How to install the PulseAudio equalizer which works

Hey guys! Long time no see, I know, but figured I would update this guide for Disco! Sucks you need to download some extra packages but hey, them's the breaks.

Made the guide more efficient by considering order of operations and having the information which matters most for Disco Dingo users first.

When I first ran bionic on my pc,
I found a quite manual way of installing it:

In xenial I reinstalled the equalizer and quickly grabbed everything that was downloaded from


before the installation finished and automatically erased all downloaded packages.
So that was a rough backup, but I got everything needed.

Back to bionic I installed one by one, in the following order:


And BAM! PulseAudioEQ was fully operational on my system, and I was happy than ever. HAHAha
Only to find this guidance a few hours later..

This EQ was first created on November 1st, 2009 by an Irish guy

but I sware that when I find an Ubuntu that won't be able to load it, I'll have to remain with the older version. JUST because of this equalizer.
You are the only few users who understand how mighty it is.

So please, let's try to maintain it whenever possible without modifying, forever.

You guys are awesome, it's the best support of all Ubuntu flavors and distros.

Why don't we contact the nilarimogard/webupd8 ppa and ask them to release an installation for bionic? I'm sure it's just a matter of editing simple lines, and inform about the apt-mark hold approach to not interfere with the system package.
Why not even disco, they just need the right guidance found here. :wink:

Glad you found the guide useful, even if it is in hindsight. If nothing else, I'll keep the package on hand for my own use and upload it if I ever encounter the issue of this software no longer existing in any capacity.

There is an alternative I want to try out on this system called PulseEffects which has way more sound control options, but for best compatibility I would need to add either the PE PPA or Pop!_OS' PPA for it, and see if the community presets for it sound better than what's baked into my preferred EQ. I remember during my time on Pop!_OS the PulseEffects EQ was prone to crashing and giving me no audio due to it.

I super-goofed and swapped install commands for LADSPA PAEQ. My bad! In newer versions of Ubuntu, if you only did sudo apt install pulseaudio-equalizer it will install the FFT version, which is the one that is so bothersome to even attempt using!

I'm aware of PulseEffects and I remember it didn't work out-of-the-box, just after setting it to the right direction. I examined every option of it and concluded it was a copy and paste of what we find in the Realtek High Definition Audio drivers for Windows.

If your hear it closely, this equalizer adds a bad 'static' to the sound acoustic, distorting the original audio. It does not provide a quality overall output, it is very poor.
It's useful if you wanna play around with the ambient effects, but it's the same as using a cheap set of speakers.

Now, the LADSPA EQ has a tremendous quality.

It doubles the power of your speakers! Has a perfect distribution of channels, every detail and nuance of the audio has definition, clarity and potency without any artificial layer.
I gotta say, undoubtedly, that only through this piece of software, you'll have a better audio than several so called audiophile and expensive speakers.
It's the cornerstone of my HTPC.

It must never die. :monitor:

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So tiox, are you a fan of Bach? :laughing:


You seem like a notorious and assiduous contributor to this community, inherited from the composer.

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Guys, I'm so sorry. I don't have time to research right now. I managed to successfully install old PAEQ after much issues with missing legacy GTK2 libraries which were not in Eoan's repos.

In the next day or two, I'll have the good stuff for y'all. But it's going to be a lot to fetch.

Fifteen packages.

Fifteen packages?!

Fifteen packages!

Holy O'Connell is that a whole lot of packages! But I figured it out, yet again for the benefit of the three people here who give a damn.

If you encounter the 500 server error issue because you're hammering the Ubuntu Packages website a little too much with requests, use Google; begin a search with site: and the URL you want to access, you'll bypass the 500 for a few minutes, anyway and be able to download all of the packages you need. But that's ridiculous. This is getting out of hand.

Can someone more experienced than I rebase and recompile this for GTK3?

Added archive with all Eoan deps to keep Rhonda from fielding multiple 500 issues for Ubuntu Packages;

PulseEffects made it to the debian main repo.
It can be installed with sudo apt install -y pulseeffects.
However, in order for the EQ to work, you have to install lsp-plugins as well (sudo apt install -y lsp-plugins).

It's still not the same. That, and for me it crashes. Lack of good presets also kind of suck.

See, there are major issues with any solution that isn't dead-simple and bulletproof. It isn't that I want just an EQ, I want one that doesn't demand a lot of attention, or require an audio engineering degree to purpose easily configure.

This works in that way. When PE is up to snuff and doesn't demand too much from me I'll try it again.

@tiox Thanks for putting this together. I didn't get anywhere (on 19.10) with the standard pulseaudio-equalizer, nor with pulseeffects. Following your method above, I've got the equalizer working as I used to have before upgrading!

Now, I did have one problem with the archive you've shared:

$ sudo apt install ./*.deb
Reading package lists... Error!
E: Invalid archive signature
E: Internal error, could not locate member control.tar.{zstlz4gzxzbz2lzma}
E: Could not read meta data from ./libbonobo2-0_2.32.1-3_amd64.deb
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

I had to download a fresh version from and it all worked from there.

Interesting. Can you reproduce these errors in a live session?

... in a live session?

@tiox Not sure what you mean by "live session". What I'm suggesting is that the archive you've provided needs to be updated with a fresh download of libbonobo2-0. Thanks again, it's been incredibly useful.

Using your installation media, to run a temporary instance via its Syslinux menu option Try Ubuntu MATE without installing.

Great tiox,

Did you check the situation on Focal Fossa?

We have an incoming LTS edition that matters the most.

Focal is going to be very important. Either PulseEffects shapes up to be more end-user friendly (that is, including idiot-proof defaults for dumb babies) and not be so prone to crashing on some end-user's machines which had prior issues or somebody needs to do some recompiling of the LADSPA solution my guide presents for ease-of-installation with the latest LTS.

Updated OP to be thematically consistent with the rest of my more recent submissions on here.

Replaced the care package for Eoan / Fossa, should work just fine now. If it doesn't complain via direct message — That should catch my attention. Also overhauled some portions of this guide after a brief investigation into available packages for different systems from the WebUpd8 repository.

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