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Good uses for side-chaining?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricWatkins, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    I recently upgraded from Cubase SX3 to Cubase 4 . C4 has side-chaining ability and though I thought that I had an idea as to how side-chains worked, I hadnt ever used it before. So I read through the manual to set up a few side chain effects and it worked as I expected with compression and gating. I'm sure it would take quite a while to really get it tweaked just right but I get the idea. So what else is side-chaining good for or what do you like to use it for. With the compression and gating especially, I can see where it would be great for pop and pop rock dynamics. I mean, dont alot of producers use one to duck the whole song a bit under the vocals or for guitar solos? Just wondering. Thanks.

  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I'd rather ride a fader than side-chain compression for most things other than in a broadcast situation. In the Eighties and mid Nineties it was a thing to side chain a gate with some white noise or bazooka or WHY in the input and have the kick or snare trigger the gate. Pretty cheesey if you ask me though.
  3. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Like you mean the snare and kick would duck the rest of the mix a bit?
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    No. There would be a noise on the input of the gate. The kick or snare would be sidechained to open up the gate to let the noise through into the mix. You could either mix the noise in with the kick or drop the kick altogether and have the noise take the place of the kick.
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    That sounds nasty Hueseph...

    Who would do that?
  6. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I have heard of adding a sine wave to the kick pitched to the key of the song. Never tried it. I have used the kick to gate the bass so that the kick has the pitch of the bass. But I did a one octave pitch drop (starting at the bass note, ending one octave below) to make the pitch sound more like a kick that a gated bass.

    Another trick I would like to get around to is using the envelope of the kick to gate a band of the EQ on the bass, so that only the kick drum frequency ducks out of the bass. I haven't been able to figure out how to do this in Pro-Tools. (Any one have some ideas?) Is that possible with Cubase side chaining?
  7. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Also used for ducking a bassline out of the way of a kick drum, triggered by the kick, and vice versa, depending on genre. Can also be useful for maikng space for parts that need to sit up when they're sharing space with other parts, especially in conjunction with a multiband. Sometimes, in making space for, say, a vocal, it's necessary to move some of what the groove really needs from other parts. With a careful sidechain MB, you can duck just the relevant freqs out of the way only while the vocal is present, so you keep the full energy of the other part when the vocal isn't there.

    Used carefully, it can deliver some very subtle trickery for bringing a mix together, especially in the case of really busy and/or unruly mixes.
  8. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Excellent. Thanks for the ideas guys. This is definitely going to help.
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    It's going to be a long time until you can pry my cold dead hand's from my rack of 8 KEPEX 1's (modified to all LED from neon). No software sounds like these.

    Ducking out of here




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