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Mid-Side EQ

Lesson 21 from: Mixing Electronic Music In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

21. Mid-Side EQ

Lesson Info

Mid-Side EQ

we're going to continue looking at a little bit more advanced, queuing and then move into what I call total control and then specialization. Well, we have this amazing thing called mid side mixing what is mid side, mixing mid side processing works by decoding a stereo signal into two components. The mid channel contains just the information that appears in both left and right channels. In other words, the mono signal right, cause it's in both both speakers or headphones, and then the side channel contains all the information that differs between the left and right channel. In other words, this is the sound on Lee on one side and nowhere else. This is a little image to show you that so we can have mid being whatever they share, and sides are unique to themselves. Now this is a completely different way of viewing things as convert toe left and right, right, because you can have something on left that is shared between the other sides. But it's just more to the left. But this is about wha...

t is shared in the middle. What is on the outsides, right? So let's look, I'm going to open up a live set and show you what this is all about. And hopefully I'm gonna blow some lines because I think it's pretty much all right. Okay, So I have these. Congo's here, right? And with Congo, we have something on the left and something on the right. Usually two hands that are being might weaken See that if we look at the way form, there is some similarities. But there are also some differences in terms of volumes and things like that. So it sounds like we have a kick in the middle and a snare in the middle and then bongos that are kind of different on the sides. Now, if I just e que let's say, I'm just gonna eat you out the snare. If I do that, it's going to be hard, because it's gonna also be where the Congo's arts around the same frequency, right? I'm still affecting the Congress in a way that I don't want to. Well, in live, if I come to this little option here and change my mode from stereo, I can go left and right, or it can go mid side now I can affect my sides or my mid separately. Now watch what happens when I take out the mids. I'm just hearing the Congo's and then if I go to my sides, same thing because they were separate on both sides. But this also means if I go into my mid I can and it that snare but keep the clarity of my Congo's absolutely amazing way to e que out your different sounds good. We got we got 11 to 2 down. Now there's other ways we can look at this. A very common thing is like, Let's say you have a mono guitar that goes into a stereo reverb. Well, that reverb is gonna add a lot of differences between the left and right, though that mono signals probably gonna be the most in the center. Well, here is some guitar, and if I play tons a river, right, well, if I take out my mid just hearing a lot of the river, if I go to my sides so getting a little river, but it's completely different way of looking at your mixes. You can really clean up different things, and this is really good when you have, like Elektronik samples or things like that that have lots of movement between left and right. You want to isolate a specific sound. Mid side is your key. Anything that stereo and you seek you the side, it's gonna it's gonna affect that. But anything that's mono, uh, will be affected by the mid. Yes, exactly. Now, a lot of examples aren't gonna be as extreme is this? I chose these examples because they are extreme, but you can still have similar effects. Another thing to keep in mind is, let's say you want a signal or these drums, and I want to just keep the base in the middle. I can take out the side base and keep the mono right. It's sometimes sometimes it's amore appropriate way to e que the the mono like keeping the low end in the center and getting rid of all the dirty sides, which could be great for a lot of instrumentation and a lot of sense and stuff like that. Different way of looking at it. Yeah, I feel like you're on the verge of a question. Okay, well, yeah, that's most usually true. That's mid side, and there's lots you can do with that, and I'm going to show Maura about mid side with reverb because I have this really cool technique I do with Reeve Urban inside. But I want to. We have a lot to go through, so I want to jump into other stuff and come back to it. If people don't have questions. If we're not seeing much questions on mid side than what kind of move on Superfund really enjoy playing with that guys, it has totally saved a lot of my mixes, especially five gotten a mix from someone else, and they didn't even know that there was like this ground home on the Left Channel and not the right right. I'm able to take out the home of the channel, but not just through the left side. That makes sense. It gives you a whole new way of taking out problem frequencies. Now we're gonna look at this thing. I called Total Control, which is dealing with the harmonic tonal quality of your sounds. This is more of like some extra spice you can add. It's not very important, but it's helpful. It can really add some life to your track. Now what is tone in a mix? It's the harmonic quality of your instruments. In other words, open up a live set. In other words, if you have, like a very simple sound, right, the tone of it is how the upper harmonic