Target Curve or EQ Contour

EQ guys are using on their cabs/systems. A good starting place if you don't have your own RTA.
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mj90210
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Target Curve or EQ Contour

#1 Post by mj90210 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:18 pm

I know this is somewhat subjective to personal taste...What is a good target curve or eq contour for recorded or electronic music with a 115-120 db spl(200 hz and above) at the main listening position? I have read numerous posts, opinions, white papers ect. I have zero experience in this so I figured I would start here. I know it has been mentioned getting the response close to flat and tweaking to taste. Any recommendations to help my taste would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Thank You All for Your Time!!...Really!

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commander_dan
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#2 Post by commander_dan » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:52 am

Yep I like to get things as close to flat as reasonably possible. Nothing more annoying than bass lines having varying levels of volume, same for high frequency sounds. The EQ contour will likely be different from cab to cab so there's no real way of suggesting a target curve per se, you have to use your ears. A few sine sweeps will tell you what needs adjusting. I usually tune the subs' bandpass first, then the mains, then a couple of sweeps combined to make sure everything is even.

Then the fun begins: because as tracks are being played, they usually have varying levels of mastering and EQ themselves, so I find I have to adjust things on the fly for some tracks. And there's the DJs that love to keep turning up. I let 'em, and just keep turning back down from the DCX lol. That way they think they're killing it, and I'm looking after my gear. Eventually they'll max out their mixer and that's that.
Built:
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88h88
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#3 Post by 88h88 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:53 am

The fun thing about sound is it's subjective so what sounds good to us may not sound good to you, also that different people's hearing is ruined in different ways through listening to stuff too loud for prolonged periods... I set my kit up in a joint, RTAd it flat and tweaked a few things and a friend said it wasn't loud enough. It was running 116db at the back of the room on testing with plenty of low end plus whatever the DJ had cranked it to. Said friend was a drummer who'd destroyed his eardrums over the years.
4xOT12s, 2xT39s@22", TTLS@18", 2xT60@18"

mj90210
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Location: Montana-USA

Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#4 Post by mj90210 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:35 pm

Thanks for replies. All of them are relevant. One of the goals of my question is too alleviate what I think sounds good and more what sounds good to the masses with keeping in mind what the artist wanted it to sound like. Theoretically I guess that would be a near flat curve, however I am somewhat familiar with the equal loudness curves, keyword somewhat. I have read that some curves that have a knee at say 600 hz or 1000 hz and then down -1db/octave after that. Does anyone practice that?

I will be using a dcx and deq combo to help with this but I am not extremely savy with either and of course I am short on time/practice. It is hard to dial/practice dialing systems in of this size at volume in normal settings. Hence my bombardment of questions and reading here. If anyone has any links or suggestions on whitepapers to read I am open for that as well.

I will post another question under a new topic to keep this question/current topic concise and relevant for future readers.
Thank You All for Your Time!!...Really!

Built:
2xDR300's
4xDual-30” Tuba 60’s
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Grant Bunter
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#5 Post by Grant Bunter » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:18 pm

The easiest way to get a flat EQ is a technique called mirror imaging.
If your SPL chart (in the SPL charts section of the forum for X cab) shows a hump of +3dB at 1K, then in your EQ, bring down 1K by 3dB.
If it's minus 3dB at 2K, adjust EQ up at 2K by 3dB. Examples only.
Go through the sepctrum, then tweak as you think is necessary for your ears.

How to setup a DCX:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20833&hilit=set+up+a+DCX
Built:
DR 250: x 2 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
T39's: 4 x 20" BP102 , 2 x 28" 3012lf.
WH8: x 3 with melded array.
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mj90210
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#6 Post by mj90210 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:04 pm

Grant, thanks for the reply and the detailed write up on the dcx2496. I used the write up while setting up my dcx2496. I have used the mirror imaging technique and it worked well. I try not to lead on like I know what I am talking about or even know what I want. I do know I have put countless hours in educating myself on sound(not going great) and building these cabinets. Ultimately what I want is the best sounding(subjective) system I can. So my last ditch effort is to see if there is any shortcuts or words of wisdom, this is how the pro's do it...ect. on achieving that. I will use the DEQ2496 and the auto EQ function in conjunction with the DCX2496. I will measure them in place at the desired height and aiming position. Instead of setting the curve to flat I was hoping to set it to a better baseline than just flat.
Thank You All for Your Time!!...Really!

Built:
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4xDual-30” Tuba 60’s
1x20” THT
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ACUA
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#7 Post by ACUA » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:33 pm

I believe in the equal loudness contour graph (fone). In theory if the mastering studio was flat and mastered to the fone, then your rig is flat it will translate across. Theory and reality are different, ok so I still like the equal loudness curve and I strive to achieve it I’m my eq but each song I find graphs quite different so I end up chasing the thing around in circles until I get to tired to to do any more.

I also personally like my bass real heavy, heavier than most which is conflictual more often than not.

