Home | New Products | Hot Products Quizzes | Tutorials
Better Sound Through Science.
Drew's DAK Recording EQ 2-Plus And
Frequency Equalization Tutorial

The More You Know, The Better It Sounds.
Now Equalizes Amd Outputs Both Wav & MP3 Files
Hi, Drew Here. . . To make this tutorial really easy to use, I've broken it into 4 easy parts.

Part 1 is A short introduction into what frequencies are.
Click to go to part 1.

Part 2 is the actual step-by-step guide on using the DAK Recording Equalizer
Click to see the step-by-step guide now.

Part 3 is the new Fix Section. All you really need to do is click the appropriate Fix button to fix LPs, 45s, 78s or Tape. Or to add or subtract the RIAA equalization curve.
Click to see the Fix Section

Part 4 is a more detailed guide on frequencies in music that you can read at your convenience but certainly isn't necessary or required to use the equalizer to really make your music explode with vibrant passionate life.
Click To see the details about frequencies in your music.

Believe me. As soon as you Click My Magic Bypass Button, You'll Be a Believer Just Like I Am. OK, let's get started.

Part 1 Introduction To Equalization.
First a word about Fundamental Frequencies and Harmonics. Musical 'notes' are made up of fundamental tones (frequencies) and harmonics. It's the harmonics that allow you to know the difference between one instrument and another.

Of course if you strike a string like a piano (yes it is a percussion instrument), pluck a guitar, or draw a bow over a cello, you'll have additional clues to work with.

But we perceive the notes on a musical instrument or sung by a vocalist by combining fundamental and harmonic tones. And like other perceptions, we actually construct the combination of sounds in our brains.

When we hear a note like middle A on a piano, a complex set of oscillations are transmitted through the air to our ears. The lowest frequency is the fundamental. In the case of middle A for example, it's 440 Hertz. And the higher related frequencies, the harmonics, of 880, 1320, 1760, 2200hz complete the musical sound we hear.

But it's the fundamental that what we call the actual note. And when you use a tone generator or test disc to generate a sine wave of say 440hz, it's the fundamental note alone without harmonics.

Of course music is composed of thousands of frequencies all sounding at once. But that doesn't change the fact that it's composed of individual tones. So for understanding, it's much easier to look at the frequencies one at a time. Looking at one 'note' at a time doesn't change the equation, it just makes it easier for us to look at it and understand it.

Now On To The Musical Spectrum

The Approximate Frequency Ranges chart below displays the frequencies generated by some familiar musical instruments (including our voices) with BOTH the numerical fundamental and harmonic approximate frequencies shown.

Given the often-talked-about musical range of 20hz-20khz, it is surprising to see just how low the musical fundamental frequencies actually are (almost all are under 3,500khz). But remember, it needs to be understood that if all instruments were perceived only by their fundamental frequency outputs, they would all sound alike. It is the harmonics that give each individual instrument its character, or timbre, and set it apart from all the rest.

Interestingly, the human ear is more sensitive to certain octaves in the musical spectrum than to others. The ear is tuned more toward the midrange frequencies, where speech and voice communication occur (I guess we're still cave people), than to the outer octaves of low bass and high frequency musical harmonics.

As a result, very small energy changes in the midrange frequencies cause much more noticeable effects than do larger changes in the very low and/or very high frequency ranges.

So what is bass? What is treble? Oh, and what about midrange? Let's break them down right here.

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.
Part 2.
Here's Your Step-By-Step Guide To Using
Your New DAK Recording Equalizer.

Easy Install
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.

The Main Recording Equalizer Interface
OK, I wanted to briefly familiarize you with the EQ. It's really easy to use. Virtually everything is in front of you all the time. So here's a quick overview of how to use it.

Arrow 1.) Browse and All Files Buttons give you access to opening your Wave and MP3 Music Files. To open 1 or several files in a folder you're looking in, Click Browse. If you're in a folder already and you want all of the files (tracks), then click the All Files Button and it will load them all with a single click. There's no real limit to how many files you can load.

Arrow 2.) Play/Preview your track(s). Now you can hear them and use the sliders to enhance them. You do this first to get the sliders set the way you want them or use the presets. Then once you are happy, you click the Process Button, (Arrow 6) to actually Equalize all your loaded files.

