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[Beta-testers wanted] Multi-Automation Tool (M.A.T) for Equalizer APO

Jose Hidalgo

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#1
Hi everybody, I hope this is the right forum section for this.

During the last few weeks, I've been working on a new tool (100% free, this needs to be said upfront) that could interest some of you.

This tool is primarily intended for headphone listening, but it can easily be adapted for loudspeaker listening. So if you're a loudspeaker person, please keep reading.

_Startup.jpg


M.A.T (the name can still change, I just came up with it yesterday) is basically a small Windows executable, designed using AutoHotkey, that offers a quick and convenient way for managing a collection of headphones and all their corresponding EQ presets using Equalizer APO. It also supports HeSuVi, a well-known virtualization plug-in for Equalizer APO.

Everything is managed via customizable keyboard hotkeys that allow user(s) to quickly switch headphones presets and sound modes (see below). As a side bonus, the app displays pretty custom-made pictures of your own headphone models every time you switch something, so you know exactly what you're doing. A small unobtrusive GUI (which can be repositioned or disabled) tells you what you need to know at any given moment. It won't interfere with your player and it won't mess with your system.

This tool doesn't provide any "new" functionality, but it automates a lot of things, making your listening experience more enjoyable. It's easier to use than PEACE (Equalizer APO plug-in), offers less complicated stuff (PEACE is a much more powerful software but it may be a bit overkill for the average user), and is more geared towards listening sessions and having full control of all your headphones and EQ presets at your fingertips. I've been using it myself and I couldn't live without it now.

Here's what it allows you to do :
  • Multi-headphones : an unlimited number of headphones (or loudspeaker sets) can be defined, with their corresponding EQ presets. EQ presets for a number of headphones will already be provided (just a few to start with, more with time hopefully), and you'll be able to add your own presets easily.

  • Multi-modes : an unlimited number of modes or "sounds" can be defined. A mode is a collection of EQ presets that match a specific target response curve. For example all the presets of the "Harman" mode will provide the "Harman Sound" by matching the Harman target curve. And all presets of the "Optimum HiFi" mode will provide the "Optimum HiFi Sound" by matching the Optimum HiFi target curve (which is a headphone version of Bruel & Kjaer‘s 1974 Optimum HiFi curve).

  • Multi-presets : each mode has 1 preset per headphone model, which should be enough for most people. For example : headphone A will have 1 preset for Harman mode, 1 preset for Optimum HiFi mode, and so on. What if you want even more presets for a given headphone ? Then you can easily add more modes.

  • Multi-users : 1 or 2 listeners can be active at the same time on the same computer. 2 listeners can use 2 stereo DACs for Dual Listening.

  • Customizable : almost everything can be customized.
The tool works already pretty well, so I can start thinking about releasing it as beta in the near future. I'm currently working on the user manual, trying to make everything easy and fool-proof. Once it's ready, I'd be happy to share it with you. For that, I'm going to need a limited number of beta-testers.

To become a beta-tester, you simply need :
  • A Windows PC
  • Equalizer APO (it doesn't need to be installed yet : you just need to be willing to install it, and being a beginner won't be a problem - I was a beginner myself and I'll gladly walk you through it if needed)
  • One or several headphones (let's say 12 max to keep things simple for the moment, lol)
Ideally you also need to be comfortable with basic editing of text files. Nothing too fancy.

If you want to become a beta-tester, I will simply need you to :
  • Apply by replying to this topic
  • List the main headphones in your collection. Only the main ones please. Let's try to avoid "rare" or "lo-fi" models for the moment. It will be easier for me to start with "popular" models that many people in this forum may have. Think Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, Hifiman, Meze, Focal, Audeze, Denon, Philips, Audioquest, etc..
Like said previously, as a side bonus, beta testers will get pretty custom-made pictures of their own headphone models. You can help with that part if you want, by providing a hi-res "front" picture of your headphone model on a white, solid color or transparent background, so I can use it. You can try to find that picture on Google or elsewhere. Like this one for example for the HD600.

