Best Eq. for HeilSound HC-6

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Hi to all and Merry Xmas,
I need some information about a best Eq for Heil Sound HC-6

Best regards
Frank IZ7AUH
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Frank, IZ7AUH/AK1CQ

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Posted 5 years ago

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Keith Wolford

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Frank,

On Heil's web site, there's a PDF file for the HC-6 Pro Set Elite that has a good starting point for EQ settings for the 1500/3000/5000 radios, but you can translate these to SSDR for the 6500 and 6700. I've personally had good luck with these settings, but YMMV, depending on your own voice, if you like rag-chewing, or if you like DX/contesting. The settings for the 6500 and 6700 would translate as follows:

Set 63Hz and 125Hz to -10dB,
250Hz to -6dB,
500Hz to -3dB,
1kHz to 0dB,
2kHz and 4kHz to +6dB,
and 8kHz to 0dB.

They recommend setting the TX bandwidth to 200Hz for the low-end and 2900Hz for the high-end.

Keith - AE5XN
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Frank, IZ7AUH/AK1CQ

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Hi Keith,
Many tnx I try your setup, I have some problem on dx not more comp e amplification.

Same problem with hc-5

Best 73
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Michael - N5TGL

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Considering that most male vocal power is in the 500 Hz range, I'm not sure why anyone would reduce gain there? That would be the last place that I'd cut, unless the mic has a problem.

I'd suggest recording yourself off the air with a second RX and seeing how you sound. Not easy, but worth the results! Also, the MON feature on the 6xxx series works really well.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Most of the power may be below 500Hz, but NOT most of the intelligibility.

I have encountered far too many SSB signals that are WAY too heavy in the 63, 125, 25, & 500 HZ range and the effect is extreme muddiness, nasal quality, and lack of articulation. They may sound LOUD, but they are very hard to understand, especially in weak conditions or when trying to get through pileups, noise, and other interference.

The key to a good sound is to find a good balance, aiming for a relatively flat spectrum trace, perhaps with a slight dip around 500-1000 Hz.

When doing weak signal work, limiting the low end to 200-300 Hz and emphasizing 1500-3000K a BIT can make a great deal of difference by putting most of the transmitted power into the frequencies that make for maximum intelligibility. But on the other had, cutting too much off the low end and boosting too much in the high can also make your signal hard to tune because you have no baseline reference point. in other words, you can understand what is being said, but have no idea exactly what frequency the guy is transmitting on.

Balance is the key! EQ can be your best friend. and YES. Listening to your signal on another receiver, preferably recorded and played back, and even better, recorded and played back on a rig that has a spectrum graph, is the best way to fine tune your audio. (That is one of the main reasons I have not sold my 1500 after getting my 6500)

There are other posts on this site, and on the Flex Knowledge base about the practical effects of equalizing different frequencies of the human voice... which frequencies make you sound more "nasal" which ones add to "muddiness," which ones add "presence" and which ones help a person understand the consonants and articulation. I highly recommend every Flexer read them. (In fact every ham should read them. Our bands would be a lot cleaner if we did.)
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Michael - N5TGL

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Ken,

I appreciate the input, but just for some background, I was an audio engineer in a former life. I worked in recording studios and also live sound.

Just to be clear, I did not say most of the power was below 500Hz, I said it was around 500 Hz. No worries, but wanted to make that clear. :)

In my opinion, muddiness doesn't come from 500 Hz. Usually what you have is someone with a subharmonic synthesizer and they are pushing 125 Hz and 250 Hz way, way too much. Then they couple that with cutting in the 500 - 1000 range, and boosting 2K which gives them a very tubby sound...because they are missing the main "meat" of the human voice. Cutting 500 Hz (or 700 Hz for the ladies) will reduce intelligibility. 500 Hz is higher than most folks give it credit for.

As for "good sound", well, the application has to be taken into account: are we looking for communication grade? Rag chew? DX pileup breaker? All three can have radically different EQ's. I know it's not your intent to mislead anyone and it is absolutely not my intent to twist your words, but I'm just being mindful of folks who are new to this part of ham radio and may apply learned suggestions to every instance. The human voice is definitely not flat, and attempts to make it sound like that may vary greatly from what one considers a good sound!

I have heard people who EQ for DX to the point that their voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard. Sure, it's penetrating, but you can't hardly understand what they are saying as they've lopped off all the fundamental frequencies and a lot of the harmonics that really carry the information. This aligns exactly with what you said.

So, for everyone else out there, where to cut/boost?

