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Building a DJ EQ for Ableton Live

EQ is one of the DJ’s primary tools. Unfortunately Live doesn’t come with the perfect DJ EQ ready for use. It does however; provide the tools to create your own.

If you are like me and came from a vinyl DJ background, you will want to maintain some of the features of the standard DJ mixer EQ. Apart from all the obvious things it must include:

Flat at 12 o’clock. Ie: No gain or attenuation when your EQ knob is centred
More cut than gain. Most DJ’s tend to use gain more gently than cut. Killing frequencies especially the bass is commonplace, whereas we tend to use gain to match frequencies with another song or to provide more subtle emphasis.

At first glance Lives EQ3 appears more suited and is a simple solution to the DJ EQ. If you are happy with this then go with that.

Most however, agree that EQ8 sounds much better than EQ3. The problem is that it needs some work to be moulded into a DJ eq that meets the criteria above.

There are racks-a-plenty on the net with DJ EQ’s. I looked at so many I can’t remember where I got it. However, it does fulfil ALL the criteria above.

One modification I made was to link the EQ’s frequency and scale parameters, so that EQ cut occurs at an increasingly dramatic rate, and gain occurs and decreasing rate. This way I can almost kill frequencies and I don’t need to be too gentle with the gain.

You can play around with the settings to suit yourself.

Download DJEQ Rack

September 8, 2007

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I come from a band background writing and recording music and have recently started DJing. Prior to starting the course I had played with Ableton Live but found it to be very daunting. The 8 week course presents the functionality of Ableton Live in a logical way that gets you understanding and laying down tracks and doing your own re-mixes in no time. Every week of this course there was something that I learned about Ableton that blew me away. Tim is a great teacher and the course is highly recommended for anybody interested in electronic music production.

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