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A graphic equalizer is a high-level user interface that allows users to control the gain levels of an audio signal with the help of graphical controls. It can be included as part of a consumer electronic device or a computer program. The graphical controllers and sliders allow the user to control the strength and correct the frequency response within a particular audio band.
Graphic equalizers are the simplest type of equalizers that consist of multiple graphical sliders and controls that can be used for altering and controlling the frequency response of an audio system. They can be used for boosting or cutting bands of the frequencies of a sound signal, and help users in shaping the audio output and making the best use of the digital music library and speaker setup of specific audio systems.
A graphic equalizer works like a series of filters. The input signal passes through each filter of a particular frequency, and by changing the slider positions, the frequency components of the signal can be boosted or cut. The vertical position of each slider denotes the gain applied at the frequency band. Thus, the knobs look like a graph depicting the equalizer’s response with respect to its frequency.
The number of controls in a graphic equalizer depends upon the number of fixed frequencies it is designed to work on, and the number of frequency channels of the equalizer depends upon its intended use. A typical five-band graphic equalizer has sliders for five fixed frequency bands, namely:
Each control or slider acts like a filter and allows you to vary the frequency range that passes through the speakers. It also helps in improving audio detail by boosting the high frequencies and reduces distortions and noise in the output audio signal. It is also helpful in tuning sound systems to adjust to the different acoustic properties of different rooms.
Graphic equalizers are easier to use than parametric equalizers, as they implement the filters in a user-friendly manner. However, graphic equalizers are less flexible compared to parametric equalizers.