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Equalizing headphones: What equipment do I need? - Page 2

post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

Usually you don't want a flat line on a headphone frequency response graph because the ear affects the sound from headphones differently from a flat pair of loudspeakers.  Headroom graphs have a compensation curve built in so a flat line on that graph supposedly sounds good.  However

1. It's for the dummy head model, your ears may be different

2. The frequency graph has been smoothed over

 

There are two threads on by-ear equalizing

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615417/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-advanced-tutorial-in-progress

 

The first thread is well organized but the thread starter is gone and there are some inaccuracies in the information presented.  I started the second thread but never had the energy to finish the writeup so...

 

Basically I wanted to add two contributions to the first thread

1. When equalizing by ear one should not aim to make all frequencies sound the same loudness, because one needs to compensate for the equal loudness curve of human hearing

2. One can compensate for this by adding a second equalizer in line to the first, reproducing the equal loudness contour; then one can just aim for the same loudness in all frequencies with the first equalizer and you should have a flat headphone response when you remove the second EQ.

 

I then try to go into details on how this is done and failed miserably at properly describing it redface.gif But you can pm me if you're interested and I can try to walk you through it smily_headphones1.gif
 

Finally, you want to add a "gain only" EQ band to your Electri-Q preset and lower the whole curve below zero to prevent clipping.

Thanks, I was actually looking through those threads a couple hours ago and was going to try those techniques tonight. I wish I could run sine-gen through electri-q somehow though, that would make things easier it seems.

 

But is a gain only band neccessary? I thought pre-amp does the same thing, I just set that at whatever the inverse of the highest gain on my EQ is.


Edited by chewy4 - 12/5/12 at 10:56am
post #17 of 52
You can eq flat first, then add the standard correction for compensating for the inner ear shape. I don't know how accurate that correction is though. Personally, I'd start with flat and fine tune from there by ear using good recordings of acoustic instruments.

It's counter productive to make equalization so complicated that no one wants to attempt it. Perfection is a fine goal, but any movement in the right direction is a definite improvement.
post #18 of 52

If you are going to use the headphone.com graph, use the raw measurement - not the one that has their hrtf curve applied. I believe if you subtract 2 from the image number on their site, it gives you the raw image for the same chart. 

post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

You can eq flat first, then add the standard correction for compensating for the inner ear shape. I don't know how accurate that correction is though. Personally, I'd start with flat and fine tune from there by ear using good recordings of acoustic instruments.
It's counter productive to make equalization so complicated that no one wants to attempt it. Perfection is a fine goal, but any movement in the right direction is a definite improvement.

Given how many times those standards have changed, I'd say they're atleast somewhat inaccurate.

 

I'm not entirely sure if I'd know what to look for in acoustic instruments unless it's something I recorded myself. I feel like I would just be equalizing by what I think sounds good, rather than what sounds accurate.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

If you are going to use the headphone.com graph, use the raw measurement - not the one that has their hrtf curve applied. I believe if you subtract 2 from the image number on their site, it gives you the raw image for the same chart.

 

Ah, I was wondering how to find those, thanks... but it seems like using the one with the curve would have more desirable results.

 

The couple of one's I have now based off of those graphs do sound good, seem to clear things up and I prefer it when A/Bing for the most part, but I think the tone might be a bit off. Hard to tell since the tone I'm used to with them is probably off too. I'm gonna start from scratch and try to isolate peaks and whatnot and see where that takes me.


Edited by chewy4 - 12/5/12 at 11:12am
post #20 of 52
I have a very large classical collection. Most classical music is recorded to a balanced response, and it's easier to EQ acoustic instruments. I've boiled it down to four or five recordings that give me examples throughout the audible range to tune to. If you're interested, I'll list the titles. Most of them are bargain priced CDs and are well worth having.
post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I have a very large classical collection. Most classical music is recorded to a balanced response, and it's easier to EQ acoustic instruments. I've boiled it down to four or five recordings that give me examples throughout the audible range to tune to. If you're interested, I'll list the titles. Most of them are bargain priced CDs and are well worth having.

Yeah, I'm interested. I don't have any classical at the moment.

post #22 of 52

Offenbach: Gaïte parisienne; Rossini-Respighi: La boutique fantasque [Hybrid SACD]

http://www.amazon.com/Offenbach-parisienne-Rossini-Respighi-boutique-fantasque/dp/B0006PV5VW/

A wide variety of orchestration, with lots of high frequency info. Good for getting an overall balance.

 

 

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, A Night on Bald Mountain, and Other Russian Showpieces [Hybrid SACD]

http://www.amazon.com/Mussorgsky-Pictures-Exhibition-Mountain-Showpieces/dp/B0002TKFRM/

I use the recording of Tchaikovsky's Marche Slav on this disk to balance bass. It has a descending scale motif in the midbass that can reveal spikes and dips. Great for adjusting the upper mids with the brass too.

