Parametric Eq Vs Graphic Eq

Equalizers are devices that alter the frequency response characteristics of audio equipment. When you think about equalizers, or “EQs,” you might think of the kinds found in car stereos or home theater systems. Despite this, audio equalization is available in a wide range of modern audio equipment and devices.

Audio equalization could be as basic as a Bluetooth speaker with treble and bass frequency sliders. It might be more advanced, similar to the visual equalizers seen in many music programs. In this article we explore the differences between two particular types of equalizers: parametric and graphic.

parametric vs graphic eq

The Significance of Sound Equalizers

Apart from treble and bass, the best equalizers also give you control over tone and frequency. They have the ability to raise or lower the decibel level of specific frequency ranges.

Some amplifiers or home stereo receivers include built-in audio equalization settings with varying levels of control, such as independent dials or sliders. They could have digital displays that are controlled by a remote.

If your amplifier or transmitter does not allow you to adjust the sound output of your system, use a separate sound equalizer. There are several kinds of audio equalizers, but the two most prevalent are parametric and graphic. You should be aware of the following information about them.

Frequency Band

A frequency band is essentially a frequency range. When choosing an equalizer, you’ll find that each one has a different amount of bands. A 3-band EQ, for instance, allows you to manage three frequency ranges. These bands are frequently termed low, mid, and high.

Center Frequency

The frequency bands will often be specified by the center frequency in many circumstances. The frequency that lies in the center of the frequency band is referred to as the center frequency.

From Joe Crow


An equalizer enables you to change the gain, or level, of the frequency range you’ve chosen. The central frequency will be the most impacted, but frequencies above and below that point will also be adversely impacted.


You can modify the width of the gain setting on several equalizers. This option is known as bandwidth, or “Q” in some cases. It enables for very narrow, very wide, or anything in between modifications.

What Exactly Are Graphic Equalizers?

The most basic type of audio adjuster is a graphic equalizer, which has many sliders or buttons for cutting or increasing bands. The number of unique controls varies by manufacturer and version. A typical five-band graphic equalizer, for example, includes sliders for specific frequencies like as 30 Hz (low bass), 100 Hz (semi), 1 kHz (middle), 10 kHz (upper middle range), and 20 kHz (high-frequency or treble).

A ten-band equalizer features settings for ten fixed frequencies, which are typically those listed above, as well as five extra bandwidths. You have more control over the frequency range if you have multiple ranges. To some extent, each specified frequency can be increased or lowered. Depending on the brand and type, the spectrum could be +/- 6 dB or +/-12 dB.

From MXR

How Graphic Equalizers Are Unique and Different

When it comes to visual equalizers, there is one crucial notion to know. When you adjust a slider, the frequencies around it change.

Consider what occurs if you stick your finger into a piece of plastic wrap that has been used to cover a plate. A slope sensation develops when the finger presses down into the plastic. The slope has a stronger effect on sections closest to the finger than on those further away. Pushing harder, as compared to a gentle poke, highlights the slope.

Graphic equalizers handle frequency changes in the same way when enhancing or lowering bands. In summary, graphic equalizers provide:

  • Modification of fixed frequency
  • Handling is simple and straightforward
  • A less expensive alternative to parametric EQs
  • A wide variety of frequency control is available

How Are Graphic Equalizers Used?

Graphic EQs are frequently overlooked in audio mixing in favor of the most adaptable parametric types. That is not to imply that graphic EQs are inherently inferior. They can be combined to produce very equivalent results.

Having said that, there are some situations in which graphic EQs are extremely common:

  • Detecting and eliminating troublesome frequencies: Resonances, noise, and other undesirable frequencies can be found and removed by first boosting bands to pinpoint the issue frequency and then removing those bands.
  • Feedback elimination: Similar to the frequency of problems Can be used to efficiently “tune the room” in live sound circumstances.
  • Tone Shaping: EQing an audio signal/track in a particular way to shape its tone/character.
  • Tuning Speakers: Speakers are faulty electro-acoustic sensors that could benefit from graphic equalization. A graphic equalizer is available on several stereo system amplifiers/receivers (though shelving EQ is more popular in these devices)

Examples of Graphic Equalizers

BAE Audio G10

The BAE G10 is a 10-band graphic EQ with a 500 series form factor.

The standard graphic EQ’s center frequencies are 31, 62, 125, 250, 500, 1k, 2k, 4k, 8k, and 16k Hertz, with each having a 12 dB boost or cut. Along with the ten bands stated previously, the G10 features tunable high-pass and low-pass filters adjusted to 80 Hz (10 dB/octave) and 12 kHz (6 dB/octave), respectively.

dbx 231S

The dbx 231s is a rack-mounted stereo graphic equalizer with 31 bands (3 per octave) per channel.

Both stereo channels feature a 12 dB input gain control, a selectable low-cut (high-pass) filter at 50 Hz with a 12 dB/octave cutoff frequency, and a switch to increase the boost/cut range between 6 and 12 dB.


The MXR M108S Ten Band EQ is a high-quality graphic EQ effect pedal with ten bands of equalization.

Along with the ten bands (each with its own 12 dB cut/boost fader), the M108S EQ pedal features a volume control (12 dB) and a boost/gain (12 dB).

Music Thing Modular Graphic EQ

The Music Thing Modular Graphic EQ is a 7-band Eurorack graphic EQ. This straightforward graphic EQ unit is based on the well-known Boss GE-7 pedal and features center frequencies of 63, 160, 410, 1k, 2.5k, 7.7k, and 16k Hertz. Each band can be adjusted by 15 decibels.

