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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sidechaining in Ableton Live

Now we have got to a stage where you want to write a killer track but want that pro touch?

Welcome to the world of sidechain compression.

This beast is the pro touch for any good heavy track you have heard in the last 10 years.

What sidechaining actually does is "duck" one frequency around another note which is also being played on the same frequency.
A lot of the time you may hear "mudiness" in your productions, This could be because
of a clash of 2 sounds within your mix e.g the bass & kick drum.

You may also find that your kicks are loosing power in your tracks as soon as the bass is introduced in the track.

With the help of sidechaining you can retain the raw power that your track should have.

Right, Start off with a kick drum in Live.
Write an un-complicated pattern with the kick and rename audio 1 to "Kick".

Next up we want say a bassline that is of a simular frequency to the kick pattern we have, Insert this in the track next to it and rename it "bass".

Now if they are around the same frequency you will notice the kick OR the bass is lacking in power, So lets grab te compressor from Live's sidebar and drop it onto the "bass" channel. Then click on the arrow next to the "on" switch, You will see it open out into more parameters.

Next up click on the sidechain button, Then underneath that click on where it says "audio from" then go to "kick" in the drop down menu.
This means that the output level from your kick drum is going to be "injected" into your bass track.

Next up click on the EQ button to activate it, Then underneath that click on the "low shelf" eq button.

Now play your track as you have it so far, Then go to the sidechain compressor
on the "bass" track and reduce the "threshold".
The input volume you see there in the green is coming from the "kick" channel.
And the threshhold is basically how much your bassline will "duck" around the kicks.
Thus removing the mudiness!!

If you want to find more info on what the other functions on a compressor do read my blog on compression tips here.

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