Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › EQ Question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

EQ Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm totally a novice to this just as a warning. I'm running a Schiit Bitfrost DAC through my windows 7 pc via usb. I listen to almost 100% of my music through Spotify. I know that messing with EQ's degrades the sound quality but I'm trying figure a way to boost the bass output by a few notches using some sort of EQ. I tried downloading some VST plugins but got completely lost. Can anyone give me steps to get an EQ to work with my setup?

post #2 of 11

EQ doesn't necessarily degrade the sound quality. There's nothing wrong with EQ if it makes it sound better to you.

 

There is a free EQ plug-in that works in Spotify. It's nothing fancy, but I use it to add a touch of EQ and I like it. It will let you add some bass boost.

 

You can find it here:

 

http://www.equalify.me/

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that's actually the EQ I found and it's exactly what I was looking for just a small tweak and it's perfect.
 

post #4 of 11

Nothing wrong at all in using an EQ if you like the end result!

post #5 of 11

EQ degrades the sound?  Never heard of that.

post #6 of 11

There's also EqualizerAPO (a system-wide equalizer) + PEQGUI-10MC (or EQ31GUI-2) combination you could try ...

post #7 of 11

You should avoid EQing a frequency up as this will cause clipping. Try lowering the rest of the frequencies instead.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

EQ degrades the sound?  Never heard of that.

Coming from analog audio and home theater background this really surprises me.  In home theater circles its pretty well accepted that additional digital signal processing almost always has a negative effect.  Many people still use it because the benefits may outweigh the negatives but as far I am aware it always has some negative effect.  This is why many people who have speakers hooked up to an a/v receiver use a "direct" mode which bypasses all digital processing when they want the most accurate sound.

 

I'd like to say upfront that I am fairly new to computer audio, but based on my past experiences and what I'v read about digital audio in general It seems like the same things would apply to computer audio.  I've always thought that to get the most accurate audio from a computer you want to bypass everything you can in terms of processing.  For example, I've always used iTunes with an external Dac and amp and I leave all additional software signal processing like volume, compression and eq off and rely on my amplifiers volume.  I have read that is the only way to get a pure bit for bit signal from iTunes to a external DAC but I honestly don't know if that is correct.  Those of us that using external dacs do it because were not happy with the way our computers handles that job, isn't having having your computer do dsp kind of the same thing?  Maybe I am just old school or making incorrect assumption about computer audio.  I'd like to hear what you more educated computer audio people think about it.


Edited by nickwin - 12/1/13 at 5:47pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post
 

Coming from analog audio and home theater background this really surprises me.  In home theater circles its pretty well accepted that additional digital signal processing almost always has a negative effect.  Many people still use it because the benefits may outweigh the negatives but as far I am aware it always has some negative effect.  This is why many people who have speakers hooked up to an a/v receiver use a "direct" mode which bypasses all digital processing when they want the most accurate sound.

 

[..]

 

Ahhh, myths and legends of the audio world again....

 

Unless your listening area is an anechoic chamber, the room acoustics will distort the sound in a similar way as eq would, but very unlikely that it will enhance the sound the way you like it. The direct mode is useful for troubleshooting, but hardly ever for listening. The typical recorded signal itself has already been processed so many times that the distortion side effect added by your EQ will be unnoticeable, especially considering that boosting a particular frequency band is a distortion itself. The typical side effect of eq is signal phase shifts, but unless you go silly with your sliders they are too small to be detectable.

 

Get over it and start enjoying the music the way you like it. The "accurate sound" your purist friends listen to is the compromise that mastering engineer has to achieve to be able to reproduce it plausibly on a wide range of equipment, including car radios, ipods with crappy $2 IEMs, as well as state of the art systems. Is this really what you want?

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post
 

 

Ahhh, myths and legends of the audio world again....

 

Unless your listening area is an anechoic chamber, the room acoustics will distort the sound in a similar way as eq would, but very unlikely that it will enhance the sound the way you like it. The direct mode is useful for troubleshooting, but hardly ever for listening. The typical recorded signal itself has already been processed so many times that the distortion side effect added by your EQ will be unnoticeable, especially considering that boosting a particular frequency band is a distortion itself. The typical side effect of eq is signal phase shifts, but unless you go silly with your sliders they are too small to be detectable.

 

Get over it and start enjoying the music the way you like it. The "accurate sound" your purist friends listen to is the compromise that mastering engineer has to achieve to be able to reproduce it plausibly on a wide range of equipment, including car radios, ipods with crappy $2 IEMs, as well as state of the art systems. Is this really what you want?

Great reply, most of that makes perfect sense to me.  I get what your saying about room acoustics doing similar things to the sound but are'nt we always trying to minimize those distortions because they are generally harmful to the sound? 

 

One question I have is, are the EQing tools provided by iTunes or something like electi-q really on the same level as the software/hardware used in professional studios? It seems unlikely to me but that is an honest question that I really want to know the answer too.

 

I realized after I said it that when I was talking about "direct" modes on a/v receivers I was assuming we were talking about an analog input (which I understand was a poor assumption since this is a computer audio thread).  In my defense with an analog signal going into an AVR, if you look at measurements, you will find that 9/10 times you will get lower distortions and SNR when bypassing DSP and using as pure an analog path as possible.  If you have a external DAC feeding an analog signal to an AVR then in most cases a direct mode will provide less distortion and a lower noise floor than any mode with digital processing.  


Edited by nickwin - 12/2/13 at 4:47pm
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickwin View Post
 

Great reply, most of that makes perfect sense to me.  I get what your saying about room acoustics doing similar things to the sound but are'nt we always trying to minimize those distortions because they are generally harmful to the sound? 

 

What I meant is room acoustics will also bump up some frequencies and mute others, but in a random way. The only practical way to compensate for that is with eq.

 

Quote:

 One question I have is, are the EQing tools provided by iTunes or something like electi-q really on the same level as the software/hardware used in professional studios? It seems unlikely to me but that is an honest question that I really want to know the answer too.

I wish I had a straight answer to that! With the pro equipment you may have some data sheets available, but I've never seen anything like that for the consumer oriented software. Some use 32- or even 64-bit processing which are on par with the studio equipment, but there are other factors impacting sound quality too. You could use some sort of analyzer to check it yourself, but as far as I'm concerned if my ears are happy so am I.

 

Quote:

 I realized after I said it that when I was talking about "direct" modes on a/v receivers I was assuming we were talking about an analog input (which I understand was a poor assumption since this is a computer audio thread).  In my defense with an analog signal going into an AVR, if you look at measurements, you will find that 9/10 times you will get lower distortions and SNR when bypassing DSP and using as pure an analog path as possible.  If you have a external DAC feeding an analog signal to an AVR then in most cases a direct mode will provide less distortion and a lower noise floor than any mode with digital processing.  

Yes with direct mode you will get lower distortions on the amp output. What your speakers and room do with the signal is another story...

Regarding SNR: I don't know what equipment you use, but these days it's not uncommon that the noise floor is at -100dB or even lower. If it goes up by 3dB by introducing equalizer in the chain (which would be a massive amount) - do you care?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › EQ Question