|My chart above shows the approximate frequency ranges of various musical instruments and the human voice. The black boxes represent their fundamental frequencies and the yellow boxes represent their harmonic frequencies. It's much easier to understand and enhance the instruments you want to hear when you know what frequencies they cover.|
Here's Your Step-By-Step Guide To Using
Your New DAK Recording Equalizer.
|After you download your Equalizer and this Tutorial eBook, just Double Click
The setup Icon Arrow 2 and follow the easy install prompts. After it's setup,
you'll never use the setup Icon again. If you want a permanent copy of it,
just copy it to a CD. After that use the DAK EQ Icon Arrow 1 to launch the program.
Recording Equalizer Interface
|Choose One Or Many Tracks.|
|Above I showed you how to click the Browse button to choose one or several
tracks. Here's the Dialog Box that Opens when you click the Browse Button.
Arrow 1.) Here's all you do. Click on 1 track that you want to open and then click the Arrow 4 Open Button.
IF you want to open several tracks and they are together, then you can hold down your shift key while you click the files. So if you wanted to open Tracks 1 and 2, you could do it this way.
If you'd like to open several tracks, but they are not in order like the example above, then Hold Down the Control Key while you click the tracks you want to open.
Arrow 2.) Where are your files? You can navigate to the folder you have your tracks in by opening the arrow 2 drop down box and finding the folder.
I've also put an arrow next to Desktop on the left. In Win XP, that's a shortcut to get to your desktop.
Arrow 3.) You'll see a list of the tracks you've selected in this box.
Arrow 4.) Click the Open button to have all the tracks load into the EQ.
Note: I always recommend that you start using a program like my Equalizer by putting your tracks on your desktop so you don't lose them as you practice and get started. Then you can put them wherever you want. But many times I get calls about lost tracks in the 'My Documents' folder. If you put them there you may never find them again.
|Here's Your Track List Once It's
|Again, this is what your tracks look like once you've opened them in
the program. They won't normally be in any particular order, but don't
worry, when you play them you can choose any track you want to
System Controls Make It Easy.
|Here's just a quick picture of the 4 main buttons you'll use to
control the Equalizer
Arrow 1.) Reset. Very simple. This returns all the sliders and volume/balance controls to flat default settings after you've slid them or used the presets.
Arrow 2.) Presets. This gives you access to your saved presets and the create preset button.
Arrow 3.) Lock Sliders. Here you can lock the Left and Right Channel Sliders or unlock them if they are locked.
Arrow 4.) Bypass. Well, this button you'll use a lot. Wait till you hear the sonic difference. The bypass works on all sliders and volume controls. What it does is let you do a scientific A/B test with and without the equalization that you've applied. I call it the magic button because it lets you hear the difference you've made.
Heaven - Do it Once, Enjoy It Always.
|Unlimited Presets make things great for using my Equalizer. Of course you
want to use presets so you don't have to reset your equalizer. But also use them
because if you're like me, you might forget a setting that you really like.
And with one click save or delete, you can create new presets with confidence because you know you can always delete them with a single click.
Arrows 1/2.) Load. OK here's how you use your presets. Click on any preset in the list and then click the Load Button. That's all there is to using them. And when you do click load, you'll see all the sliders on the equalizer jump to their saved position. Neat.
Arrow 3.) Save. OK this IS NOT for saving new presets. If you tweak a preset you already have and want to make changes, then load it, use it, make your changes then come back to this preset box and click save. This will change the preset to what you want now.
Arrow 4.) Delete. Well, like I said. You're always one click away from deleting a preset, so make lots of them. You'll be glad you did.
Arrow 5.) Create Preset. This is all you do. Set your sliders the way you want them. Then, Click this button and jump to the next section.
Arrow 6.) After you've loaded a preset or saved or deleted one, just click the OK button and your ready to use it.
|Instant Preset Creator.
|Making Presets couldn't be easier.
Set your sliders the way you want them. Then:
Arrow 1.) Give your new preset a name.
Arrow 2.) Click OK and now you have a preset.
|What Do You Want to Call Your Tacks? And Where
Do You Want Them To Go?
|Here are the other Buttons from the main interface screen. |
Arrow 1.) This is the Process Record Button. When everything is set, just Click it and let the Equalizer improve all your files.
