"I mix with nothing on the master. I just make sure things are turned down enough to not clip, and if something starts clipping, I'll usually hunt down the culprit and try to bring everything back into balance at that moment. In the end, things tend to be peaking between -0.2 and -0.1. The peak doesn't matter though as, when it's time to master (even if things might be peaking very rarely), I'll be able to control the end result through compression and limiting. What matters most is **getting the mix perfect**, or as perfect as your abilities can get it. This is one of those things tied closely to how much you've developed your ear and how good you are at knowing when things sound good and when they don't, and improvement only comes with time, excluding how incredible your monitors and room treatment are (I'm still on headphones). I'm a big fan of very extreme cutoffs when that's the sound I want, because it's usually specific harmonics I want depending on the note being played (EQ8 in Ableton 9 made this fucking easy when they added in a spectrum), because it tends to open up the most headroom in my mix, and my mixes are very busy. But if it doesn't sound as good as a smooth cut off, then I'll do that. I just do what I believe sounds best for what I'm trying to achieve. But generally, I'm all about those 4x cutoffs. And yeah, peaks can come from rogue harmonics shooting out for one reason or another. I'm the kind of guy who boosts specific harmonics +12 or more in the EQ, then catch it all in low threshold compression to get added effects. Also allows me to play melodies through automating the EQ curve, essentially playing the harmonics as their own notes. Crazy peaking if you do that without compression, and limiting doesn't really do the job in those cases. I'll often want those harmonics to push everything else out of the way in that particular instrument/channel, so a compressor does exactly that."more
There are enough audio software developers with flagship EQs that you would be ill-advised to do an internet search for "software EQ", lest your browser give you side-eye. We sometimes forget that with all the third-party options, most DAW designers include audio processing essentials with their software - and more often than not, the in-box tools will serve you just as well as any other. Such is the case with EQ8 (which you have to at least have the standard version of Ableton Live to get - sorry, Intro users).
As you would expect, it is an eight band equalizer. Each band has a series of parametric filter options - 48 or 12dB low pass, low shelf, bell curve, notch, high shelf, and 48 or 12dB high pass. You can turn each band on or off (it's recommended to only turn on the ones you need to save CPU, but this device is generally not a CPU hog - admittedly, I have never used it in oversampling mode, though). Audio signals can be processed in stereo, left/right or mid/side modes, and the frequency spectrum of the channel's output is displayed in the background as you work (which, even though you have to learn to use your ears when mixing, is still helpful for swift low pass/high pass work).
Rather than go into more detail, I strongly advise you to look up tips and tricks on using EQ8 and find out more about all the capabilities of this device. And remember...you can configure default templates in Ableton, so why not create one with an EQ8 on every channel?