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"Q" settings on different EQs seem much different

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by Skinny Viking, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    Ok so I guess my question is why does the Q setting on one set of EQs appear and sound different from another? I was using the PT EQIII on a lot of tracks and got very used to the way it worked & sounded. I decided I was gonna replace all those with my McDSP EQs cause I feel they sound better, somehow less harsh, more musical. Anyway I just notice how if I had a setting on the EQIII of lets say ... a boost of 2.5 at a Q setting of 1.5 somewhere, when I would try to match that with on of my filterbank EQs the slope is very different looking at the exact same Q setting. Now I know most of it comes down to listening and not so much appearance but if I just use the exact settings, it sounds as different as it looks. Obviously I just mess with the settings until its pretty much the same in sound to the EQIII and then go from there but it would save me time if the settings seemed more uiversal. Now granted, different EQs allow for different amounts of Q value ... the EQIII for instance goes to 10 I think where my FBs only allow for 4 ... but some of them allow for a 5X Q setting. Even with that, if I set the Q on the EQIII to 10 and the Q on the FB to 2 with the 5X setting, its drastically different looking and sounding

    any thoughts on why this is?
     
  2. timislegend

    timislegend Member

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    the passband of an equalizer is a huge part of what defines it's characteristic... the Q (or quality) is the center frequency divided by the 3db down points.

    with software equalizers the quality is represented by the modeling of the equalizer and how it was developed.

    the measurements are the same however the the amount of transparency vs. aggressive quality can vary due to the analyzation steps taken in an effort to model the equalizer.

    if someone were to model a pultec eq vs. a massive passive, they would sound completely different because of the linear phase distortion that the pultec can produce and the types of filters that are used.

    the mcdsp plugins are a lot less aggressive than the digirack plugins.



    i have no idea if i answered your question of if you may have already known all of this... but i hope it helped.
     
  3. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    I knew some of it but thanks for the more detailed explanation :)

    I kinda figured it was based more off the individual characteristics the EQs themselves are emulating, I guess I was just verifying that in a way ... so basically the answer is what I assumed at 1st, don't rely so much on the visual representation except as starting point, adjust until it sounds the same. Was hoping for a quicker way and thought there might be a piece of info I was missing to help me work it out faster ;)

    Thanks man!
     
  4. RiF

    RiF Member

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    To find out what the Q-knob is doing for real, you could run some pink noise through your EQs and put a spectrum analyzer afterwards. You should see the REAL curve on the analyzer (or use the VSTAnalyzer tool).
     
  5. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    ^ thats actually pretty interesting, never thought to try something like that

    I actually don't have an analyzer but I think Voxengo might have a good free one, I'll have to look into it ... if nothing else it can help me get a better understanding of what the EQs are actually doing like you said

    Prost!
     
  6. Omega_Void

    Omega_Void Your Eventual Destroyer

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    I think maybe for a 2nd-order filter the same Q factor would be sharper than for a 1st-order... but don't quote me on that I'm straying outside my area.
     
  7. jimwilbourne

    jimwilbourne I try.

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    totally get an analyzer tool.
    aside from having good versions of EQ, Compression, etc Plugins, it's probably my MOST used plugin. it helps lightyears. especially if (like me) you're working in an untreated room.

    It's the best way to double check your ears before listening on different speakers.
     

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