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Old Friday, April 8th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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EQ's... What do you use and what works well?

Ok so I am thinking of updating the eq's for the mains in our sanctuary! What types of eq's are being used and what works well?

I am thinking of a 31-band graphic eq but I am unsure of what brand to go with, I was thinking a peavey 231eq but was wondering if something of a higher quality would be more suitable...
Also I would prefer that the EQ have 2 channels...

Currently I am using a behringer ultra-curve pro which I am not too impressed with...
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Old Friday, April 8th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Klark-Teknik DN360s have been the industry standard for ages; from there you can go up to XTA, BSS, etc.

A budget standard has been the Ashly GQX series.

However, over the past decade it's become more common to use digital loudspeaker management processors (DSPs) instead of analog EQs. BSS's Soundweb series is a classic example.
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Old Friday, April 8th, 2011, 11:23 PM
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What crossover or system processor is used in the system? What console?
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Old Saturday, April 9th, 2011, 06:51 AM
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quote=TheWordSpreader;303920]Currently I am using a behringer ultra-curve pro which I am not too impressed with...[/quote]
What are your issues with it? I'm not a Behringer fan but the current DEQ2496 is dual channel unit with 31 band graphic/paragraphic EQ, 10 band parametric EQ, dynamic EQ, compressor/expander, peak limiter and delay for each channel. The older DSP8024 had two channels of 31 band graphic EQ, 3 band parametric EQ, high/low/bell filters, limiter and delay. Thus replacing the functionality either unit potentially provides would require either multiple devices or a system processor as Wayne noted rather than simply a graphic EQ. FWIW, the Behringer DEQ2496 costs almost twice what the Peavey 321EQ costs.

How do you use the EQ and where is it in the system? Is it used for general system tuning or for 'artistic' adjustments for or during individual performances?
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Old Saturday, April 9th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynehoskins View Post
Klark-Teknik DN360s have been the industry standard for ages
What Wayne said.
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Old Saturday, April 9th, 2011, 09:12 AM
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I believe we r using the DEQ2496 but i cant rember for sure and im out of town at the moment... Currently we are only using it for a general EQ of the system. And none of the other features are being used... I have been running sound for two years now and our system is vary basic (Peavey s-24 series mixer mains are ran through the behringer EQ I stated above and then straight the the amp and then to 2 full-range bag end speakers then our two monitor channels run through a two channel 15 band EQ then to the amp and speakers) We currently don't use any expanders, compressors, limiters, or anything more than just general EQ's so I don't have a vary large knowlege base when it comes to setting up compressors and limiters and such. Our church doesnt currently have a budget set aside for sound so most of our equipment is really old or is bought and donated by our sound team...

I personally don't have a problem the the behringer EQ we are using except for the fact I would like something of slightly better quality, but on the otherside the guy on our sound team who did most of the setup of our system doesn't like behringer equipment at all and would prefer everything be analog so he could "see" the adjustments he was making... I think our behringer EQ has features that could definitely be helpful but I don't know how to set it up effectively
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Old Sunday, April 10th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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If the Behringer still works, another option would be to have someone help you get it set up properly to provide equalization and limiting for the system, then you could add an EQ between the mixer outputs and the Behringer that you can more easily use for subjective changes. If something get too out of whack then you can simply bypass the added EQ and be back to a known starting point.

Just for some reference, the K-T DN360 noted is about $1,800, so a great product but a very different price range.
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Old Sunday, April 10th, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Weber View Post
Just for some reference, the K-T DN360 noted is about $1,800, so a great product but a very different price range.
Yes indeed. The Ashly GQX graphs are a fair bit more affordable but still pretty decent, so if I needed to install a graph (without real tour/venue budget) that's what I'd lean toward first, with Rane's GE or ME line second.

But I'd sure rather use DSP, perhaps even that Behringer, as much as I hate Behringer. A handy trick, if you have BEs and the like coming through that want to change system tuning, is to put a graph at FOH upstream of the DSP. In normal use it's flat, but they can change it without really compromising your voicing and tuning (for longer than the event, that is).

Another handy trick -- use PEQs more than GEQs when you can. Much more flexibility, and if you really have to make a drastic curve on a GEQ, it's done better with less adjacent-band interaction on a parametric, and you should rarely need more than 5 or 6 adjustment points anyhow, and if they're extreme you probably have other problems.
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Old Monday, April 11th, 2011, 09:09 AM
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I have an question on this topic... Whats the best way to EQ by ear? What would you use to do it? Just put a song on that you like and EQ untill it sounds right?
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Old Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 11:18 PM
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I have three of the dbx 2231 in my mobile sound rig for many years and they've worked great.

