In music recording and reproduction, equalization is the process commonly used to alter the frequency response of an audio system to optimize certain performance characteristics relative to specific environments or user preferences. The most elementary of such equalizers uses relatively simple filters to make bass and treble adjustments. Multi-band graphic and parametric equalizers have greater flexibility in tailoring the frequency content of an audio signal. Since equalizers adjust the amplitude of audio signals at particular frequencies, they are essentially “frequency-specific volume knobs.”

A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor with architecture optimized for complex digital signal manipulation.  Operationally, DSPs usually measure, filter, compress, adjust or reshape continuous real-world analog signals. Most general-purpose microprocessors can perform numerous functions related to overall enhancement of the original audio signal, but dedicated DSPs can execute advanced signal processing algorithms that take into account sound stage geometry, environmental acoustic properties, and even listener-specific locations.

We can remember the old “high-tech” days when having a 5-band equalizer in your car stereo was a big deal!  You could bump up the bass, reduce that high frequency hiss from your tape deck, and accentuate the voices so you could actually hear the singer over the rumble of the 454 under the hood.  Well, we have come a long way since those times.  Now, we plug your car audio equipment into a laptop computer and perform feats of digital sorcery that make your vehicle’s system sound like a high end home stereo or movie theater!

A vehicle interior is not actually the best environment in which to reproduce high fidelity audio.  Unlike your home theater, you do not sit in the “sweet spot” unless your steering wheel is in the middle of the car, the space is generally small as compared to a living room, and there are other variables to contend with such as road and ambient noise.  Optimizing music playback in this scenario is a bit more challenging.  Digital signal processors are application-specific computers that can shape and equalize the incoming signal to fit the acoustic properties of the vehicle, adjusting for speaker locations, seating, types of amplifiers, subwoofers, and even the type of upholstery. With processors from Rockford Fosgate and JL Audio, integration with factory systems is also possible – preserving the original aesthetics of your audio system, yet providing an incredible upgrade in musical performance.

Communication Center staff will select the signal processor that best fits your vehicle, your system components, and your listening preferences.  Stop by our shop to learn more about precisely tailoring mobile fidelity into an epic experience with a high quality signal processor!

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