[SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can anyone?

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[SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can anyone?

Postby stevepusser » 2018-04-27 17:38

Had an MX user ask about this, and I can't get qpaeq to do anything either, even after getting the pa daemon to stop and start with loading the pa dbus module per instructions. I can move the equalizer sliders, but to no effect. This is the stock Stretch pulseaudio-equalizer.
Last edited by stevepusser on 2018-04-28 16:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work, either. Can anyo

Postby sunrat » 2018-04-27 23:16

You're such a noob. :mrgreen:
From Arch wiki:
Note: If qpaeq has no effect, install pavucontrol and change "ALSA Playback on" to "FFT based equalizer on ..." while the media player is running.

Works here.

Seriously, thanks for asking this question, I've been meaning to try it for ages.
Another thing mentioned on the Arch page is pulseeffects which is available in AUR. I worry about annoying my neighbours when I'm watching something like "The Expanse" late at night which has quite dynamic sound. I need the volume up to hear the dialog but then the room shakes if explosions and space battles happen. The compressor/limiter function would be useful, and it also includes an EQ. Package request? :wink:

pulseeffectsAUR applies peak limiting, compression, reverberation, auto volume and 15 bands equalization to Pulseaudio applications output.


Sorry for taking this on a tangent. pulseeffects appears to be a container for several already available plugins, mainly Calf and gstreamer. There's a Github page and a PPA (of course):
https://github.com/wwmm/pulseeffects
https://github.com/wwmm/pulseeffects/wi ... an--ubuntu

Edit - Later that same day:
So I had to try pulseeffects and tried it from the PPA. I never used a PPA before but it installed fine, says it's for Debian too.
PulseEffects seems to work really well and is exactly what I was looking for. EQ and limiting work well, EQ is probably better than pulseaudio-equalizer. It even created an application icon in the menu.
I installed this in siduction with Plasma 5. It didn't work first off but luckily the wiki had the answer:

I have no sound in KDE although I can see the spectrum and the level meters changing.

Answer: KDE needs Pulseaudio's module module-device-manager that conflicts with PulseEffects. See #99. This issue will be fixed in the next Pulseaudio's version (probably version 12) but until then you will have to unload this module before running PulseEffects
pactl unload-module module-device-manager.


Thanks again Steve for starting me on this track. PulseEffects is a much more useful addition than pulseaudio-equalizer IMO. Uses a bit of space for the install though, I guess mainly because there are quite a few plugins and other dependencies.

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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby stevepusser » 2018-04-28 16:21

Thanks! Marked as solved.
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby sunrat » 2018-04-28 23:09

Note to anyone reading this - PulseEffects will not work in Stretch due to dependencies on more recent versions of Gstreamer. I have it working in Sid and it should work in Buster.
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby kevinthefixer » 2018-05-08 01:07

sunrat wrote:Note to anyone reading this - PulseEffects will not work in Stretch due to dependencies on more recent versions of Gstreamer. I have it working in Sid and it should work in Buster.

Is there an equivalent that will, or specifically the DR compression? I use a PC for television, with the audio piped through a '70s vintage Marantz stereo, and my local stations have terrible sound. One announcer talking might shake my floor, the next inaudible, so you can imagine what happens when the commercials come on.
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby sunrat » 2018-05-08 02:25

kevinthefixer wrote:Is there an equivalent that will, or specifically the DR compression?

Good question and I had to follow it up as PulseEffects is not perfect, occasionally crashing when another program (Telegram) sends a notification sound.
I couldn't find a GUI for this so parameters need to be set when initializing the command.

1. Install the package swh-plugins

2. Load the plugin, parameters can be changed but this worked on initial test:
Code: Select all
pactl load-module module-ladspa-sink sink_name=compressor plugin=sc4_1882 label=sc4 control=1,1.5,300,-20,3,1,10

(note - may first need to pactl unload-module module-device-manager if using KDE)

3. Open Pulse Audio Volume Control and switch the playback sink to "LADSPA Plugin SC4 ..."

4. Enjoy compressed sound!

The parameters (the control=1,1.5,300,-20,3,1,10 part above) for this compressor are described in Steve Harris' LADSPA Plugin Docs http://plugin.org.uk/ladspa-swh/docs/la ... th_sEc2.91 :

