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Guenter Villnow
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Guenter Villnow
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Overview [Top]

BEQ Designer is an open-source program that generates correction filters to recover bass that was filtered out from movie tracks during production. It displays the spectrum of loaded audio tracks and the effects of correction filters. A very impressive database of movies is constantly updated by a large community of avid bass-lovers. We're obviously extremely pleased to see miniDSP gear being utilized to its full potential and want to take the time to acknowledge all the developpers and active community members, thanks again for all your support!

You can also use BEQ Designer to load correction filters from the BEQ database into a miniDSP 2x4 HD. This is done by merging all filters in the database with your own 2x4 HD configuration file. It's a very cool setup, and we will walk you through it in this app note.

But first, some useful links for reference:

Warning! [Top]

BEQ Designer applies a lot of boost at very low frequencies. This is done to recover frequencies that were filtered out during production. The net result will be the same as the soundtrack "should" have been.

However, this will only work well if you have subwoofers that are capable of producing that low frequency content at the required levels. If your subs have limited output at very low frequencies, it is possible that you could damage them. So exercise caution at first and keep volume levels low until you gain confidence in your use of BEQ and the capabilities of your system.

1. Getting set up [Top]

Go to the BEQ Designer Downloads page and download the release for your platform (Windows, Mac or Linux). If you are running Windows and just want to try it out, the non-installing version beqdesigner.exe is a good option. An explanation of the various downloads available is here.

Once downloaded or installed, start BEQ Designer. (If you are using the non-install version, it may take a little while to start up. Be patient!)

From the Tools menu, select "Merge MiniDSP Xml." Click on the button (highlighted with the red circle in the screenshot below) to download the repository:

Import filters from repository into BEQ Designer

The download may take a little while.

2. Inspect filters [Top]

This step is not strictly required, but helps to explain what's going on in the following steps. First, browse through the BEQ filter catalogue and locate a movie or show that you are interested in. For our example, we will use the first in the list, 10 Cloverfield Lane.

From the File menu, select "Load BEQ Filter." Use the file selection dialog to locate the XML file for the movie or show of interest. Click Open and the filters will be displayed. Select "Combined" under "Filter Response?" at the lower right. Here is the example:

Display of BEQ filter

The graph shows the combined response of the BEQ filters. Note: use the vertical scale on the right side of this graph for gain values. The table over on the right lists the individual filters. (In this case, while it looks like there are two filters, one of them has three copies, as indicated by the number "3" in the right-most column.)

3. Merge your configuration [Top]

You will already have a configuration file for your 2x4 HD with your subwoofer EQ in it. For subwoofer control, you probably used the PEQ on the output channels. This is fine, because BEQ Designer uses the PEQ blocks on the input channels!

As an example, we used the 2x4 HD configuration file that we generated when writing the Using the miniDSP UMIK-X with Multi-Sub Optimizer. On the next diagram (from the User Manual) we've marked how we use the different PEQ blocks:

2x4 HD signal flow showing where filters are loaded

In BEQ Designer, select Merge MiniDSP Xml from the Tools menu. For Config File, select your own 2x4 HD configuration file. For Output Directory, set a location for BEQ Designer to place the merged configuration files. Then press the Save icon (circled on the screenshot below):

Merge filters from repository with 2x4 HD configuration

BEQ Designer also supports configuration files for other miniDSP units. This screenshot of the drop-down menu shows the supported units:

Supported DSPs

We recommend that you read the documentation especially if choosing the 2x4 or 10x10 HD.

4. Load the configuration [Top]

Open the 2x4 HD plugin. Select "Load configuration to current slot" from the File menu.

Load configuration into 2x4 HD plugin

Navigate to the output folder that you chose in the previous step, then locate the XML configuration file for the movie that you want to watch. Click Open to load it into your plugin.

Open one of the input PEQ blocks to confirm that the filter matches the one shown in step 2:

Confirm loaded filters from BEQ Designer

You can also open the output PEQ blocks to confirm that your own subwoofer correction filters have been preserved:

Confirm output filters from existing 2x4 HD config

Wrapping up [Top]

And that's it! If you'd like to go further, try creating your own EQ filters in BEQ Designer. Have fun, and please participate in the AVS Forum thread or let us know how you go in our forum.