Setting up EQ?

  • 2
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 months ago
In my last post I found I was distorting when moving the Proc to DX and lots on DX+.
Tim mentioned my EQ was to hot. He he mentioned decreasing instead of increasing settings. I thought na, that can't be. But of course Tim was right.

So I went to work on this wondering what would come of it. I worked on my EQ a lot over the last couple days and discovered something.
It is clear that if you run the EQ sliders into the +, it is very easy to cause distortion when the Proc is set to DX or DX+.

As a result, I have almost all the sliders either at 0 or under in the - This has rendered amazing sound and there is NO distortion on any Proc settings, Now I have plenty natural base, sweet mids and very articulate highs. I could hardly believe it..
The trick was to take away from the slider positions, not add in order to bring something out.
Lets say I wanted more lows in my audio to make it richer in sound. We think maybe we should increase the slider from say,  +2 to 4, but if we think about this another way, if we leave the slider at +2 and simply roll back some of the highs, the base will increase. It is amazing that the highs are still very good even when in the -- region. In my case, I have the 63 slider at 0, the 125 lower and the 250 lower still, The sliders for the higher freq are well below 0 and work their way up to either 0 or 1. So. less is more in this case, Try it!!

A few things I wish

As this evolved I realized what is missing is a gain control for the EQ, It takes a lot of trial to find the best EQ settings that will not over drive the Proc on DX or DX+  It would be best to have an EQ gain control as is found in PSDR to make a final setting for this.

Also, It would have been great to have a bar meter to tell when the max level in the EQ is reached ,so as you add more into the + it tells you were the limit is and would keep the Proc smooth.
EQ settings do not effect the mic gain settings, they can be left alone.

Question: Why wasn't the Proc settings made as a slide control so we could slide it were we want it instead of 3 settings Normal. DX and DX+ ?
And why was the Mic 20db boost not an adjustable slider to allow for custom settings?
But we could simply adjust the mic gain control either way I suppose.

These things I learned, and found it very interesting, I hope others look at this and re think how their EQ settings effect the overall sound performance.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 1956 Posts
  • 478 Reply Likes

Posted 5 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 913 Posts
  • 317 Reply Likes
Hi Bill,

Good information!  

I have not run my processor in DX or DX+.  So far I'm only using NOR.

My mic is somewhat anemic so to get some basic power out of it I ended up with a few sliders being positive.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 1900 Posts
  • 470 Reply Likes
Hi Mark thanks for that comment,,it sort of brings me to the point of this post.
If your mic does not have the gain it needs, then use the 20db boost to help, your likely already doing that.
Lets say you want more lower end in you audio, then try rolling back the 1K 2K and 8K, and the lower freq will pop out strong. Or roll the lower freq sliders back to bring out the highs. I found it is best not to add but to take away, you will be surprised how much better the sound is when you work below the 0 mark.

I helped someone last night with his audio, after cutting the highs sliders much lower, below 0, I think he ended with one slider at 1 to make his voice really sparkle. After rolling the highs down he found he had to many lows in his audio, so he ended up changing his low cut to lessen the base. Try it...
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 3756 Posts
  • 1140 Reply Likes
Out of curiosity, I would love to get some input from the FRS team on the response behavior of the TX EQ sliders.  I think Steve posted something two or three years ago after the major rewrite of the EQ and PROC functions that introduced the new processing scheme.

A few months ago I did some experimenting while running LAN remote on my laptop in the other room.  I was doing my "Full-Duplex thing" and listening to my audio as I set up various Mic Profiles for the built-in laptop mic, my bluetooth headset, and a cheap computer headset.

My technique has always been to start out with the EQ Level at 0.  Then start cutting the Bass sliders to bring down the excessive response there, then raise the highs to give some punch and sparkle, with the aim of giving me a well balanced Rag Chew profile.  Then after saving the "Laptop Rag 2.9K" profile, I moved the Lo-Cut TX filter to 200 Hz and adjusted the EQ for more bass reduction and then boosted the 2K & 4K another notch or two for added punch.  Then readjust the Mic Level and add PROC at DX or DX+.  

After I got a set of profiles that I liked, I decided to try the same thing that Bill has been suggesting...

I thought "I wonder if the sound will change if I drop all of the controls an equal number of notches?"

On one of my RAG Chew profiles and one of my various DX profiles I had room to drop all of them 4 notches, keeping the exact same "shape" of the EQ sliders, only just at a lower position.

I expected to find that the sound was the same, only requiring an adjustment in the Mic level gain.  To my surprise, there was a noticeable change in the actual sound that I could not exactly put my finger on.  

My guess, is that as the sliders are adjusted, not only the gain but also the 'Q" of the various sliders may be changing, depending upon the amount of gain or cut.  If the 'Q' is changing, then the bandwidth of the slider and the amount of overlap with sliders above and below would also change, creating a difference in the sound of the transmitted audio.  This would appear not as a drastic change in the levels of each octave slider, but in slight nuances in the areas of overlap in the response curves as the various sliders interact with one another.

In some cases, I liked the "adjusted" profile better than my first attempt.  In other cases, especially my DX and DX+ profiles, I didn't feel that it had quite the same "punch."  I didn't notice any difference in distortion, but just an overall difference in the total tonal shape of the audio.  Perhaps the effect is more pronounced at the higher octaves, where there is more overlap?  Perhaps especially in the parts of my profile where the EQ is higher than at the low end? 

In any case, even after experimenting extensively with the audio chain on my 6500 for over 4 years, I would be very interested in knowing more about how the EQ behaves.

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 8461 Posts
  • 3161 Reply Likes
With all graphics EQs, the filter Q become sharper as you increase (or decrease) the gain.  Note the increase in filter bandwidth (doubling) as you go higher in frequency.

