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Equalizer APO: The Best System-Wide Equalizer for Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11


How to Download and Use Equalizer APO: A Complete Guide




If you are looking for a way to improve the sound quality of your Windows PC, you might want to try Equalizer APO. Equalizer APO is a free and open source software that allows you to apply various audio filters and effects to your system output. In this article, we will show you how to download, install, configure, and use Equalizer APO, as well as how to troubleshoot and uninstall it if needed.




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What is Equalizer APO and Why You Need It




Equalizer APO is a parametric/graphic equalizer for Windows. It is implemented as an Audio Processing Object (APO) for the system effect infrastructure introduced with Windows Vista. This means that it can process any audio signal that passes through your PC, regardless of the application or device that produces it. You can use Equalizer APO to enhance your music, movies, games, or any other audio content.


Equalizer APO Features




Some of the main features of Equalizer APO are:


  • Virtually unlimited number of filters



  • Works on any number of channels



  • Very low latency, which makes it suited for interactive applications



  • Low CPU usage



  • Modular graphical user interface



  • VST plugin support



  • Integrates into Voicemeeter ( [15](http://www.voicemeeter.com/))



Equalizer APO Requirements




To use Equalizer APO, you need:


  • Windows Vista or later (currently only Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and 11 have been tested)



  • The application must not bypass the system effect infrastructure (APIs like ASIO or WASAPI exclusive mode can not be used)



How to Download and Install Equalizer APO




The installation process of Equalizer APO is simple and straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:


Downloading Equalizer APO from SourceForge




You can download the latest version of Equalizer APO from [SourceForge](^1^). You need to choose the setup file that matches your Windows version (32 or 64 bit). If you are unsure about your system type, you can open Start Menu -> Control Panel -> System and look it up.


Installing Equalizer APO with Configurator




After downloading the setup file, run it and follow the instructions. Remember your installation path if you don't use the default of C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO . During the installation process, the program Configurator.exe will be run. This program allows you to select the audio device(s) that you want to install the APO to. Make sure that you select the correct device(s), especially if you have multiple output devices. If you are unsure, you can open Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Sound and look for the default output device. If you need to install the APO to other audio devices later, you can run the Configurator again from C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\Configurator.exe .


Rebooting Your System to Activate Equalizer APORebooting Your System to Activate Equalizer APO




After the installation is complete, you need to reboot your system for the changes to take effect. This is because the APO needs to be registered in the Windows registry and loaded into the audio service. Once you restart your PC, you should be able to use Equalizer APO with any application that uses the system audio output.


How to Configure and Use Equalizer APO




Now that you have installed Equalizer APO, you can start configuring and using it to improve your sound quality. There are several ways to do this, depending on your preferences and needs. Here are some of the most common methods:


Opening and Editing the Configuration File




The simplest way to configure Equalizer APO is to edit the configuration file directly. The configuration file is a text file that contains the commands and parameters that define the filters and effects that are applied to the audio signal. You can find the configuration file in C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\config\\config.txt . You can open it with any text editor, such as Notepad or Notepad++. You can also use the program Editor.exe from C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\Editor.exe , which provides a graphical user interface for editing the configuration file.


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The configuration file consists of lines that start with a command, followed by optional arguments separated by spaces. For example, the line Preamp: -6 dB means that a preamp filter with a gain of -6 dB is applied to the audio signal. You can add, remove, or modify any line in the configuration file to change the behavior of Equalizer APO. You can also use comments (lines that start with ;) to document your configuration or disable certain lines. For a complete list of commands and arguments, you can refer to the [documentation] or the [wiki] of Equalizer APO.


After you edit the configuration file, you need to save it and restart your audio application for the changes to take effect. You can also use the hotkey Ctrl+J to reload the configuration file without restarting your audio application.


Using Room EQ Wizard to Create Filters




If you want to create more advanced filters based on measurements of your room acoustics, you can use Room EQ Wizard (REW). REW is a free software that allows you to measure and analyze the frequency response of your speakers and room, and generate correction filters that can be imported into Equalizer APO. You can download REW from [here].


To use REW with Equalizer APO, you need:


  • A microphone that can capture sound accurately, such as a measurement microphone or a calibrated USB microphone



  • A sound card or audio interface that can output and input sound simultaneously



  • A cable or adapter that can connect the output of your sound card or audio interface to the input of your microphone



  • A stand or tripod that can hold your microphone at ear level



Here are the steps you need to follow:


  • Connect your microphone to your sound card or audio interface, and connect the output of your sound card or audio interface to the input of your microphone using a cable or adapter.