sound How is the quality of that instrument? What gives it that sense of that instrument? That is the tone and the harmonics of it. And we can begin to affect that within our mixing to bring out certain qualities. Let's say we want Thea Ah, violin to sound like it had much more warmth or much, much bigger mid. Then we would do that through these effects. Or if I wanted to. Usually it's about making something sound bigger, right? A guitar, not just sounding clean, but sounding more interesting. We do that through a few different effects. But just to start. I've got an operator here very basic, right? It's got one harmonic right there. Not that much going on. Well, if I come in, I was looking at What was it? Saturate? Er that's it. Okay, So if I come in and dragging my saturate er there you go, I can add those upper harmonics. And by adding a dive, a mound see how I'm getting mawr harmonics there, especially if I get really intense, sometimes change my shape, try to make it not sound totally terrible. My spectrums there. That's why there you yeah, so nothing. And then turning it up. You can actually see how it's rising and falling. Oh, now, one thing you might notice is, let's say you're at home and you can't hear this when it's this low right, because it's a super low fundamental. Your speakers might not even pick it up. That's where this comes in. And you're mixing because if I turn up my dive amount, you might now hear your base over your speakers or your ear pets. And that's the key to using upper harmonics. They can make sounds that might not seem present, like your kick Seymour present over and translate better on worse speakers or something like that, right? And we have a few different effects we can use for this. One of them is saturate er, but we also have things like overdrive. So here's this sound again, we're talking about a low when it's just easy to show here. Now if I turn on overdrive, see all that upper harmonic. Now, something you need to keep in mind. This is now taking over that entire harmonics. So you're putting a really front and center, but that can sometimes bring something out that might be missing in your mix. If you're like this base, I just cannot hear it. Add some of this tonal quality. It's really gonna bring it out. Yeah. Statue later. Order of really nice on hats. Yes. That could be very nice on hats. They could be very nice kicks. Just drums in general. Um, they can be nice on vocals. I mean, they can actually be nice, almost anything. But you're right. It is very nice on hats. It can kind of glue it together in a way, because it gives it that kind of more of a ringing quality or something. Um, and then the 3rd 1 there are tons of ways of doing this. But one of the third ways that I like to do this is through amp which comes with sweet. So if you have standard live standard, you're you're not gonna have this, but with sweet, very simple guitar turn on am adding some upper harmonics. It's emulating and hamp. But know that I know that when you emulate gear that you can also add harmonics that you weren't necessarily expecting. So that's a really cool way to add spice or bring something out without even using a cute. You can just use these types of effects. Add that. That's why sometimes you don't want to just push up the E que in the upper range. Add some saturation and naturally does that in a more interesting, characteristic type of way. We can do it through E que it you does do that, which we have looked at. You can do it do distortion like I just showed you and harmonic exciting. Sometimes you'll see like ozone has a harmonic exciter. It's pretty much the same thing is saturate er It's just trying to emulate some gear, and that's called harmonic exciting. Why affect the tone in your mix, right? Why even do this? Well, it adds richness to the instrument. It gives an element a bigger feel. This is really good for like a lead synth, for instance, and it can also cleanup elements that have too much harmonics by, uh, coming in and changing the AMP. Sound right. You can come in and try to emulate something different. It takes away. Those harmonics could be really nice. Like a clean or base, which will kind of muffle it. Resident, it's clean or loses a little brighter. Generally you're using this to add harmonics to something, though. Now, the next thing is okay, we got these tools. Now, how do we implement then? What? What do you use this for? And that's what I have. I call the tone strategy. What is your strategy and using this? How do we go about it? Well, we can use bus tracks, return tracks. This would similar to the the New York style compression that, in a way, is a harmonic exciting. But we can use that same concept by sending slight elements to it. Teoh multiple elements to the same type of saturation, to give it a kind of a cohesive feel. We can also use groups just on the drum group, for instance. And we could also use distortion and harmonic exciting. It is also a powerful way. Okay, sorry. Distortion in harmonic exciting is only as powerful as juxtaposition. So if everything is way saturated, it won't make sense, but it's something supersaturated next to a very clean sine wave. It's going to sound really interesting and cool. It's going to give it mawr juxtaposition mawr difference that, well, excite the listener. Subtle harmonic, exciting on many elements can help kind of tightening next. Like I was saying, All right, so let's look at an example of that, All right. The first song we