What is FxSound?

A brief guide discussing what FxSound is, why you may need it, and how to use it to boost your sound on Windows.

What is FxSound and What Does it Do?

FxSound is an affordable audio enhancement and routing program designed for all PC sound systems, from average to audiophile. As automatic or customizable as you want, it utilizes the highest-grade processing to deliver more volume, better equalization, and a wider, deeper sound.

Why Do I Need FxSound?

Home stereo systems and PC’s are built with a compromise: keep audio components affordable, at the cost of low-quality playback. When streaming or downloading media, audio quality is further sacrificed for the convenience of smaller file sizes. Audio processing software like FxSound is a vital part of regaining a higher-fidelity listening experience.

How to Use FxSound to Boost Sound Quality

FxSound is purpose built to be your software solution for boosting quality and volume. Download the lightweight program, install it, and hear the incredible difference. 32-bit floating point processing, proprietary 16-bit re-dithering systems, true bypass effects, and zero latency passthrough give your audio the maximum possible fidelity and dynamic clarity as soon as you activate FxSound.

Simply using FxSound right out of the box without changing any settings is enough to drastically add quality and enjoyment to your listening experience. If you are looking for a hands-off sound solution, FxSound is happy to provide an answer.

But, while FxSound can work as an automatic audio booster, its true purpose is to give you the tools to dial in your perfect sound. Using the effects and customizing your settings will bring the most value out of your existing hardware.

How to Use FxSound to Boost Volume

Getting enough volume out of your PC can be a struggle. Consumer headphones and speakers don’t always have very high output. Even when paired with an amplifier and digital-to-audio-converter (DAC), your hardware may not always produce enough signal.

Even with decent hardware, the audio itself may be the culprit. Unlike television, radio, and movies, there are no volume standards for media online. Some content will simply be quieter than the rest. 
Maybe you are trying to understand a lecture you recorded on your phone, or a poor quality file you need to transcribe. You may suffer from hearing loss, or have different sensory needs. All of these are cases where your hardware, audio files, and listening space don’t really make a difference. There are bespoke situations where a temporary boost to volume is necessary to fulfill a situational need.

FxSound contains a high quality volume boost, designed to fill any amplitude need. No expensive or cumbersome hardware. No substandard, lossy processing. Just you and a targeted, clean boost to your sound.

FxSound works to increase your volume level in multiple ways. By utilizing 32-bit Floating Point Processing and 16-bit Re-dithering, no data is sacrificed from your audio file. More data equals more frequency and volume information, leading to a higher quality, louder sound.

Maximizing your audio’s inherent quality is helpful, but the true power of FxSound as a volume booster comes from the active effects. The Dynamic Boost control increases your volume above your PC’s natural limit, utilizes compression to reduce peaking, and dynamically modulates your frequency response to give you playback that is not just louder, but clearer and richer. The Fidelity and Bass controls give you the choice to boost your audio’s high and low range volume, and the studio-grade equalizer can be used to bring up any lacking frequency ranges. 

How to Use FxSound to Boost Bass

FxSound understands that bass stands apart from other aspects of sound. When dealing with home PC playback, too often your bass can turn into a muddy, weak mess that takes away from your sound’s clarity and quality. When properly balanced, these deep frequencies add body, power, and punch to your audio. 

Human hearing ranges vary from person to person. In general, the extremes of human hearing are from 20hz to 20,000hz. Hz, or hertz, is just a measurement of how many times a sound’s vibration switches from pushing outwards from the source to pulling back towards it. By counting how many times this switch from positive pressure to negative pressure happens per second, we can find the Hertz value of that frequency. The lower the number, the lower the pitch. 

The term “Bass” usually refers to frequencies of 20hz to 250hz, though this is more a matter of opinion than a concrete rule. The thump of a kick drum, the deep punch of an 808, the rumble of a bass guitar, the richness of a voice: these all live in this range. That’s why it’s so important to have proper bass treatment in your audio.

In FxSound’s interface, the bass slider controls a targeted, compressed boost to your low frequencies. If you need more bass (and let’s face it, you could always use a little more bass), increasing this parameter will bring your audio to life with a deep, rich tone. 