Arrow 2.) Click the Options Button (2) and we'll decide what you want to name your new files and where you want them to go when they are re-recorded. Plus do you want Wav or MP3 files? And, what color do you want your EQ to be?
Options Of What To Call Your Tracks And Where To Send Them.
|This is another UNIQUE extra plus for My DAK Recording Equalizer. This is
a very important section. You can make the EQ perform exactly how you want it
to by using the options section.
Arrow 1.) 1. This is the section where you decide What Suffix to ADD to your new Recorded Tracks. Take a look and you'll see that the default _EQ is added to the tracks as they are recorded.
This way you will know which tracks have been Enhanced and which ones have not. You can remove this and have nothing added to the tracks. You can type just about any suffix or word you want and it will automatically be included as part of your track name. Use _Car if you want the tracks for your car, _Office for the office and so on. There's no limit to what you can do.
Arrow 2.) This is the box YOU CAN ADD a Suffix to your ORIGINAL track. If you'd like your track names after you've equalized not to say anything, then don't put anything in box one and add something like _OLD to this box. That way the new tracks won't have any new suffix, but the tracks you've copied from will. It's up to you, you can have EITHER the NEW OR the OLD Tracks have a suffix or BOTH can have a suffix if you put something in each box.
Arrow 3.) Where do you want the tracks you've equalized to go? OK this is really great. If you want your new equalized tracks to stay in the same folder as your originals, then leave this box blank. But if you want to send them to a new folder, like My Enhanced Tracks or anywhere you like, then just Click the B button to Browse your computer for the folder you'd like to use. (See Below)
Arrow 4, 4a, 4b) This is all new. Now as you equalize your tracks you can have them saved as MP3 or Wav files. If you're burning CDs, I recommend using Wav files as they are uncompressed and always sound the best. If these are for your MP3 player or iPod, then use MP3. You can choose the settings for both Wav and MP3 by using the Popup setting boxes you see in 4a and 4b.
File Type Input Note: The files that you are going to equalize can be either MP3 or Wav. The EQ will make flawless copies of either. If you input MP3 files with Tags, the EQ will preserve them so that your equalized copies carry the same identical tags as the files you used for your source. This is a big improvement.
Arrow 5.) Are you ready? Great Click the OK button and your changes will become active and stay that way till you come back to Options and change them again.
Arrow 6.) This is the pull down menu where you can select what color you would like your EQ to be. You can choose Silver, Gold or Back. As I said in my review, I really only care about the sound, but the EQ sure looks great in Gold.
Shall I Send My Tracks?|
|When You Click the B Button Above, you get this Window's Dialog Box. Normally
all tracks the EQ processes will be put back in the same folder as the original
track. But, you can change that and store them in any folder you like. Here's
Arrow 1.) Just pick any folder on your computer
Arrow 2.) Click OK and you're all set. All tracks that you Process/Record will be sent to the folder you have chosen here. This is a terrific ease of use feature. You will love having it just like I do.
So Special About Play?
|Oh, you know me. You can't just have a simple Play Button.
Arrow 1.) OK Click Play and the Play Button becomes a Stop Button Arrow 1a.So, you can stop the track Play/Preview at any time. But that's not all.
Arrow 2.) You'll see a progress bar move across the screen. You can grab the handle of the moving bar and drag it to any place within the track that you want to preview. That way you don't have to sit through the whole track if there are really just one or two sections you want to Preview. And of course you can just drag it back to hear a section again.
But there's still more. See below.
Which Track Do You Want To Play?
|OK, if you've only loaded 1 track, no big deal. But what if you've loaded
2, 10 or 100 tracks. Which do you want to Preview/Play? Well no problem. If you've
loaded more than one track, you'll get this Dialog box when you click play that
lets you click which track you want to play. This really makes your life easy.
Arrow 1.) Click the track name you want to play/preview.
Arrow 2.) Click OK and your track will start playing. Plus, then you can use the Progress Bar Handle I mentioned above to play any part of the track. Then Click stop and you can Preview/Play another Track. Very Neat.
|So Many Sliders What's A Person To
|Which Sliders do you use? Here's the simple answer. There's no right or wrong.