Beta-testers don't have any requirements, besides testing M.A.T when it's ready, enjoying it, and reporting any unexpected behaviour. There shouldn't be much to report : like I said I've been trying it myself. From as far as I can tell, it works and it's completely harmless. The code seems stable so far, and the hardest part now is writing a detailed manual so everybody can enjoy it.

One last thing : I don't know how this is going to work out. Maybe nobody will be interested, and in that case I'll just keep enjoying my own setup. Or maybe a lot of you will be interested, and then I will have a lot of work, which may or may not be a good thing. :p

Just remember that this project is a labour of love, by only one person, for the love of music and for music enthusiasts, that's all. :)

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks !
 
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OP
Jose Hidalgo

Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #2
Already 15 popular headphone models available, and counting ! :D

2021.04.10 - 20.30.16.jpg


What's yours ? Is it in the list ? Do you want it to be ? ;)
 

Berwhale

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#4
I guess this could be nice. I currently use the PEACE hotkey feature to switch between headphone profiles. I have HD660s set to CTRL+ALT+1, AKG317 set to CTRL+ALT+2, etc. I have different colour PEACE icons for each profile, so I can tell which one i'm using from the taskbar.

I'd be happy to beta test this for you. My headphones are in my signature.

One other thing I need is a hotkey to turn off EQ completely (I use CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE in PEACE) for my MTM monitors which have built-in DSP and I don't currently EQ in EAPO.
 

LightninBoy

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#5
I'm interested, but my use case would be different - hobby music recording. I mostly track and mix with speakers (EQ'd with APO), but very often need to switch to headphones for either live tracking acoustic instruments or checking the mix for translation issues. Of course I need different EQ profiles for those headphone use cases, which I have in APO. However, there have been many, many times when I have neglected to switch EQ settings when switching listening devices. Luckily so far, I've realized my mistake before making any destructive changes to the mix.

Let me know if you'd be interested in this perspective.
 
OP
Jose Hidalgo

Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #6
@LightninBoy : I think it could work for you, especially if you can spare a little space on your screen for a little GUI that tells you at any moment what's going on. The GUI is minimalistic and can be customized (text size & colors, text messages, x and y position...). You can definitely see this as a multi-preset switcher, supporting different categories of presets (defined by target curves) which I call modes.

----------

@markanini & @Berwhale : Thanks. It definitely is simpler than PEACE, that's for sure. They shouldn't be compared : PEACE is obviously much more powerful. Way too powerful for the average user IMHO. The average user is like you and me : he has a number of headphones, and he wants to manage them as easily as possible. That's where this little tool comes in.

This tool, like its name suggests, is a customizable automation tool that knows where to find EAPO presets from various customizable modes (Flat, Harman, Optimum HiFi, etc.) and how to easily and seamlessly switch between them with hotkeys. It really takes away all the complexity (even the GUI can be disabled), so even an EAPO beginner should be able to use it : all the changes in EAPO config files are made in the background, so the listener can focus on music ! As an added bonus, it can also manage HeSuVi (which I absolutely recommend BTW), and it displays pretty pictures. Colors play an important part, both for aesthetic and practical reasons, as you will soon discover.

The goal of this tool is NOT to become a "huge thing" with thousands of presets like AutoEQ or Oratory1990. I'm the only one behind this at the moment (but if people want to help in the future I'll be happy to let them, I believe in collaborative work). I guess it will rather support a limited number of "usual heapdhones" for people who are interested. But of course anybody will be able to add any headphone at any moment. It's just that I don't intend to do all the work for thousands of cans. I mean, I'd love to, but I'm only human.

The HD660S is already available. As for the others, here's the current to-do list (additions welcome) :

2021.04.11 - 00.49.15.jpg
 

Nemo

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#7
I am on a Mac platform, moving to a RPi once we move to a new place, hopefully by summer, so I can not be a beta tester, but I nevertheless wanted to thank you for sharing this with our community :)

Keep up the good work!
 
