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Tirivanhu

guest
The title says it all. I am wondering what's the quality factor (bandwidth) to set FabFilter Software Instruments Pro-Q to one octave? Is that Q 1.414 like what most people suggest on YouTube?
 
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Short answer: one octave is Q 1.999 (or 2.0 if you will) on FabFilter Pro-Q.

Otherwise, let's get into this in detail. So the quality factors that you see in the first column below are what you'd use on most digital equalizers, e.g. iZotope's Ozone Equalizer, Neutron Equalizer, DMG Equality, DMG Equilibrium, PreSonus Pro EQ, MAAT thEQblue (i.e. Const-Q New), etc.

But that isn't the same on FabFilter Pro-Q (the third column below), Waves Q10, Softube Weiss EQ1, Softube Weiss EQ MP, etc because they all implement a different approach even though you can get similar results as far as the width of the curves is concerned assuming the EQ plug-in in question doesn't cramp i.e. phase and amplitude wrapping when using high-frequency bells...

Scorpio

grand master
Boy oh boy, not this question again... I dey taya y'all. By the way, be very careful of YouTube music production tutorials, abeg. There is so much misinformation made by tonnes of noobs who suddenly figure out they can use OBS Studio to screen-record all the horrible mess in their DAWs. Their main motivation is to get monetized into YouTube's Partner Program whilst churning out a whole bunch of meaningless audio production memes.
 

Tanonoka

initiate
Short answer: one octave is Q 1.999 (or 2.0 if you will) on FabFilter Pro-Q.

Otherwise, let's get into this in detail. So the quality factors that you see in the first column below are what you'd use on most digital equalizers, e.g. iZotope's Ozone Equalizer, Neutron Equalizer, DMG Equality, DMG Equilibrium, PreSonus Pro EQ, MAAT thEQblue (i.e. Const-Q New), etc.

But that isn't the same on FabFilter Pro-Q (the third column below), Waves Q10, Softube Weiss EQ1, Softube Weiss EQ MP, etc because they all implement a different approach even though you can get similar results as far as the width of the curves is concerned assuming the EQ plug-in in question doesn't cramp i.e. phase and amplitude wrapping when using high-frequency bells.

Furthermore, not all EQs have symmetrical curves (this is self-explanatory: I am not going to waste time expagorating this) and most digital equalizers don't go beyond 4 ¾ octaves (i.e. quality factor 0.200217) as much as FabFilter Pro-Q.

And notwithstanding the aforementioned, it makes real sense not to exceed more than 4 octaves either when mixing or mastering music. But then again what's wrong with providing that option for all the experimental enthusiasts out there who think they know better? Experience is the best teacher after all—they can always learn from it.



Quality factorNumber of octavesFabFilter Pro-Q
0.01754411 ⅔0.025 <!-- that's insane -->
0.01858811 ½0.026
0.01969411 ⅓0.028
0.02027111 ¼0.029
0.022108110.031 <!-- eleven octaves -->
0.02411110 ¾0.034
0.02481810 ⅔0.035
0.02629610 ½0.037
0.02786210 ⅓0.039
0.0286810 ¼0.041
0.031281100.044 <!-- ten octaves -->
0.0341189 ¾0.048
0.035129 ⅔0.049
0.0372149 ½0.053
0.0394349 ⅓0.056
0.0405939 ¼0.057
0.04428190.063 <!-- nine octaves -->
0.0483068 ¾0.068
0.0497298 ⅔0.070
0.0527028 ½0.075
0.0558548 ⅓0.079
0.0575028 ¼0.081
0.06274580.089 <!-- eight octaves -->
0.0684757 ¾0.097
0.0705017 ⅔0.100
0.0747387 ½0.106
0.0792367 ⅓0.112
0.0815887 ¼0.115
0.08908470.126 <!-- seven octaves -->
0.0972926 ¾0.138
0.1001996 ⅔0.142
0.1062866 ½0.150
0.1127616 ⅓0.159
0.1161526 ¼0.164
0.12698460.180 <!-- six octaves -->
0.1388945 ¾0.196
0.1431255 ⅔0.202
0.152015 ½0.215
0.1614965 ⅓0.228
0.166485 ¼0.235
0.18247950.258 <!-- five octaves -->
0.2002174 ¾0.283
0.2065584 ⅔0.292
0.2199444 ½0.311
0.234354 ⅓0.331
0.2419684 ¼0.342
0.26666740.377 <!-- four octaves -->
0.2945173 ¾0.417
0.3046013 ⅔0.431
0.3261283 ½0.461
0.3496723 ⅓0.495
0.3622913 ¼0.512
0.40406130.571 <!-- three octaves -->
0.4528732 ¾0.640
0.4710342 ⅔0.666
0.5107342 ½0.722
0.5557182 ⅓0.786
0.5805472 ¼0.821
0.66666720.943 <!-- two octaves -->
0.7759431 ¾1.097
0.8192921 ⅔1.157
0.9198031 ½1.301
1.0444511 ⅓1.477
1.118831 ¼1.582
1.41421412.000<!-- one octave -->
1.902102¾2.670
2.1449083.033
2.871½4.060
4.3184736.107 <!-- third octave -->
5.763566¼8.151
7.20770210.19
8.65135912.24 <!-- narrow -->
11.53795116.32 <!-- surgical -->
14.42406320.40
17.3099341⁄1224.48
23.0813161⁄1632.64
28.8524571⁄2040.00 <!-- that's insane -->

As you can see from the table above, one octave on FabFilter Pro-Q = 2.000 whereas if you are using say, for example, iZotope Ozone/Neutron Equalizer you'd set it to Q 1.41 and you'd do the same to PreSonus Pro EQ, etc.

