Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jazz Up the Tunes - Make Use of the Equalizer

Behind the simple interface of iTunes are tons of advanced features and settings that you can play around with to make things suit your tastes. Many of them have to do with managing the music library, but there is one that can truly make or break the music listening experience: the equalizer.

DJ-ing your way

Look for this button at the bottom-right corner of the iTunes window.

Clicking on this button will bring up the equalizer window. Check the 'On' box at the top-left corner to activate the equalizer. Reveal the drop-down list and you can see that iTunes is shipped with a good collection of equalizer settings called the presets.

Hear the difference

Let's start off by rolling a piece of your favorite music in iTunes. When the music is playing, try changing the equalizer to a few different presets. If you have not done this before, you'll be amazed at what a difference it could make with a proper setting of the equalizer.

Expanding the presets

Don't find any presets that satisfy your ear? Then make your own presets! First choose 'Manual' from the list, then adjust the slider of each frequency range until the music sounds right to you. To save the setting, choose "Make Preset..." from the preset list, give the new setting a name, and the new preset will be added to the list.

Getting the right equalizer setting for a piece of music is rather tricky. It requires a sensitive ear, a good taste, great patience, and some knowledge. Check out these cool sites for tutorials.

Managing the presets

To rename/remove a preset from the list, choose "Edit List..." from the preset list. A new window will appear and it is pretty much self-explanatory from there onwards, so we'll skip that part here.

Extra Tips

While you are playing around with the software audio equalizer, it is good to keep in mind that the final output of the music is depending on the types of speakers you are using with your Mac. Every single piece of speaker/earphone is engineered with a specific need in mind (or pure randomness due to poor engineering), therefore their performance at different frequency bands are not at all the same. The best (and a costly) way is to get a set of speakers that produces a wide range of frequency response and is at the same time unbiased towards a specific frequency range.

Yet another Mac tip is on the web!

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