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.
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.
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.
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