Graphic Equalizers

The great advantage of a graphic equalizer over other equalizers is that it is easy to visualize and adjust the controls. Most people have seen the typical sliding controls. The drawbacks of the graphic equalizer are that it has fixed frequencies and Q, which limits the user's ability to be precise.

Graphic equalizers often come with home stereo systems, but can be seen in places of worship, banquet halls and in the equipment of live music providers. Graphic equalizers are common in high-end sound systems. At a concert hall the "sound man" sitting in the back of the hall pushing slides up and down is probably using a graphic equalizer.

Graphic equalizers have an unchanging Q, which is usually designated as a 1, 2 or 3. These numbers basically describe how much of an octave each frequency control covers. The designation 1 covers one octave, a two means that each control covers 1/2 octave, and a 3 covers 1/3 of an octave. This means the higher the Q, the smaller the range covered, but the more precise each control can be.

The little slide buttons are called potentiometers. They are placed side-by-side on the graphic display. Normally the slides will form a smooth wave pattern. This is because the noise being cancelled or enhanced generally spans more than one frequency in different strengths.

Computers can function as a graphic equalizer when processing music and sound files for its speakers. The interface on the computer normally looks very much like a graphic equalizer's controls on a separate unit.

< How an Equalizer Works | Parametric Equalizers >

Interesting Fact:

The higher Q in an equalizer control means more precise control of audio output.

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