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Difference between Parametric and Standard EQ?

Is there a difference between a Parametric and Standard [slide knobs] Equalizer? Main reason I am asking is, I have a small system in my detached Garage which is there all year long, last year, the EQ I had in there which had slide knobs almost seized during the winter, I tried spraying inside the slide knobs with Contact Renu but the sliders remain stiff, since I have other equipment in there which have Rotary knobs and I never have a problem with those knobs getting stiff during or after the winter I am thinking of getting a Parametric EQ, what do you guys think?


Boswell Sun, 09/17/2006 - 11:25

By "standard" you mean a graphic equaliser?

It depends what you want to use it for. A very rough rule-of-thumb is that parametric EQs are normally used to correct the sound of an instrument or a recording, whereas graphic EQs are used to correct the sound of a venue or listening area.

Limiters/compressers have a very different function, to do with the overall loudness of the sound and (with the exception of multi-band compressers) not with the frequency response.

moonbaby Mon, 09/18/2006 - 09:09

If you are having difficulty getting faders to move, go to Parts Express (Google them) and get a can of Caig fader cleaner/lube. Try to stay away from WD-40, it can harm the electronic components that come in contact with it.
Now, as far as the difference between "parametric" EQ and a graphic EQ is concerned, they both let you boost and/or cut a given frequency band. On the graphic, that frequency band is pre-determined, all you do is vary the gain of the band (+/- so many dB's). These bands can have a "width" of from 1/3 to 2-2/3 of an octave, depending on the design of the unit. A parametric can not only vary the cut/boost, but also the center frequency and the width of that band. This is great for pinpointing problem areas, like feedback nodes, and reducing them to correct a problem. Parametrics are much more expensive due to design requirements, and require more user knowledge to be properly used. For what most musicians need EQ for, a graphic is easier to deal with.

RemyRAD Mon, 09/18/2006 - 22:24

There are 2 kinds of linear faders. Those made in Taiwan and those made to last. The mechanics of a slider are more difficult to maintain than a shaft. Caig stuff at least is made with a specific purpose in mind but I don't know any manufacturer that recommends lubricating the conductive surface of any potentiometer.

A "Parametric" equalizer is a much more sophisticated device that can do more harm than good if one does not completely understand its use.

A "Graphic" equalizer can be used as a "Program" equalizer if it is a 1 octave (5 sliders) or 1/2 octave (10 sliders) device. A 31 band, 1/3rd octave device is usually used as a corrective instrument along with proper associated test equipment, such as a spectrum analyzer and test microphone, blah blah blah Fido.

What the cat hears.............
Ms. Remy Ann Meow

TeddyG Sat, 09/23/2006 - 09:21

If there is a "best" thing to do with your graphic equalizer("...Used for playback..."), it is not to use it at all.

Inotherwords, if you find you need to use it so as to make your playback sound "better", then something is "wrong" elsewhere, in the recording method or the gear, or, MUCH more likely, in the recording space(The garage), itself -- inwhich ALL of your gear IS going bad whether you know it or not sitting out there in the un-controlled atmosphere. Insulating the garage and providing some sort of humidity control(Dehumidifier? Baseboard heat? A window AC unit? ALL these things?) will help, even if using just normal "pink" insulation from the home center.

MUCH more strident "insulation"(After the pink and some wall material - wallboard/sheetrock/paneling and some sort of "air conditioning" - not neccesarily just cooling.) from the folks at REAL TRAPS, for instance, would be a fine addition. Admittedly, doing your garage in REAL TRAPS is likely to cost more than you'd like to spend - A WHOLE LOT MORE - but it is the only way to minimize the actual need for "after-EQ", irrespective of what type of EQ and truly, if you never spend much on "gear", putting it in the right room will make it work all the better.

Do what you can, room-wise, using any number of tips on the web. Like put up your normal insulation then cover walls and ceiling with Armstrong 2x4 foot ceiling panels - with several layers "accross" the corners with an inch or so of air seperation between each layer, which while it won't do a whole lot for the bass will at least get you started and will be cheap, like your gear - a good thing!). Concentrate on trying to reduce "room problems", then toss that sticky/icky old "standard" EQ.


dementedchord Sat, 09/23/2006 - 18:27

hi... first in your particular situation where you need to start is exactly where teddy got you.... now then it realy didn't answer the question though which was about the difference in EQ's... and i'm surprised Remy let it slide... (you ok?)
FILTERS... it's all about filters... and they have three parameters...
1. center frequency... where are we gonna filter at
2. Q not the almighty Q or quincy but the shape of the filter can be seen as the width of the filter
3. amount of boost or cut

ALL "tone controlls" have this the difference is whether or not the designer wants to give you access to all three parameters...

our friend Remy mentioned "5" "10" and "31" band devices these are examples where the only parameter we've been given to play with is the amount of boost or cut the freq's and the shape are fixed... the "31"or 1/3 8va for instance is fixed at a shape that encompasses @ 4 notes per slider.. (though they do overlap) and with so many of them there's no need to be able to move them to a different "pitch" these are examples of what are generically known as "graphic" EQ's primarily because it's easy to "see" what it's doing...

if we are a little luckier then we get to play with the freq as well as amount... most of use have seen a mixing board with "sweepable" mids this is what we're talking about now... the shape is fixed at a relatively "soft" slope so as to affect a broader range but still alow us to say hunt for the "chestyness" of a voice ... this is an example of a "semi-parametric" device...

and when they let us play with all 3 parameters then we can have way more fun and also srew up lots more too if we're not careful... this by far the most versatile... alot of people prfer this type for the mains in a PA as you can smooth out the response real well (as opposed to hunting for feedback in the monitors with a 1/3 8va) and of course this is prefered for recording/mixing as it doesn't have the same phase issues as all those overlapping filters in a "graphic" (save that for another time)....

remember there'll be a quiz on thursday...

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