Relax. Boost whatever sounds good to you. Is your room Hard? All hard floors and
no drapes? Boost the lows. If you have lots of carpets and drapes, then boost
Have you aged? Sorry! Then boost the 8K and 16K. And maybe even the 4K. The point is boost whatever sounds good to you. Just drag up the sliders till your sound is great. Then sit back and enjoy live vibrant even throbbing sound from now on.
This is the heart of the DAK Recording Equalizer, but it's the simplest thing in the world to use. Enjoy. This is really great. And Don't forget to use the Lock Sliders Button so all your enhancements take effect on both channels and then use the Bypass Button to hear the massive improvement you've made. You'll be amazed at the difference. And, that's simply all there is to it. It's easy to use, but it makes a massive improvement in your music.
the Super High End.
|OK, this is a 10-band equalizer with +/- 12 db per Slider Frequency Band.
Except for the 16,000Hz band. Here I've allowed you to add up to 16db if you'd
Now if your hearing has fallen off, or if you just like really clear, sharp highs, add a little more than the 12db to the 16,000Hz slider. Probably you'll never add all 16db and if you still can't hear anything different, then turn it back down and use the 2K, 4K and 8K sliders. But, you will find this extra 4db can really make a difference. I've marked the 16db with Arrow 1. Note also that these numbers on the top change as you move the sliders to show you how much EQ you've added.
Volume And Balance
|OK, remember when I described an equalizer that it's really just a group of
20 volume controls? One for each of 10 frequency bands for each channel? Well,
that's exactly true. When you turn up any or all of the bands, you tend to also
increase overall volume because an increase in any frequency area adds to the
total output. |
If you think about what we are doing, it's just that we are equalizing frequencies so those that are too soft are louder IN RELATION to the other frequencies. So with the master gain, you can reduce the overall volume back to where it was and yet, you'll have made the parts like deep bass louder in relation to say 1Khz midrange. That's why it all sounds so dramatically better.
Also, you have a full +/- 20db of volume control, so you really can make up for a lot of too low or too high recordings with our Equalizer. And finally, you can control the balance easily and instantly. If one track is louder than the other, now you can fix it fast and easy.
|What Does A Sweep 20-20,000Hz Sine Wave Look
|Wow, you can really see the frequencies in the EQ's Spectrum analyzer. Here
I am play a 20-20,000Hz Sine Wave. You'll see the frequency bands of the real-time
spectrum analyzer move from left to right as the frequency increases. You really
can see the frequencies as they move across the analyzer. Right now you're seeing
only the 20Hz|
|So, here's how a slider works. It only boosts the sound in the area of the
frequency spectrum that it controls. Unlike bass and treble controls that move
up or down nearly have of the frequency range, each EQ slider controls a very
narrow part of the frequency spectrum.
So, here it is in numbers.
Arrow 1.) You can see that there is no effect at all on non-adjacent slider areas.
Arrow 2.) There is a 10% or so effect on the adjacent sliders so that the sound is smooth.
Arrow 3.) Most of the effect is on the area you have chosen. OK now you know how an equalizer works. Why not start using it and get some really great sounds enhanced 'out' of your music right now.
The Detailed Discussion On How, Why & What An Equalizer Can Do For You.32Hz Is 32Hz, Not The Whole Bass & Midrange.
|Here's a blow up of a spectrum analyzer showing a 32hz sine wave.|
There is little musical material with fundamental frequencies below 60hz. What is normally perceived as low bass material is actually in the 60hz-140hz range. Only a few instruments actually reach this range such as the organ, contrabassoon and string bass.
The 60hz-90hz range is where we notice the greatest perceptible changes in "bass response." Try a test tone and see just how well you hear 20hz or even 32hz, compared with the same volume of 60hz or 90hz.
Mid bass has lots of instruments included in its frequency range. Cello (my instrument), Bassoon, French Horn (Freedom Horn this year) and yes Male Voice are all here. This is where most 'bass' controls really muck up your music. Overemphasizing the mid-bass range gives the music a muddy, or "boomy" quality. If the mid-bass region is under emphasized, the music sounds hollow and thin.
Since our ears are most sensitive to midrange frequencies, midrange has the greatest effect on the overall sound of your stereo system. Actually there is controversy among engineers and audiophiles as to what the proper balance should be in this range. Some settings are best suited to particular types of music.