  • Launch REW and go to Preferences -> Soundcard. Select your sound card or audio interface as both the output device and input device, and select your microphone as the input channel.



  • Go to Preferences -> Mic/Meter and calibrate your microphone using a calibration file if available, or by measuring its sensitivity.



  • Go to File -> New Measurement and set up the measurement parameters according to your preferences. For example, you can choose the sweep length, sample rate, level, etc.



  • Place your microphone at ear level at your listening position, and make sure there are no obstructions between your speakers and your microphone.



  • Click on Start Measuring and follow the instructions on screen. REW will play a sweep tone through your speakers and record it with your microphone. It will then display a graph of the frequency response of your speakers and room.



  • Repeat steps 5 and 6 for different positions around your listening area, until you have enough measurements to cover your listening area.



  • Select all your measurements in REW and go to EQ -> Match Response To Target. This will open a window where you can set up a target curve for your frequency response, and generate correction filters based on it.



  • Adjust the target curve according to your preferences. For example, you can choose a flat curve, a house curve, or a custom curve. You can also adjust the filter parameters, such as filter type, bandwidth Adjust the filter parameters, such as filter type, bandwidth, gain, etc. You can also use the Auto EQ function to let REW choose the optimal filter settings for you.



  • Click on EQ Filters and select Equalizer APO as the equalizer type. This will generate a text file that contains the commands and parameters for the correction filters that can be imported into Equalizer APO.



  • Save the text file to your computer and copy its contents to the configuration file of Equalizer APO. You can also use the Export button to export the text file directly to the configuration file.



  • Save the configuration file and restart your audio application for the changes to take effect. You can also use the hotkey Ctrl+J to reload the configuration file without restarting your audio application.



You should now hear a difference in the sound quality of your speakers and room. You can use REW to measure the frequency response again and compare it with the original measurements. You can also use your ears and preferences to fine-tune the filters and target curve as needed.


Applying Filters and Adjusting Preamp




If you want to apply simple filters and adjust the overall volume of your audio output, you can use the program Peace.exe from C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\Peace.exe . Peace is a graphical user interface for Equalizer APO that allows you to easily create and edit filters using sliders, knobs, buttons, etc. You can also use presets, import and export settings, and access advanced features such as convolution, crossfeed, delay, etc.


To use Peace with Equalizer APO, you need:


  • Equalizer APO installed and activated on your audio device(s)



  • The latest version of Peace downloaded from [here] and extracted to C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\Peace



Here are the steps you need to follow:


  • Launch Peace.exe and select your audio device from the drop-down menu at the top left corner. If you have multiple output devices, you can run multiple instances of Peace for each device.



  • Use the sliders to adjust the gain of each frequency band. You can also use the buttons at the bottom to switch between different filter types, such as peak, low shelf, high shelf, etc.



  • Use the knob at the top right corner to adjust the preamp. The preamp is a global gain that affects all filters. You can use it to increase or decrease the overall volume of your audio output. Be careful not to set it too high or too low, as it may cause clipping or distortion.



  • Use the buttons at the top left corner to save, load, import, export, or reset your settings. You can also use the drop-down menu at the top center to select from various presets that are included with Peace or downloaded from [here].



  • Use the tabs at the bottom to access more features and options, such as convolution, crossfeed, delay, channel mixer, etc.



You should now hear a difference in the sound quality of your audio output. You can use Peace to create and edit filters according to your preferences and needs.


Using VST Plugins with Equalizer APO




If you want to use VST plugins with Equalizer APO, you can do so by using the VST plugin command in the configuration file. VST plugins are third-party software that can add various effects and features to your audio signal, such as reverb, compression, EQ, etc. You can find many free and paid VST plugins online, such as [here] or [here].


To use VST plugins with Equalizer APO, you need:


  • Equalizer APO installed and activated on your audio device(s)



  • The VST plugin(s) that you want to use downloaded and extracted to a folder of your choice



Here are the steps you need to follow:


  • Open the configuration file of Equalizer APO with a text editor or the Editor.exe program.