Otherwise, this is probably what gets most people confused because they think all digital EQ parameters can literarily be set to the same values but in reality, you won't get matching results if that's the primary objective.

Additional FF Pro-Q tips, hints, and tricks​

Perhaps you may want to seriously consider the idea of routinely making use of the following quality factors either for audio mixing or mastering. Doing so will not only allow you to work faster but it's essential if you want to come up with a very consistent sound (i.e. efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control):

Subjective Label​
Number of octaves​
FabFilter Pro-Q​
Wide3 ⅔0.431 <!-- if you want a Neve-like shape -->
Broad30.571 <!-- your primary tonal shaping solution -->
Blunt21.000 <!-- arguably an all-around versatile curve for audio mastering -->
Gentle1 ⅓1.477 <!-- ideal for low-end boosts and gentle audio mastering cuts -->
Sharp12.000 <!-- ideal for low-end boosts and gentle audio mastering cuts -->
Acute6.107 <!-- use this for minor cuts -->
Narrow12.24 <!-- use this for narrow cuts -->
Surgical16.32 <!-- if you want to be surgical and musical -->

Q 0.571 is best for tonal shaping especially in the upper midrange i.e. starting from 1.6 kHz and going all the way up to 20 kHz.

However, you could also use Q 0.571 for bottom lifts e.g. at either 50 Hz, 80 Hz, or 130 Hz instead of using a first-order low-shelving filter (i.e. 6 dB/octave slope) because bell curves gradually roll off without raising additional rumble, unlike shelving filters that remain flat once they reach the amplitude they are set to.

But in most cases, Q 1.00 or Q 1.477 are also suitable in that area or even 2.00 (which is one octave) particularly to bring up a kick drum and make it knock harder without making the entire mix too boomy than it should.

You can use the table below as a general reference guide depending on how you are trying to implement bottom lifts with a bell of Q 0.571

Bottom wide bell Q 0.571​
First-order filter​
@130 HzApprox. @ 320 Hz
@ 80 HzApprox. @ 200 Hz
@ 50 HzApprox. @ 130 Hz
@ 30 HzApprox. @ 80 Hz

N.B., a major flaw with a Q of 0.571 (i.e., 3 octaves) on the low end is that it is too wide for most mastering applications (unless you are dealing with a very thin-sounding mix which is very rare because most mastering issues are either too much bass, muddy low-mids 200-500, and bloody piercing high frequencies from 6.5k to 10k).

If you may want to use a nice wide Q 0.571 to add shimmer, sheen, air, presence, focus, or more midrange clarity. Check out the table below as a reference point:

Top wide bell Q 0.571​
First-order filter​
@ 30kApprox. @ 12.5k
@ 24kApprox. @ 9.5k
@ 17.5kApprox. @ 6.5k
@ 10kApprox. @ 3.5k
@ 6.5kApprox. @ 2.4k
@ 5kApprox. @ 2.0k
@ 3.5k <!-- pressure point for loudness wars -->Approx. @ 1.4k
@ 1.6k <!-- midrange clarity, use Q 0.821 as an alternative -->Approx. @ 620



Now suppose you want to make your graphic equalizer with Pro-Q, well, that's a very simple thing to do actually, except the problem with making your graphic equalizer is deciding what quality factor is most useful for both mixing and mastering applications.

With that said, I'd recommend Q 0.821 including using fixed center frequencies once suggested by @Scorpio and these are:
  • Band I = 20, 30
  • Band II = 40, 50
  • Band III = 80, 130
  • Band IV = 200, 300
  • Band V = 500, 800
  • Band VI =1.2k, 1.6k
  • Band VII = 2k, 3.5k
  • Band VIII = 5k, 6.5k
  • Band IX = 8k, 10k
  • Band X = 12.5k, 15k
  • Band XI = 17.5k, 20k
  • Band XII = 22k, 24k
The reason for using Q 1.00 is that it's not too wide nor is it too gentle—it's magical. It's only 2 octaves and that's a lovely thing. An alternative solution is Q 0.943 (i.e. precisely 2 octaves) but not Q 0.571 neither Q 2.000 nor Q 6.107 because those quality factors just ain't got that bandwidth sauce for a smooth musical graphic equalizer. They are terrible in this context, m'kay!
 
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Tanonoka

initiate
Use the table below to set Image-Line's Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to whatever bandwidth (octaves) you want.

Quality factor​
Number of octaves​
IL Parametric EQ 2 (BW)​
0.3046013 ⅔73%
0.404061359%
0.666667239% (the default setting)
1.0444511 ⅓25%
1.414214119%
4.3184735%
 
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