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A free parametric equalizer for Windows Vista, 7, and 8 that doesn't need ASIO or VST, it works...

post #1 of 146
Thread Starter 

Oh my god, finally! I finally found something that does EXACTLY what I was wanting it to do.

 

Equalizer APO.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

 

This has a hook into the windows audio subsystem that started with Vista and includes Windows 7 and Windows 8, to install a Parametric equalizer in-line with the sound driver. It doesn't use ASIO and doesn't require any tricks to get it to work. Any windows audio will be equalized including Itunes, Windows Media Player, computer games, anything so long as it doesn't bypass the windows driver. IE WASAPI or ASIO would bypass the equalizer as well.

 

It's free and while it's a little funky actually setting up the EQ it works really well. It uses a series of .txt files that you modify to change the EQ curve. A line might look like this

 

Filter Settings file

Room EQ V5.01
Dated: 29.02.2012 20:04:50

Notes:Q701 q of 2.8 is 1/2 octave  q of 1 is 1 1/3 octave

Equaliser: Generic
No measurement
Filter  1: ON  PK       Fc    20.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  Q  1.00
Filter  2: ON  PK       Fc    30.0 Hz  Gain   3.0 dB  Q  2.00
Filter  3: ON  PK       Fc    40.0 Hz  Gain   3.0 dB  Q  2.00   
Filter  4: ON  PK       Fc    50.0 Hz  Gain   3.0 dB  Q  2.76   
Filter  5: ON  PK       Fc    60.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  Q  4.00   
Filter  6: ON  PK       Fc    2000.0 Hz  Gain   -2.0 dB  Q  8.00   
Filter  7: ON  PK       Fc    3000.0 Hz  Gain   2.7 dB  Q  2.89  
Filter  8: ON  PK       Fc    4000.0 Hz  Gain   2.5 dB  Q  2.48  
Filter  9: ON  PK       Fc    5000.0 Hz  Gain   2.7 dB  Q  6.02   
Filter 10: OFF PK       Fc    6000.0 Hz  Gain   0.0 dB  Q  10.00   
Filter 11: ON  PK       Fc    7000.0 Hz  Gain   -3.0 dB  Q  5.00   
Filter 12: ON  PK       Fc    8000.0 Hz  Gain   -2.0 dB  Q  6.00    
Filter 13: ON  PK       Fc    9000.0 Hz  Gain   -3.0 dB  Q  6.00
Filter 14: ON  PK       Fc    10000.0 Hz  Gain   2.0 dB  Q  7.00   
Filter 15: ON  PK       Fc    11000.0 Hz  Gain   2.2 dB  Q  4.32   
Filter 16: OFF PK       Fc    12000.0 Hz  Gain   0.0 dB  Q  10.00   
Filter 17: ON  PK       Fc    13000.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  Q  3.82   
Filter 18: OFF PK       Fc    14000.0 Hz  Gain   0.0 dB  Q  10.00   
Filter 19: ON  PK       Fc    15000.0 Hz  Gain   5.0 dB  Q  2.54
Filter 20: OFF None   

 


Edited by Kodhifi - 3/1/13 at 9:03pm
post #2 of 146

I downloaded this and I've tried editing the default config file with increase/decreasing the preamp volume and making sure to save the file. However, I'm not noticing any difference in music playback. I'm not sure if this matters, but I'm using an ASUS STX soundcard and not onboard. This doesn't appear to be running? Any help would be appreciated.

post #3 of 146
Thread Starter 

There is a configuration batch file/program it comes with. Accessible from the start menu, run it and make sure that you put a check box next to the Asus soundcard. Also make sure that under sound properties in control panel that you haven't selected "Disable all enhancements". After installation you must also reboot.

 

Give that a shot. Not all of my audio devices were able to have this enabled. My Soundblaster X-Fi And Audioengine D1 could use it, but my Line 6 UX2 guitar interface/soundcard didn't show up in the list.

 

This also only effects the Windows mixer pipeline. If you're testing this with ASIO, VST, or WASAPI selected as your output device you won't hear anything because it bypasses the windows sound system. Windows Media Player and Itunes can only use the windows pipeline so they are good to test with. Foobar and Winamp you might have configured to bypass it so they have to be checked to ensure the output is "default sound device"
 

And last but not least it makes use of functionality introduced in Vista, so if you're on XP it won't work.

 

I'm on Win7 64bit and it works like a charm.


Edited by Kodhifi - 2/5/13 at 9:28pm
post #4 of 146

HOLY MOLY I AM TRYING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!! THANKS!!!!

post #5 of 146

well maybe its b/c i'm using an odac which is usb based, but i cant get it to work.