Bass control doesn’t always mean boosting your low end though. Low-pitched hums can ruin your listening experience. Boomy, boxy audio can make voices and music sound overdriven and unnatural. FxSound is built for full-range control. By using our studio-grade Equalizer, you can find offensive frequency ranges and reduce them to balance out your sound, or add more punch to the bass control. 

No matter if you’re trying to push your PC’s low end to the extreme, or reign in rogue frequencies for perfect balance, FxSound can deliver your perfect sound. 

How to Use FxSound to Boost Sound for Music Streaming

In our Audio Quality section, we explore how audio is compressed for streaming. The basic idea is that high quality music has to be represented by large amounts of digital data. This is all fine and good when you’re downloading an album for later listening, where speed isn’t the main factor. But with streaming, rapid response is absolutely key. After all, if you had to wait for a song to buffer for 10 or more seconds, every single time you swapped to a new track, how long would you tolerate that streaming service before switching to something with better performance?

In order to gain speed and convenience, you have to make trade offs. For streaming, this means selectively dropping bits of audio data to make the file smaller. Smaller files mean faster transfer, and faster transfer means that your audio never stutters or buffers. But smaller files can’t be as detailed as larger ones. If I asked you to describe a picture in only ten words, then again in one hundred words, the latter will undoubtedly tell me much more about the image.

Now, let’s be clear: FxSound can’t add back any data that’s been cut. There are extremely talented people working on the issue of interpreting missing audio using intelligent software, and the results are anything but fast. What FxSound can do, though, is maximize the quality and listening experience you can achieve using streamed audio. By avoiding the bottlenecks that come with your PC’s built in hardware and software, you can get the most from your sound.

The audio data that is cut for streaming isn’t deleted evenly across the file’s frequency spectrum. The compression algorithms target frequencies deemed most expendable, most often the extreme high end, the lowest bass, and portions of the midrange that don’t correspond to most instrument and vocal’s hotspots. 

The basic idea of the music will still come across. You will still understand the words, recognize drums, be amazed by guitars, and appreciate amazing keys. But in each of these cases, some of the vibrancy of the audio will be lost. Voices won’t have any airy, clear quality. Drums may not have as much punch. Rhythm instruments will be a bit flat and one dimensional.

FxSound may not be able to restore bits of data, but it can enhance what is there. The cut frequencies still exist, just quieter and less accurately. With some help, they can be restored to their former glory.

FxSound’s dynamic boost and background processing targets frequencies most commonly cut by file compression. It applies a much greater boost to these areas, while lifting the other areas by less. This rebalances your audio, and brings back some of the quality you’ve been missing this whole time.

How to Use FxSound to Boost Sound for Transcription

FxSound is used by hundreds of industry professionals for transcription, and has a proven record of being an extreme clarity and quality booster. But why exactly do working professionals swear by it, and how do you configure FxSound for your own industry needs?

For music, movies, podcasts, ect., FxSound’s results could be considered a bit subjective. Sure, it adheres to audio engineer standards, and offers you equalization, effects, compression, and other proven customizations, but not everyone is passionate about their sound quality. Someone may even prefer their poor fidelity, terrible sounding audio, and they’re absolutely entitled to their opinion (even if it’s wrong). 

But when it comes to understanding human voices in recordings, there are much more objective rules that apply. There are specific frequency, volume, and effect treatments that make it easier to understand what’s being said. Let’s delve a little bit into why recordings of voices have these rules, how FxSound can help, and why using FxSound can help you avoid dangerous hearing loss.

Spoken languages almost always adhere to two types of sounds: Percussive and Tonal. Percussive sounds, like English’s consonants, don’t have their own actual sound. We often associate a sound with them to make it easier to describe, i.e. “‘D’ sounds like ‘duh’”. But when we say the word “d-o-g” we don’t say “duh-oh-guh”. We say “dog”. The sound created by the letter ‘D’ is almost silent, a subtle touch of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, followed by a release.

Tonal sounds, like English’s vowels, utilize our vocal chords. We vibrate them, producing a hum and tone, and move our mouth and throat to produce each unique sound. By pairing tonal sounds with percussive ones, we create spoken words. 

We aren’t just giving you a language lesson for fun. These parameters mean that there are set ways to enhance a recording of voices. Percussive sounds live in the high-mid to high-end registers, and boosting these frequencies make it much easier to clearly hear what sounds are being made. The parts of tonal sounds that help you understand what’s being said occupy the mid-range. There are lots of low frequencies in tonal sounds as well, and while in normal listening these add body and volume, their overtones can actually reduce clarity and make the sound ‘muddy’.

