Making Movies Sound Better With Bass EQ

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by paulst10, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. paulst10

    paulst10
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    I'm starting this thread in the hope that we can get the info out for more to see.
    Having been playing around with this for about a month, for me I quickly realised that this is potentially the biggest upgrade you can do, as you're retrieving filtered audio from a movie that no amp/speaker/sub upgrade could ever do. Anyone who has often thought 'that movie sounded weak or lacking in bass' has possibly and unknowingly experienced a filtered bass track, something that is becoming more and more frequent from the studios. The aim of the game is to bring this filtered bass back up to level with the rest of the frequency range, therefore turning it into a full bandwidth movie, the likes which you already experience with titles like War of the Worlds, The Incredible Hulk etc!

    You will need to buy a MiniDSP 2x4HD and you also need a laptop/Mac. What you do is you connect your laptop to the 2x4HD either by USB cable or use a WI-DG Wifi/ethernet bridge and load a BEQ file onto one of the config slots, watch the film, then remove the file.. Takes seconds to do and has been made so simple to download the new BEQ files using the info in the Github repo and desktop app.

    There has been some BEQ demo clips uploaded so you can try without having to buy the equipment, they are PCM tracks have 2 audio tracks, the first is the main track, the second is the BEQ, you simply switch between them to feel/hear the difference.. these demo clips are posted here. So there's no excuse not to try it as it's FREE to sample and then you can decide whether you think it's worth £230 to make your movies sound better :cool:

    Anyone with reasonably capable subwoofers are restricting their capabilities on a regular basis by playing these filtered bass tracks, whether it's filtered at 20, 30, or even 40hz, there's plenty of content to be retrieved if you look at any of the titles listed. See link below for any technical information, how to read graphs, 2x4HD setup, latest updates and BEQ titles etc!..
    Bass EQ for Filtered Movies - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

    I've asked Aron if I can use the occasional image so here's an example of a heavily filtered bass track (dotted line) and a BEQ track (solid line)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Have fun :thumbsup:



    Basic setup for one or two subs and using EQ within their AVR.

    I'm assuming you've all got the BEQ files and desktop app from here.. bmiller/miniDSPBEQ (scroll down for instructions on how to install)

    First thing to do would be download the 2x4HD plugin using the code that came with your MiniDSP and a good time to familiarise yourself with the plugin.
    Connect the 2x4HD to your laptop via USB cable and perform a factory reset from the restore tab along the top left.
    Change the input signal to analogue (on the input page select between USB/optical/analogue)
    Connect your subwoofer1 cable from your AVR to input 1 on the 2x4HD
    Connect the subwoofer1 cable from output 1 on the 2x4HD to your subwoofer
    (Connnect sub2 cable to input 2 on the 2x4HD)
    (Connect sub2 cable from output 3 on the 2x4HD to your subwoofer)
    Re-run your AVR calibration once the 2x4HD is in the chain to compensate for any delay added (supposedly around 4 feet)
    It is recommended that you save a default config file using the file/save tabs

    The next step would be load a BEQ file, click file/load/load configuration to current slot
    [​IMG]

    Next choose the BEQ file you wish to load..
    [​IMG]

    Click open, after a few seconds it will confirm it has loaded to the board and you're ready to play.
    When the film has finished, you will need to delete the BEQ file, the easiest way to do this is by simply loading your 'default config' you've saved, back onto that specific config slot..

    The following step isn't required for single sub users, and is optional for dual sub users.
    You will probably need to get input 1 and 2 linked together if using two or more subs and/or entering BEQ filters manually, this is done by selecting the PEQ on either input, at the top left of the pop up page there's a select channel tab, select the channel then tick the link enabled tick box. Now any BEQ filters entered into one input will be copied over to the other input..
    [​IMG]

    And that's pretty much the basics covered.

    If you're running more than two subs then you will need to change the crossover on outputs 2 and 4 as by default they are configured for speakers, they simply need to be changed to high pass filter bypassed and you're good to go.



    Using the BEQ designer app to download the latest BEQ files
    Select settings/preferences/BEQ files (at the bottom) add a directory for the BEQ files to be stored and click the refresh icon (bottom right) to download/update the latest BEQ files to the specified location.
    BEQ Designer can be downloaded here 3ll3d00d/beqdesigner



    Instructions on keeping your output settings while loading a BEQ file onto the inputs using BEQ Designer
    Make sure you have your default config saved beforehand

    1 select file/ADD BEQ Filter
    2 select the BEQ file you wish to load
    3 select file/export biquad and select 96000 and make sure MiniDSP is ticked and click the save icon and save to a text file in a location you'll remember
    4 Using the 2x4 plugin software, select one of the inputs, then select PEQ, then advanced (bottom left) then import (on the right).
    5 select the file you just saved and click open
    6 You can also save the config again with a movie name and start to build up your own library of BEQ files for future use with all your outputs still in tact.
    7 When you have finished watching, simply reload your default config back to the config slot



