How to install the PulseAudio equalizer which works

audio

#1

#Introduction
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
###Getting it
At present, users of Bionic and less, up to Xenial can follow these directions. 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. If using Cosmic you will need to follow some additional steps. Regardless of how you enable the repository, 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
# Using Cosmic? See note before proceeding.
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pulseaudio-equalizer=2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0

###Special information for Cosmic Cuttlefish
If using this version of Ubuntu, you will need to do a couple of things, since it is not immediately obvious:

  • Perform sudo pluma /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nilarimogard-ubuntu-webupd8-cosmic.list
  • Replace (or append) with the following;
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/nilarimogard/webupd8/ubuntu bionic main
# deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/nilarimogard/webupd8/ubuntu bionic main

Once finished, you can then update available repositories. add-apt-repository also invokes apt update after using it to add a repository rather than letting you append before updating, so a manual invocation with sudo apt update will be updating your available repositories twice, it’s no big deal.

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
Since a “later version” using FFT exists, apt will want to stand firmly in your way about keeping it. There is only one command you need to perform for fixing this. (If I am wrong, I will later append onto this with new information):
sudo apt-mark hold pulseaudio-equalizer

With that done, you can move onto configuring and purposing it.

###Using it
Open pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk and choose to enable the equalizer, pick a preset, then choose to keep and apply changes.

#Issues

Problems at boot

In some scenarios, Pulseaudio might not work at all with this enabled. While there isn’t a fix I can figure, a workaround would be to append this into your autostart, or if you don’t reboot often to perform manually:

# Remove ANY instance of PulseAudio configuration files
rm -rf ~/*pulse* ~/.config/*pulse*
# Kill and reload PA
pulseaudio -q
pulseaudio &
# ! You may not have to, but if you Hold [Ctrl] and press C to break operation
#   it should restore access to terminal, should you be locked out after invocation.

When finished, open pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk and re-apply specified changes, and reconfigure your audio devices to previous specifications.

###Removal
If you find after many hours of tweaking the above isn’t worth it, removal is pretty easy;

sudo apt-mark unhold pulseaudio-equalizer
sudo apt remove --purge pulseaudio-equalizer

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

#Caveats

  • 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).

#Information sources



PulseAudio Equalizer randomly goes to full volume
Tips, Tutorials and Guides Index
#2

THANKs A LOT @tiox.
This WORKS.
:joy: & :relieved:
I am months behind her but REALY appreciate you contacting me.
Regards
SpavePunk


#3

which version of ubuntu are you using ?
i tried with 17.10 without success :frowning:


#4

The latest webupd8 repo should still have the Xenial version of PAEQ, since it’s working on my end. Mind producing some output so I can determine where you went wrong?

Alternatively, if it’s because the package for Xenial doesn’t exist in the Arttful repo, open the .list file for webupd8 in pluma and copy the active line there to paste in a new line to also pull packages for Zesty.


#5

I’ve also been swapping between ‘qpaeq’ and the LADSPA based ‘PulseAudio Equalizer’ for years now and I quite agree that ‘qpaeq’ is completely inferior for all the reasons you’ve given.

It seems the LADSPA version has new maintainers over at…

I managed to package it but only afterwards realised that Ubuntu 18.04 only has python-gi version 3.26 and 3.30 at minimum is needed for the Gtk.Template bits to work.

So I thought I’d make the old one work without any crazy package holding. In short the reason for package holding above is because the package ‘pulseaudio-equalizer’ is now in the main Ubuntu repositories - but that is the ‘qpaeq’ version!

This script takes the webupd8 package and renames it (both in terms of package name and directory structure) to ‘pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa’ (which is incidentally what the Arch guys are calling it… https://www.archlinux.org/packages/community/any/pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa)…

