I am currently making a relatively simple EQ of a music app, for which we decide to have 5 bands. Other than that, we want to have a bass boost knob, which, as I view it, is just another Peak EQ filter — so a 6 band EQ.

  • Are there any standards on what a 5(or 6) band EQ's frequencies should be?
  • What should the bass boost's frequency be?

Also, we are making only one Q knob to control the Q for all bands, simply because there isn't any space left for more knobs to be added, but we still want to provide this functionality.

  • Is this a good practice/design?
  • If not, is it at least acceptable or useful?
  • $\begingroup$ Usually you see octave scale used with constant Q 6-band Peaking EQ starting from 100Hz (... 3.2kHz) but, I quess that's not what you would prefer. You could use EqualizerAPO (Windows) for to find those best center frequencies and Q range for your design. sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo . $\endgroup$ – Juha P Dec 16 '18 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ Some useful reading - mdpi.com/2076-3417/6/5/129/htm $\endgroup$ – Juha P Dec 16 '18 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ This might also be of interest. $\endgroup$ – applesoup Dec 16 '18 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Also, as an alternative to a peak filter, a bass boost may also be implemented via a shelving filter. $\endgroup$ – applesoup Dec 16 '18 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ True, is a LSHV a more common and better practice for a bass boost? If it is I think I'll opt for it. @applesoup $\endgroup$ – Nicholas Dec 17 '18 at 0:36

The audible range is about 10 octaves, and usually the center frequencies of a graphic equalizer would be distributed equally spaced on a log scale to cover that range. Common equalizers have either $30$ bands (with $1/3$ octave filters) or $10$ bands (with $1$ octave filters).

If you want $5$ bands, you could choose filters that cover approximately $2$ octaves. The five center frequencies would then be something like

\begin{matrix} 30\,\text{Hz} & 125\,\text{Hz} & 500\,\text{Hz} &2\,\text{kHz} &8\,\text{kHz} \end{matrix}

If you have an equalizer like that I'm not sure if an additional bass boost button makes much sense. If you want $6$ frequencies, just divide the $10$ octaves into $6$ equally spaced bands (on a log scale).

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  • $\begingroup$ Got it. I'm getting 16-16KHz for the ten octaves (C0-C10), but I know the human audible range is 20-20K. Sounds between 16K-20K is very sharp and not really found in music because its sharpness and may even be considered a noise, so no need to have a band in between 16K-20K. Am I right? $\endgroup$ – Nicholas Dec 17 '18 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Edward: It doesn't matter so much if you take 16kHz or 20kHz as upper limit of the audible range. If you use the range 20Hz-20kHz for your equalizer and you define 5 center frequencies in the way I did in my answer you end up with (approx.): 40,160,625,2500,10000 Hz $\endgroup$ – Matt L. Dec 18 '18 at 13:29

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