OP
Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #8
Aww, that's lovely @Nemo ! I assume you're spaniard ? If so, muchísimas gracias (qué es un RPi ?). Comentarios así me dan fuerzas para seguir, estoy de lleno en ello. ;)

@all, hopefully beta will be out in a few days, and will be distributed only to beta-testers, so think about applying. Thank you.

EDIT - currently 36 headphones are fully supported, all with multiple EQs and custom hi-res pictures. Photoshop has been steaming these last few days. Which ones should I add next ?

2021.04.11 - 22.56.17.png


For the record I'd like to add the Beyer 770 and 990, but I'm having trouble differentiating their multiple versions and the "Pro" or "non Pro". If there's a Beyer expert out there who can enlighten me and tell me what are the more "usual" Beyers...
 
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Nemo

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#9
Aww, that's lovely @Nemo ! I assume you're spaniard ? If so, muchísimas gracias (qué es un RPi ?). Comentarios así me dan fuerzas para seguir, estoy de lleno en ello. ;)

@all, hopefully beta will be out in a few days, and will be distributed only to beta-testers, so think about applying. Thank you.

EDIT - currently 36 headphones are fully supported, all with multiple EQs and custom hi-res pictures. Photoshop has been steaming these last few days. Which ones should I add next ?

View attachment 123461

For the record I'd like to add the Beyer 770 and 990, but I'm having trouble differentiating their multiple versions and the "Pro" or "non Pro". If there's a Beyer expert out there who can enlighten me and tell me what are the more "usual" Beyers...
I am Spaniard (de Malaga, aunque vivo en Washington DC ;) RPi is Rasperry Pi, I already have a streamer based on it, but it is in storage :(
 
OP
Jose Hidalgo

Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #10
Ah yes, a Raspberry Pi ! Sorry. Me, I'm from Madrid (but living in France at the moment).
Málaga! Beautiful. I have friends there. I was there 18 months ago, before the pandemic. I'm even considering living in that region in the future.

Will you install Windows & EAPO on your RPi ? If yes, then you'll definitely be interested in future releases.

The name might still change, because M.A.T is not very sexy :confused: It's more like a customizable EAPO preset switcher, with multiple listeners, multiple headphones and multiple modes, that optionally displays info & pics. But that may be too long a name :p Submissions are open for better names !

I'm typing the user manual in my free time, but it's a tedious work. Also, I think that 36 headphones (with multiple presets each) will be enough for the beta. Unless somebody wants me to add a specific headphone and become a beta-tester of course.
 

VMAT4

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#11
@all, hopefully beta will be out in a few days, and will be distributed only to beta-testers, so think about applying. Thank you.

EDIT - currently 36 headphones are fully supported, all with multiple EQs and custom hi-res pictures. Photoshop has been steaming these last few days. Which ones should I add next ?

View attachment 123461

For the record I'd like to add the Beyer 770 and 990, but I'm having trouble differentiating their multiple versions and the "Pro" or "non Pro". If there's a Beyer expert out there who can enlighten me and tell me what are the more "usual" Beyers...[/QUOTE]

Please include me as a Beta Tester.
Thanks!
 
OP
Jose Hidalgo

Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #12
Good news ! :D
  • Latest revision with slight enhancements seems very stable, so I think it will be the Beta
  • I have just finished writing the complete User Manual
I think we will enter Beta period really soon :
  • To the beta-testers : keep an eye on your PMs for soon-to-come detailed instructions ;)
  • To the others : feel free to apply for beta-testing if your headphones are on the above list. It's still time.
2021.04.14 - 02.02.57.png
 
OP
Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #14
Hi all, just a word to say that Beta version is doing great so far. Main issues have been corrected and the app performs just well.:)

During that time, I've also been adding new functionality to the next version. Here's a short changelog :

Device support :
  • All types of headphones (Around-Ear, Over-Ear and In-Ear) are supported
  • Loudspeaker sets are now supported. As a result, the app has now a new icon (and a new name that will be revealed for the public release) :
Icon 128.png