    Creating a graph and a PVA using BEQ Designer
    Click tools/extract audio, on the next page click the file location and select the audio track, tick mix to mono and decimate audio, select extract (bottom right), when it has finished click create signals
    [​IMG]

    A graph should appear, underneath the graph are two arrows, click the left arrow and the screen should split into two graphs. Click signal to the left of the bottom graph and select the track and you should see the spectrum view..
    [​IMG]

    At the bottom left, underneath headroom, select the icon on the far left and a new Analysis page should appear.. At the top left it says left and right, tick one and click compare..
    [​IMG]

    The graph shows 1-40hz and then 1-160hz over two sections by default but can be changed using the frequency adjustments section top middle..

    [​IMG]

    ....
     
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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  2. Steve356

    Steve356
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    Where does the miniDSP go exactly? Between the LFE output of the receiver and the LFE input of the sub?

    Isn't there a danger of overdriving the sub?
     
  3. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    Is the bottom pic from NASA ?
     
  4. paulst10

    paulst10
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    Yes, it's sits in between the AVR and sub. Pretty simple to set up, just add it, re-run your auto calibration, make a couple of simple changes depending on how many subs you have (more than 2 subs needs a crossover change for outputs 2 and 4) and off you go :cool:

    Not really. It's advisable to know your systems capabilities if you're playing at or around reference level (especially if you're running a house curve or boosting the sub trims) But if you can play full bandwidth titles like WOTW, TIH etc! at reference level already, then these are no different. I usually run 3db hot but I don't run hot when BEQ'ing and even playing a BEQ file at -10db master volume the difference is immediate for me, the louder you go the more ULF you feel :devil: (depending on the movie and your subs capabilities) I usually only go to around -5db MV as I'm running my room size on large which gives a 5db boost at 20hz so should easily be staying within limits:)
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  5. paulst10

    paulst10
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    :laugh: Yes Top Secret stuff here :D

    Split in two halfs.. left side is the BEQ, right side is the disk track (timestamps on the left, frequency on the bottom, db on the right) :smashin:
     
  6. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    It could be argued that you’d be well within limits of the sub at those levels if running duals.
     
  7. paulst10

    paulst10
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    You could say the same when running any full bandwidth movie at those levels, how loud do you play your War of the Worlds demo clip?
     
  8. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    I can’t remember - it’s been a while since I’ve run those scenes.
     
  9. paulst10

    paulst10
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    Give it a try, I bet you'll easily reach -5db if you're not running hot :)
     
  10. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    I will as I’ve not run it for a while.
     
  11. richardsim7

    richardsim7
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    Welllll that's not entirely true, if one didn't care about object information they could remux the filters into a new audio track, like how the demo clip was done :)

    Also you don't need the HD version, it's just recommended over the normal one
     
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  12. paulst10

    paulst10
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    That seems quite a bit of effort remuxing the audio, but each to their own I suppose.

    I thought the standard 2x4 wasn't capable or didn't have enough filters?
     
  13. Ringnut

    Ringnut
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  14. richardsim7

    richardsim7
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    Yeah I don't understand their aversion to the non-HD model
    It has 6 filters (12 if you use both input and output) so I don't see the problem :\
     
  15. repeat

    repeat
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    Thanks for starting this thread. I kept meaning too after I’d read as much as I could about how it all works. What I’m still left wondering is what sources can be used for movies? Do they have to be on a pc as a rip, or uhd, or appletv or....
     
  16. Ringnut

    Ringnut
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    All sources as it operates on a 2X4 that fits between the pre-amp/processor and the sub amp.
     
  17. repeat

    repeat
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    Thanks I understand where it fits in the flow but wanted to check if the beq file cared about source! Thanks for confirming it doesn’t!
     
  18. paulst10

    paulst10
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    Audio source yes, you have to use the same audio track as they use unless both DTSMA and Atmos tracks are the same (like Venom etc!)

    In some cases there are two BEQ files one for the DTSMA track and one for the Atmos track.. Examples being Oblivion and The Predator etc!
     
  19. repeat

    repeat
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    Big Thanks! Would an Apple TV Atmos movie qualify? Or does it need to be a full fat Atmos from uhd? That’s really what I’m trying to understand as I use appletv a lot more for movies than my uhd collection.
     
  20. paulst10

    paulst10
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    That's something you might have to ask the experts.
     
