Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding EQ to the mix


From:

Up and Running with Ableton Live 9

with Yeuda Ben-Atar

Video: Adding EQ to the mix

The EQ Eight device in Live is a powerful tool. We can use it to sculpt the different elements of the song to make them work better together. Let's go to the Live browser. Under Audio Effects, let's navigate to the EQ Eight and drag it to the guitar track. We can see it under the Device view. Let's solo the guitar track, go to the Arrangement, and let's loop a section a where the guitar is playing. (music playing) The EQ Eight has eight multimode filters that can shape the sound.

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with Ableton Live 9
2h 11m Beginner Mar 05, 2013

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Discover how to get started creating and recording music with Ableton Live 9 in just two hours. Author and musician Yeuda Ben-Atar starts this course by showing how to set up all audio, MIDI, and external plugins and prep an initial project for recording. Then he jumps into high gear: making beats with the Ableton drum kits, recording with the built-in virtual instruments, and capturing live performance like vocals and guitar. After your tracks are recorded, learn how to arrange song clips, layer in effects, create and record automation, and quickly mix the tracks with groups, busses, EQ, compression, and other techniques. The final chapter in the course shows you how to save, export, and master your finished song.

Topics include:
  • Setting up plugins and projects
  • Creating a drumbeat
  • Converting audio to MIDI
  • Recording vocals
  • Warping and editing clips
  • Adding effects
  • Using time commands
  • Working with the mixer
  • Using side chain compression
  • Adding reverb and delay
  • Mixing dynamically with automation
  • Mastering a song
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
Ableton Live
Author:
Yeuda Ben-Atar

Adding EQ to the mix

The EQ Eight device in Live is a powerful tool. We can use it to sculpt the different elements of the song to make them work better together. Let's go to the Live browser. Under Audio Effects, let's navigate to the EQ Eight and drag it to the guitar track. We can see it under the Device view. Let's solo the guitar track, go to the Arrangement, and let's loop a section a where the guitar is playing. (music playing) The EQ Eight has eight multimode filters that can shape the sound.

We also have a spectrum analyzer, which would analyze the frequency response in the audio. So if we play it, we can see activity goes in the frequency display. Let's play it and take a look. (music playing) So we can see we have a lot of activity below 100 hertz. Now because this is not a kick or bass, we don't really need any low-end information. So I'm going to change filter number 3 to low cut, and I'm going to cut from around 90 hertz.

You can also change the previously chosen filter point using these three knobs: Frequency, Gain, and Q. To turn off filter points, you can simply click on the filter activator. And let's take filter number 5. Right now it's set to Bell filter, which is good. It's exactly what we want. And I am going to emphasize around let's say 220. I am going to take the Gain up. I am going to adjust the Q that will adjust the width of the filter.

So I'm going to play it and change it around. (music playing) Let me add another filter point. Keep it on Bell. I am also going to boost around 250 hertz. You can also click on the parameter and input the value using your keyboard.

Let's make it narrower. (music playing) Let's add another filter point. Change it to High Shelf, which means all the high frequencies turned up from 6 and above, to make it brighter. (music playing) If you want to see the frequency display larger, you can double-click on it.

It would bring it up. You can also see this small box on the side tell us the frequency that we're moving our mouse on, the note that is associated with the frequency, and how much DB if we go up and down. You can also use the EQ as a creative effect and not only as processing effect. Let's add another EQ on the guitar lead, solo the guitar lead.

Now EQ Eight also has three modes: Stereo, Left and Right, and Mid and Side. So if we choose Left and Right, now we have two EQs to work with: one for the left and one for the right. So let's create a stereo effect using the left and right to make the guitar lead expand in the stereo field. (music playing) And this effect might be too much, so we can the Scale.

We can take it down to make the effect more subtle. (music playing) Let's add another EQ after it, just to cut all the lows. Again around 100. I am going to put it before. (music playing) I'm going to boost around 220. (music playing) EQ Eight has more powerful features, like Audition mode and Oversampling, and I highly recommend future experimentation.

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