Ableton Live Tips w/ Thavius Beck Pt 16 – Independent Stereo EQs – ‘Did You Know?’

Dubspot Instructor, Ableton Certified Trainer, and electronic musician Thavius Beck returns with a brand-new season of Did You Know? We launched the series back in January, and for eight consecutive Mondays Thavius shared invaluable production advice and techniques, and examined some of the less-explored and slightly hidden features in Ableton Live. In this latest episode, he shows you how to use Ableton’s EQ8 effect to EQ the left and right channels of a stereo signal independently.

In this edition of Did You Know?, we are going to look at a feature that I personally overlooked for quite a long time, one that is not just a neat trick but actually very useful when trying to add more stereo width to your mixes.  This feature is the ability to independently EQ the left and right sides, as well as the ability to independently EQ the middle and the sides (a Mid/Side configuration).

In order to do this, all you need to do is go to the mode selection box in the EQ 8.  By default it is set to Stereo which means that any EQ changes you make will affect the left and right sides equally.  If you change the mode to L/R, you’ll be able to make changes to the left side and right side independently, so both sides can have different EQ curves.  You can select which side you are affecting by choosing it in the Edit box.  If you choose M/S mode, then you have chosen the Mid/Side mode.  Changes made to the M(id) will affect the audio in the center, and changes made to the S(ide) will affect the audio on the sides of the stereo spectrum.

By making minor tweaks to the left and right side of certain sounds in your mix, you can add more width to your songs without much effort.  This is one is hidden in plain sight, but if you haven’t tried using the different stereo modes on the EQ 8 I definitely encourage you to give it a shot.  The other cool thing is that you can automate small movements on the left and right sides of the EQ independently as well. The only limits to the possibilities are your imagination.


Thavius Beck released his latest album The Most Beautiful Ugly on pioneering Los Angeles label Plug Research. He has also released music on labels such as Mush and Big Dada and collaborated with the likes of Saul Williams, Nine Inch Nails, Nas, and Busdriver. The Most Beautiful Ugly is Thavius’ first album in three years. You can buy the album here; it’s currently available in limited colored vinyl edition, CD, and digital.


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