My best advice is cut first, boost last and listen to the results. Usually the voice has too much of something, rather than the other way around. Here's some guidance on the frequency makeup of speech and some frequency ranges to think about:

1. Fundamentals: Usually between 85hz to 250hz. These are the frequencies that make a person feel "there" as opposed to being a disembodied voice. Normally these don't make it into a SSB transmission unless you are using ESSB. This can also be the "tubby/muddy zone" if boosted too much.
2. Vowels: this contains maximum power and energy of the voice, usually between 350 Hz - 2 KHz.
3. Consonants: between 1.5 KHz and 4KHz. Little energy, but essential to intelligibility

Of course, be mindful of your TX bandwidth. If the filter is set to a top end of 2.9 KHz, boosting 4 KHz and 8 KHz won't do a darn thing!

Now I'm not going to give any cut/boost numbers for guidance, as it really has to be listened to. If I was looking to set up for weak signal, I would start by cutting 63 - 250 Hz, go pretty much flat from there and then aim for a peak at 2 KHz.

Hope this helps!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Michael, thanks for your clarification...and I stand corrected in the "500 Hz range." I appreciate your additional comments and information.

I think you and I are essentially on the same page, we just were coming at it from different directions. I was reacting to the extreme boost in the 63-500 range that I have seen on the bands. (Yes, most of it 250 Hz and below) I have seen some stations with such peaks below 300Hz that their signals actually sounded like a full carrier as I tuned across them until I got on frequency. Then they had such rumble and opposite sideband mixing/poor filtering that they were very muddy. This is my real beef, and I incorrectly interpreted your statement to be part of that camp.

Yes, 500 Hz is an important range. Either too much or too little can have big impacts on power and clarity.

And I certainly agree about the "nails on the chalk board!" I have heard those signals with extreme high-end boost and way too much compression/clipping. Yech! That is why I used words like "slight dip" at 500-1000," "Emphasizing A BIT" at 2k, for DX etc! A little goes a long way. It is really tough to find the right balance between clarity, too much "honk," nasal tone, and hollow barrel sound, articulation, sizzle. As you know, each range in the EQ enhances/detracts from one or another of these vocal characteristics.

In the long run, as you and I both have said, the real key is listening to your own signal and matching your voice, mike, and purpose to the sound you need/want, whether rag chewing, DXing, weak signal, contesting. All of these and others require slight modifications to the filter limits and EQ settings. The problem is that many hams start thinking "if a little is good, then a LOT must be better!" Which is always a problem.

BTW, I have often thought of designing a semi-humorous graphic that gave different labels to the equalizers.

Instead of frequencies, we could label them with terms such as ...

Low Presence - mud - vowels - honk - nasal - consonants - sizzle - useless

I may have left out a couple labels (like barrel sound) and gotten a couple in the wrong order, but I am going from memory, not from my charts!

But I thought a properly labeled EQ chart could help explain the different frequencies to the folks. Perhaps even with terms on top and bottom that define the effect of too much or too little.

Perhaps you could help?

73 & All the best,

Ken - NM9P
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Michael - N5TGL

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Ken,

Yes, I think we are on the same page here, and love your idea with "mud" "honk" etc. I think some people would use those for nefarious purposes!

Good idea with the EQ chart. I'll definitely take that on. Hopefully will have something to show in the next few days.

73,
Michael M0HMF/N5TGL
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DK1EY

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Hi Michael, 

many thanks for your posting above. For me this is a very good starting point on the way to optimize the TX audio of my Flex 6300 and my Heil ProSet Elite HC6.

I was wondering if you guys created such an EQ chart?

Vy 73 and mni tks
Thomas
DK1EY
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Michael - N5TGL

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Heh, well in a word...no.  :)  Other demands on my time and it kinda got lost by the wayside, but thank you for bringing it up!  I need to get this back on my radar.
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DK1EY

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If you have raw data and need help, summing it all up in one sheet, just let me know and I will help.
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Roger Rockwell/na4rr

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Keith thanks for HC-6 Pro Set Elite settings. That's what I have. I used the settings you posted and on my fist qso with my friend across town he wanted to know what I did to my audio. It was the best he had heard me.... My problem is that I have lost my hearing so bad in the consonants range that I can't listen to it to make the adjustments and I have been guilty of boosting the lows too much. Tnx again

73
Roger
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Keith Wolford

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Roger, Glad it worked out for you.

I can't take credit for those settings. They were per Heil Sound's recommendations for an initial starting point in a PDF file that used to be on their web site.

I couldn't find that PDF Heil's web site anymore, but did find it on the internet in the following location: http://www.ges.cz/sheets/h/heil_pse6.pdf

Note that the settings are given for the Flex 1500/3000/5000 and for both 10-band and 3-band EQ settings that were in PowerSDR, but it's easy to adjust SmartSDR to the same response.

