How to use Sidechain Compression

Sidechain Compression

Sidechain compression is a powerful tool for achieving a more balanced and dynamic mix in your music productions. Whether you’re working with electronic dance music, hip hop, or any other genre, sidechain compression can help you to control the levels of different elements in your mix, resulting in a more cohesive and professional sound.

So, what exactly is sidechain compression? In simple terms, it is a technique where the compressor is triggered by a separate audio source (known as the sidechain) instead of the main signal. This allows you to use one sound to control the level of another sound, resulting in a more controlled and balanced mix.

To use sidechain compression, you will first need to set up a compressor on the track that you want to control. This could be a drum track, bassline, or any other element that you want to blend with another part of your mix. Next, you will need to send the sidechain audio signal to the compressor. This could be a kick drum, a synth stab, or any other sound that you want to use to control the level of the main signal.

Once you have set up your compressor and sidechain, you will need to adjust the settings to achieve the desired effect. The most important parameters to focus on are the threshold, ratio, attack, and release. The threshold determines at what level the compressor will start to kick in, while the ratio determines how much the signal will be compressed once it goes over the threshold. The attack and release controls determine how quickly the compressor reacts to the incoming signal and how quickly it releases the compression.

There are many different ways to use sidechain compression in your productions. One popular technique is to use it on a bassline and trigger it with the kick drum. This creates a pumping effect where the bassline ducks in and out of the mix in time with the kick drum. This can help to create a more driving and energetic rhythm section in your track.

Another way to use sidechain compression is to create space in your mix. For example, if you have a vocal track that is getting lost in the mix, you can use sidechain compression on the backing track to duck it down every time the vocal comes in. This creates a more dynamic mix where the vocal stands out more clearly.

In conclusion, sidechain compression is a powerful tool for achieving a more balanced and dynamic mix in your music productions. By using it to control the levels of different elements in your mix, you can create a more cohesive and professional sound. To use sidechain compression effectively, you will need to experiment with different settings and techniques to find the best results for your productions. So don’t be afraid to get creative and try out new things!

How to Use Sidechain Compression

This tutorial explains what sidechain compression (or sidechain “ducking”) is, the uses of this technique, and demonstrates four methods of achieving this effect in FL Studio 12.

– What is Sidechain Compression?

– When to use it?

– What is Phase Cancellation? (Where’d my bass go?)

– Wave Candy

– Method #1: Automation Clip

– Method #2: LFO Tool

– Method #3: Fruity Peak Controller

– Method #4: Compressor (Fruity Limiter)

– My Favorite Method + Final Thoughts

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