Another thing is to eq at the level you plan to play at, if you eq quiet then crank it I find a very non uniform gain across he spectrum, whether reflections increase to audible levels or resonances manifest due to the increase it seems constant in my experience and best results I have ever had were seat time eqing at full tilt.
Advanced concepts underground audio

SethRocksYou
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#8 Post by SethRocksYou » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:28 am

Personally, live or recorded, I'd use the DEQ to set for flat response in the listening space and make tonal adjustments to taste within the mixer on the fly.

Grant Bunter
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#9 Post by Grant Bunter » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:25 am

mj90210 wrote: Grant, thanks for the reply and the detailed write up on the dcx2496. I used the write up while setting up my dcx2496. I have used the mirror imaging technique and it worked well.
No worries! The purpose of the write up is to take away the pain lol.
Flat is a good starting point. Lots of people say flat sounds sterile, which is why I say tweak by ear afterwards. Tweaking by ear can be as simple as playing with EQ to get to what sounds good to you. Then asking a trusted friend to to tell you what they think, and not getting your nose out of joint if they tell you they don't like that sound. It may be their taste influencing their comment, or it might sound bad! Practice makes EQing easier and faster, and it is probably the hardest thing to learn. I'm getting better at it. Personally, I believe in clear crisp mixes.
mj90210 wrote: I try not to lead on like I know what I am talking about or even know what I want.
I do know I have put countless hours in educating myself on sound(not going great) and building these cabinets. Ultimately what I want is the best sounding(subjective) system I can. So my last ditch effort is to see if there is any shortcuts or words of wisdom, this is how the pro's do it...ect. on achieving that. I will use the DEQ2496 and the auto EQ function in conjunction with the DCX2496. I will measure them in place at the desired height and aiming position. Instead of setting the curve to flat I was hoping to set it to a better baseline than just flat.
One of my favourite sayings is "there's more than one way to skin a cat".
It applies to sound.
You could ask a bunch of pro's how to run sound, and they may all do it differently, yet still sound good.

Good sound, IMHO, is about practise. You don't drive a car great the first time you do that, why would sound be any different?
With the car, the more you practise, the easier it becomes, the more proficient a driver you are.
Sound is the same.
When you read stuff about sound, firstly, understand it. If you can, try it out, see what it does, see if it helps you. If it does help, store it in the supercomputer we all have, the brain.
Speaking of brain, train it. Play tones on a tone generator until you can name them simply by hearing them, This helps immensely with EQ.
Short cuts? Nope, they don't exist.
Some have a natural talent for it, but they still have to practise, practise, practise.
Remember, the more you know, the less you think you know.
Are these words of wisdom? Dunno.

One thing you need to define for yourself is "what is better than flat?"

When you get to the DEQ, talk to us about that as well...
Built:
DR 250: x 2 (melded array) with March 2012 plans.
T39's: 4 x 20" BP102 , 2 x 28" 3012lf.
WH8: x 3 with melded array.
Bunter's Audio and Lighting "like"s would be most appreciated...

CoronaOperator
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#10 Post by CoronaOperator » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:15 am

mj90210 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:18 pm
I know this is somewhat subjective to personal taste...What is a good target curve or eq contour for recorded or electronic music with a 115-120 db spl(200 hz and above) at the main listening position? I have read numerous posts, opinions, white papers ect. I have zero experience in this so I figured I would start here. I know it has been mentioned getting the response close to flat and tweaking to taste. Any recommendations to help my taste would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
115-120 dBA average (200 hz and above) is painful to just about anyone after a few minutes. 105-108 dBA average is still night club middle of dance floor loud. Now if you are talking bass (dBC) , then 115-120 dB is just getting started :chainsaw: .

At our club a typical curve looks pretty flat from 30 Hz - 80 Hz (subwoofer zone). The subs bass is typically around 10 - 12 dB's louder than the tops. From 80 Hz - 200 Hz is a smooth slope down from sub level to tops level. From 200 Hz - ~3 kHz is pretty flat - maybe a slight down slope in that area, go mostly for smooth and not jagged than ruler flat. Then from 3k and out it is a gentle curve downwards - your ears will tell you how much highs to take out. That's for recorded dance music, for EDM I'll turn the bass up another 6 dB's if it suits the style of music.

Auto EQ won't do you any good indoors, use it outdoors far away from any obstacles and save that file as a flat starting point, from there you will have to use your ears to tune your system. As was mentioned this is a skill that takes time to learn but is essential to good sound. Every room is different, has differing amounts of natural reverb in differing frequency bands, etc. Auto EQ can't tell the difference from direct sound or that of a reflection, it will try and boost a freq that isn't missing because of a cancellation, it is as dumb as any other machine out there. The key is to balance out the acoustic energy in each freq band in the room - with your ears. A room with lots of windows will need the highs tamed right down or else the high end reflections will drive you nuts, a boomy room will need the lower midbass tamed or all you will here is mud, there is no 1 right answer. It will seem overwhelming to begin with but it will come in time. BTW, once you get that figured out the crowd rolls in and changes the acoustics and back ground noise of the room and everything needs to be adjusted all over again :bash: .
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ACUA
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Re: Target Curve or EQ Contour

#11 Post by ACUA » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:11 pm

:clap: plus 1
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