  21. Ringnut

    Ringnut
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    A big thanks to @paulst10 for a bit of hand-holding in setting this up. :smashin:

    I went the 2X4HD route with the WiFi dongle in order to be able to change settings and setup configs via WiFi. It also allows me to make use of the app via phone or iPad. It really couldn't be simpler, enter the config for the film you want to wacth, then with the app just pick the appropriate config as you start. Just remember to switch back to your 'normal' config at the end.

    For some films that are already very good for bass such as WotW, FotP, etc the difference is quite subtle, for others such as First Man, the difference is night and day. I found that on some films such as Fifth Element and LotR when I went from DVD to BD they lost all the bass! BassEQ solves that, so now you can have a good picture AND good bass. :)

    Very glad I made the move to it, above all it gives me additional options. :thumbsup:
     
  22. repeat

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    Will do. I’ll post what I get back.
     
  23. paulst10

    paulst10
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    Got Oblivion BEQ file loaded up and ready to play, going by the Atmos track, it's DTSMA all the way :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  24. Phil1975

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    Hi all
    Finally got round to posting big thanks to Paul for putting this thread together.

    Well I’ve been using BEQ for just over 3months now. I currently have PSA V1811 sub..!

    I stumbled across BEQ on AVS months ago but at the time found it to daunting to get my head it all.
    Well how wrong was I, I took the plunge and posted for help on how to get going, within a few hours I got some very useful posts and never looked back.

    To make my experience either better I added a WI-DG Wireless bridge, now I can control everting without any usb cables also use the MiniDSP app.

    For me and my setup BEQ is must when watching films.
    Also I run a custom house curve when just watching normal TV, SKY etc...!

    So far I think I’ve got through 15 films with BEQ...some favourites which sound so much better then standard.
    1. Jurassic world - Lost Kingdom
    2. Ant man and the Wasp.
    3. Venom

    These 3 films surprised me as the audio for all 3 had some good stand out bass moments, but with BEQ applied rather than some stand out bass moments, the whole movie sound was lifted to give a whole new experience.

    As of yet I’ve not tried any of the big hitters when it comes to BEQ.
    Pacific Rim 1&2
    Ready Player one
    Unbroken

    But here’s a BEQ scale AVS put together which hopefully is going to be expanded on.
    (See attachment below)

    Now some of our American cousins in AVS are running some crazy sub set ups, which also include some tactile inducers which takes the bass to single digit frequencies.

    Unfortunately my sub doesn’t go down that low.

    So the plan is too add one of these 2 options in the future.

    Crowson Technology - Home Theater Tactile Motion Actuators - Beyond Bass Shakers
    BEQ crowd on AVS swear by these, downside cost of importing them to the UK.:nono:

    Bass Shakers and Amplifiers :: Earthquake 10b, ButtKicker, Aurasound, Butt Kicker LFE Kit, Tactile Transducers. :: Shaker Centre - Bass Shakers and Accessories for Flight Sim, Gaming, Pro Audio and Home Cinema
    UK based but not as good as crowsons maybe..!:cool:

    Anyway my thoughts so far, if I can BEQ anyone can.
    Best upgrade you can make when it comes to watching movies.:clap:
     

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  25. Baggy

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    The graph for Polar looks pretty impressive.
    Anyone watched it yet?
     
  26. paulst10

    paulst10
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    That graph looks amazing :eek: It only went on Netflix Friday, planning on watching today at some point, I was going to watch it last night when Aron posted the BEQ but it was getting a bit late.. Looks like it's going to be fun ride though, blatant John Wick rip-off by the look of it.. but that can only be a good thing :D
     
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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  27. Phil1975

    Phil1975
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    From experience and reading up on AVS you might not get the full effect, due streaming sources tend to be compressed too much.

    Hence I prefer disc based media etc...!
     
  28. b1g1an

    b1g1an
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    Watched it the other night, don't have BEQ but excellent film. "John Wick rip-off" is doing it an injustice, much more to this one than a few very long action scenes, think more Tarantino does comic book.

    As it comes, it did seem much lighter on bass than you expect from this type of film.
     
  29. paulst10

    paulst10
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    I'm about 45 mins in, really good so far, I think the trailer just makes it look like John Wick..

    If I switch configs back to the original track it does seem like the bass is severely lacking in both depth and output, but BEQ'd it sounds awesome. :D
     
  30. richardsim7

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    Did you try the Unbroken demo clip yet?

    I have 2x BK LFEs in my sofa already, so was intrigued by the MAs (a few people there run both)

    I asked them the difference, they said the Buttkickers are most effective around 12-30Hz, and the MAs are most effective under 11Hz (ie: the single digit wobble stuff) - but yeah, at ~£1000 a pair, no thank you, I'll live with what I've got :p
     

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