When mixing sounds, it may be great on one part of the track and overcrowded on another part and textures come in. In such circumstances, you can try sidechaining. Sidechaining will allow you to aux audio track to trigger an effect. It is a production technique used in various music genres where an effect is activated by the audio track. It is said to be an alternative audio source to trigger the processor.
An example is in electronic dance music where there is heavy bass and kick. The producer will put side chain compression on the bass of an EDM track, and the kick triggers it. This reduces the overcrowding that may happen from too much frequency sound when kick and bass simultaneously.
Sidechaining is used with the compressor in the context of a scenario above, where the gain of a track needs to be reduced as the other one plays, a common term for ducking. Whichever way sidechaining is used, it is a powerful tool when mixing.
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The main reason for sidechaining is because it allows a plugin to listen to the sidechain track but respond on the track where it is inserted. Sidechaining allows the tracks to listen to each other. They listen through plugins that have a sidechain menu, and the plugins listen to the sidechain but react on the track they are inserted on.
How to sidechain in logic Pro X
Sidechaining will give the tracks a set of ears that will listen to another instrument or track. It also provides you the ability to let the tracks listen to each other. They depend on the plugin that you are using to listen. The plugins are essential to connect to the sidechains. To know if a plugin can use sidechain, check the upper right side of the plugin pane.
- Add two audio tracks in logic pro X.
- Let the first track contain a kick drum playing each quarter note of the bar and the other track to contain a bassline.
- Load the compressor as an effect plug-in on the bassline track.
- Activate the sidechain button below the SC Gain knob on the plugin interface.
- Select Audio 1-kick from the side chain menu.
- Press play in the sequencer, you should hear the bass volume attenuated by the kick track.
- Tweak the settings on the compressor to create a strong ducking effect.
And that is it!
If done correctly, the compressor should receive the input signal from the kick drum, while compressing the bass track only. You can adjust the parameters of the compressor to get the desired taste depending on how much you want to duck the bass track as the kick drum plays.