Then it installs just fine and won’t even conflict with ‘qpaeq’ if you want that too…

wget launchpad.net/~nilarimogard/+archive/ubuntu/webupd8/+files/pulseaudio-equalizer_2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0_all.deb
sudo dpkg-deb -R pulseaudio-equalizer_*_all.deb src
sudo sed -i '0,/\(pulseaudio-equalizer\)/s//\1-ladspa/' src/DEBIAN/control src/usr/share/menu/* src/usr/share/lintian/overrides/*
sudo sed -i 's/\(pulseaudio-equalizer\)\//\1-ladspa\//' src/usr/bin/* src/usr/share/menu/* src/usr/share/pulseaudio-equalizer/*.py
zcat src/usr/share/doc/pulseaudio-equalizer/changelog.Debian|sed 's/^\(pulseaudio-equalizer\)/\1-ladspa/'|gzip -c|sudo dd of=src/usr/share/doc/pulseaudio-equalizer/changelog.Debian.gz    
sudo find src/usr/share -name pulseaudio-equalizer -exec mv {} {}-ladspa \; 2>/dev/null
(cd src && find usr -type f -exec md5sum '{}' \;|sudo dd of=DEBIAN/md5sums)
dpkg-deb -b src pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa_2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0_all.deb
sudo rm -Rf src

Works great :slight_smile:


#6

Good on you man. Pleasant to see a great mind thinking alike, but tackling the issue differently.

However I will say this much; Until the FFT EQ gets better and becomes more user friendly, I wouldn’t even bother. What would be really nice is if you forked webupd8’s project into its own PPA using that script to “Build” the renamed equalizer. You can then publish it as a joint effort between you and the maintainers who created it, and make it installable for Bionic and Cosmic.

About that… yes, that is exactly the reason. Figured I would confirm your suspension. The EQ gets replaced immediately upon next update which is why the package holding has to be done if not using your solution. The bother I have with it presently is it’s not user-friendly, but at the same time I post less user-friendly things myself so I can’t knock you for trying. :wink:

One more thing; I should attempt to see if I still need to hold those QT packages or if it was me rushing and panicked. You shouldn’t need to hold anything except pulseaudio-equalizer, so I am going to take a look at that and see what’s up there.


#7

Thanks @lah7for letting me append onto this post, couldn’t do it without you. :wink:


#8

Appending further onto the script which was presented earlier, I managed to install the package he built and acquire the deps for it rather easily. If you would rather the above without adding the webupd8 PPA:

# Fetch and rename
wget launchpad.net/~nilarimogard/+archive/ubuntu/webupd8/+files/pulseaudio-equalizer_2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0_all.deb
sudo dpkg-deb -R pulseaudio-equalizer_*_all.deb src
sudo sed -i '0,/\(pulseaudio-equalizer\)/s//\1-ladspa/' src/DEBIAN/control src/usr/share/menu/* src/usr/share/lintian/overrides/*
sudo sed -i 's/\(pulseaudio-equalizer\)\//\1-ladspa\//' src/usr/bin/* src/usr/share/menu/* src/usr/share/pulseaudio-equalizer/*.py
zcat src/usr/share/doc/pulseaudio-equalizer/changelog.Debian|sed 's/^\(pulseaudio-equalizer\)/\1-ladspa/'|gzip -c|sudo dd of=src/usr/share/doc/pulseaudio-equalizer/changelog.Debian.gz    
sudo find src/usr/share -name pulseaudio-equalizer -exec mv {} {}-ladspa \; 2>/dev/null
(cd src && find usr -type f -exec md5sum '{}' \;|sudo dd of=DEBIAN/md5sums)
dpkg-deb -b src pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa_2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0_all.deb
sudo rm -Rf src
# Install
sudo dpkg -i ./pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa_2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0_all.deb
sudo apt install -f -y

(Hindsight is 20/20. This might not be the best way to install but it worked for me.)


#9

Yeah I left off the bit for installing the package as there are lots of different ways to do that. Most would likely just double click the package and keep it around in case they need it in future. I just use…
sudo gdebi -n pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa_2.7.0.2-5~webupd8~xenial0_all.deb
Which both installs it and also takes care of dependencies in one hit.


#10

I think there is some sort of bug with this software however, haven’t quite nailed it down yet.

But on one of my systems… when I reboot I find the MATE panel / main menu / marco / basically anything Gtk2/3 that makes new windows (or menus) - does so at an alarmingly slow rate. When I go in to sound preferences my audio devices also don’t look right.

The moment I go into this equaliser and undo ‘Keep Settings’ - and boom, it’s all good again. Took me a long while to find this (as I couldn’t find any debug) and a reinstall to work it out.

So in case anyone else has similar issues (this is on Ubuntu MATE 18.04) let me know.