Sidechain Compression

The Wonderful World of Side Chain Compression

by Wes on March 11, 2011 · 0 comments

Have you ever wondered how dance much always gets that hard hitting sound, with the pumped up bass drum and baselines? Well my friend you are referring to side chain compression. This is a popular trick that is used by many of the pros, and one of my personal favorite tricks.

Side chain compression was originally a trick that was used by radio, to automatically lower the entire tracks volume when the announcer came on to speak. This same Methodology is now used to compress certain tracks whenever amines specific sound happens. It will automatically compress a specific track against whatever you want it to.

What you will need:
– Pro tools (or digital studio program)
– Compressor/Limiter Dyn 3 plug-in (or comparable product)

Most professional DAW programs feature at least one compressor that has a sidechain input. For example, Pro Tools has its Compressor/Limiter Dyn 3 plug-in, Logic has its Compressor plug-in, and Record features the MClass Compressor.

Typically, you’ll use a bus to send signal to the compressor’s sidechain input. And, you’ll want to set the compressor’s parameters for heavy compression to achieve the most dramatic effect possible. For example, a high Ratio with lots of gain reduction.

Here is a quick video on how to use super side chain compression. After watching the video, give it a try yourself. You will find that, the will become on of your favorite little tricks for dance, pop, and hip hop music. Enjoy!

Sidechain in FruityLoops:

Sidechain in Ableton:

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