The version of PulseAudio EQ which Ubuntu has by default sucks. I mean, it sucks, good and proper. There are several disadvantages I've found with it compared to the older EQ users had been installing via PPA before the "Official" PA EQ came into the fold;
- It does not work immediately after installation
- To prevent from needing to invoke modules manually,
default.pa needs to be modified
- When removed after making it become invoked automatically, it breaks PA until previous changes are reverted
- When functional, it cannot cope with multiple audio sources (at least for me)
qpaeq does not come with presets (why the hell not?!)
- The end-user needs to select it after invocation every. Single. Time.
That's some pretty strong bat crap going on there, and makes using Ubuntu more of a pain than it has to be. So let's get the one which works instead.
Why even get it?
An equalizer is intended to make your aural experience better by providing more options for listening environments, device, genre or general sound curve preferences. A lot of users coming from Windows might be familiar with an equalizer in VLC Media Player or WinAmp, which is where a lot of the presets bundled with the older PA EQ are inspired from. Using a software EQ means you trade off the use of a hardware EQ for CPU cycles, but since most people who use Windows are already familiar with some form of software audio enhancement, that shouldn't be such a big deal except for users of the most anemic of CPUs.
How to install
At present, users of Zesty can install it. If you're on Xenial, then the webupd8 PPA provided below will just work and you won't need to specify version. Past Xenial, version is required. Regardless the below will work for everyone.
If you're using an older version of Ubuntu, that's fine; this PPA supports down to Precise, and the package exists for Ubuntu versions down to Trusty (technically Oneiric but who uses that anymore?)
Perform the following;
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pulseaudio-equalizer=188.8.131.52-5~webupd8~xenial0
If the above fails and you're not up to Xenial (why wouldn't you be?), try using the package name shown without version specified
Keeping it working
sudo apt-mark hold pulseaudio-equalizer
sudo apt-mark manual libqt4-designer libqt4-help libqt4-scripttools libqt4-svg libqt4-test libqtassistantclient4 python-qt4 python-qt4-dbus python-sip
Funny enough, even though the program used to adjust
pulseaudio-equalizer is called
pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk the above seems to allude it's really a Qt application? Someone help me understand why those are marked auto as part of installing the equalizer per the directions above.
pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk and choose to enable the equalizer, pick a preset, then choose to keep and apply changes.
sudo apt-mark unhold pulseaudio-equalizer
sudo apt-mark auto libqt4-designer libqt4-help libqt4-scripttools libqt4-svg libqt4-test libqtassistantclient4 python-qt4 python-qt4-dbus python-sip
sudo apt remove --purge pulseaudio-equalizer
sudo apt autoremove
And to be done with the webupd8 PPA altogether if you have no other use for it and had not upgraded any packages using it;
sudo rm -rf /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nilarimogard*
sudo apt update
- As always, holding back updates and locking down packages can lead to security risks and the distinct possibility of dependency hell.
- As mentioned previously this will use some of your processor so if your CPU is weaksauce you may want to caution using enhancements like this.
- You are using this information as-is without express warranty. If you goof and gaffe, it isn't my fault (stupid).