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Sidechain Compression

Lesson 30 from: Songwriting in Logic Pro X for Electronic Music Production

Tomas George

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Lesson Info

30. Sidechain Compression


Class Trailer

Writing Drums and Bass Part Introduction


Making Drums Beats with Ultrabeat


Beats with Ultrabeat and Drummer


Writing Bass Parts - Part 1


Writing Bass Parts - Part 2


Writing Drums and Bass Parts Assignment


Writing Chords Introduction


Writing Chords


Lesson Info

Sidechain Compression

OK. Now we're going to look at side chain compression. So what side chain compression is? It's basically where we have one track playing and another one, but the other one ducks down where the one is playing. That might not make much sense, but you'll definitely hear it. It's that pulsating sound. You're getting a lot of dance music and electronic music that pumps with the kick drum. So it's very popular in almost all types of electronic music and it's great for creating space. So if you have the bass and the kick playing at the same time, the bass could be ducked down in volume when the kick plays to make the kick stand out a bit more, it can be used as an effect as well. But for now, we're going to use it just to duck out some of the instruments while the kick plays just to make the kick punch through easier. Previously, we did add some compression so we can add a side chain to this compressor or we can do it separately. For example, in the drums, we might want side chain on the bong...

os but not on the kick or the snare. So what we can do is actually just go into the separate instruments and add a side chain compressor there or we could add it to the group compression. But one thing we need to do is create something called a ghost track. The ghost track is what the compressor will be following. Most cases. It's one every beat or one every quarter note, you can be more experimental and use side chain as an effect. But for this, we're just gonna have it on every single beat of the bar. So let's just create a new instruments. We can choose Midi or audio. I'm just gonna choose software instruments and I'm gonna use the ES two. It doesn't really matter which one you use because this will be the ghost track. Then we're going to mute this and then I'm just gonna double click, find this part here. So this is the drum part where it's just playing the kick on every beat of the bar, hold down alt drag it over and then just turn on the loop all the way through. And this is the ghost track. It's as simple as that really. And this is instrument five. I'm gonna rename this side chain. OK. Let's open up our mixer and we're gonna add side chain onto all of the pads. So one way we can do this is open up the compressor and here you'll notice it says side chain and all we do is click on this and then go down to where it says side chain. Now let's play this back and have a listen to these pads. You can see this dial moving every beat of the bar. That is because it's actually side training this kick drum, this ghost track. So if we make it more obvious, you can really hear it pulsating there and add this to the mix. For example, some places we might not want the side chain on. For example, there, there isn't a kick drum. So we don't really need it to dock out so we can turn off that loop there. And then if we actually drag over this again, hold down alt continue that. So any places where there isn't a kick drum, you can actually turn off the side chain, just drag it back. Sometimes I don't really like this loop feature because it can be a bit annoying. I do a lot of the time. I like to just manually drag each one. It does take a bit more time, but you can get it exactly where you want it. So whenever the drums drop out, we're actually going to turn off the side chain. So all we have to do is just change this ghost track around. OK, let's hit this back. Now, open up the mixer, you can see the side chain isn't doing anything it enters again. There it has affected our compressor though. So what we can do is actually add two compressors to this. So we can have one as the side chain and another just as a regular compressor because I do want it compressed. I do want all the instruments compressed and then I do want side chain as well. So I'd like to add two separate compressors. OK. Nice. Let's find a few other instruments. Let's find the bass parts. So let's go back into the groups. It says you can do it with one compressor, but I like to have separate compressors. That's how I like to work. So I have one. It's just a normal compressor and the second as a side chain. So let's go to the base. I'm just gonna add, do you compress her? And this bass group has just got one instrument so I can just do it all in here. Go to side chain. Choose the one that says side chain. Remember to label your tracks and find the part where the bass is playing. Now when we solo this and solo, the side chain you can hear where it's playing. Ducking out the base. Obviously, we're gonna have that muted. That's just a ghost track because it's there. But we can't hear it. The drums. Now, some of them, I don't want a side chain on but some of them I do, for example, the kick, I don't want the side chain on the snare. Probably not, but the bongos I do. So let's find the bongos, the con is here and the bongos let's find these and add on a side chain. So I'm gonna go to compressor, remember click side chain, go down to side chain just play around with the threshold and the ratio. There we go. OK? You can instantly see it flicking up. You could use the same compressor on the Congas as well. There is a compressor that comes with the plug in so we can turn this off. Notice this track isn't actually doing anything in the Congo so we can just go through it and clean up as well. So I didn't actually notice that before the conga isn't really doing anything. So let's delete this and we're gonna use a compressor for the lead instrument group. So this is the marimbas, let's add another compressor and that's side chain this. So side chain Marimba, let's solo this. So we can hear it easier. You can really hear it. Paul say to no, if we make it really obvious that's too much though. Move back here just so when the kick plays, it can shine through a lot easier, could add some to the effects as well. It's not really needed. We are peaking a little bit nice. So I'm just gonna change some of these group levels. You can notice the piano there side chained also just to allow more space for the kick. And that's basically how we can add side chain compression, create a ghost track, you can put it anywhere in the track, but I generally do it where the kick drum is playing and then open up the compressor, choose the side chain instrument or the ghost track instrument. Remember to mute the ghost track here and then just move the threshold, move the ratio until you get a good sound that's pulsating, not too obvious, but still allows space for the kick drum to be heard. So thank you for watching this lecture and I'll see you in the next one.

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