Sidechaining | Music Producer London
If you’re a music producer, chances are you’ve at least heard of sidechaining. In a nutshell, sidechaining is a production technique where an alternative audio source is used to trigger a processor. A very common example of this technique is ducking, where the kick signal is fed into a compressor on the bass. The settings on the compressor would have a fast attack and release time so that the bass reduces in volume every time the kick hits.
How much the level is reduced by is up to you. You can have the bass, or any other instrument, reduced by just a couple of decibels to help the kick poke through the mix. It enables you to have the kick at a lower volume in the mix, but it still be audible. This will increase headroom.
As a music producer in London, a lot of the productions I’m currently asked to make are focused on EDM. Dance music is probably the easiest genre to hear the ducking effect in all it’s glory. Everybody will have heard it. Titanium by David Guetta is a great example. Because the kick drum is so important in EDM, you don’t really want anything getting in the way of it.
Some music producers near me will use the ducking effect on every instrument in the mix, so that the kick is the only thing playing for a split second.
These days there are many plugins that help us to achieve this effect. One that I am using right now is VolumeShaper by Cableguys. With this plugin, you can shape audio signals with pinpoint accuracy with a drawable volume LFO on every band. I find this plugin to be easier and more accurate than using the traditional compressor method.
Some London music producers that I work with prefer the tried and tested traditional compressor method, or another plugin entirely. Every music producer has their own way of getting the desired effect. I suppose it’s like music production and music in general; there’s no right or wrong way, it’s all just personal preference.