Producer – Recording – Mixing

Side-Chain Compression


I thought I would post some information about more techniques we have been learning. Side chain compression is a technique heavily used with dance music. Because it is again ‘side-chaining’ it follows the same practice as side-chain gating in that one track controls another through key inputting. Essentially, the send from one track influences the compressor on another.

One of the benefits of this is to give more feel within the track and to get tracks pulsing and complimenting each other. For example you could have four on the floor with a synth on the off beat, bus the kick to the synth’s compressor and instead of a straight question and answer between the two tracks, the rhythm can be adjusted to create a dotted rhythm or simply just space between them. By playing around with the attack and release you can adjust how much space you want or how much ‘whoosh’ to build in the synth.

It is also used frequently away from dance music particularly to make room in a mix as I mentioned above. When you play around with the gain and threshold you can create more of a relationship between two tracks by having one track hide a little and let another have more prominence in certain points in the mix. This could be between vocal harmonies, a bass/kick drum groove or even a guitar solo to find room within chords. But in most of these cases it should be used very subtly so that it doesn’t create a disjointed effect and still allows tracks to flow and not stutter.

I will be uploading more on this subject when I reveal this process in a practical example.


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  1. Pingback: Halo 4 Remix « StuartSound

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