 

i tried researching apo support or usb audio i cant figure it out.

 

oh well.. ;-(

post #6 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

well maybe its b/c i'm using an odac which is usb based, but i cant get it to work.

 

i tried researching apo support or usb audio i cant figure it out.

 

oh well.. ;-(


I'm using it with 2 USB soundcards, an Audioengine D1, and my Yeti. Did it show up in the configuration list?

post #7 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post

There is a configuration batch file/program it comes with. Accessible from the start menu, run it and make sure that you put a check box next to the Asus soundcard. Also make sure that under sound properties in control panel that you haven't selected "Disable all enhancements". After installation you must also reboot.

 

Give that a shot. Not all of my audio devices were able to have this enabled. My Soundblaster X-Fi And Audioengine D1 could use it, but my Line 6 UX2 guitar interface/soundcard didn't show up in the list.

 

This also only effects the Windows mixer pipeline. If you're testing this with ASIO, VST, or WASAPI selected as your output device you won't hear anything because it bypasses the windows sound system. Windows Media Player and Itunes can only use the windows pipeline so they are good to test with. Foobar and Winamp you might have configured to bypass it so they have to be checked to ensure the output is "default sound device"
 

And last but not least it makes use of functionality introduced in Vista, so if you're on XP it won't work.

 

I'm on Win7 64bit and it works like a charm.

I did some testing with this. I uninstalled the program, reboot, reinstalled again, reboot, did the configurator, made sure of all defaults and tested in Windows Media Player.

 

When running the Configurator I had 4 connectors available:

Speakers - High Definition Audio Device - APO is already installed (went to configurator again to see)

Digital Audio (S/PDIF) - High Definition Audio Device - APO can be installed

Headphones - High Definition Audio Device - APO can be installed

Digital Audio (S/PDIF)  - High Definition Audio Device - APO can be installed

 

Still not working when connected to STX through line-out. I decided to unplug this and plug directly into onboard audio and sure enough it worked as expected. My conclusion is that the ASUS STX isn't supported by this program. *sigh* Any other apps you know of that might do the same thing?

post #8 of 146

Great, now if there was also something that worked with WASAPI I'd be really glad person but even DS is a good start. Though using VST I can get it working with WASAPI too but it's kind of a hazzle, why does it have to be so difficult? ;s If I was the average joe I would have no problems with DS but I'm the special case of the special case that use a custom tweaked Dolby Headphone foobar2000 config and listen to a lot of hardstyle and hardstyle is really typically "brickwalled" to the max possible mastering-wise and I've noticed DS won't handle brickwalled signals as great as WASAPI (it sounds muffled/muted/lower volume like there was compression going on while WASAPI will play it like it's supposed to sound like, clean, uneffected, loud).

 

But yea hardware equalizer is always one option but there's like no headphone listening targeted equalizers with reasonably enough bands (I wouldn't bother with less than 15 or so) out there either so you have to buy some big ones.

 

Anyway great find! This sure is something that there has been a huge demand for!


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/6/13 at 5:22pm
post #9 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Great, now if there was also something that worked with WASAPI I'd be really glad person but even DS is a good start. Though using VST I can get it working with WASAPI too but it's kind of a hazzle, why does it have to be so difficult? ;s If I was the average joe I would have no problems with DS but I'm the special case of the special case that use a custom tweaked Dolby Headphone foobar2000 config and listen to a lot of hardstyle and hardstyle is really typically "brickwalled" to the max possible mastering-wise and I've noticed DS won't handle brickwalled signals as great as WASAPI (it sounds muffled/muted/lower volume like there was compression going on while WASAPI will play it like it's supposed to sound like, clean, uneffected, loud).

 

But yea hardware equalizer is always one option but there's like no headphone listening targeted equalizers with reasonably enough bands (I wouldn't bother with less than 15 or so) out there either so you have to buy some big ones.

 

Anyway great find! This sure is something that there has been a huge demand for!


I make use of vst plugins for foobar and use electri-Q which is a great parametric EQ. I just like this because everything else in windows sounds great with it.

 

 

 

Also I need to update my settings for Q701, I had been using far too much Q and it resulted in one frequency boosting another as well.

 

I used the roomEQ utility to simulate what my profile would do to a measurement signal and found it was heavily boosting because Q was too wide.

 

 

Q is how wide a frequency band is. If you tell it to boost 1khz by 4db with a Q of 1 it's going to boost everything from 100 to 3000.

