Imagine a world where sound systems produced sound signals with sound perfection. A world where our ears were only tuned to the soothing sound of music, and we never heard any breaks, cuts, or feedbacks. In that perfect world, all instruments will sound flawless, with no extra bass or clashing frequencies. What an ideal world that would be. In reality, that world doesn't remotely exist. Outside of the painful screeches and feedback that speakers and sound systems often produce, we also have different tastes in music. You may like the Adele that flawlessly hits those high notes, while we prefer the bassy Jon Bellion. The ideal equalizer will help you take the audio quality up a notch while still maintaining the ideal texture of the frequency band it lies in. We have done some deep research and put together a list of the best graphic EQs in 2021 - the hottest and most popular ones in the market. Feel free to scour through our guide so you can also choose the best one for yourself! Let's get started.
There are so many plug-ins that are already embedded in your audio devices to equalize sound. So you may be wondering why you still need to buy a graphic equalizer. A simple answer will be mimicry. The software used in recording devices is only a replication of the hardware in graphic equalizers. It is not the actual thing; it's only a simulation. We are not saying software EQs are bad. We are only saying that they can't be as good as graphic equalizers. At least, not by a long shot. They miss the presence of transistors that provide fantastic distortions and tubes that offer sensuous harmonics. And in the end, they diminish the output quality of the audio. Knowing how to determine which of the best graphic EQs in 2021 is a match for you can be challenging. But with our guide, things get much easier.
What Is A Graphic EQ?
A graphic EQ is an audio device that incorporates sliders to control fixed frequency bands, either by boosting or cutting them. It is typically used in concerts and live sound situations. The output frequency of an excellent graphic EQ looks much like the graphical curve illustrated by the sliders.
How Do Graphic EQs Work?
A graphic EQ divides the frequency range of the sound input into bands. Each of these bands represents individual octaves in the sonic spectrum. Imagine that the sounds you hear are a giant rainbow, a huge one, divided into sets of colors. And each set on this rainbow represents an individual octave on the frequency spectrum. So the first few colors are very low frequencies like deep sounds, very deep sounds. The set of colors that follow will be the area where most musical instruments and human voices or vocals also exist. And the last set of colors will be the range for all of the high-pitched instruments and voices. Now, a graphic EQ will allow you to control the color changes in each of these color sets. It even allows you to hear every single sound in these color sets equally. That's why it's called equalization.
What Are The Different Types of EQs?
There are two primary types of EQs; Parametric EQs and Graphic EQs. Highlighting the differences between them below:
Parametric EQs have lower frequency ranges (3 to 5) that you can adjust freely through the frequency spectrum. You can change the bandwidth of a Parametric EQ to incorporate a wider group of frequencies or thin it out for pinpoint precision.
Graphic EQs have more frequency ranges or bands ( usually 15 or 31) on each channel. The frequency fields on the graphic EQs are somewhat static, both in the frequency spectrum and in their bandwidth. The only adjustment that you can make is boosting or cutting the frequencies. With this EQ, you can make all your adjustments at once without doing a second pass.
What Should You Consider When Choosing A Graphic EQ?
With a graphic EQ, things are very straightforward. You only need to answer two questions. What will you be using it for? What is the working environment going to be like? If you will be using it for live performances, you will want an EQ with a broader frequency range. If you are working in a studio or a more controlled environment, you'd like the opposite.
Graphic EQ FAQ
Q: Should bass be higher than treble?
A: This is an all-too-familiar question in the audio production world. Simply put, treble should always be at a higher level than bass. That is the best practice for a good balance in an audio track. Additionally, it also helps prevent muddiness, rumble, and projection problems. However, nonetheless, always let your ears do the decision-making.
Q: Do I need a graphic EQ?
A: As a music engineer, no one can answer this question but you. So, you'll have to buy one and get the answer for yourself.
Jack has been a touring guitarist for almost 20 years, playing in a number of country music and rock bands. Jack loves the road and defines himself as a never-ending student of the guitar and other important instruments or tools that make a musician.