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Using EQ to fix frequency bumps/dips

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Heya Head-fi community!

 

I spend a lot of time using headphones to monitor in Pro Tools, so I have access to parametric EQs while I work.

Are there any consequences to using EQ to get a flatter response on my headphones?

post #2 of 7

Short answer: No.

 

Long answer: No, but you'll open up quite the can of worms with audiophiles with this topic. As you can tell from my signature, I'm a big proponent of properly-applied EQ. Here's a sampling of arguments against EQ:

 

1) You'll introduce artifacts into the sound, which is worse than the thing you're trying to EQ away

 

I've never once heard an artifact in the almost two years I've been EQ'ing. Granted, it probably depends on the plugin, but if you're doing stuff in Pro Tools, I assume you have access to a quality implementation. There's probably every possibility a poorly-programmed EQ could sound bad, so I'm not going to entirely discount this argument, but I personally haven't had any trouble.

 

2) Get better headphones if you want better/different sound

 

A cop out, IMO, usually said with derision. Every headphone, even expensive ones, will have some flaw or another. Nobody has made a perfect one yet, and nobody ever will. If there's an obvious problem, like a nasty peak in the mid-treble, there's absolutely no reason not to precisely identify it and EQ it out, especially if you otherwise like the presentation.

 

3) Get a different amp/cable/DAC/[fill-in-the-blank]

 

A big can of worms argument. There is evidence (actual, verifiable, repeatable, measurable evidence) that impedance mismatches can have an effect on tonality, sometimes quite a noticeable one with headphones or IEMs with wild impedance swings and low impedance. On the other hand, it's far more likely that very specific flaws (especially treble-based flaws) are the fault of the headphone's tuning and/or interaction with your ears and not something to do with your other equipment.

 

As far as cables and the other stuff, I won't comment as my experience is limited here.

 

 

So, anyway, tl;dr: you're not going to get a straight answer around here. Obviously I'm all for it. I've had some arguments with people who are dead set against it. If you like, you can try out the tutorial linked in my signature, though it's a bit much to read and a bit confusing to follow at first.

post #3 of 7

i followed the instructions given in your sig a while back, using electriQ on foobar and i thought it was a big improvement. not to mention that eqing gives you the option of as big a bass boost as you like, which is also a plus imo, as BB amps seem to bump up half the mids together with the bass, entirely changing everything. im not an expert or an "audiophile", but EQing is great imho... so long as you eq properly. hopefully in a couple of weeks ill have more time and then i plan to get serious with my eq and to produce a preset that will last.

post #4 of 7

It takes a while, but eventually you zero in on something that works consistently. Part of this, I think, comes from the fact that, depending on the fit, certain treble features can vary (sometimes wildly) in where they occur. Any lasting EQ curve will be the average of all the times you put the headphones on and work through the tutorial. When the same values keep coming up, that's an indication that what you're hearing is actually there and not a momentary artifact of either your perception at that particular moment or otherwise the fit.

 

I actually have a very slight bass boost below 130Hz (3 dB) set for my DT880. It helps ground the sound a bit without being ridiculously bloated and colored. The advantage of parametric EQ is in precision. I've gradually dialed back my parameters until they specifically target what I'm trying to achieve (either add or subtract) without significantly altering the surrounding frequencies or the overall tonal balance. Attacking the problem blindly will usually result in a mess, sometimes completely missing the problem areas. Going about it systematically, however, can produce remarkable results.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

It takes a while, but eventually you zero in on something that works consistently. Part of this, I think, comes from the fact that, depending on the fit, certain treble features can vary (sometimes wildly) in where they occur. Any lasting EQ curve will be the average of all the times you put the headphones on and work through the tutorial. When the same values keep coming up, that's an indication that what you're hearing is actually there and not a momentary artifact of either your perception at that particular moment or otherwise the fit.

 

I actually have a very slight bass boost below 130Hz (3 dB) set for my DT880. It helps ground the sound a bit without being ridiculously bloated and colored. The advantage of parametric EQ is in precision. I've gradually dialed back my parameters until they specifically target what I'm trying to achieve (either add or subtract) without significantly altering the surrounding frequencies or the overall tonal balance. Attacking the problem blindly will usually result in a mess, sometimes completely missing the problem areas. Going about it systematically, however, can produce remarkable results.


i feel bad for hijacking the post here, but this is actually an elaboration on the op's post so i guess its alright...

 

i usually boost the bass between 3-10 db depending on the song and my mood, usually starting from 300hz. i have the dt770s actually, i was expecting them to be bass monsters - they are NOT. they are pretty bass capable though, this is one of my favorite things about eqing, putting my cans to their full potential (if going abit too far sometimes, admittedly).

 

what i actually want to do though is get rid of the sibilance i get sometimes. thats what my attempts will be aimed at once my time frees up abit. hopefully in a couple of weeks. 

so im trying to understand what you said there, your saying i should do a couple of sweeps, save the frequencys and then try again another day to see if i get similar results - so as to avoid "artifacts of perception"?

would you mind if i pm'ed you with a few questions when i get started on my serious attempts? so far iv only tryed once or twice to see how its done, i havnt actually given a full try.

post #6 of 7

Sure, go ahead, ask anything. Basically you got the gist, though. It's more in the actual curve-making stage that you'll want to check multiple times, since it's easy enough to find the centers of the peaks with the sine sweep but a little less easy to know exactly how wide and what magnitude to make the notches. That's where I've found the most variation. 

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post

Sure, go ahead, ask anything. Basically you got the gist, though. It's more in the actual curve-making stage that you'll want to check multiple times, since it's easy enough to find the centers of the peaks with the sine sweep but a little less easy to know exactly how wide and what magnitude to make the notches. That's where I've found the most variation. 


yea thats what i was thinking of actually... anyway, thanks, much obliged =] im off to study like i should. cheers

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