Using an equalizer for sidechain compressor processing

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by Barkingdogstudios, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    Other than for vocal de-essing, what other uses do folks have for an equalizer "side chained" into their compressors? I was thinking that it might help with the overheads/cymbals issue. I'm assuming you could probably use it for most instruments but with what "rule of thumb" settings?

    Another question is, does the equalizer become part of the signal chain when it is "side chained"? If so, my guess is you had better use a good quality equalizer ....

    Is there a past thread that covers this topic?

    I'm anxious to start playing with this approach, I just wondered if someone could steer me in the right direction .... thanks.
  2. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Nope, your EQed signal will not be added into the output. In a stereo compressor, left input goes to left output, and right input goes to right output. The only thing that is shared by these two channels is the amount of gain reduction. Spike in left channel reduces both channels, and ditto for right channel

    Hook signal to left input, line out signal from right output, then hook a trigger to the right input. Most of the time, you'll want an EQed signal to trigger the compressor whenever a specific range exceeds a threshold (consonants range for classic de-essing).

    Heck, you could use anything for your trigger, as long as your input gain, compressor threshold and ratios are set correctly. Want a weird tremolo effect? Hook an LFO to the side chain. Manual swelling effect for guitar? Feed midi-generated pulses to the side chain with slow release times and low threshold.

    Fun stuff to do with conventional gear.
  3. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Great for fixing hotspots in acoustic intstruments, where just a subtractive EQ change would adversely affect the rest of the track.

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