  • Customization is easy as entering your own device name(s), which takes about a minute and must be done only once
Presets :
  • I've been talking to Jaakko Pasanen (very nice guy BTW), and now the whole AutoEQ preset database is supported. So we've gone from 36 to 3355 ready-to-use Harman presets at your fingertips ! :D (Harman AE-OE 2018 or Harman IE 2019v2 depending on the headphone type).
  • AutoEQ preset priority is also supported : when several presets are available for a given headphone, the app will automatically select the best one, starting with Oratory1990, then Crinacle, then InnerFidelity, and so on.
  • Optimum HiFi presets have also been derived from every Harman preset, which makes a total of 6710 ready-to-use presets !
  • Custom presets are now supported. Do you have a great preset that's even better than Oratory ? You can give it the highest priority.
Eye-candy :
  • Headphone images are now dynamically generated (I no longer have to create them one by one), so whatever your headphone or loudspeaker set is, you are sure to get relevant images ;)
  • Background gradient image colors are customizable, they no longer depend on the sound mode. So now instead of 3 fixed backgrounds, you get to choose among 20 ready-to-use gradients. Any gradient can be assigned to any sound mode.
Misc :
  • Many bug fixes and improvements

Here's a sneak peak at some of the available hi-res headphone pictures :

2021.05.01 - 23.35.42.png


If your headphone is not on the list, adding it is very easy. You can do it yourself (the short procedure is described in the User Manual), or just tell me and I'll gladly do it for you.

If you want to try the current Beta, feel free to drop me a line ;)
 
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#15
This is so cool, if you could add HifiMan He560 and Fostek T50 ...
I don't have 12 headphones but this is my list to become a Beta Tester:
Headphones: Hifiman HE-560 - Sennheiser HD600 - Meze 99 Classics - AKG K712 Pro - V-MODA Crossfade M-100 - Fostex T50RP Mk3 - AKG K731
IEM: FiiO FA1 - Kbear Diamond
 
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Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #16
Hi JediMa :) Like I was telling you, the current AutoEQ database provides presets for all your headphones except the HE-560, the Diamond and the K731. Those three simply aren't listed on AutoEQ website. If anybody has parametric presets for them, please let me know and I'll be happy to add them to the database.
Also, AutoEQ has a preset for the Fostex T50RP Mk2, not Mk3. But I suppose they are really close in sound, so you should be able to use the Mk2.
I will come back to you soon, so stay tuned. ;)
 
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#17
I found these from Innerfidelity, about Hifiman He 560 (2014 model.. my one)
Preamp: -5.7 dB
Filter 1: ON PK Fc 26 Hz Gain 2.7 dB Q 0.84
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 56 Hz Gain 2.2 dB Q 1.40
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 2009 Hz Gain 5.8 dB Q 2.57
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 4209 Hz Gain -2.2 dB Q 1.69
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 6299 Hz Gain -3.7 dB Q 4.14
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 221 Hz Gain -1.2 dB Q 2.53
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 449 Hz Gain -1.9 dB Q 2.54
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 556 Hz Gain 3.2 dB Q 3.92
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 1188 Hz Gain -0.7 dB Q 2.82
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 10372 Hz Gain 0.9 dB Q 4.17
 
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Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #18
Yes :) I have checked, and actually I already had that preset. There are so many presets in the database that I missed that one ("HE560 2014"). So yes, the HE560 is officially supported, in all its glorious versions. Sorry ! I have added a nice custom picture just for you. ;)
 
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tecnogadget

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#19
Hola Jose! I'm quite interested in trying your solution. Congratulations and great job!
I could try it on: Sennheiser HD 555, Tin Audio T2, Anker Soundcore Life P2 (this last one not sure about because its Bluetooth and EQ APO through PEACE can't apply the EQ or I just haven't been able to do it).
 
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Jose Hidalgo

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Thread Starter #20
Hola @tecnogadget ! Qué tal por mi ciudad natal ? ;) Thanks for your interest. I'm working hard on the updated User Manual at the moment, it will be ready in a couple of days. When it's done, I will gladly add you and @JediMa to the Beta program. The app works great already, but your feedback will be useful to find any remaining bugs or User Manual typos. Thanks in advance and we will talk very soon. ;)
 
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