19 March 2019

Should I use Sidechain?

Have you ever heard about Sidechain compression? Do you even know when to use it?

Sidechain makes reference to a worldwide used audio compression technique. Basic concepts?

  • Audio input signal S.
  • External audio output of signal S will be reduced by a compressor C.
  • Compressor C will determine the amount of reduction based on different criterias.

This technique is commonly used by beatmakers or producers whenever a specific sound has to be compressed while another sound is being reproduced (normally, between basses and kicks). In that way, the strength of the kick will be respected as the bass will be compressed while the kick sounds. Otherwise, all the bass frequencies could make impact on some kick frequencies. Sidechain compression can be used with any pair or group of sounds, so do not forget to carry it out on your projects.

Other applications can be seen on the radio by automating level clips between the announcer and the music songs while the broadcaster is talking. There are more related techniques because Sidechain is not unique.

In 2015, Guillermo Marín from Hispasonic team showed us how it works, and would be so great for you to watch this video and learn the power of it. For all of you who use FL Studio as your DAW, check this other tutorial about Sidechain.