The "proper" settings are the ones most pleasing to you the listener. I won't list instruments here because virtually all instruments have fundamentals found here in the midrange with the exception of Contra Bassoons, Bass Tuba and a very few others.
1Khz Is 1Khz, Not The Whole Midrange.
Except for the pipe organ and piano, not many instruments have fundamental frequencies this high. Well, I guess the violin does touch into the range. But, it's really amazing just how little fundamental frequency material actually starts above what we consider midrange.
Speaker designers often boost output in this range to affect the quality or "presence" of the music. Too much energy, on the other hand, sounds overbearingly harsh and strident. A good balance between this frequency range and the midrange frequencies gives the most pleasing sound.
(Approximately 5.2khz-20khz - Two Regions)
The region from about 5.2khz up to about 12khz is normally perceived to be the high-frequency range. (The dreaded treble control.) Only the pipe organ actually contributes any fundamental frequencies in this spectrum (as well as a few others such as the flute), but this is where the harmonics really enhance your musical enjoyment. It's this range that affects the brilliance of music. Overemphasizing these frequencies gives an unpleasant, harsh and even piercing quality to your music.
16Hz Is 16Khz, Not The High End & Midrange.
The final region, the super high frequencies, from about 12khz-20khz, actually contains very little musical material despite all the editorial coverage it receives. However, many very soft 2nd and 3rd order harmonics do reach into this area.
Plus, most adults can hear only subtle differences when adjustments are made in the 14khz-20khz range. It's important to remember that adults, (mainly men) simply can't hear much above 15-16,000hz after the age of 50. So, this area primarily adds a little more dimension to your sound.
Now a word about Graphic Equalizers and what they can do with your frequencies.
|The Truth About Graphic Equalizers |
This is not an ad. It is an explanation of all graphic equalizers. It is not an attempt to promote equalizers sold by DAK over any others. It is meant solely to give you a thorough understanding of what an equalizer can do for your home, car and portable stereo systems.
What It Is. Please Read This Section.
An equalizer is really just a series of 10 volume controls. The difference between your main system volume and an equalizer's volume controls is that each equalizer volume control affects only ONE area of the whole frequency spectrum.
Bass and treble controls can't help because they indiscriminately boost everything from the midrange down or from the midrange up. Each actually affects about 30-40% of the entire frequency spectrum.
So, if you slide up the 32hz volume control on an equalizer, only sounds in the 30hz to 63hz like a string bass are really increased. Why is this important?
Well, the human ear can hear frequencies from about 20hz (20 cycles or vibrations per second) all the way to 20,000hz. Your stereo system, to a greater or lesser degree, produces these sounds.
But for a number of reasons, your stereo system and mine are unsuccessful. An equalizer simply helps your stereo system accurately reproduce the entire frequency spectrum of your music.
If your low bass is down 3 to 6db, you'll miss the excitement, warmth and fullness of a strong bass, a kettle drum or the lower registers of a cello. By increasing the signal with an equalizer, you're not magically creating something that doesn't exist, you're simply reviving inadequate recording or reproduction.
The same is true of the high end. The gentle sound of brushes on a cymbal, or the dramatic sound of glass shattering can be lost if the high end of your music is not reproduced at the same level as the midrange.
Why Aren't Our Stereo Systems Perfect?
The plain bare fact is that virtually all systems and sources are flawed. FM reception suffers from FM preemphasis which causes the FM station to cut back on the high frequencies they broadcast.
Try boosting the 8,000hz and 16,000hz to restore the impact and openness.
While the low frequencies aren't a problem with the FM broadcast, when you or they play records and tapes instead of CDs they are a problem.
Low bass sounds are massive. That's why woofers are the biggest speakers in your system. If recording engineers don't cut back the level of the bass on records, your stylus simply can't follow the groove. And, I don't even want to talk about cassettes.
But What About CD's?
With a CD, you can, for the most part, forget the limitations on your source material. Of course, they have the capability to accurately reproduce the entire 20hz to 20,000hz flawlessly.
But there are two things you should know. If they were made from analog (not digital masters), they may need help (see The Truth About CDs - What's DDD? Below).
And don't forget, everything about your system, your speakers, and your room is even more important than the source. Read on.
The Truth about CDs - What's DDD?
