Parametric EQ

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by jbylake, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    Can someone explain to me the differences of a parametric EQ and what are the advantages or disadvantages of each, and how the Parametric EQ works?
    Thanks as always,
    J.
     
  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    Parametric. Parameters.

    Control over gain, Q factor (width), type of filter...
     
  3. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    I caught myself writing a detailed description...then, wondered what you're really asking?

    What parametric eq is relative to say semi, graphic, linear, etc...?
    Or differences in available models of equipment...?

    These guys do a better job with the detailed description of what it is and why it is...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalization_(audio)#:~:text=In sound recording and reproduction, equalization is the,simple filters to make bass and treble adjustments.
    than I can at any rate.
    Essentially, parametric ...parameters...the things one seeks to control. Gain, frequency, bandwidth.

    I can't offer squat re: equipment models and such. Truth is, my experience with the concept of parametric equalization is limited to high energy imaging.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  4. Deafsoundguy

    Deafsoundguy Strat-o-hackster Silver Member

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    Telling us exactly where you plan to use it would help explain it better for that situation. But here’s some examples:
    Mixing: you hear something that is driving you crazy, like excessive bass from a bass player whose sound is like a mud field. If you just have “lows” on your mixer and you dial it downwards , then you get rid of all the bass. And that would suck for low end, the bass player and all his buddies who came to watch. So if you have “low mids” or a parametric mids, then you can dial it down to 100hz let’s say, narrow the width of the frequency to narrow and then dive to the ocean bottom with a boomy frequency and get that mud out of there! A long as the filter is “narrow” or small in bandwidth, then you are leaving the low sub frequencies there to hold down the bottom end. This is the beauty of eq subtraction.

    On the other hand, the bass player might have some lows, but it’s all boomy and doesn’t have any real bottom. So you goose up the bottom by dialing that parametric low mid frequency to let’s say around 60hz and boost it with the frequency again being very narrow bandwidth. Now you’re adding some real bottom and not boosting boomy lows.
    The beauty of eq boosting in a narrow range because you the a ability to tighten the amount of “Q” or bandwidth.

    Or a girls voice over the p.a. Sounds generally thin. If you widen the Q or bandwidth of a frequency range centered around 250 or 300Hz, then you can gently “beef up” the body of her voice. Give it some warmth that way.

    Using parametric eq for surgical precision for stage monitoring:
    In the real world of playing on stage the singer is trying to hear themselves over blasting snare drums and guitar amps. The singer needs every last db of sound they can get so they can hear what the hell they’re doing pitch-wise. Get the volume up to where they want it and it starts to feedback. You have an graphic EQ but it is sucking the life out of the monitor volume and the singer says it sounds muddy. So with a parametric eq you can find the offending frequency, and narrow the Q down to very narrow and “notch” just that frequency while leaving the others intact. Try being chained to a monitor console with a national level deaf “artist” screaming at you for more monitor and using high end graphics or parametric eq can save your butt from ego driven rants and stink eye. Been doing that for 35+ years .

    Depends on what you’re doing but there some really bad sounding eq’s out there and some really high end ones too. Using a bad eq to flavor things can lead to worse sound rather than fixing sound. Boy I have a million stories about that :(.
     
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  5. Redwhiteandblues

    Redwhiteandblues Strat-Talk Member

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    Best pedal I own is the boss parametric EQ it’s a game changer. Kinda spendy now but if you can get one grab it and run won’t regret it!
     
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  6. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    all of those different EQs, for me, are just too difficult to dial in, so ive never used one.
    i would spend all my time moving sliders and ranting and raving instead of playing.
    seems to me like people who add those things to their rigs end up spending alot of time to get the sound they already have
    just my opinion, of course.
     
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  7. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    There are variations but the ones I’ve used have had 3 controls per band that let’s you choose the frequency you are going to affect, the amount of +/- gain and how wide you’re going make that change (some don’t include the width control or they use a switch).

    When you’re thinking about the width of the area you’re changing, it’s helpful to visualize a triangle. For instance, you might want to adjust 500Hz. The peak of the triangle is 500 and the triangle slopes up towards 750 and down to 250 depending on how wide you choose. The cool thing about a parametric is you can make a really wide shallow change or a really narrow and deep change.

    I like a parametric for making very targeted fine tuning. I prefer a graphic EQ for overall listening response. I wish I had better ears. Mine are good enough to know they’re not good enough.
     
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  8. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Steve Vai said it --> EQ's are essential in shaping your tone

    Add 3db @ 10k to the Pultecs on the rhythm guitar !

     
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  9. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    Wow! That's a boat load of info, and I'm going to have to cut and paste it into a document, so I can read it over a few times and absorb all of that. Thanks for taking the time to put it into a "semi" layman's terms and understanding.
    J.o_O
     
  10. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    You've had some seriously good input, here. If it would help you, I can put together a demo video, so you can see and hear what's happening at the same time. You may also find this diagram helpful. At the top is a Graphic EQ. Because each band addresses a fixed audio band, we need a whopping 21 sliders before we can accurately tune out any offending frequencies in a room. That's fine in an equipment rack next to a live concert desk, but imagine how much save it would take up on a console strip!

    What is we had maybe four level controls, instead of 21, but made it so we could move around the frequencies they control? You see that arrangement a lot on budget mixers, and it's called 'sweep EQ', because typically you can sweep across the mid-ranges to find the spot you want to adjust.

    Parametric EQ adds a third control, as others have explained. The 'Q' parameter is how wide or narrow the frequency range of that is being altered. Typically, to take the unwanted ring out of a snare drum, you need a very narrow Q to cut the ring, without affecting overall tone. On the other hand, if you want to make a whole mix sound a bit brighter, a wide Q is usually a better bet.

    If you'd like the video, just ask. Alternatively, there may be something similar on YouTube already.

    Screenshot 2020-11-14 at 18.58.39.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  11. ChrisD

    ChrisD Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Man I've been playing that album to death recently in the car! If Steve says so, it's good enough for me :D
     
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  12. Stonetone

    Stonetone Senior Stratmaster

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    Add 3db @ 10k to the Pultecs on the rhythm guitar

    Mind you Pultec EQ's are very Expensive Studio EQ's :p

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  13. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    I've never done a 'desktop tutorial' before, with all the audio going through Logic Pro in real-time, so this isn't super slick. Hopefully, it will show the basics, and allow you to see and hear the value of different EQ types. Please just ask if I've skipped over areas you'd like to know more about. I know how to talk, and I know how to EQ, but doing both at once was a strange experience!

     
  14. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Silver Member

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    Great video and explanation. Subbed \m/
     
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  15. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Most Honored Senior Member

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    STUDY THE CONTROLS


    upload_2020-11-16_20-41-58.jpeg
     
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  16. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    IMO...parametric EQ belongs in mixing/mastering. For a guitar...into your amp...it's like swatting a fly with a bazooka.
    :D
     
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  17. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    Yes, that's why I want one. I've set up an amateur "recording" studio in a spare room. Using a TASCAM 32 Track SD recorder. Just want to fool around with recording a bit. I do have a friend who has a real studio, and I might ask him if he needs a "free" intern. Not sure what he's going to say about that!:D Either sure, or Hell No!:mad:
     
  18. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    Yeah, I have a graphic eq in my rack. Never use it anymore. I understand what you're saying though.
     
  19. jbylake

    jbylake Regular Dude Silver Member

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    Ah hell, what does HE know......O.K. put out the flame throwers, just kdding...:p
     
  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    You need to get a DAW. There are loads of free plugins you can experiment with. And its much less expensive than working with outboard rack gear and a standalone recorder.
     
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