 

Falla: El Amor Brujo, 3-Cornered Hat, Danza Espagnola [Import]

 

http://www.amazon.com/Falla-Brujo-3-Cornered-Danza-Espagnola/dp/B0031Y4A9O/

Good string tone for the upper mids and overall balance, including high frequency percussion.

 

Stravinsky: L' Histoire du Soldat suite / Dumbarton Oaks Concerto / Concerto in D / Suite Nos. 1 & 2 for Small Orchestra, etc. [Hybrid SACD - DSD]

http://www.amazon.com/Stravinsky-Histoire-Dumbarton-Concerto-Orchestra/dp/B0000XKB9W/

Well recorded small chamber orchestra. Good for adjusting midrange.

 

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Festival Overture; Capriccio Italien; Beethoven: Wellington's Victory

http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Festival-Capriccio-Beethoven-Wellingtons/dp/B0000057MW/

Formidable bass. Instantly reveals if there is too much low frequency.

post #23 of 52

By the way, the Redbook layer is just as good as the SACD layer on these disks. I actually use AAC rips off the redbook layer to adjust my system.

post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Thanks, I was actually looking through those threads a couple hours ago and was going to try those techniques tonight. I wish I could run sine-gen through electri-q somehow though, that would make things easier it seems.

 

But is a gain only band neccessary? I thought pre-amp does the same thing, I just set that at whatever the inverse of the highest gain on my EQ is.

 

Yes you can.  Using VSTHost you can process all system sounds including Sinegen:

http://www.hermannseib.com/english/vsthost.htm

 

If you have two output devices you can use the Stereo Mix of your default sound card to feed the input of VSTHost and have it output to your second device.  Otherwise you need Virtual Audio Cable:

http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm

post #25 of 52
Thread Starter 

Thanks bigshot, I'll check those out.

 

And thank you Joe for the links, I downloaded the VST host thing and the trial version of VAC. Hopefully there's something similar to VAC that's for free... For whatever reason stereo mix isn't an option for output in sinegen.

post #26 of 52

No, what you do is output from Sinegen to the usual sound device and Stereo Mix will duplicate whatever's played.  Then you can use it as the input to VSTHost

post #27 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

No, what you do is output from Sinegen to the usual sound device and Stereo Mix will duplicate whatever's played.  Then you can use it as the input to VSTHost

Unfortunately, the wave output duplicates it as well.

 

What I can choose in sinegen is the "Speakers" option of my soundcard, not wave or stereo mix. This gets played on both of those channels. Which means whatever I put as the output in VSTHost gets an infinite playback loop. VAC works but I dunno if I want to pay for it so I'm gonna search for free options. I think Jack should do the trick...

post #28 of 52

You need two separate devices for the stereo mix method, for example use onboard audio as the output device for SineGen, and the sound card for VSTHost. Although I am not sure if it will cause problems that the two devices do not have exactly the same clock frequency.

post #29 of 52

I'm thinking that if I had the equipment, this is what I would do:

 

- Use measurement mic to EQ speaker setup to neutral;

- Place your head where the mic was while wearing in-ear microphones right next to your eardrums, measure the response of the speakers. This becomes your target EQ curve (you'd want to modify it to be perfectly flat from 0-1000 Hz)

- INVERT the target EQ curve, throw it into an EQ, measure the response of the headphones with the in-ear microphones.

- Chain two EQs; first is the inverse target EQ curve, then EQ the second one in the chain so it measures as completely neutral to the in-ear microphones.

- Remove the first EQ from the chain. Your signal should now be neutral according to your own head's HRTF... an approximation of your speaker reference to your head and only your head only.

 

Thoughts?


Edited by ComfyGrados - 12/18/12 at 4:05pm
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfyGrados View Post

I'm thinking that if I had the equipment, this is what I would do:

 

- Use measurement mic to EQ speaker setup to neutral;

- Place your head where the mic was while wearing in-ear microphones right next to your eardrums, measure the response of the speakers. This becomes your target EQ curve (you'd want to modify it to be perfectly flat from 0-1000 Hz)

- INVERT the target EQ curve, throw it into an EQ, measure the response of the headphones with the in-ear microphones.

- Chain two EQs; first is the inverse target EQ curve, then EQ the second one in the chain so it measures as completely neutral to the in-ear microphones.

- Remove the first EQ from the chain. Your signal should now be neutral according to your own head's HRTF... an approximation of your speaker reference to your head and only your head only.

 

Thoughts?

Using an approximately equalized speaker system in an acoustically uncontrolled space introduces a large degree of uncertainty.

 

You don't need two EQs.  Measuring with an approximate EQ in the system creates even more uncertainty. You can calculate the required effect of the EQ if you measurement resolution were high enough...but, see my first point...

 

You won't end up with your own HRTF this way, but it doesn't matter, you aren't dealing with HRTF in this case.  

 

You're on the right track, you just have to remove some of the variables and uncertainties of the measurement technique.  By the way, this has been done.  Stand by for more later...

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