Skip to main content

I'd like to experiment with the kind of rhythmic control over an instrument's signal level synced to a track as Johnny Marr did with his guitar on 'How Soon Is Now' in which a drum machine is inserted into a compressor's sidechain (see this YouTube demo).

I use Cubase AI which has a VSTDynamics processor with a sidechain function, though I don't think it can be used this way. Is there a free VST compressor/gate that enables its sidechain to be controlled by a rhythmic input? Perhaps someone will educate me on how to achieve what I want.


pcrecord Tue, 11/20/2018 - 07:13

Any compressor with sidechain options can do this. I'm sure Cubase has one..
You need to put the compressor on the guitar track and take the rithmic sound as a sidechain input to the compressor.
So the compressor won't react to the guitar anymore but react to the content of the other track...
Once it's done, you need to put the treashold, ratio, attack and release to get the results you want.. it usually need a fast attack and release setting but it depends on what you are aiming for.

To have better understanding on how a compressor work, I did a video a while back :

Airlane1979 Tue, 11/20/2018 - 07:30

An informative reply, thank you (and to your family of identical musicians). However, I'm not clear how to get the drum machine signal to control the sidechain. I suspect that Cubase's basic VSTDynamics processor only uses a sidechain as a filtered signal from the main input, for purposes such as de-essing. There seems no way to have a different signal into it. See here.

Perhaps there are other VST compressor/gate plug-ins that do allow a second signal input.