According to the text in this PDF, these EQ settings allow the HC-6 to emulate the older Heil HC-4 element, which had a steep roll-off below 500Hz and a peak between 2k-5k for enhanced SSB articulation. The HC-6 itself has a response similar to a typical studio microphone with no EQ applied.

Keith - AE5XN
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Try these settings for the ProSet HC-6 for normal SSB audio (not ESSB)

TX Bandwidth: 100-2900 Hz
Input: MIC
EQ: 0 | -3 | -6 | -4 | 0 | 4 | 6 | 8
+20 dB Boost: ON
PROC: ON @ DX
MIC GAIN: 70
DEXP: ON @ 70

(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Each application requires a different setting for maximum effectiveness.... 
Many hams would not use a wideband, full range, full bass setup for DXing, Contesting, or weak signal work, where the goal is maximum intelligibility in the midst of interference or noise.  Nor would they use their "high performance" DX element when shooting the bull with the boys on 75 meters. (It would grate upon their ears in short order and ejection would soon follow.)  

One mike, or one setting, simply will not do the job for all occasions.  The best most mike manufacturers can do is give us a mike that is clear, articulate, and has wide enough response that we can "tune" them to our favorite usages.  But you can't equalize what isn't there in the first place, which is why many hams are moving to broader, more expensive studio mikes as a starting place.  

For me, the Heil PR22 was a good enough compromise.  I get all the bass I need, but it is very clear and articulate when I want some more punch on the DX circuits. I have found Its response to be very similar to a PR-781.

BTW, I have found that the SmartSDR EQ response curve isn't as extreme as that on PowerSDR.  I must add more "swing" on the EQ on SSDR to get the same response as I do on my 1500 with PowerSDR.  Not much, but a little more.  But the new Compressor on SSDR is awesome!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Tom - DK1EY,
Your EQ and TX bandwidth settings are very close to what I use on my 6500 and PR22 Mike.  When Rag-chewing, I roll my TX filter low end down to 65 Hz for wider response, but just high enough to roll off any 60 Hz hum that might sneak in, and put the TX High filter to 3000 Hz.  But when DXing/Contesting, I bring the low cut up to 200-230 and put the processor on DX+ for extra punch.  Your 2K & 4K are a little higher than what I use, but that is very dependent upon individual mike and voice variations.  (BTW, with TX Low at 200, it doesn't matter much what you set the 63 and 125 sliders to.  And the 8K is irrelevant with a high cut of 2900 Hz.  But I turn them down anyway just in case those frequencies might interfere with the Compressor or Downward Expander.)

All in all, you are very much in the ball park for what many of us have found works with the Heil wide range mikes.  Just be careful not to overdrive the audio input or it gets nasty very quickly!  Have someone record you and play it back.  If you like it, then nail it down...Good luck.
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np2g

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After reading all this effort well There is a load of mikes out there that would better suit your voice. Requiring some EQ ing but better serve your voice character .
A small comment. Not all mikes are created equal.
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DK1EY

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Ken, 

many thanks for sharing your experiences.

The last days, I did a lot of "on-air-research" regarding my sound.
I have to admit that the audio  I am able to deliver with the FLEX-6300 and the Heil Proset Elite is okay but does not meet my expectations.

Finally I ended up using a Rode NT1-A. 

73
Tom
DK1EY
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David Marotti

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I know this is an old post, but has anyone tried hooking up their HC6 to the Maestro?  I'm having all kinds of configuration problems getting mine to work on the Maestro, and am wondering if I'm hooked up wrong.  These are my connections and setting.  I'd love to hear from someone who has done this already...

1.    Unplug the stock hand-held mic.

On the Heil HC 6 headset, there are 2 connectors. A gray mic connector, and a black earphone (headset speaker) connector. Therefore, do the following:

2.    Connect the gray mic connector to MIC2 on the back of the Maestro (and disable the PTT option on MIC2 in the Transmit tab of the Main Menu)

3.    Connect the black earphone connector to PHONES on the back of the Maestro

4.    Then connect a 1/4" foot pedal (or hand PTT) to the PTT on the back of the Maestro using a 1/4" to 1/8" "mono" converter (TS - Tip / Shield only)

5.     Turn on the Maestro.  Select radio, connect, select software, run

6.    Using the Menu:

a.     Profile tab, MIC sub-tab, set the MIC Profile to Default ProSet HC6, Load

b.    Phone/CW tab, for Maestro ensure Bias is on and Boost of +20dB.  Leave off and no boost for radio.

Again, this does not work, so I am wondering if my hardware connections to the back of the Maestro are incorrect?  David, NK2Q