An Intro To Side Chain Compression

Side chain compression is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot, but that can be difficult to wrap your brain around. In this quick tip, Jay Stapley walks through using side chain compression with a synth and a kick drum.

Jay’s an experienced and accomplished guitarist producer who was worked with Major Label artists such as: Roger Waters, Mike Oldfield, Suede, Scott Walker, Slim Whitman, David Allen Coe, Kirsty McColl, Sarah Brendel, David Dundas, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Westernhagen, David Mead, Henning Staerk, Toyah and more.

In this case, Jay is using a Waves C1 Compressor for side compression. Jay shows how to set the compressor to compress the synth signal when the kick drum hits. He also demonstrates how it sounds with different release times.

This effect is a great tool for allowing a kick drum to cut through a mix by compressing the volume levels of the other instruments whenever the kick drum hits. It can be used subtly, or more drastically to create a pulsing effect (which is used a lot in EDM music).

If you found this video helpful, check out Jay’s full lesson on Side Chain Compression on side chain compression where he dives into more detail on how to use side chain compression, different use cases, and how to use it musically in your mixes.

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