Help with sidechaining

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Skullverizor
KVRer
2 posts since 14 Oct, 2018

Post Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:05 pm

Right now I run superior drummer 3 through one track in reaper. I am going to start multi outing SD3 but for the moment, I wanna finish some stuff up.

I am really wanting to try ducking the bass but I was wondering if there is a way I can get the ducking/sidechain comp set up?

I was thinking it would be possible if I copied all the kick midi notes and somehow used those notes to trigger the compressor as a hit on the kick would.

Also, semi-related question. If I am already running a compressor, where would the sidechain compressor go in the signal chain?

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bearstakemanhattan
KVRer
3 posts since 1 Dec, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:39 am

Hey Skullverizor. This is something I've spent a while sorting out as well considering the fact that I make EDM, a genre in which sidechain compression is very important. What I end up doing is using a "ghost" trigger for my sidechain compression. Basically, I'm keying the sidechain ducking not with the kick, but instead with a really fast sine wave sweep from 20khz down to 20hz that I've bounced to audio and muted in my DAW. Every time the kick hits, I place the sine wave sweep in the same place. Then I key my sidechain compression with the sweep. This way I have a lot more control over when the sidechain happens and how the compressor reacts.

As for your question on signal flow, you'd want to make sure that your sidechain ducking isn't changed by any processing after it. I'd either put the sidechain ducking in the last processing slot of your signal chain or at least as the last instance of compression in your chain.

Thanapon
Banned
1 posts since 17 Dec, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:02 am

This is a very good story, I do not believe that people will think of this story.

PurpleSunray
KVRian
853 posts since 13 Mar, 2012

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:53 am

Or try LFOTool, or simliar.
I have switched to it from singal-driven sidechain for a simliar reason than bearstakemanhattan: more control.
You can draw the envelope independently from the kickdrum sound, but trigger it with kickdrum midi.

Butwug
KVRist
91 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:20 am

Not sure if this is the proper way to do it but I set up a ghost note on my drumkit. I just copy the pattern of my kick over to the ghost/muted note, which I put as a short snare or hat with lows cut off, then mute it. I sidechain using the muted note. That lets me duck to a ghost note, versus being tied to the audible kick. I can easily change ducking pattern on the fly by moving the muted pattern around, but for the majority of the time, the pattern is same as the kick. Thats the one reason I wasnt too fond of Kickstart or automated ducking setups. It keeps on ducking even when I dont ducking want it to!

MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
2992 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:54 pm

The simple method I use to route all ducking intended instruments to a single channel bus and then automate the volume of that bus channel. You can control the envelope precisely by drawing the exact curves you like. Just draw one little automation snippet and then copy/duplicate wherever you like - edit one and it edits them all. Or draw several for different parts of the track.

No latency, ghosting or plugins involved - using the power of the DAW itself.

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morelia
KVRAF
4344 posts since 16 May, 2002 from Brisbane , Australia

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:13 pm

MogwaiBoy wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:54 pm
The simple method I use .......
I like this idea. Not sure how you are getting it to edit all points by editing one though. Is there a particular way you are copying curve points.

Also wondering if there is a way to trigger specific frequencies. I guess MB Comp or some EQ plugins are the way.
My Music >>> °morelia ° Intel Core i7 8700K, 16gb, Windows 10 Pro, Focusrite Scarlet 6i6

MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
2992 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:49 pm

Yep! If the EQ accepts automation of band gain then you can create your own faux-dynamic EQ even. EQs with an amount/mix control (like Pro-Q/Neutron) also work great for this, you can have an EQ perfectly set so that it reduces a certain resonant frequency at a certain part of the song, and just automate the amount/mix from 0-100% at the right moment, and then back to 0% again when the event has passed... total surgical transparency - no threshold to deal with, no harmonics, no aliasing.

jochicago
KVRist
370 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:32 pm

I don't use Reaper but I'm jumping in because I'm interested by this situation.

If I'm understanding this right, your concern is that the drum kit has all the drums in it, so you can't isolate the kick for a simple sidechain setup.

If I understood that right, (and kudos to all the creative approaches listed here), here are more thoughts:

1. Once the instrument puts out audio, you can use a very hard an narrow EQ to isolate the kick primary frequencies. To start, use a send to a new track or duplicate the track (I don't use Reaper so can't speak to the best approach) then mute the final output of that new track. To isolate the kick, your kick is going to shine strongest around 80hz so you cut everything around it (but check out some tutorials for a more detailed explanation). Now you have a kick source for the compressor detection.

2. If you have midi, as you suggested you can duplicate only the kick into a new track. Set up the the instrument and mute the final output of the track (because you don't need this in the mix), but before the mute use that audio output as your sidechain detection input.