1. RMS/peak: The balance between the RMS and peak envelope followers.RMS is generally better for subtle, musical compression and peak is better for heavier, fast compression and percussion.
2. Attack time (ms): The attack time in milliseconds.
3. Release time (ms): The release time in milliseconds.
4. Threshold level (dB): The point at which the compressor will start to kick in.
5. Ratio (1:n): The gain reduction ratio used when the signal level exceeds the threshold.
6. Knee radius (dB): The distance from the threshold where the knee curve starts.
7. Makeup gain (dB): Controls the gain of the makeup input signal in dB's.
8. Amplitude (dB): The level of the input signal, in decibels.
9. Gain reduction (dB): The degree of gain reduction applied to the input signal, in decibels.

For limiting purposes, lower the threshold, try -30 to -40 and increase the ratio to 10 or so. Settings will vary so you may have to experiment a bit.

Most of this was stolen/adapted from:
https://superuser.com/questions/162107/ ... 114#162114
https://askubuntu.com/questions/31580/i ... 4012#44012

There is also description for using TAP plugins including Lookahead Limiter. It's described for radio use but should be fine for desktop use:
https://www.ab9il.net/software-defined- ... ssing.html

If you delve deeper into Steve Harris' LADSPA Plugin Docs linked above you will find several limiters are included in that collection. Maybe another day's experiment. :)
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby kevinthefixer » 2018-05-09 02:14

WOW. Thanks for this, I shall have to play with it. But I don't think it'll be a day's project, more like a month for me; I'm not a code-cruncher, not even an IT tech, just a tinker really. But I certainly appreciate your extremely complete answer to what was just a casual question. Hopefully I won't be the only one to benefit from it! I know I'm not the only one with this problem, there's even been talk of the US congress outlawing loud commercials (no more than talk, of course). Once again, thanks!
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby sunrat » 2018-05-09 03:10

kevinthefixer wrote:WOW. Thanks for this, I shall have to play with it. But I don't think it'll be a day's project, more like a month for me

It actually took less than 5 minutes to do, but maybe half an hour to research.

Once again, thanks!

You're welcome. It wasn't an entirely altruistic project though. ;)
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby TheGarage » 2018-06-20 01:30

Try the earlier version of pulseeffects (Installed: 1.312entornosgnulinuzesty-1ubuntu1)
Less options, but it works perfect on debian sid, no crashes at all.
Developer wants to get it in debian repos....
We should help him do that.
Sound output is fantastic.
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby sunrat » 2018-06-20 02:51

Maybe worth trying. If anyone wants to, download it like so:
Code: Select all
wget https://launchpad.net/~yunnxx/+archive/ubuntu/gnome3/+files/pulseeffects_1.313entornosgnulinuxenial-1ubuntu1_amd64.deb


I just noticed a new version, 4.0.7-1 is available from PPA two days ago but it won't install due to dependencies:

Code: Select all
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 pulseeffects : Depends: libboost-filesystem1.65.1 but it is not installable
                Depends: libboost-system1.65.1 but it is not installable


Sid has v1.63.0 of these so maybe it will install once these are updated. I'd rather wait than downgrade for now.
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby stevepusser » 2018-06-21 01:07

I tried rebuilding the 4.0.8 release in a vanilla Buster pbuilder, but it turns out it really needs something in Boost 1.65 that 1.63 is missing. So after porting over 1.65 from Ubuntu in pbuilder, then adding the debs to my local repo folder that pbuilder can use, I was able to get a successful build. I also added those source packages to a Buster multimedia repo I have on the OBS, but the OBS seems to be having some more issues with Buster today...maybe they'll clear up eventually.

https://build.opensuse.org/project/show ... multimedia

Boost builds a lot of interdependent debs, making installing its runtime libraries and then pulseeffects from local debs not for the beginner--so I hesitate to upload my local builds. It's a lot easier if you can install from a repo and let apt sort everything out.
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Re: [SOLVED] Can't get pulseaudio-equalizer to work. Can any

Postby Job » 2018-07-08 15:37

Steve,

I use qpaeq with pavucontrol and all is fine. I am suspecting running
Code: Select all
pactl load-module module-equalizer-sink
pactl load-module module-dbus-protocol


wake up pulseaudio-equalizer.
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