The dbx 1231 is the next step down and should be fine for your system.
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Old Sunday, April 17th, 2011, 11:34 PM
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I too, with SamG, would like to know the EQ basics.
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Old Monday, April 18th, 2011, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamG269 View Post
I have an question on this topic... Whats the best way to EQ by ear? What would you use to do it? Just put a song on that you like and EQ untill it sounds right?
That all depends on what you are trying to do. Playing back a source may let you adjust the response of the 'B chain' or playback side of the system but won't address the 'A chain' or input aspects. So it's useful for adjusting the speaker system but not necessarily useful for addressing gain before feedback. Conversely, 'ringing out' a system where you intentionally bring the system to the verge of feedback and then make adjustments to improve the potential gain before feedback helps with that aspect but usually does nothing, or at least nothing positive, for the sound quality.

And that's part of the challenge with equalization in that you are typically trying to address several issues and even some which may seem to be related to EQ but that aren't actually able to be addressed via EQ (room modes, the results of device interactions and interactions of the speakers with nearby surfaces, etc.).

There are also different schools of thought as to what is the desired result for EQ, or at least how to get there. There is the approach that the system should be as transparent and linear as possible with the idea that what goes in should be what comes out. Then there is the approach of creating some subjectively desired response that would apply for all sources. I personally try to apply both where possible by including processing that can be used to tune the system to be as transparent as possible and then using the console EQ and/or a separate 'user' EQ at the mix position to apply any subjective response. The positives is that this lets you have system equalization and any other processing that provides a good starting point and that does not need to be accessed or adjusted once set. At the same time, it gives users the ability to make subjective adjustments without actually changing the general system adjustments. The downside to this approach is that it usually costs more.


As far as some general EQ hints:
  • Cut/attenuate is generally preferred to boost/gain. I personally do not ascribe to the 'cut only' approach, however I do tend to try to minimize boosts unless they are of a limited gain.
  • If you are having to apply extreme boost or cut and especially if you have adjacent bands/faders with one having a large boost and the next a large cut, that may indicate that you are trying to address a problem that is best addressed in some other manner.
  • If you are ending up with almost all the bands boosted or cut you are essentially using the EQ as a volume control and that is probably better approached as an overall level control.
  • Unless you have a specific location that is by far the most critical, do not tune based on just one location. Walk the listener area, you will often find yourself having to compromise on an overall 'best fit' that is not the best result at any one location.
  • When tuning for subjective quality, use selections you know and that reflect the type of sources and music that will be involved. You may want to use multiple selection featuring different relevant aspects (male vocals, female vocals, choral, horns, orchestra, drums, etc.).
  • When tuning for gain before feedback, try to replicate a 'real world' situation as much as possible. A person standing in front of a microphone wearing a broad brimmed hat and cupping the mic with their hands can completely change the response related to that microphone.
  • Keep in mind that you may have specific and/or multiple disparate goals. When tuning the house system you may be wanting to emphasize intelligibility for spoken word, which usually means emphasizing the 500Hz to 4kHz range and rolling off the very high and low frequencies, and/or looking for a big bottom end, two differing goals that would normally be associated with quite different frequency responses from the system. So what you are wanting from the system will affect what you do and the target response. The same with monitors, what someone wants from their monitor can affect how you equalize it. There is no 'right' end result, only the one that works best for your specific situation.
  • There are going to be variations in the response throughout the listener area anyways so focus on getting the basic response you want and any significant deviations, but don't get too caught up in trying to address every little bump or dip or to get an absolutely flat or perfect response.
  • Use the channel EQ on the mixing console to address the response of individual sources and try to keep the overall equalization confined to addressing issues common to multiple or all sources.
  • The frequencies that may need to be boost or cut and the bandwidth of filter needed to optimally address the response don't necessarily follow the fixed center band frequencies and bandwidths of an octave or even one-third octave equalizer. Thus with a graphic equalizer in order to best affect a frequency located between the center frequencies of two adjacent bands/faders you may need to adjust two adjacent bands/faders. This is where a parametric equalizer can have some benefits as not just the depth (amplitude), but also the center frequency and bandwidth of the filter can be adjusted.
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