When you go into the FxSound Presets menu, selecting the dialog boost will immediately configure your program for optimal clarity. Unnecessary effects are switched off, and the whole balance is shifted to boost the high end dynamically, cut excess bass, and bring out the most fidelity possible. 

When working in transcription, turning your volume up to understand audio increases your risk for hearing loss. There are many unnecessary frequencies that are brought up along with the vital audio information, and your levels are uncontrolled and can spike unexpectedly. Since hearing is a sense that is permanently damaged by excessive volume, having a way to reduce this strain is vital. That’s where FxSound comes in. 

By cutting out frequencies that don’t add to clarity, your ears encounter less overall volume. By boosting the key parts of the audio, you can reduce your PC volume even further. This means that without having to crank up your sound levels, with lower and safer amplitude, you’ll be able to hear and understand better than ever by using FxSound.

How to Use FxSound's Presets

FxSound was made to enhance and boost all your audio. Your favorite music, VOIP calls from your loved ones, those guilty pleasure movies you watch late at night, all sound deserves to be presented in its best quality. With so many different kinds of audio coming through your system, it only makes sense to have different specialized settings to make each shine.

You’ll see the Presets tab at the top-left of the FxSound window. Click it, and you’ll see several options: Select, Save, and Archive. Let’s start with exploring the presets that come with FxSound when you download it. We’ll go ahead and begin with the Select menu.

Here, you’ll find an absolutely huge list of presets, made for all different types of genre and application. It may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t feel like you have to try each and every single one out. These are made to be helpful quick-start points, waiting in the background for when you have a unique sound situation. Most are labeled by their intended genre, but can absolutely cross over into other styles or needs. You’ll also find the Dialog Boost preset in this list, which is the very special collection of settings made for transcription and other times where you need to gain extreme clarity in a recording of voices. 

Now, let’s address the Save button in the Presets tab. FxSound may have a preset for almost every genre, but these are lab-created, per se. Only you can hear exactly what’s happening in your ears. Once you’ve played with the effects, the equalizer, and your PC’s levels to find the right fit for your audio, create a new preset using this Save function. Make presets for each unique audio need you have, save them, and never be without your personal mix again.

The Archive menu allows you to export your presets as a file, take that file and put it on another PC running FxSound, and again using the Archive menu, import your presets onto your new machine. There’s no reason your best sound has to live in one computer only. 

The presets are extensive and powerful, but you shouldn’t feel forced to always be swapping between them. Users with higher-end hardware in particular may find that subtle optimizations, rather than constant compensation, works best. Even then, saving those precise settings as a custom preset ensures you never have to search for your perfect parameters ever.

How to Use FxSound's Equalizer

Sound is incredible and complex. From the quietest whisper to the loudest drum solo, audio contains a myriad of frequencies, all harmonically interacting as they reach your ear. Every noise has pitches that stretch from one end of the audio spectrum to the other, even when you can’t distinctly hear each tone. This complexity creates the overall tone and timbre that we hear.

We’ve discussed balancing your audio’s volume and bass, but to really maximize what your audio hardware can deliver, you’ll need to know how to use equalization. FxSound comes with a studio-grade equalizer, or EQ. An EQ allows you to increase or decrease the volume of individual frequency ranges, rather than the volume of the audio as a whole. 

Now, knowing off the top of your head what frequencies correspond to exactly what portions of your sound is a science that can take years to master, and audio engineers spend decades learning how to perfectly dial in an EQ. The good news for you is that finding your own subjective balance can be much, much simpler. 

In order to adjust your equalizer, first choose a piece of audio that you are incredibly familiar with. This could be a song you’ve listened to for years, a movie you’ve watched dozens of times, or a recording of a voice you know by heart. 

Play the audio back, and listen carefully. Does it sound ‘thinner’ than normal? You may need to add bass. Does it sound ‘boomy’, or hurt your ears? You may need to take low frequencies away. If it sounds ‘harsh’, or feels tiring to listen to, you may have high frequencies that are too loud. A flat, dull sound would need more high end added back in. 

