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Confused by PulseEffects in Linux, what are those 'mode' suppose to mean?


Aug 15, 2022
So, I am installing my personal Linux for some coding and I am interested in setting up some proper DSP there as well.

So far, PulseEffects seems to be the easiest to set up yet I could not figure out how to use it properly.
My main question is that I have no idea what are those 'mode' in multi-band equalizer suppose to mean, for example: RLC(BT), RLC(MT), BWC, LRX, APO....

While all those 'modes' provide me with the same Q, Gain, and Freq options to tweak with, I found the REW measurement results are totally different...
I have no idea why this is the case... I assume that with the same parameter they should at least work the same... it is just a matter of impelementation. (clearly it's not)

Also, I found EQing in Linux a bit confusing to me. And to my best understanding (I am a Linux noob), If I want something else other than PulseEffects, I need to install a plugin host and some pulgins downloaded from other sources, yes? Do you guys have some decent plugin hosts to recommend? I used some by found them lack of documentation or how-to-setup, e.g. Carla.

I just want some peace-of-mind Equalizer that works the same as Equalizer APO under Windows so that I could leave this problem alone and not be bothered by it anymore.


Major Contributor
Dec 5, 2018
PulseEffects (now renamed EasyEffects as it's uising PipeWire rather than PulseAudio) is a wrapper around a number of more general LADSPA effects plugins, so you need to check the plugin's documentation for details. For the equalizer see:
The same effects can be used with other containers as you mention, or directly in ALSA included directly in the config with fixed parameters, or via alsaequal to change settings at runtime.

There are threads listing eq and crossover software for platforms including linux:
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