 

Here are the Q's I found work best

 

Q of 10 - it acts just like an EQ in a graphic EQ, boosts mostly that frequency

Q of 5 - it will boost a wider range of frequencies, useful for correcting wider gaps

Q of 2.8 - much wider range of frequencies, use this to fill huge gaps, such as boosting 15khz to 20khz where most headphones drop off quickly

Q of 1 - this is almost like shelfing.


Edited by Kodhifi - 2/7/13 at 12:25pm
post #10 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post


I make use of vst plugins for foobar and use electri-Q which is a great parametric EQ. I just like this because everything else in windows sounds great with it.

 

Yea I also use electri-Q with foobar2000, it's very good for a freeware EQ indeed, the very best one that can even compete with some commercial ones I've demoed. And yes this find is really really awesome, I'm really glad you shared the info about this system-wide EQ because I would have had no idea about it! I'm a Realtek onboard user currently and well the built in 10-band EQ is very horrible, it works "somewhat" if sticking to +/-3dB on the EQ, anything more and it will start coloring the sound in an artificial way. My current headphones Q40 I don't feel needs EQing but I'm sure my future purchases might need some and then this EQ will come handy for sure.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/7/13 at 12:28pm
post #11 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post


I'm using it with 2 USB soundcards, an Audioengine D1, and my Yeti. Did it show up in the configuration list?

it did.  I cant figure out why it wont work.  I dont know enough about this kind of thing to even know what to research.. i'll keep fiddling, I really want to use this.

post #12 of 146

Works fine here with my onboard chip, really seems to be working great, at least it sounds like it's doing a great job.

post #13 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Br777 View Post

it did.  I cant figure out why it wont work.  I dont know enough about this kind of thing to even know what to research.. i'll keep fiddling, I really want to use this.


What OS are you running and is it 32 or 64 bit?

post #14 of 146

windows 7 64bit

 

i contacted nwavguy (designer of the odac) and asked him about compatibility.  Waiting to hear back.

post #15 of 146
Thread Starter 

I'm using Win7 64 and it works great.

 

 

Here is the updated EQ curve I'm trying out for the Q701 headphone. Note, I have increased the bass considerably, you might want to lower 60-20hz.

 

Filter Settings file

Room EQ V5.01
Dated: 29.02.2012 20:04:50

Notes:Q701 q of 2.8 is 1/2 octave  q of 1 is 1 1/3 octave

Equaliser: Generic
No measurement
Filter  1: ON  PK       Fc    20.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  Q  1.00
Filter  2: ON  PK       Fc    30.0 Hz  Gain   3.0 dB  Q  2.00
Filter  3: ON  PK       Fc    40.0 Hz  Gain   3.0 dB  Q  2.00   
Filter  4: ON  PK       Fc    50.0 Hz  Gain   3.0 dB  Q  2.76   
Filter  5: ON  PK       Fc    60.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  Q  4.00   
Filter  6: ON  PK       Fc    2000.0 Hz  Gain   -2.0 dB  Q  8.00   
Filter  7: ON  PK       Fc    3000.0 Hz  Gain   2.7 dB  Q  2.89  
Filter  8: ON  PK       Fc    4000.0 Hz  Gain   2.5 dB  Q  2.48  
Filter  9: ON  PK       Fc    5000.0 Hz  Gain   2.7 dB  Q  6.02   
Filter 10: OFF PK       Fc    6000.0 Hz  Gain   0.0 dB  Q  10.00   
Filter 11: ON  PK       Fc    7000.0 Hz  Gain   -3.0 dB  Q  5.00   
Filter 12: ON  PK       Fc    8000.0 Hz  Gain   -2.0 dB  Q  6.00    
Filter 13: ON  PK       Fc    9000.0 Hz  Gain   -3.0 dB  Q  6.00
Filter 14: ON  PK       Fc    10000.0 Hz  Gain   2.0 dB  Q  7.00   
Filter 15: ON  PK       Fc    11000.0 Hz  Gain   2.2 dB  Q  4.32   
Filter 16: OFF PK       Fc    12000.0 Hz  Gain   0.0 dB  Q  10.00   
Filter 17: ON  PK       Fc    13000.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  Q  3.82   
Filter 18: OFF PK       Fc    14000.0 Hz  Gain   0.0 dB  Q  10.00   
Filter 19: ON  PK       Fc    15000.0 Hz  Gain   5.0 dB  Q  2.54
Filter 20: OFF None   
 


Edited by Kodhifi - 2/9/13 at 7:24pm
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › A free parametric equalizer for Windows Vista, 7, and 8 that doesn't need ASIO or VST, it works inline at the OS level