  • Add a line that starts with the command VSTPlugin: followed by the path to the VST plugin file (.dll) that you want to use. For example, if you want to use a plugin called Reverb.dll that is located in C:\\VSTPlugins\\Reverb , you can add the line VSTPlugin: C:\\VSTPlugins\\Reverb\\Reverb.dll . You can also use relative paths, such as VSTPlugin: ..\\VSTPlugins\\Reverb\\Reverb.dll .



  • Optionally, you can add more arguments after the path to specify the parameters of the VST plugin, such as channel, gain, bypass, etc. For a complete list of arguments, you can refer to the [documentation] or the [wiki] of Equalizer APO.



  • Save the configuration file and restart your audio application for the changes to take effect. You can also use the hotkey Ctrl+J to reload the configuration file without restarting your audio application.



  • To access and adjust the settings of the VST plugin, you can use the program VSTHost.exe from C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\VSTHost.exe . This program allows you to open and control any VST plugin that is loaded by Equalizer APO. You can also use other VST host applications, such as [Voicemeeter] or [Cantabile].



You should now hear a difference in the sound quality of your audio output. You can use VST plugins to add more effects and features to your audio signal.


How to Troubleshoot and Uninstall Equalizer APO




If you encounter any problems or issues with Equalizer APO, such as no sound, distorted sound, high CPU usage, etc., you can try some of these troubleshooting steps:


Checking the Log Files and Wiki for Errors




Equalizer APO generates log files that contain information about its operation and possible errors. You can find the log files in C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\log . You can open them with any text editor or the program LogViewer.exe from C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\LogViewer.exe . You can also use the hotkey Ctrl+L to open the latest log file with LogViewer.exe .


If you find any errors or warnings in the log files, you can try to fix them by following the suggestions in the log files or by searching for solutions on the [wiki] or the [forum] of Equalizer APO. You can also report any bugs or issues on the [issue tracker] of Equalizer APO.


Uninstalling Equalizer APO with Configurator




If you want to uninstall Equalizer APO from your system, you can do so by using the program Configurator.exe from C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\Configurator.exe . This program allows you to uninstall the APO from any audio device that you have installed it to. Here are the steps you need to follow:


  • Launch Configurator.exe and select the audio device(s) that you want to uninstall the APO from. You can use the Ctrl or Shift keys to select multiple devices.



  • Click on the Uninstall button and confirm your choice. This will remove the APO from the selected device(s) and restore the original settings.



  • Reboot your system for the changes to take effect.



You can also uninstall Equalizer APO completely by using the Windows Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Uninstall a program. This will remove all files and folders related to Equalizer APO from your system.


Conclusion and FAQs




In this article, we have shown you how to download, install, configure, and use Equalizer APO, a free and open source software that allows you to apply various audio filters and effects to your system output. We have also shown you how to troubleshoot and uninstall Equalizer APO if needed. We hope that this guide has helped you to improve your sound quality and enjoy your audio content more.


If you have any questions or comments about Equalizer APO, you can check out some of these frequently asked questions (FAQs) or visit the [website], [wiki], [forum], or [issue tracker] of Equalizer APO.


FAQs




QuestionAnswer


Does Equalizer APO work with Bluetooth headphones or speakers?Yes, as long as they are connected as an output device in Windows and do not bypass the system effect infrastructure. However, some Bluetooth devices may have their own built-in equalizers or DSPs that may interfere with Equalizer APO.


Does Equalizer APO work with streaming services like Spotify or YouTube?Yes, as long as they use the system audio output and do not bypass the system effect infrastructure. However, some streaming services may have their own built-in equalizers or DSPs that may interfere with Equalizer APO.


Does Equalizer APO work with games or voice chat applications like Discord or Skype?Yes, as long as they use the system audio output and do not bypass the system effect infrastructure. However, some games or voice chat applications may have their own built-in equalizers or DSPs that may interfere with Equalizer APO.


How can I backup or restore my settings for Equalizer APO?You can backup or restore your settings by copying or replacing the configuration file (config.txt) in C:\\Program Files\\EqualizerAPO\\config . You can also use the Import/Export buttons in Peace or Editor to save or load your settings to or from a file.


How can I update Equalizer APO to the latest version?You can update Equalizer APO by downloading and running the latest setup file from [SourceForge]. You do not need to uninstall the previous version before updating. Your settings will be preserved after updating.




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