Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Equalisers

4. Filter typs

Shelving EQ

Shelving EQs are most often seen on domestic hi-fi systems. They typically have a single control per band that boosts or cuts the gain at a pre-determined frequency, often labelled ‘Treble’ and ‘Bass’, or ‘HF’ and ‘LF’ (for ‘high frequency’ and ‘low frequency’). All frequencies beyond the preset frequency are affected. Typically, low shelving EQ on a mixing desk will be fixed at around 80-100Hz, and high shelving at 10-12kHz. The maximum amount of cut or gain that can be applied is usually in the region of 12-15dB.

Peaking Filters

This type of filter allows you to cut or boost a limited band of frequencies in the middle of the spectrum, rather than all the frequencies above or below a specific point, as with shelving EQ. c As with shelving filters, there is a similar slope around the cutoff frequency, typically of around 6dB per octave, although in this case it falls off either side of the chosen centre frequency.

Sweepable EQ

The frequency range covered by an EQ is traditionally broken up into specific groups - highs, mids and lows, and these are normally represented on a console by a series of knobs on each channel strip, with each frequency group having separate controls. For each frequency band, a standard ‘sweepable’ or ‘semi-parametric’ EQ will have one control for adjusting the centre frequency to be affected, scaled in Hertz, and another for adjusting gain, expressed in decibels. The mid frequency band will typically be adjustable from around 200Hz to 6kHz.

Parametric EQ

Parametric EQ: KLARK Dual

Parametric EQ is the most flexible type of EQ, and is essentially a peaking filter that incorporates a bandwidth control, sometimes known as ‘Q’ for ‘quality factor’, along with the usual frequency and gain controls. Bandwidth is scaled in octaves, ranging from narrow (fractions of an octave), to broad (around 3 octaves). As a rule of thumb, the broader the bandwidth the more natural the tone, as (especially) boosting narrow bands of frequencies (particularly in the midrange) tends to sound harsh, narrow bandwidths are normally reserved for the correction or cutting of audio. Most EQ circuits have a bypass facility, enabling you to quickly compare the original signal with the processed one.

Notch Filters

Notch filters have a very narrow bandwidth and are often sweepable, but generally only offer cut rather than gain. They are most often used to remove problem frequencies such as mains hum, or in manual or automatic feedback suppression systems for live sound – once the frequency of the feedback has been found, it can be attenuated quickly.

Graphic EQ

Graphic equalisers get their name from the visual representation they give of their effect on the frequency spectrum. A series of sliders, each with its own frequency band, usually covers the full audible range from 20Hz to 20kHz,. A standard 31-band graphic equaliser spaces its controls a third of an octave apart. Each band consists of a fixed frequency peaking filter of narrow Q, applying boost or cut to that frequency range when the slider is moved up or down from it centre position, the exceptions being the highest and lowest which are usually shelving filters.

Klark Teknik 31 band Graphic EQ

Graphic EQs are usually applied to complete mixes of sound, particularly live, to go some way towards correcting room response. For this reason they often come as dual-channel units, more sophisticated models with built-in spectrum analysers and a measurement microphone.

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Equalisers overview

Arturia DrumBrute Impact Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface Gator iMac 27" Tote Bag Origin Effects Revival Footswitch Aston Microphones Swift Cameo Studio PAR DTW Audient iD44 EQ Acoustics Spectrum 2 L5 Tile Black Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card Korg D1 IK Multimedia UNO Synth Presonus Studio 1810
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Arturia DrumBrute Impact

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Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface

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Gator iMac 27" Tote Bag

Nylon bag for 27" Apple iMac Good hold and protection with adjustable foam blocks and hard-panel reinforcement in the front cover, Foldable sun and dust protection, Double zipper, Cable bag inside, Outer accessory pocket for keyboard, mouse, SD cards...

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Origin Effects Revival Footswitch

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Aston Microphones Swift

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Cameo Studio PAR DTW

White light LED PAR With variable colour temperature and dim-to-warm function, Professional LED PAR for use on theater and drama stages or for object lighting, Dim-to-warm function ensures a dark orange light colour in the low brightness range by...

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Audient iD44

20-in / 24-out desktop audio interface Fully metallic desktop housing, Control knobs made of solid, hand-milled aluminium, 4 Class A Audient console mic preamps, 60 dB gain, AD / DA converter of the highest class, 2 ADAT inputs and...

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EQ Acoustics Spectrum 2 L5 Tile Black

Acoustic Absorber Material of the absorber's core: 100% polyester with textile cover, Very robust, Non-allergenic and doesn't contain irritants, Odour-free, Good efficiency in the medium and high frequency ranges, Wall and ceiling mounting is possible with the flexi-system (hook...

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Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card

Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card; Expansion Card for Apollo Rack Interfaces; two Thunderbolt 3 Ports, 5 W bus power for all connected Thunderbolt 3 peripherals; up to 40 Gbit/s; System requirements: macOS Sierra/High Sierra or Windows 10 with Fall...

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Korg D1

Digital Piano 88 Keys weighted RH3 keyboard (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3), 5 Sensitivity curves, Stereo PCM sound generation, 120 Voice polyphony, 30 Sounds, 30 Demo songs, Key-Off simulation, Damper resonance, 3 Effects, Metronome, 2x Line out 6.3 mm...

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IK Multimedia UNO Synth

Monophonic analog synthesizer with step sequencer, arpeggiator and effects section Classic setup with 2 VCOs and noise generator, multimode filters, amps, 2 envelopes and LFO, Waveform VCOs Triangle, sawtooth and variable pulse width rectangle, Multimode filter with 12 dB...

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Presonus Studio 1810

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