Sunday, May 2, 2010

System wide graphic equalizer for Ubuntu

Because so much content is now supplied via the web browser these days (e.g. BBC iPlayer and We7) its necessary to have some overall sound enhancement plug in or graphic equalizer which controls all sound going through the sound card. I have been through the two most easily available ones and the pulse audio one works fine on my laptop. Pulse Audio is the sound server used by Ubuntu 9.10.

There are actually two separately developed equalizers for pulse audio. I tried the mainstream one but I could not retrieve the gpg key so I am using the "unofficial" one instead. The instructions found here worked OK for me:

I have not found it to add much to the processor usage. If you tell it to "keep settings" and then quit the equalizer, the settings continue to be used for all audio without having to launch the equalizer. To turn it off just launch it again and disable the settings. On my ubuntu laptop I found the "headphone" preset worked better than the "laptop" one.

This equalizer will work with the output of any audio player or audio program you use.