What Are Parametric Equalizers?

Parametric equalizers are more harder to use than graphic equalizers because they allow for modifications other than loudness. You may alter three factors using a parametric equalizer: the level (reducing or amplifying peaks), the specific frequency, and the spectrum or range of each frequency (also known as Q or quotient of change). As a result, parametric equalizers are incredibly accurate in terms of changing the overall sound.

Each frequency, like the graphic equalizer, can be lowered or increased. Unlike graphic equalizers, which have fixed frequencies, parametric equalizers allow you to choose a center or principal frequency. A parametric equalizer, for example, can be set to alter frequencies at 10 Hz, 15 Hz, 20 Hz, 25 Hz, and 30 Hz, but a graphic equalizer has a single setting at 20 Hz. The amount of adjustable frequencies vary depending on the brand and model.

What is a Parametric EQ? | PreSonus
From PreSonus

How To Use Parametric Equalizers

Parametric EQs are sophisticated audio processors that can be used in a range of applications.

The ability to precisely locate a parametric EQ band by scanning its frequency is quite useful in a variety of situations. We can also change the Q parameter and, of course, the gain.

As a result, when utilizing a parametric, use the sweeping capabilities to find excellent and undesirable frequencies in an audio input and EQ them properly. This holds true for all types of filtering, including low-pass and high-pass.

Listed below are a few examples of parametric EQ applications:

  • Removing problem frequencies: The parametric EQ’s continuous frequency settings can be used to search for and reduce noise, resonances, and other unwanted frequencies.
  • Tone shaping: EQing an audio stream or track in order to modify its tone.
  • Setting up monitors and speakers: Speakers and monitors are ineffective electro-acoustic sensors that can be improved using parametric equalization.
  • Feedback removal: similar to the frequency of problems It is suitable for usage in live sound scenarios.

How Range and Bandwidth are Controlled by Parametric Equalizers

A parametric equalization can also change the bandwidth, which is the gradient of the adjacent frequencies of each frequency. If the center frequency is 30 Hz, a broad bandwidth may effect frequencies as low as 15 Hz and as high as 45 Hz. Only frequencies as low as 25 Hz and as high as 35 Hz may be affected by a narrow bandwidth.

While the gradient effect is retained, parametric equalizers are better suited to focusing on and fine-tuning the form of specific frequencies without influencing others. This fully acceptable control over tone and sound allows for finer modifications to match specific tastes or needs (such as for recording or mixing audio).

In summary, parametric equalizers provide:

  • The operation is intricate and careful
  • Choose a frequency modification
  • Exact impact range
  • Performance in the studio for mixing, recording, and production
  • A bundle that is more expensive than graphic equalizers

Examples of Parametric Equalizer

IGS iQ505

The IGS iQ505 is a 500 series equalizer with fully parametric analog equalization. It has five parametric overlapping bands, each with a 12 dB cut/boost.

The IGS iQ505 features an unusually broad EQ spectrum that runs from 10 Hz (infrasound) to 24 kHz (ultrasound). A bell curve sensor or a shelf filter can be used in the lowest and highest parts, respectively. Each band has a Q knob that adjusts the filter’s quality level.

Manley Massive Passive

The Manley Massive Passive is a stereo parametric transistor EQ that is fully passive. Each stereo track has four parametric EQ bands as well as a low-pass and high-pass filter.

This outstanding rack-mounted equalizer has a lot to give. Both channels, as previously stated, include four bands in addition to an HPF and an LPF. These bands are highly overlapping, and each band has a broad range of tunable frequencies. The bands can be configured to raise or reduce the signal by up to 20 decibels and may include bell curve or shelving filters. Furthermore, the Q factor (for bell curve filters) and resonance/slope (for shelving filters) characteristics are fully customizable.

Empress Effects ParaEQ

The Empress Effects ParaEQ is a wonderful stompbox-style parametric EQ.

The EQ has three bands, each with 15 dB of cut/boost, a variable center frequency, and three Q factor settings (medium, narrow, wide).

There’s a lot of headroom with this EQ pedal. We won’t have to worry about it being snipped at all. In addition to the three-way pad switch (0, –12, and –4 dB outputs), the ParaEQ can be configured to operate on 9, 12, or 18V power supplies (the higher the supply voltage, the higher the headroom).

Aside from the three-band parametric EQ, this pedal offers a clean signal boost of up to 30 dB and a three-position input pad with settings of 0, -6, and -12 dB.

Sonic Situation

For starters, graphic equalizers are simple to use. Furthermore, it is dependable. It keeps superfluous functionality off the table. It allows for faster and more effective mix or playback adjusting. So, when you want something simple and basic, Graphic EQs will come in handy.

Parametric EQs should be used to enhance the color and vitality of your sound. They provide fine customization that a graphic EQ cannot match. As a result, when it comes to band-by-band tuning, PEQ is the way to go.

PEQ will provide a more regulated sound than Graphics in acoustic conditions.


Today’s debate has come to a close. Your EQ kind will be determined by your situation. The parametric EQ is perfect for correcting speakers based on room response. It is also the EQ which offers more flexibility and customization.

Graphic Equalizers on the other hand are more visually intuitive and hence easier to use. They are good for beginner level audio enthusiasts to fine tune the sound to your liking.

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