Pick up any CD in your library. On most new discs today you'll see the DDD symbol. OK, all CDs end with D. But there the similarity ends. Read on.
The first D stands for digital recording. This means that the recording engineer recorded all the instruments using sophisticated digital equipment. Not analog mastering. So, that leaves out all of our Golden Oldies, all the old classical favorites and well, Elvis and most Musicals as well.
The Second D represents digital mixing. Engineers mix the masters using analog or digital boards. This of course means no added hum or noise if you see the second D.
The third D is the reproduction media, and since it's a CD, it's always D. So, you can have CDs that are AAD, ADD, or DAD. An audio cassette or LP would usually be AAA. Oh, A always stands for analog.
The Biggest Problem
OK, here we are. The important 'stuff.' The biggest problem with your stereo system is probably your room. Speakers placed in corners tend to boom at 125hz.
If they're in a bookcase, they tend to lack bass. Most speakers should be placed up to a foot from the wall to avoid standing waves.
But, which of us can have an ideal room built for our stereos? This is what I do for a living, and I have one speaker in front of a window and another in front of a wall. There's a measurable and 'hearable' difference when the drapes are opened or closed.
So with the aid of an equalizer, you can make your room ideal. You can compensate for a 125hz boom, or for a loss of high end because of drapes or couches.
Listen to the music, then switch in your equalizer. Or, with the Recording EQ, just make a few sample Tracks of each setting. It won't take you long to decide that equalized is a whole lot better than non-equalized. They're not even in the same league. The results will be awesome and repeatable. And that's a good thing.
Plus, it's the same in cars. Typically, they don't have a good high end. If you boost the signal at 8,000hz and 16,000hz in the house as much as in the car, you'll hear really raspy sound.
Studios have to produce their CDs for average home systems. And you know the story about the statistician who drowned in a lake with an average depth of 7". You can custom tailor CDs you make for the weaknesses of various systems.
An equalizer is the single most demonstrable stereo component you can buy.
Don't be intimidated. You don't have to keep your system flat, I don't. I'm a cellist and I'm used to a stronger bass.
The Old Age Problem
And here's some bad news for you. If you're like me, I'm going to be 63 !!!!! this year (horrors) your ears are no longer as sensitive above 14,000hz to 16,000hz.
So, even if your source is perfect, even if your system is perfect, even if the room is perfect, you may not be.
Because I work with high sounds (not loud ones) so much, I'm still able to hear 16,000hz to 17,000hz but I guarantee you by the time I turn 70, I'll be cranking up the 8,000hz and 16,000hz controls.
And this is important. It's not really that you can't hear the high frequencies. It's that you can't hear them as well. So, when you were 30 you didn't need to turn up the 16,000hz slider, now you do. By making the highs LOUDER, you bring back the sound you used to hear.
Please, I don't want to hear from the FDA, this isn't a medical device. But ask your doctor, he'll give you the bad news.
I guess someday I'll be reviewing equalizers for the geriatric crowd with a line like, "If you're 82 like I am, you probably haven't heard a cymbal crash in years…"
Anyway, if you'd like to experience the trumpets crashing out of your speakers, add a boost at 250hz and 500hz. If a female vocalist sounds raspy, cut the 1,000hz and 2,000hz sliders. Or if you want your walls to quiver with the pluck of a string bass or the blast of a bass tuba, boost the 32hz and 64hz controls.
When you switch in an equalizer or Click The Bypass Button, you'll hear an earthshaking, spine tingling improvement in your stereo system's sound.
Oh yes, in addition to restoring impact and drama to your music, you can easily adjust all the frequency bands to increase dramatic intensity, excitement and openness. Nobody ever said that flat was perfect, it's just a starting point. And, that's the way it is. I hope this Equalizer and Frequency Equalization Tutorial are helpful.
Enjoy. . . Drew
DAK Home | About DAK | New Products | Hot Products | Quizzes | Electronic Tutorials
What Happened to DAK 1? | What's Drew Been Doing? | Map | FAQs | Tweaks & Geeks
DAK INDUSTRIES, INC.
19528 Ventura Blvd. #350 Tarzana, CA 91356
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form. Copyright 1999-2004 DAK 2000, INC.
Privacy Pledge | Legal Information | Contact the Webmaster