Photo of Mike Sonn

Mike Sonn

  • 34 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I appreciate your in depth analysis of the EQ setting for your setup.  I myself have never messed with the EQ.  I'm running a Heil HM-10 dual, and always use the #4 element.  On the pull-down for mic settings, I selected the "Default FHM-2 DX", in the P/CW Radio Pane.  I have always received positive reports on my incredible audio.

A friend has made a deposit on a 6600, so he's been asking me some functional questions as he's gone through various YouTube videos sowing operation.  This is my 4th Flex radio, after a 3000, 5000, and a 6300, so I'm not a new comer, but I KNOW there is a lot of unexplored functionality for me.  One thing I just noticed (since I never have the EQ open), is when you select different microphone defaults, it creates a lot of slider movement in the EQ, and changes the NOR/DX/DX+.

Have you ever looked through the defaults to see if one of them is close to the settings you found most desirable?  That might be interesting.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 1935 Posts
  • 476 Reply Likes
Hi Mike,
As you know mic settings are dependent on the users voice and type of mic used.
I have found a few that get me close, but I prefer to customize the audio for me.

Lets say you find a mic preset on the list that is for your mic, but that setting may not work well for you voice, it may serve someone eles better.
Buy using the EQ you can adjust the sound that suits you best. What some do is find a mic profile setting that is very close to what they want, then tweek it for the best sound, and save it again.
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 3778 Posts
  • 1151 Reply Likes
Hello, Bill.  Excellent comments.  Here are a few additional to add to them.

You may have seen my YouTube tutorials on audio with the 6000 Series. It is a little dates as far as how to access the Mic Profiles, but essentially everything else is the same.

1) RE:  EQ... The rule is always CUT first, the things that are excessive. (almost always bass),  Then ADD what needs to be accentuated. (very often 2K & 4K)  One paper I read on the Flex Knowledge Base said. "If you want to make things sound better -- CUT.  If you want to make things sound different -- BOOST.

2)  ALWAYS readjust your Mic level slider after making adjustments to your TX EQ.  Flex has recommended in the past that we adjust the Mic level with the PROC in the OFF position and make sure that it never goes into the RED on voice peaks -- even our excited, breaking the pileup voice...  Then turn the PROC to the setting we want to use, without adjusting the slider any more.

2) RE: Overdriving the PROC..... Even though you can use the DX and DX+ settings with lots of BASS boost, it is not recommended.  I have found that DX and DX+ settings are most effective when also using a "DX" profile in your EQ and TX Filter parameters, which means one should bring the Lo-Cut up to 150, 200, or even 300Hz, and ALSO reduce the sliders for the 63, 125, & 250.  Otherwise the high bass content of the audio going into the processor will overwhelm it and create digital artifacts that make things muddy.  (If you DO insist on maintaining a lot of bass, then run your Mic gain down a little lower than "just below the red" in order to keep it out of trouble.

I also recommend turning the sliders to the bottom if they are outside the TX filter bandwidth so that the processor circuitry won't need to deal with them at all.  EXCEPT for the one that is JUST outside the filter, because there is some interaction with the sliders next to them.  e.g. if your TX Lo-Cut is 300, there is no reason at all to have 63 and 125 anywhere but the bottom, but the 250 Hz slider will still have some effect upon the audio at the 300 Hz cut-off and above it as it overlaps with the response of the 500 Hz slider.

YES, you CAN make a Flex sound BAD!  The worst culprit is the desire of some hams to have BOTH a highly processed, cut-through-the-mud DX profile AND BIG BASS at the same time.  The two are at odds with each other.  a BIG BASS signal will not cut through the noise for weak signal work, nor will it cut through the interference in a contest situation.  

The next worst culprits are those who are afraid that they are not getting full output on SSB because their meter isn't registering a constant 100 Watts, and will proceed to increase the Mic gain in an attempt to raise their average modulation power.  But this is what PROC DX and DX+ are for.  You cannot add "just a little more audio" to increase talk power, or to let your ALC add some additional compression.  This is all digital.  Anything that drives the audio circuit past 0 dB (getting into the RED) will simply add distortion.  And it will add it QUICKLY!

3) This is why almost everyone needs multiple Mic Profiles -- A Rag Chew profile with clear, full range audio, and PROC on NORmal.  and a DX profile with a more narrow TX filter, reduced bass, increased highs, and PROC on DX or DX+.

4) The best way to set up your audio profile is to quick record and play back, or to use the Full Duplex  method and listen while you make adjustments.  You can not simply listen with your headphones using the MON function, because that is tapped before the filtering, EQ, and Processing.

As you said, setting up your transmit audio profile(s) is largely a matter of personal taste.  But carefully listening to your own signal while adjusting it, and having a trusted friend also listen to you (and even record your audio and play it back over the air) can make a crucial difference. 

BTW... When you ask a friend for feedback, don't just ask "How do I sound?"  Be sure to let him/her know what kind of sound you are trying to create.  If you are trying to create a punchy, articulate, DX pileup-busting audio profile, and your friend thinks he is helping you set up for ESSB, you are obviously going to be working at cross purposes!

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 1952 Posts
  • 478 Reply Likes
Thank you ken for you comments, I believe I am the first to actually comment on the actual nature of the EQ and it's relationship with the Proc.
There is much going on there then most people realize.
If I wanted to boost the low Freq,,then I lowered the mids and highs.
As I mentioned, I was and I still am very surprised at the effect of keeping almost everything below 0 . I only started this after finding out I had a little distortion on the DX position and much more on the DX+ position. Now I have none. And still all three settings work as designed.
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 3778 Posts
  • 1151 Reply Likes
If I remember correctly, the DX+ position not only adds a little more compression than the DX position, but it also adds some more high boost into the mix. I don't remember seeing any figures as to exactly how much and at what frequency range.