Arrow 3.) Lock Sliders is really useful. You can equalize each channel separately, but most of the time you will probably equalize the Left and Right Channels together. Just Click the Lock Sliders Button and any changes you make in one channel will be duplicated on the other. This is a really good button to use to save you time

Arrow 4.) The Bypass Button is my all time favorite button. Just slide all your sliders till you have the full excitement that you want to add to your music. It's amazing just how much drama, life and impact you can really add. Anyway, after you're set, then click this button to hear the startling day and night difference. You'll be a believer too and this might be a good time to let me know what you think of the DAK Recording Equalizer. Because there's nothing like an A/B test like this to prove just how good it is.

Arrows 5.) There are all your sliders. Just start your music by hitting the Play Button (arrow 2). Don't worry, you aren't recording, you're just previewing. Anyway, start your music and adjust the sliders till you love the sound. There's no real right and wrong. If you like it, it's good. Just set the sliders, click the bypass button so you can hear what you've achieved.

Arrow 6.) Process/Record Button. OK, you like the sound. Now it's time to make an entirely new copy of your track(s) When you click the Process/Record Button, The DAK Recording Equalizer will make you an entirely NEW copy of your track. Your original will be untouched and your new copy will have whatever new suffix you've added (see options below). So, you can enhance 1 track or 100 tracks. Just click the one button.
Note: This is a very intense process. It will tie up your computer while it's operating. So, start it when you don't have to use your computer till the process is finished.

Arrow 7.) Easy Mid-Track Access. One more thing about playing tracks. If you want to hear a part of a track over while it's playing, you can grab the progress bar tab and slide it backwards or forwards to the exact part of the track you want to Play/Preview. You don't have to wait till you get to a part to hear how it will sound. As I said in my review, I think I've included everything that could help us.

Arrow 8.) The Fix Buttons are dual acting algorithms that automatically make the corrections that we know you need when you convert analog sources to digital. They do much more than you could do with the EQ. Just click the button for the source you are equalizing. Then go ahead and use the normal EQ sliders to sculpt the sound the way you want it. It's the combination of the Fix Buttons and the EQ that make this program so powerful.

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 Loaded
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 Play/Preview.

Great 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.

Preset 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.

Oh, Where 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 how.

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.

What's 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.

So, 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 Do?
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 the highs.

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.

Oh, 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 like.

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.

Master 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 Like?
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

Slider Power Shown.
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.

Part 3
Introduction To Fix
Fix Your Music Files Automatically
What Do LP, 45, 78 & Tape Fix Do Anyway?
NEW-Just Added - Fix Your Music LPs, 45s Cassettes & 78s Automatically. Now you can hear what you've been missing automatically. The frequencies that make the music you listen to exciting and dramatic when you play your LPs & Cassettes aren't really missing. They were just Rolled Off.
Just click a Fix button to digitally compensate for the analog source you are using. Its dual curve restore functionality specifically fixes each analog source for flawless digital conversion.

What that means is that, for example, a 16,000hz cymbal crash really was recorded in your records and cassettes. But it might be down 6db or so, so your music doesn't sound as bright or as clear as it would at a live performance.

In fact, you can't really hear the high, highs because they're softer (rolled off). So, the crystal clear highs are effectively missing from your music.

Same with the bass. Cassettes tended to saturate like crazy, so, you ended up with a real lack of deep rich bass, which, by the way, is my favorite part of the music. It's not that the 32hz deep, warm, resonating bass notes weren't there, it's that they are reproduced down 6-10db so relative to the rest of your musical spectrum, they were so soft, you simply couldn't hear their vibrant warmth or feel the vibrations that make you truly appreciate your really deep bass.

But Here's The Thing. What's important is that the rolled off highs and lows are actually still there in your music. They are just too soft (rolled off) to influence your perception of your music. So your music was never as dramatic and explosive as what you hear from a CD or for that matter, any of your digital music formats, that doesn't roll off.

DAK's recording EQ gives you the power to boost the rolled off frequencies so you can hear them again and enjoy your music like you do when you're at a live performance. That's the joy of digital it makes your music so much more dramatic and vibrant. And, that's why an EQ can be so important as to how much you enjoy your music.

But now we've added even more. We've added special FIX Digital Algorithms that are much more than even an EQ can do. They are a combination of multiple EQ curves and effective noise reduction so that we can, for example, boost the highs on a copied cassette without perceptively increasing tape hiss. We can bring up the deep bass without increasing rumble. And, much more.

Just Click the appropriate Fix Button for the analog source that you've copied and let DAK's New Recording EQ Plus, Fix your music for you.

THEN, use the EQ sliders just like you always have to increase deep bass or clean up highs to your own exact subjective perfection. So when you use the new DAK FIX options, you don't lose the ability to personalize your music and make it throb with life, you just get it Pre-Fixed for you so all you need to do is adjust the music for your room, your ear, your car or for the exact way you like your music to sound.