This should be a moment for you to play. After all, you can always use the reset button to return all your settings back to normal. Have some fun with the equalizer, and don’t be afraid to make some extreme or strange noises on your quest for your own perfect sound. Make cuts where there seems to be too much, boost up the areas that feel lacking, and piece by piece your audio will come together and spring to life in a whole new way.

How to Use FxSound's Effects

There are two sides to delivering great audio to your ears. The first is the objective, practical solutions: high quality processing, audio best practices, and a focus on fidelity. But just as important is your own taste, your own hearing, and your own unique setup. 

We can’t possibly know every person’s hearing range, PC audio hardware, favorite genre of music, space around their listening setup, preferred volume, or other factors. We won’t know if you’re sitting up with perfect posture in front of your speakers, listening to music while you diligently review for that one last final exam, or lazily slouching while reluctantly studying. Maybe your favorite movie is a cooking documentary full of gently wafting classical scoring, or a hardcore cyberpunk masterpiece with aggressive, loud electronica throughout. Maybe you’re listening in front of your full tower gaming pc, or on your trusty work-issued laptop. 

It’s important that everyone’s needs are met, with everyone's unique hardware, and everyone’s unique taste. This means putting control into the user’s hands. You get the keys to FxSound, and the massive audio engine inside. 

The Fidelity and Bass features allow control over the timbre of the sound. These parameters can be used not only to enhance and accentuate the best parts of your audio, but to reduce problematic hotspots in your playback’s spectrum.

The Dynamic Boost and background processing helps to manage the balance of volume in your media. The Dynamic Boost restores the amplitude lost in compression, while also boosting the frequencies most commonly cut from the sound. 

A good sense of space and ambience is hard to achieve in small rooms, let alone in headphones placed directly on ears. Use the Ambience and 3D Surround control to generate carefully calibrated artificial space.

Using all these effects in tandem, you can make your sound as subtle or as raucous as you want. You’re welcome to carefully balance and enhance, drastically boost and compensate, or just add a little bit of spice to your sound.

FxSound Processing

FxSound is built for one purpose: to be a software solution for boosting volume, audio quality, and your overall listening experience. 

But if we’re being honest, this corporate-speak mission statement doesn’t do much to help you understand what is actually happening to your audio. We’d like to talk a little bit about the technology FxSound uses. By giving you a peek behind the curtain, we hope to help you understand why we have a 20-year pedigree as a trusted, approachable resource.

FxSound’s foundation is our 32-bit floating point processing and proprietary 16-bit re-dithering system. Don’t worry if these terms are new to you, we cover them in our audio quality section. For our purposes here, it simply means that FxSound’s processing quality will exceed the quality of the audio passing through it. It also means that small, common errors that occur when the PC is converting the audio from digital files to actual sound are prevented. 

These two processes ensure that your audio is not compromised, but FxSound is built to be more than just a passive enhancer. In order to put the power in your hands, FxSound utilizes active effects. Your playback’s timbre, dynamics, and spatial Positioning are all carefully optimized, with hands-on controls to dial in your perfect sound. 

Timbre (Pronounced “ˈtam-bər”, not “tim-bré”) refers to a sound’s tone. In FxSound, timbre is controlled by three parameters: bass, fidelity, and the EQ. Use the bass boost control to dynamically increase your sound’s low end and punch. The fidelity control brings clarity and delicate presence back into your audio with targeted high end processing. The professional-grade EQ gives you the ability to bring up frequencies that your files and hardware reduce, and bring down any problem hotspots that they emphasize.

Your audio’s dynamics, or how loud and quiet it can be, are already boosted by the background processing of FxSound. Our dynamic boost control puts even more range at your disposal with equalized compression/expansion for dramatically increased volume and headroom. 

We understand that not everyone has the time, money, or room to set up an ideal listening environment. With FxSound you can gain back some of that sense of space, even in the most cramped dorm room or cubicle. Use the ambience control to generate carefully calibrated artificial reverberations, with an implemented pre-delay to avoid any clarity loss. The 3D Surround setting can be used to increase the stereo spread of your audio playback for greater depth and dynamics.

Whether you’re a hip-hop head rattling windows or a classical connoisseur, FxSound’s wide range of high-quality processing brings better sound to you. Follow the links below to learn more about why audio quality has gotten worse over time, and why audio software may be the right choice for you.

