[pulseaudio-discuss] Equalizer ... ?

Joe josephj at main.nc.us
Mon Jun 4 07:03:27 UTC 2018

Disclaimer: I know the programs I'm talking about are really
applications and not part of the core of pulseaudio that gets so much
loving attention on this list, but if anybody knows about this, they're
here. I hope I'm not too far off topic.

I'm not asking anyone to solve the specific issues mentioned below. I'm
asking about the situation in general.

I have been using the pulseaudio equalizer and pulseaudio volume control
for some time. They do things I don't know how to do any other way on
kubuntu (16.04 - 18.04 soon).

Neither of these applications are fully integrated into kubuntu and
neither work perfectly. If not here, where should I ask for improvements
or alternatives (that an end user can configure - i.e. *not* jack)?

Notably, if I set the volume > 100% on pulseaudio volume control and
then press volume up or down on my keyboard, the volume always goes back
to 100% or lower.

If I set the equalizer and do almost anything with media besides just
listening, the equalizer becomes disengaged - sometimes just by amarok
starting to play the next track. Also, the way it handles saved presets
is not very good.

I just saw this post on Linuxquestions in a thread about what Linux is
still lacking and it motivated me to take a chance and ask about it here.


Posted by: Crippled
On: 06-03-2018 05:05 PM

---Quote (Originally by whjms)---
For me, audio capability seems to be lacking compared to Windows.

Under Windows, if you want a systemwide audio equalizer, there's Equalizer APO. You download and configure it for your output device and log out, and you can download Peace to give you a graphical parametric EQ.

With Linux, if you want a systemwide EQ under Pulseaudio, you have 2 options:

1) *pulseaudio-equalizer*: the underlying PA module is due for removal, and has some pretty noticeable stutter/lag (at least 1/2 sec) when playback pauses/stops, and introduces audio hitches sometimes.

2) *pulse effects*: has a ton of features including systemwide EQ, but on my system adds noise/distortion even without any effects enabled (just used as a passthrough).

If you ditch PA and just use Alsa, there is *alsaequal*, however you run into the issue of a lot of software (e.g. Firefox) requiring PA for sound.

Finally, you can pipe PA output to JACK and use Calf (so you don't have to worry about PA-mandatory applications), however this setup is fiendishly complex in terms of the amount of stuff you have to add to your audio pipeline, and if/when an application's sound doesn't work, you're hosed. I tried this and simply could not figure out why VLC worked fine but Firefox was silent.

Maybe my use case is rare.
---End Quote---
I concur. None of those are anything near as good as any equalizer that I have experienced on Windows. It would be really nice if I could fine tune the sound coming out of my speakers. An equalizer with at least 8 different frequencies or more.

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