Automatic Fix Can Be Altered If You Want.
But You Don't Need To.

You'll probably never look under the hood, but if you're the kind of person who wants to really fiddle with your technology

Arrow 1.) Click on the DAK logo and you'll pop up the secret control interface for the Fix operations.

All you really need to know is that you can check out the curves for any of the FIXes by clicking the radio buttons. And if you do mess around, don't worry. Just click reset and all the FIXes will be back to their original properly set settings.

Important No Support Note: It's all here for you, but most people don't want to get into the nitty-gritty and we don't support information on changes you might make. Unlike the EQ which is super easy to use, the algorithms in this part are very complex and you really do need a degree to understand them. But don't worry, you can always hit reset to return to the perfect factory settings. So you can't really mess anything up. You know how I always try to make things that are super easy for all of us to use? This part isn't easy if you do more than click the buttons. So enjoy the sound. :)
What FIX Actually Does

Here's what the individual FIX Program Algorithms Do:

Click it to hear the difference for yourself. It's dramatic.
LP Fix - It retrieves the brightness of your music without increasing hiss or noise. It also restores the deep bass without increasing rumble. You'll be hearing your copied LPs as they were meant to be heard the day they were pressed plus you've added the digital clarity and broad unrolled off frequency response that up till now has only been available in pure digital.

Click it to hear the difference for yourself. It's dramatic.
45 Fix - 45 Fix is very similar to LP Fix, except 45s have a different frequency curve and roll off. So while you'll experience the same sort of dramatic improvement in the very clear highs and enhanced bass, the curves are different that cause the effect. You'll have clean dramatic copies of your 45s.

Click it to hear the difference for yourself. It's dramatic.
78 Fix - 78s actually sound really good. The dual frequency algorithms really do splendid job of boosting the areas that are rolled off and eliminating the areas that are noise only. You can expect really clean, clear copies that have extended bass and highs and far less noise than you'd expect from 78s.

Click it to hear the difference for yourself. It's dramatic.
Cassette Fix - Cassettes really need help. While they were a really convenient medium for storing music, they never had the capability to reproduce music like LPs and their predecessor, Open Reel tapes.

As I said earlier, it's not that they didn't actually record all the frequencies in your music, it's just that both the bass and highs are dramatically rolled off when compared to the other mediums. This is perhaps the most complicated set of algorithms in the FIX section. Concurrently, we boost the low bass and the mid and high highs. You'll really love the results. Plus the algorithms stop any of the enhancements from also increasing the hiss as we increase the clarity of the high end.

Important Note about Noise Reduction for all the FIXs. We don’t remove hiss that's already in the music. You still want to use our Hiss, Click & Scratch Assassin for that. But we do remove the hiss as it's formed from our enhancement of the highs. So first run the DAK Hiss Assassin, then use DAK's new recording EQ.

Click it to hear the difference for yourself. It's dramatic.
RIAA Add & Remove - Lots of us copy 78 records and when you copy them at 45RPM you're actually injecting the RIAA curve into the recording. DAK's new Recording EQ can either put in the RIAA curve if you have a recording that needs it, or take it out if you have music you've recorded that should not have the curve.

This is a really big deal. You'll love the results. Also, if you've never heard the curve, switch it into your music. It's not subtle. You
Click it to hear the difference for yourself. It's dramatic.
won't want to listen to your music with it in, but you'll be amazed how powerful it is.

Try playing a track and kick in the curve. Now you'll know firsthand what the engineers are talking about. Records simply couldn't handle the massive movements of the stylus that deep bass required. So it was rolled off, out of the music. So by using the RIAA curve, deep bass and clean highs could be put back in. Now you'll hear exactly what the RIAA curve actually sounds like. It's good to know.

Part 4.
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.
(Approximately 20hz-140hz)
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.
(Approximately 140hz-400hz)
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.

(Approximately 400hz-2.6khz)
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.
Here's a blow up of a spectrum analyzer showing a 1,000hz sine wave.

Upper Midrange
(Approximately 2.6khz-5.2khz)
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.

High End
(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.
Here's a blow up of a spectrum analyzer showing a 16,000hz sine wave.

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.

More Problems
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

Tutorial Review Please.
So, What do you think? Good? Bad? Was this Equalizer and Frequency Equalization Tutorial Helpful? Too detailed? Not Detailed enough? What would you do differently?
What do you want to know? What subject would you like me to write a tutorial about?
Please CLICK
to tell Drew (me) PERSONALLY.

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

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