Reason 6 Tutorial Side Chain Compression with Alkota Beats ~ Studio 914 Tech Post

Friday • April 20, 2012 • BY noiseman
Reason 6 Tutorial Side Chain Compression with Alkota Beats ~ Studio 914 Tech Post

Sidechain Compression is a commonly used audio technique, its also called New York compression or Upward compression. Sidechain compression can be used for DeEssing, to separate Lead and Background vocals or for Bass Ducking. Today we’re concentrating on Sidechaining Kick and Bass. This means the signal of a kick drum will be triggering the compressor used on a bass. Everytime the kick hits, the bass will be compressed and lowered a little bit to make the kick cut through better and tighter.

Sidechaining takes one sound and uses it to manipulate another sound. Most often you will see it on compressors, gates, limiters, and expanders. However, it can also be found on vocoders, synthesizers, and other effects. It is a really useful feature on compressors and gates because it allows you to place multiple instruments in the same frequency range without clashing… it can make your mix sound great!

How to set up Sidechain Compression (For example in Pro Tools): Send the signal of your Kick track for example to Bus 1. Insert a compressor (which is capable of Side-Chaining) on your Bass track. Select Bus 1 on your Key Input. Enable the Side-Chain. Now us Ratio, Threshold, Release, Attack etc. to adjust your desired compression. Every time the Kick hits the Bass will be turned down or compressed.

Compressor Settings: As a starting point you could use a ratio between 4 and 10 depending on how much the bass should be ducked (how much is actually wanted). The higher the ratio the more the bass will be ducked. Release between 10-50ms. Threshold about -5db depending too on how much compression is wanted. These are starting points which need tweaking depending on the situation and on how much compression or ducking is wanted. Download the Reason 6 Template.

Ducking using a sidechaining compressor… Ducking is the technique used by producers to get that characteristic “pumping” sound. Sidechaining really just means feeding sound into an effect that works on some other sound. But when most people talk about sidechaining, they are really talking about using sidechain compressors and gates to produce ducking.

So, what does a Side Chain Compressor actually do anyway? It uses one of your audio tracks to control the volume of another audio track. To get a ducking sound, it will lower the volume of one of your audio tracks when the other gets loud. This can be done with software or hardware studio equipment.

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Article: AB / Manuel Roessler
Editor: Noiseman
Image: Alkota Beats