Nice tutorial. My only critics: Why should this be a secret?
Also here some additional info: It is not real sidechain compression, instead you re-trigger a statical LFO curve. The signal follower will add its own personality, too, like a specific compressor. “Sidechain compression” is using bus inputs 3+4 to get the triggering audio signal (part of VST2 specification), and you can use a lot of compressor plugins each with its specific sound. Also the gainer device (or any other plugin) may add a little lag/smoothing (though it reacts pretty fast) to prevent clicks and aliasing. So the signal follower provides a “lookahead” parameter which you can use to define the start more exactly. Using the LFO, you would have to start the ducking already at the end. The curve of the ducking is quite essential for the groove feeling. Real sidechain via 3+4 is used in various other kind of fx types, like stereo vocoder, morph, sidechain dynamical eqing and so on.
For real sidechaining, there currently is a workaround using the DDMF sendit vst plugin (acts pretty buggy under macos), which allows you to “circumvent” the daw’s routing capabilities, but without proper plugin delay compensation then of course.
You will need VST3 for real sidchaining in Renoise. Somhow renoise cannot handle the vst2 workaround which works in mos others DAW but not in Renoise. Seems a routing problem and known issue to - so we can only hope for vst3 I think and hope for the next version
No, it also works with VST2. It also already worked in Cubase before VST3 was released, but I guess the VST3 sidechaining has some additional features, like… I don’t know. Something I do not miss, I guess. Marketing.
+1 on Signal Follower approach.
I usually put a Signal Follower on Track 1 on the kick, swap the min/max parameters and configure it to output 0-100%. I route that to the input of a Hydra.
From there I can control a Send Track “Compressor” which contains just a Gainer by setting the Hydra output to e.g. -12db to 0db of the Gainer gain parameter.
By using a Hydra you can control other parameters like a filter cutoff on another Send Track at the same time.
I also prefer signal follower. It has lookahead, or you can shift track audio! Lookahead really makes much difference, if you tune it right the transient of the bassdrum has just the slight room ahead of it that will make it very clear…or you can do a kind of “pre breathing in” effect with attack to the signal follower and even stronger lookahead.
I let my instruments output a dummy signal into a separate channel, there I put the signal follower. This way I can tune the envelope of that signal, and thus how the sidechain reacts… The channel will not contribute to the mix, it is solely for sidechaining. Sometimes I use 2 channels (bassdrum and snare).