FabFilter User Forum

Question when i should use stereo or mono pro q with Ableton

So i just download the trial version of the total bundle and am seriously thinking about purchasing it.

I'm having trouble understanding the stereo and mono concept, please bare with me as i try to explain my confusion.

is the eq for the left or the right individually the only difference? as this whole concept of eq'ing the left or the right is above my comfort zone, so whether i'm eq'ing vocals on a mono track or a pad on a stereo based track i've never had to choose what i wanted my eq to be, stereo or mono, for example eq eight is just eq eight, not stereo or mono

so trilian by spectrasonics is a only stereo plug-in even though it is a bass virtual instrument, and it's better to mix bass, bass kick, snare in mono. So when the plug-in is loaded i should drop a stereo pro q 2 on it? or mono? I'm thinking leaving the plug-in dry, getting to where i want it, bouncing it to audio, this produces a left and a right audio file then using the utility plug-in to only read the left or right, essentially mono, after this is done should i drop the mono plug-in? and same with the compressors?

I'm really trying to get the cleanest sound possible and any advice helps, thanks for your time

Tomasz Stepien

Hi Tomasz,

I would use the mono version of Pro-Q 2 on mono tracks, and the stereo version on stereo tracks. Very simple. Note that you can use different EQing for the L and R channel in Pro-Q 2, so if you want to use this on a mono track, you should use the stereo version. I'm not sure though if Live will convert the track into stereo automatically in this case. If not, you'll have to convert it manually first.

A little background: we provide a separate mono plugin for VST2 because it isn't possible to automatically detect the track format. For e.g. the AU plugin format we only provide one plugin that automatically adapts to the track format that you use it on.

Hope this helps!


Frederik (FabFilter)

Live doesn't really have a concept of mono tracks. It will just play the audio from a mono source on both L and R channels within the track. Same with mono plugins, the output will of course be mono, but Live just copies that to both channels. So it's a bit of a moot point.
As a matter of fact, in your spectrasonics example, you can just leave the Utility plugin at the end of the chain and be done with it.

Btw, this also explains why Live's EQ8 doesn't have a mono version.


Trillian has an option to convert to mono. ;)


Well I guess it's becoming clear that I'm not a Live expert. :) I would just always use the stereo version of Pro-Q 2 in that case.


Frederik (FabFilter)

thanks for all the feedback guys, i think i got a way of working it out. I wanted to ask if(sorry if this is an insult to the art of mixing) but does anyone have a link to some really good instrument presets, i have a general i idea of where to go but i find i sometimes i really dull stuff up with my high and low cuts and would like a template to test against, if not no biggie thanks anyways

to Fredrick and everyone else, do you think going to lengths in order to put the bass, kick, and snare on mono is necessary if both left and right are already identical?

Hi Bram, do you mean at the beginning of the chain? as in everything like eq compressor comes after that? Lets say for instance with trilian i have 5 patches loaded and layered to their own out i.e. A/B/C but on the same channel as i want them playing together and coming in on separate audio tracks, instead of bouncing to audio i will just hit record and everything gets recorded to separate audio tracks, now the first thing i would do is drop a utility plug to mono each and then load a pro-q 2 mono version correct?

Hi FabFan, i think if i set the utility to mono in trilian Ableton might still read the left and right and only show audio coming in on one side which would still make me use the utility plug-in from ableton to sett the desired side which i'm already doing, but ill give it a shot

Tomasz Stepien

I have been working in a studio for about 3years then my friend suggest me a software that is amazing. I learned a lot with it. vstoriginal.com/trilian


Yep, great software. Also available from Spectrasonics direct through their official resellers.


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