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Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins  

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(@airlane)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 2
20/11/2018 1:00 pm  

I'd like to experiment with the kind of rhythmic control over instrument 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.


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(@drumdude21)
New Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 2
18/03/2019 6:19 pm  

Hi,

You should be able to do sidechain compression in Cubase with the built-in compressor. I do it all the time, mainly with synths and kick drums. There's a little button at the top of the Compressor plugin that allows you to activate sidechain and choose a source.

I actually use sidechain compression with my electronic drum set; it works great when playing along with music especially. If I have a track going, I'll actually sidechain the kick drum to the track so that the music ducks a little bit when I play the kick drums, ensuring that it isn't lost in my ear mix. It makes for a much more enjoyable playing experience.


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(@rockyroad)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 5
31/05/2019 3:45 am  

I used an old free Sidekick with Elements 6 some years ago. It worked really good. Try the demo but read how to configure it first (you need to insert two instances and then connect them together to be able to sidechain). I don't think the free version is available anymore, but the 6th version should be priced reasonably.
Hi,

You should be able to do sidechain compression in Cubase with the built-in compressor. I do it all the time, mainly with synths and kick drums. There's a little button at the top of the Compressor plugin that allows you to activate sidechain and choose a source.

I actually use sidechain compression with my electronic drum set; it works great when playing along with music especially. If I have a track going, I'll actually sidechain the kick drum to the track so that the music ducks a little bit when I play the kick drums, ensuring that it isn't lost in my ear mix. It makes for a much more enjoyable playing experience.

Currently I don't work with AI version, though if it's similar to previous versions - just split your kick signal (by either using the parallel outs, insert outs, or a spider) and route it directly into the key input of the mix channel device. Turn on the compressor in the mixer and adjust to taste.

Just a little update, I've been told that sidechaining is not available in Cubase Elements - so I’d assume the same of Cubase AI. So Sidekick or a Reaper might suit you better. :roll:

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” ― Frank Zappa


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