Cavern QuickEQ troubleshooting

Here are some common solutions to issues related to QuickEQ measurements and imports. If your issue is not on this page, or it wasn't solved perfectly, don't hesitate to contact the developer.

The system sounds exactly the same

Check the Common mistakes section under the export guide. For example, for Equalizer APO, you should disable ASIO and bitstreaming.

The system sounds worse

There are many things that can disrupt a measurement. Check the following list with solutions to each of these issues:

  • Don't use any other calibrator - Calibrating an already calibrated system will nearly always produce worse sound, you can't stack the results of multiple software or even multiple results of the same software. Disable other automatic calibration software, and remove previous QuickEQ results.
  • Don't use upmixing while measuring - If the measurement signal goes through spatial upmixers, the measurement signal of a single channel will be divided between more channels, and their result will be averaged. When you apply this measurement, the upmixer could move the calibrated sound to another channel, which requires a different EQ. Disable any upmixing solutions for the time of the measurement.
  • Disable effects before the EQ - If you use any effect in the audio chain before the EQ, like a crossover in Equalizer APO, disable it, as it will be applied on the signal without EQ, but the measurement still detects it. However, these effects can only happen on the source, so never disable any preprocessor, AVR, or analog crossovers, if you're not planning to use Cavern's crossover. Those should be calculated in the measurement, as they move already calibrated signals to other channels, making the calibration required for that specific setup.
  • Don't disable effects after the EQ - If you use a processor or AVR after Cavern, set it up before measurement, and keep it that way. Disable its calibrator, set up the crossover if you'd like to use that instead of Cavern's, and make the measurement that way. This is important, as the output channels now include those effects, for example, a left channel could be left + LFE, and has to be measured this way, as this is the actual output used.
  • Check if the measurement signal is truly multichannel - There are cases when the operating system detects the output incorrectly and sets it to stereo, even though it's 5.1 or 7.1. This can result in the left and right channels being corrected correctly, but not the others. In this case, set the operating system to the correct layout, and also restart the Cavern Driver.
  • Combat noise - Check the impulse responses. If all you see is a large spike for each channel and some falloff after them, your measurement was fine. But if most of the impulse is not nearly a flat line, you should increase the measurement duration or gain to get a better signal to noise ratio.

The system is too quiet after measurement

Cavern was designed for 0 dB headroom. This means the maximum of the EQ will be at the old output level, and everything else is quieter. This has the advantage of never reaching the 0 dB threshold for example in Equalizer APO, where it would cause massively decreased dynamic range for the loudest effects.

Cavern has a Regain volume feature, which can boost to some extent as a last resort, and the other option is to add a Preamp filter for all channels in Equalizer APO, but this is wrong in some cases. If the signal is larger than 0 dB, Equalizer APO will turn down all channels until the signal level is 0 dB. The reason for this is the largest value that can be output as a digital integer is 0 dB. When this happens, you'll hear all channels decreasing in volume for a short period of time to prevent clipping. This can render typically loud effects like gunshots and explosions unimpressive with a complete lack of dynamics.

If you have an option to increase the analog gain (like on a subwoofer), you can correct this to some extent. Find the channel with the highest peak gain in Equalizer APO. This means it was the most quiet, so increasing its gain in any other way (like on a preprocessor, AVR, sound card options, or amplifier) will make all other channels louder in your next measurements, but you can also do this manually, without having to measure again. For example, if all your channels peak 1 dB below your subwoofer, then add 1 dB amplification on your subwoofer's gain control, then you can increase each other channel's gain with 1 dB in Equalizer APO. This will result in exactly the same setting, but with larger peak system volume and depending on your configuration, possibly lower noise. If all your amplifier blocks can be controlled separately, set the gains so that Cavern will set all channels to their highest possible gain. But if all you have available is the digital control, and the desired peak volume of the system is still not enough, you can just add the same gain to each channel, but keep in mind that this can result in dynamic range compression.

One of the distances/delays is off by a lot

In some cases, this is perfectly fine. Most active subwoofers have horrible delays (around 50 ms), and these are corrected by Cavern. However, surreal distances can happen in really rare cases. You should disable all other automatic calibrators, measure again, increase the gain on the channel with the wrong measurement, or disable the "Export delays" option as a last resort.

Checking the measurement with another software shows different results

Check the following:

  • Use the same smoothing.
  • Use the same calibration files, if you can - for example, when using both 90° and 0° files, Cavern creates intermediate calibrations, so the measured result might not look similar to Cavern's measurement.
  • Don't double calibrate (like applying your microphone's calibration file for the sound card).