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Sidechain for compressor

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Scott_Fouts, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Scott_Fouts

    Scott_Fouts Guest

    Dear all knowing recording gods . . .

    okay - sorry about that. But now you're reading . . . and after that cat-washing post I feel a little more open to adding some spice to my posts!

    I've heard little about this - and it may be more of a mastering question - but can someone fill me in on the theory of using a sidechain and subsequent EQ with a compressor? thanks!

    scott sends . . .
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    There are two main ways that key and side chains are used on compressors. One involves ducking where you run say a harmonica through the compressor and key the compressor (or trigger it through the side chain ) off the lead vocal. Every time the vocal comes up, the harp is turned down by however much gain reduction you dial in. Automatic gain control.

    The second way is dynamic eq, where, by example, say you have a particular frequency that is bothersome on a track or source creating a resonance or overtone. So you patch and eq through the side chain of the compressor, dial in the offending frequency on the eq that is patched through the side chain. Set the compressors gain reduction (threshold) so that it is just barely staring to kick in. Now by boosting the gain on that specific frequency on the eq, you can trigger the compressor to react specific frequencies causing it to apply a cut when ever that frequency creates an overtone.
  3. Scott_Fouts

    Scott_Fouts Guest

    Thanks Kurt! - one more part to the question (for now!)

    when my compressor (presonus acp-88) reacts to the frequency i've selected the eq through the sidechain, will the entire signal be compressed - or will only the selected frequency within that signal be compressed (as if the eq has a compressor)?

    now i'm going home to wash my cat.

    scott sends . . .
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    The compressor will be more sensitive to the frequencies you are boosting with the eq...
  5. Don Schenk

    Don Schenk Active Member

    And it is used as a de-esser to lower the level on sylabant "s" sounds...read that sssssoundssssss...by setting the EQ to increase compression at that sound.
  6. Scott_Fouts

    Scott_Fouts Guest

    thats great - thanks a bunch for the info. i really appreciate it!


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