Digital Audio Quality Explained

Audio Quality may seem like a confusing, advanced topic. Maybe you’ve never really questioned your sound’s attributes before, or you’ve learned about how formats and hardware compare without truly understanding the ideas behind the numbers and terms. 

The good news is that digital audio quality is a beautifully simple concept that anyone can understand. With this knowledge, you’ll avoid wasting money on sub-par hardware, and will never accidentally detract from your listening experiences again. To start to understand audio quality, let’s first look at how audio is stored.

Sound itself cannot be physically trapped. It’s impossible to shout into a box, close it, then open it later and hear that shout echoed back. That’s because sound is made of vibrations that reflect and dissipate until all their energy is gone. So how does recorded audio work?

The answer lies inside of the audio file itself. It is made up of thousands of little packets of information, called Samples. Each sample contains bits of information about what sound vibrations were occuring at its moment in time, as well as how loud they were. By reading back these samples incredibly fast, a copy of the original sound can be played back.

Audio’s quality is therefore determined by two factors: the rate of how many samples are present in each second of audio, and how much information is contained in each sample’s bits. For example, FxSound has a floating point Bit Depth of 32. This means that each sample can contain 32 bits of data, and that each bit’s data can be represented not just with a whole number, but a number with a decimal point for greater accuracy. 32-bit Floating Point audio is one of the highest grades of sound processing available today. 

The overall measurement of audio quality is Bitrate, which is found by multiplying the Bit Depth by the Sample Rate. A Bitrate of 320,000 bits per second (320kbps) or greater is generally accepted as “decent”. Use this page to look up your audio’s format and learn more about it’s Bitrate and quality. 

Often times, audio files are compressed to make moving them easier. After all, downloading and streaming services rely on fast transfers. But this convenience comes at a cost: to compress a file, bits and samples are removed. This means less audio data, fewer frequencies, and lower volume. High-grade hardware and software like FxSound can help minimize the effects of these compromises, but cannot add back any eliminated data.

The last stage of digital audio’s journey is the actual reconstruction of sound from samples. A process called Interpolation fills in the gaps between each sample. Higher-grade audio hardware and software like FxSound will also add a Dithering signal to the audio, which reduces harshness during playback by smoothing out small errors. The final signal is then sent to your headphones or speakers, and the process starts all over again.

By understanding how sound files are measured, and knowing what to look for in audio hardware/software, you will be equipped to make economical and informed decisions. Don’t let misleading marketing or sub-par services waste your time and money. Choose quality, choose integrity, and choose FxSound.

Frequently Asked Questions

Home stereo systems and PC’s are built with an inherent compromise: keep audio components affordable, at the cost of low-quality sound playback.

FxSound compensates for these compromises by targeting and processing sound’s timbre, volume, spatial balance, and dynamics. What this means for you is clearer, louder, deeper, and more balanced audio. Install our lightweight program, let it run unobtrusively in the background, and enjoy your new, customizable high-quality audio experience.

FxSound is built with all manner of audio hardware in mind, from budget to audiophile. Higher quality gear may not need as much compensation, but just like our ears, no two headphones are made exactly alike. Use FxSound’s precision EQ, audio routing, and volume control to dial in a more precise, personalized sound and get the most out of your equipment.

FxSound is built to provide a dynamic, yet controlled increase in volume. By preventing harmful peaking, a less fatiguing listening experience is achieved. Coupling this with an actively equalized boost means a wider volume range without as much distortion.

FxSound understands that bass stands apart from other aspects of sound and needs specialized attention. Use the included equalizer and the targeted Bass parameter to get more punch, clarity, and depth in the low end of your audio.

When performing transcription services, your time is valuable. Don’t let poor quality, unintelligible recordings waste it away. With FxSound’s Dialogue Boost Preset, you can wave goodbye to endless replays and straining to understand faint voices. The Fidelity and Dynamic Boost controls bring voices to the forefront and increase their clarity, while the EQ and Bass controls are used to cut out background noise.

FxSound brings an approachable interface to professional sound processing. At higher volumes, unprocessed sound can be fatiguing. Without proper equalization, audio can be hard to understand and lacking intended depth or emotion. Let FxSound make it easy to get the most from your sound.