If you’re like most users who are familiar with Microsoft Windows, you probably know you have a software equalizer as part of your driver software for your PC audio hardware or installed by you, the end-user. If you’re like some people, you actually care about it. And if you’re like some other people who gave
qpaeq a try, you’ll find it’s difficult to use.
The next best thing — PulseEffects — requires an audio engineering degree before that can be used to its full potential. Worst yet, if it’s configured as a system audio equalization solution, it may crash on certain hardware and leave you with no audio, which isn’t a good thing to occur in a party setting.
If you don’t want your instance of Manjaro to sound like its audio is coming from a tin can and thought to yourself Gosh, the audio when I use Linux sure does suck, then this guide will assist in installation of an easy-to-use and nearly bulletproof solution for making PulseAudio suck a whole lot less.
From Manjaro’s official repositories, there is a software known as
pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk which is available from the
pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa package. This uses the Linux Audio Developer’s Simple Plugin API for attaching an instance of Multiband EQ to PulseAudio, providing a braindead-easy, yet comprehensive solution for modifying the audio through software.
Mind, there needs to be a reasonable processor to use it without crackling, but any desktop machine made within the last decade should fulfill this requirement, so most readers need not worry.
As shown —
sudo pacman -S pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk
As this is a GTK3 application, context-sensitive display buttons do exist in the title bar.
In the title bar, there are a few buttons. Tooltips explain most, but the ability to keep configuration between sessions is hidden in the menu triggered from left-most CSD button, labelled as Keep Settings.
The drop-down menu in the middle, left of the toggle switch holds all presets available. Many of these are inspired from WinAmp’s default presets, some of them are based on profiles from other hardware. You should listen to each of them depending on the your current audio configuration and select whichever one most resembles a profile you would be satisfied with, performing tweaks and changes as necessary using the sliders below.
To enable use of the equalizer, flip the only visible switch in the titlebar. The equalizer can remain on while modifying settings, allowing for real-time adjustment until you are content.
If you encounter an issue where you need to delete
~/.config/pulse then there also goes your equalizer settings. If your custom configuration was saved previousiy it can be chosen once again. Regardless if your preset was custom or not, all which needs to be done is re-enabling the equalizer, and selecting your preference.
You also shouldn’t use other equalizer solutions with this as what’s provided is a system-wide equalizer. This means you can eschew use of equalizers per-application once your preference is dialed in.