listen to at the very, very beginning was an example of this. Actually, this is a different song, but I'll show it off. Basically, what I do is in these groups. Down here I have this dirty tape bus and this mid exciter bus, and they are and also a sizzle one. So basically sizzle is the top harmonics. Mitt is kind of a mid range harmonics. It's doing it through like a multi band, compressing it, adding some saturation and then we have a dirty tape which is adding some really weird green delays and stuff. Now, if I send different amounts to these in the returns that I can add different qualities now, let me show you example of that of here again. If you get the course will be able to play with these. And if you press zero on your keyboard, it turns these things on and off so you can hear with the harmonic, citing and without. So here's without, and here's with it on, on, off, on off. See, in particular, it's bringing out that kind of like high mid range because I'm exciting it to give it more presence that I didn't have otherwise. And like I said, you're gonna have these presets to play within. But if you wanted to, you could also come into like your drums and add a little, especially the a little harmonics. Compression. I mean, not compression saturation just to that if you wanted to. So let's just add a touch of saturation. Now, if you turn your dive up, you need to turn your output down. Remember, we want a B, so it seems fairly similar. Now, here's something I really want to show how and why you might use this if we play this not in solo. Now. If you look at the frequency wides off, you'll see that a lot of this is much lower. But if I turn it on, it kind of fills it in a little bit so off. It's definitely lower right there and on it brings it up. That's a great instance of using This is if you're seeing a hole in your in your frequencies and try turning this type of effect on to fill it like I saw in your track. Um, oops. I feel I saw on your track there was a few places that were kind of missing just a little bit. Ah, and we could just put on, like, a little bus effect and add a little bit to it, and it should fill in that gap. And if we look at your frequencies seaweed, uh, spectrum up there? Actually, no, I really do prefer I was own for this. It just it's visually makes more sense because it freezes better and stuff. So if I drag that in there right here and also at the end, like up there? Oh, the other one is a pink noise. Okay. Oh, and then does it make you line? Okay, so I'm seeing, like, a little like because we wanted to be more straight like that. Uh, so we're missing a little here, maybe a little there, and definitely someone that end. So to use this, what we would do is we would, like, create turn, track. And then I could go into When you when you get this, if you get the course I have, this adds a library. You can go in there, grab a base, a bus effect. We can grab sizzle, exciter that be more upper. Throw that in. All right, So I can add, Let's see a little harmonics. Guitar lawyer Since trying to see what else I can add to, it mostly seems good. You can even add a little drum. Now we come back in here, I'm getting a little too much excitement. That's the thing I was talking about earlier. Do it and then rein it back a little. But I kind of want it more upper side of things. Well, we're getting a little little increase here, right? But it looks like we could still use um, topping. But even just like that slight amount of upper excitement is giving us a little bit more to play with. It does look like that excitement is maybe creating some problem there, so I'd have to look look at that either. Q and outers. The's are very subtle, and I need to kind of play with it just a little bit. But you can start seeing how it's gonna raise up that area, and I would have to maybe even bring in another one turn track mid side. This one's more interesting because you can really define the range in high range. I mean, heck, if I wanted to, I could you switch it out. But the great thing about bus effects way to money in there. But you get the idea, and it definitely brings out some that sparkle in a way, right?

Class Materials

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Drum Placement
Frequency Worksheet
Read Me - Mixing with Ableton Live
Sharing Tracks
Ableton Live Pack

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Ratings and Reviews

Jose Gerardo Rendon Santana

Excellent Course, Isaac Cotec is a great instructor and a great producer. The course is very well organized explaining each important step of the mix. as well as great tips and techniques. He also includes a great deal of support material with the course including an Ableton Live Pack with tons of great presets and tools to put to practice the knowledge acquired in the course.

a Creativelive Student

Isaac covers an amazing amount of material in a clear and concise way. Great intro to mixing with Ableton or review for the intermediate user who wants to solidify their best practices, DAW knowledge as well as gain some production tips.

Ian turner

this is the best thing money can buy in my life. Isaac makes it look easy and the way he teaches makes you understand everything and makes it easy for you as well. its exactly what i wanted to learn in each video! i cant even sleep because another video loads and im like "ohhhh i need it" lol. i thank god for this class being affordable and the real deal.

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