One you have an isolated kick sound source, it should be straightforward to use reacomp with a sidechain as the detector, as in this example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjC00ML37NE

Butwug
KVRist
91 posts since 26 Oct, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:54 pm

jochicago wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:32 pm

If I'm understanding this right, your concern is that the drum kit has all the drums in it, so you can't isolate the kick for a simple sidechain setup.

If I understood that right, (and kudos to all the creative approaches listed here), here are more thoughts:

1. Once the instrument puts out audio, you can use a very hard an narrow EQ to isolate the kick primary frequencies. To start, use a send to a new track or duplicate the track (I don't use Reaper so can't speak to the best approach) then mute the final output of that new track. To isolate the kick, your kick is going to shine strongest around 80hz so you cut everything around it (but check out some tutorials for a more detailed explanation). Now you have a kick source for the compressor detection.

2. If you have midi, as you suggested you can duplicate only the kick into a new track. Set up the the instrument and mute the final output of the track (because you don't need this in the mix), but before the mute use that audio output as your sidechain detection input.
:? Im on bitwig and it lets me choose just about anything to sidechain from, including instruments within drumkit, or the whole thing if I want. That must make it hard to sidechain at will!

1. Does EQ’ing actually make a difference? I used to do this everytime because read it helps “bite” the source but I sometimes skip this if Im ducking a pad to a kick. And dont need the accuracy of the “bite.” Im actually looking at my DAW and it has an option to use RMS or peak, to sidechain. Hmmm I think I dont even need to EQ it at all anymore since Im assuming the peak option is same as EQ’ing to get that initial transient :o

2. I do this option a lot as it lets me switch up pattern instead of following the 4/4 100% of the time.

jochicago
KVRist
370 posts since 26 Feb, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:39 pm

Butwug,

The kick is pretty loud and repetitive and tends to drive the compressor in most scenarios. But if you are trying to duck the bass in favor of the kick, then it makes sense to make sure that only the kick is the one ducking the bass, because you usually don't want that bass ducked more than it needs to be. In the case of pads its a bit different because you might not mind that its pumping a bit with the entire drum bus. It may be naturally timed well enough that it feels right, and/or mostly imperceptible if the pad is a background element.

Depending on your situation (song, loudness) you may be perfectly fine using the drum bus as the detection for the bass compressor and letting nature take its course (the kick tends to drive the peaks). But it probably won't work perfectly every time. That's why it makes sense to take the time to make a detection track with only the kick, or any of the alternative methods discussed, to prevent messing up the bass with the wrong ducking at points of the song.

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hyperbits
KVRer
9 posts since 8 Jan, 2019 from San Diego, CA

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:02 pm

If you’re looking for transparent ducking, you can definitely achieve this very effectively with your DAW’s stock compressor. I can also recommend some great plugins that have multiband capabilities for doing this more effectively.

CableGuys VolumeShaper
This one is designed for quickly achieving that EDM 4 on the floor pumping sound. It can also be set up for dealing with other kick patterns. What’s great about this plugin is the Mix Knob, which allows you to choose how deep you want your dip in volume to be. Also, this plugin has multiband capabilities, meaning you can set different ducking curves and intensities for different bands. Sometimes, you only want your bass to dip in volume in its lower frequencies, so this allows you to do that while leaving the higher frequencies of the bass untouched, providing very transparent ducking.

FabFilter Pro-Q3
Pro-Q2 was already an amazing EQ, but now that it has dynamic EQ capabilities, it’s even more powerful. You can choose to make certain EQ bands dynamic, meaning they will duck only when the input signal surpasses a certain level. This is perfect for ducking your bass during your kicks, and you get to choose the frequencies you want your bass track to dip, which is also another way to get very transparent ducking. Neutron 2 by iZotope is another killer EQ with dynamic features.

Doing it Manually
Like others here have said, there are ways to do this manually. A great method to do this is to have all your tracks bounced to audio (meaning no active MIDI tracks). This allows you to visually see exactly where and how your kick and bass are falling at the same time. If your kick and bass are hitting at the same time, it’s a good idea to cut out the very beginning of your bass notes, so that the attack of the kick gets to shine through. It’s also a good idea to make your kicks as tight as possible, so that most of the sustain on your low end comes from your bass.

These are all great methods that can’t be fully explained in a single post, so they might sound a bit confusing here. If you’re looking for a bit more info, I recommend checking out this article on low end management.

Cheers!

Digivolt
KVRist
250 posts since 21 Nov, 2018

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:43 am

Polyverse Gatekeeper is great for Sidechain also among it's wonderful gate features and comes with a tonne of presets

Samplecraze
KVRist
328 posts since 9 Aug, 2004

Re: Help with sidechaining

Post Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:00 am

Using ghost triggering is one thing and TBH I am finding I am using this more and more:
https://www.hornetplugins.com/plugins/b ... e-chainer/

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