SideChain? What does it mean?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Threeskinmusic, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. I'm sure this is a stupid question, and I may look like a moron for asking it, but could somebody explain to me what sidechaining means? I hear the term a lot and have no clue what it is referring to.Thanks for your help
    Jon2546 likes this.
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Basically, something "from the side" affecting something else.

    Sidechaining a compressor for example, to duck music out of the way for speech - You send music through a compressor, but send the vocal mic into the sidechain. When the announcer speaks, the compressor pushes the music out of the way.

    If you're looking for a real-world example, listen to the DJ talent on almost any radio station.
    Jon2546 and audiokid like this.
  3. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    Some other side chain uses.
    EQing the side chain in a gating situation to impove the gate response.
    Slide a duplicate region of an instrument back in time and using it to open a gate or trigger a compressor on the main track without any time delay. This works great for gating toms as you can make the gate open just before the inital strike.
    You can also make a tempo based tremolo by feeding the side chain a click track so the gate on a guitar or whatever track opens and closes in time with the click.
    Some engineers will even sidechain a bass compressor to the kick drum so that whenever there is a kick impact the bass is momentarily ducked which gives the kick more punch.
    All in all, a lot of creative uses. Have Fun!!
    Jon2546 likes this.
  4. Wow, very cool. I had no idea. Opens up a lot of possibilities. Thanks for your help guys.
  5. axel

    axel Guest

    very usefull for pumping dance tracks as well, put a bit of compression on to the bass and sidechain the kick, so the kick will "push through the bass" every hit. nice oomph oomph
    Jon2546 likes this.
  6. axel

    axel Guest

    oh, i am sorry just seen that dave62 covered that issue already, sorry
    but have fun experimenting around a bit... it's very usefull
  7. Jon2546

    Jon2546 Active Member

    Oct 29, 2018
    Aberdeen Scotland
    Suuuuuuper late to this party but just wanted to say thanks to the OP and the guys that answered! Great explanations and given me some ideas to have fun with!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice