What Makes EQ8 in Ableton Live 9 Shine

One of the most heralded additions to Ableton Live 9 is the new EQ8. It's been completely redesigned and rethought with certain features you simply must check out.  

The first time you fire up your newly installed Ableton Live 9 update, make sure you check out the new EQ8. Along with the Compressor and Gate, the EQ8 has been completely redone. It sounds and functions much better than before! 

In this particular article, I'd like to point out some points of interest within the new EQ8.

New SVF Filters

First, let's talk about sound. The new EQ8 has now been upgraded with new SVF Filters   (State Variable Filters). Without getting into the science behind this, and lulling you into a quick coma, let's talk about the perks. Shall we? 

The new filters offer less noise and fewer artifacts as the original EQ8 that we all know and love. In fact, they perform, out of the box, at the same level as the original EQ8's high-quality mode. 

And, for those of you that still want the 'Turbo' button. There is a new option to make the EQ8 a little more 'uber' if the high-quality that it operates isn't enough. By right-clicking on the EQ8, you can toggle on 'Oversampling'.

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Frequency Spectrum

Now, you can see and hear what the EQ8 is doing to your signal. By default, the frequency spectrum is shown within the EQ8's work area. 

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Considering that there are a great many people that do not have access to monitors that  can accurately playback signals below 52 Hz, this can be a bonus for those that are 'flying blind'. By being able to see those frequencies that will blow club speakers, when you can't hear them, you can ensure that your new single will remain in continual rotation... And, that you don't owe someone some money.

What's even better? You can also press the small arrow button next to the 'power' button on the EQ8 to toggle the display up over the Session, or Arrange view. By expanding the view of the EQ8, you make it much easier to 'dial-in' your sound. This is especially handy if you're using the EQ8 on your master output, to complete your sound. 

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One perk for having the EQ8 toggled into the main view- When in this mode, you can modify all of the filter controls simultaneously. This opens up some interesting possibilities for MIDI controllers... Hmmm...

Additional Fine Tuning

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There's some additional icing on the cake, for those of us into the minutiae. You now have an Audition mode within the EQ8 that affords you the ability to listen to a specific band, and its effect on your source. This is something I've already started using a lot, as it's not always easy to tell what frequency boosts, or cuts are giving and taking away. This is especially true with complex signal sources. 


These are just a few of the highlights for EQ8. And, as you can see, there's ample possibilities for some nice tweaking and filtering. So, what are you going to do with it?

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More


Thank you for posting these! My MacBook pro and ableton live 9 are in the mail heading my way. I appreciate your tutorials, tips and tricks. Keep them coming!

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