Many moons ago I covered a neat audio tool called PulseEffects, which made it easy to modify the sound output of any app on a global or per-app basis.
As you may infer from the name, PulseEffects was built around and designed for PulseAudio. Most major Linux distributions have switched from PulseAudio to PipeWire for their audio handling.
Enter Easy Effects, a successor to PulseEffects that sports a modern GTK4 interface, and an expanded set of features that enable to function as a powerful audio effects processor for PipeWire applications. It offers an equalizer, limiter, and compressor (among others) and a built-in spectrum analyser.
Thus, Easy Effects works with anything that makes sound on Ubuntu — be it videos you stream from YouTube or Amazon Prime in Firefox, sound from native applications like music players, through to the immersive soundtracks in your favourite Linux games on Steam.
You can apply equalizer adjustments to music played on Ubuntu in your favourite music player (e.g., Spotify) without affecting ALL of audio on your system. Similarly, you could apply an effect that does affect all your system audio, e.g., to unlocking richer sound from your hardware.
In addition to sculpting sound output, Easy Effects is able to apply audio effects to sound input (e.g., microphone). This is a great way to add real-time effects to audio in a call, stream, presentation, or podcast. Or, in my case, just to amuse yourself!
Effects (usually, though they may vary by distro) available OOTB include:
- Auto gain
- Bass enhancer
- Bass loudness
- Echo Canceller
- Filters (various)
- Multiband compressor
- Multiband gate
- Noise reduction
- Speech Processor
- Stereo tools
As well as having lots of control over each effect you’re also in control of the effects order, and you can turn off any effect at any time without removing it (and losing your modifications), and save settings to re-use at a later date.
High Quality Presets Available
Now, I am not an audio expert. I don’t really know what all the switches and sliders and effects in this app do — but thankfully, I don’t need to!
Pre-made audio presets are available to download from the developer’s EasyPulse repo. Simply download a config, load it into the app, and bam, you instantly benefit from audio optimisations crafted by someone who knows what they’re doing!
Install Easy Effects on Ubuntu
You can install Easy Effects on Ubuntu direct from the repos on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and above. This is recommended as it ensures the version of the app you install plays nice with the version of PipeWire on your system.
If you fancy fiddling with the most recent release available you can get Easy Effects on Flathub. On Ubuntu 22.10 (where I used the Flathub build) I received a warning that my PipeWire version was too old to play nice with the app — I ignored this and it worked fine for me, but obviously YMMV.
For more information check out Easy Effects on GitHub.