Side-Chain Compression With A Muted Kick Drum

Hi everyone.

So to create side-chain compression to enable a kick drum to punch through the track, the method I use (which I am sure is what everyone uses) is to have a Signal Follower on the kick drum. Have it routed to a Gainer in a send track (s01) and to then put a Send Device/#Send in any tracks I want to dip in sound when the kick drum hits.

What’s the best way to create the same pumping effect with no kick drum sound present?

It’s something I’ve never got round to figuring out.

Thanks in advance!

How can you side chain without a side chain signal to trigger it :) Unless I misunderstand.

I’ve used hihats before, followed by filters. If you’re doing an envelope follow all you care about is the peak and then the env follower takes care of attack/sustain, etc.

A sharp sound works just as good as a kick. Try a hat, and thank me later :) Try sounds with a very sharp sloping transient attack for bigger pumpage.

I actually prefer using a velocity device with an LFO controlling the gain. It gives me more control over which sound triggers it and how. I also apply the LFO to the dry volume of a distortion so I can simply work with 0-100% rather than having to mess with the gainer’s +12db.

Just put a gainer on the kick track after the signal follower and set it to -inf dB. The kick will still trigger the signal follower but won’t make a sound.

But also, +1 to the suggestion of using LFOs. They give you a lot of control if you use the one shot custom envelope.

edit: you don’t even really need a gainer, you can just lower the post-fx volume as well.

Thanks for the replies. The last suggestion of the gainer put in after the signal follower worked perfectly, so thanks for that :)

Could you explain step-by-step what you are doing here please? I could not figure this one out, but it sounds like a good idea :) Thanks!


You can also try modulating eq and filters with the signal follower. Also try some reversed kicks or whatever on the same muted track.

The IMO most efficient way for a sidechain simulation is a one-shot LFO connected to what ever DSP you want to affect. The reason why the LFO to me seems to be the best choice is simple: It gives you total control at any time, independend from the trigger signal and its volume. Very handy, when you decide to change your kick for example, which usually ends up in changing the sound of a real sidechain. Connecting a Hydra to the LFO even enables you to modulate several params at a time, which a normal sidechain can’t. One of the biggest benefits is, you can design the complete shape of the “sidechain”-signal yourself, with hard envelopes for a bass and flat envelopes for pads for example. And it’s the LFO shape, that’s most important for the sound!

I’ve put a simple sample up, SC triggered by velocity device. The amplitude of the LFO stays the same, no matter how hard the trigger is hit. Of course you could change this, if needed. Playing any instrument on the Trigger track triggers the LFO. Simply entering any velocity value (without instrument/note) does the same.