Understanding The Nature of Equalizer's Response Curve: (1) Bandwidth

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The Music Telegraph
Text 2022-09-05


Figure 1: Bandwidth

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Understanding The Nature of Equalizer's Response Curve: (1) Bandwidth


The bandwidth of a device is an important parameter. It tells you over what range of frequencies you can expect a device's processor to operate, and in what manner. Assume that you set the equalizer's high frequency controls to establish peaking response curves at three different gains, all with the same center frequency. Some equalizers have response curves whose bandwidths are dependent on the amount of gain selected, others have a constant bandwidth. They will sound very different. To know how your equalizer shapes a curve and how these curves will affect a sound, you need to know the range of frequencies each curve will affect. The bandwidth calculation will help you understand the nature of the equalizer's response curves.


To find the equalizer curve's bandwidth, you must first find the points on the graph where the curve is 3 dB less than the maximum (or minimum) peak, and mark those points with an "X" (see above Figure 1). If you did your data gathering and graph drawing carefully, the two points on each curve should be approximately equally distant from the center (peak) frequency. Label the lower of the frequencies F1 and the higher frequnecies F2 (see Figure 1). The bandwidth of the equalizer curve is defined as the number of frequencies between these two frequencies, or:




With the curves properly marked with high and low 3 dB down points, calculate their bandwidths. 






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