Los Senderos Studio
Equalization - Part 3
 Issue 95 August 2017 

Words from the Glossary

Over the past two months we have discussed how equalization is used and how it works. We continue that discussion this month by looking at the types of equalizers.

This month's terms: graphic equalizer, octave equalizer, one-half octave equalizer, one-third octave equalizer, parametric equalizer, semi-parametric equalizer, Q. (Note: Click on the term to view its definition in the glossary.)

Equalization, Part 3

Graphic Equalizer
Graphic Equalizer

The first type of equalizer is the graphic equalizer. This is the kind of equalizer that is familiar to many people because it is the type most often used with home stereo systems. It consists of several sliders controlling evenly spaced preset frequency bands. It is called a graphic equalizer because the position of the sliders gives a graphical representation of the frequency response. It is sometimes abbreviated as GEQ.

Graphic equalizers usually come with 10, 20, or 30 sliders, called 10-band, 20-band, or 30-band equalizers, respectively. The 10-band equalizer is called an octave equalizer, because each slider controls one octave of the the 10 octaves of human hearing. Likewise, the other two are half-octave and one-third ocatave equalizers, with each slider controlling one-half or one-third of an octave.

Parametric Equalizer
Parametric Equalizer

Another type of equalizer is the parametric equalizer. This is an equalizer with which you can adjust various parameters, such as frequency, bandwidth, or gain. It is sometimes called a peaking equalizer or a peak-and-dip equalizer. Although a graphic equalizer could be used in the studio or at a live venue, engineers can exercise more control using a parametric equalizer. For example, if an offensive noise is occurring, the engineer can isolate its frequency and remove a very narrow band around that frequency. A parametric equalizer also makes it easier to find the problem by allowing you sweep the frequencies to find where the problem occurs. For example, if a snare drum has an annoying ring, it can quickly be isolated and removed.

Semi-parametric Equalizer
Semi-parametric Equalizer

The semi-parametric equalizer is an equalizer that provides for control of frequency and gain on each band of equalization, but not the bandwidth (Q). It is also known as a quasi-parametric equalizer or a paragraphic equalizer.

So there you have a good summary of equalizers and equalization. Join me again next month when we will take up some new terms.


In August, 2008, the greatest hits album “Gold” by ABBA reached No. 1 on the UK album chart, 16 years after its release. This was the fifth time for the album to reach No. 1 since being released in 1992, and made it the oldest album ever to return to the top of the UK album chart.

Before Motown, Vee Jay Records, which was founded in 1953, was the most successful black-owned and operated record company in the US. The company got its name from its founders, Vivian Carter (“Vee”) and her husband, James Bracken (“Jay”).

Although Diana Ross recorded 18 songs that reached No. 1 in the US, she never won a Grammy Award.

Even though all the members of the three-piece band called America are from the US, they met each other and formed the group while lving in the UK.


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