that's about 1,000 times louder). From about 250Hz downwards and about 12kHz upwards this roll-off is progressive. That's one of the reasons why consumer speakers tend to be coloured towards boosting the low and high frequencies.

We obviously take account of this frequency response when mixing, to get a balanced sound but during the mixing and mastering process we generally do not follow any specific curve but EQ according to personal taste and what feels "right" for the genre or piece of music we are working on. To make matters worse, our perception of the EQ (or frequency balance) varies with playback volume. The difference between production and mastering is that in production we are trying to get the best sound we can in the studio, whereas the mastering engineer is making adjustments to try a get the music to sound that way on everyone's system, not just in the studio. This obviously requires considerable compromise.

In other words, virtually every track has different EQ and usually it has different EQ within the track. You wouldn't want to hear the same balance of frequencies in a section of orchestral music where just the high woodwinds were playing as you would if it was just the basses and tuba playing, it would sound completely unnatural.

G
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