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.paneeds 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)
qpaeqdoes 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 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=188.8.131.52-5~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:
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.
pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk and choose to enable the equalizer, pick a preset, then choose to keep and apply changes.
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.
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
- 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).