Equalization for beginners: Everything you should know

Equalization for beginners: Everything you should know

on December 28, 2023

Thanks to the equalizer you can perform a large number of functions to improve the sound of a song. Therefore, we offer you this mini equalization guide for beginners. We will give you the basics about this tool so that you can begin to familiarize yourself with the subject.

We will talk about how it works, types and when you should put it into practice. 


What is an equalizer? 

An equalizer is a tool used in audio processing to adjust the balance between frequencies. It allows you to increase or reduce specific elements, resulting in a cleaner, more balanced sound.

You will be able to increase or decrease the amplitude of a specific range of frequencies in relation to everything else in the sound or instrument to which it is applied.

The equalizer is used to fix sound problems, as well as to creatively shape or change the tone of a recording. 


How does an equalizer work? 

An equalizer is a unit that equalizes or compensates for different tonal side effects and brings them into sync. In this way, the equalizer changes the quality of the audio tone passing through it.

Equalizers use various filters and allow you to adjust or increase the frequency ranges of audio signals. That is, isolating specific ranges or bands, centered on specific frequencies.

These adjustments can be positive gains called "boosts" or negative gains called "cuts."

Parameters of an equalizer 

The parameters of an equalizer are used to adjust the character of filters that increase or reduce the frequencies of an audio signal. The most common ones you will find include: 

  • Frequency: Select the frequency you want to increase or decrease. P: (center frequency divided by bandwidth) controls the bandwidth: how wide or narrow the boost or cut will be. In other words, you can determine the range of frequencies that will be affected by the equalizer. 
  • Gain: Determines how much of the selected frequencies are cut or boosted. 
  • Filter Type: Allows you to choose the filter shape for the selected frequency band. 
  • Filter Slope: Sets the slope of the filter, whether high-pass or low-pass. 


Types of equalizers 

There are various types of equalizers, they differ in terms of precision, sound and workflow; and certain equalization devices bring together multiple types. Below, we detail the most frequent ones. 


Shelving Equalizer 

The shelving equalizer is the most common type. Boosts or attenuates frequencies above or below a specific cutoff point. Many also have default filter curves with a wide Q. 


Semi-parametric equalizer 

The semi-parametric equalizer offers some of the customization of a parametric equalizer. Typically, the Q bandwidth has a fixed setting. You can only adjust the frequency and gain of each band.

Parametric Equalizer 

Parametric equalizers offer fully configurable and adjustable frequency bands. You can control the center frequency, level and bandwidth of each frequency band with maximum precision. 


Graphic equalizer 

The graphic equalizer allows you to adjust the gains of numerous fixed-frequency, fixed-width bands, all carefully selected and calibrated to work together, providing highly musical response curves. 


Digital equalizer or software 

A digital equalizer is a software tool that allows you to adjust the output of different sound frequencies. It provides you an electronic and more innovative way of the functionalities of a conventional equalizer to improve sound quality. 

Types of equalization filters 

Understanding the different types of filters and how they change the signal is also important. Below, we show you the most common ones: 


High pass filter 

A high-pass filter removes all frequencies below a specified frequency cutoff point. Allows all high frequencies to pass above the cutoff point. 


Low pass filter 

The low-pass filter removes all frequencies above a specified frequency cutoff point. It passes all low frequencies below that point.

Band pass filter 

A bandpass filter passes a range of frequencies around a specific center point. High and low frequencies outside the range are attenuated. They use various bandpass filters to divide the audio spectrum into sections. 


Notch filter 

A notch filter attenuates a range of frequencies around a specific center point. Low and high frequencies pass on both sides of the frequency range. 


When should we equalize? 

A good starting point for deciding when to use an equalizer is not being able to clearly hear the instruments in a music track. Equalizers can be used for a variety of ways to correct problems or as a sound design tool. They are typically used for: 

  • Address issues of muddy sounds from instruments or when they collide with each other. 
  • Identify and correct annoying resonances or harsh sounds that were captured during recording or processing. 
  • Sculpt the ring of an audio signal, acting as a creative sound design tool to achieve the desired effect.




In this mini guide to equalization for beginners we show you that this is a fundamental tool to create a polished mix and a better outcome in the sound of the music you want to listen to. Knowing how to use the different types of equalizers and filter shapes will help you make informed decisions, giving you better results.

At Genius Audio we provide you with products to enhance your car's audio system. We offer you interactive signal processors with equalizers so you can achieve the correct effect in the music of your choice.


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