Sidechaining

Tech talk about audio recording and live stage production.
---Hosted by Andrew MacRae & Malcolm Boyce

Sidechaining

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:24 am

New question (I have a bunch of these in my head...)

I understand the basic concept behind sidechaining. I understand that only processors that "react" to a signal can do sidechaining, such as comps and gates.

Basically my understanding of how it works, is that you can use a different signal to influence how the processor is going affect the original signal.

My question is, what are some common applications and uses for such a feature? When would I look at myself and say "Sidechaining is needed here"?

Thanks again for your continued wisdom and help.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Postby oddioguy » Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:55 am

Again, I'm not the best person here to answer this, but....
A common application is "ducking" for voice-over work, where it is desirable to have background music / foley reduced while an announcer is speaking.
If you insert a gate into a sidechain, you can then "series" almost any other effect which is in turn controlled by the gate....examples being "de-essing" with a gate controlled EQ, or perhaps adding 'verb or a delay that only appears on certain louder passages of a vocal / instrument.
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:30 am

Where's the emoticon for "Way over my head" ? :-P

I see what you are saying. A common form of de-essing that I know of for example would be to sidechain a copy of the original signal through a comp and EQ it so that the frequencies that cause the sibilance are exagerated, that way the compressor only reduces the level of the signal when there is a prominent amount of sibilance. I've never done this before, as I'm sure that it would be tricky... in order to do it with the fewest artifacts as possible.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Postby oddioguy » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:13 pm

By cracky... I think the boy is getting it!

:lol:
"Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers"
User avatar
oddioguy
Thom Chandler
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am
Location: Under a black cloud

Postby Alain Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:18 pm

Drumwaiter wrote:Where's the emoticon for "Way over my head" ? :-P

I see what you are saying. A common form of de-essing that I know of for example would be to sidechain a copy of the original signal through a comp and EQ it so that the frequencies that cause the sibilance are exagerated, that way the compressor only reduces the level of the signal when there is a prominent amount of sibilance. I've never done this before, as I'm sure that it would be tricky... in order to do it with the fewest artifacts as possible.


Pretty close, you would insert an EQ in the sidechain of a comp and boost the high frequencies so that the comp's internal detector would react with more emphasis on sibillance laden signals thus reducing the gain during these passages. I'll give you 80% marks for your version.

Simillarly adding a high pass filter to a comp's sidechain would increase the bass response of the program material. A very common exercise.

In the world of gates we use the term key or keying. When you input a signal into a gate's key input it is that signal which triggers the gate to open or close not the program signal. One example is feeding a signal from the kick drum track to the key input gate on the bass track. Can you figure out where i'm going with this?
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:21 pm

I've really been trying hard to learn the recording concepts that I don't understand yet. I'll be asking question over the next little bit, while doing my own research to reinforce my learning. just sot hat you guys know...that I am doing my own homework here. I'm not looking for knowledge handouts. I just figured that everybody can benefit from me asking these questions on an online forum.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Postby Alain Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:25 pm

Alain Benoit wrote:Can you figure out where i'm going with this?
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:34 pm

Alain Benoit wrote:In the world of gates we use the term key or keying. When you input a signal into a gate's key input it is that signal which triggers the gate to open or close not the program signal. One example is feeding a signal from the kick drum track to the key input gate on the bass track. Can you figure out where i'm going with this?


The bass guitar signal would only pass when the kick drum hit. What would be the major advantage to that though? Why would that be an important thing to do?
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Postby macrae11 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:56 pm

I think it would work better with an expander or comp. I think the word gate might be throwing you off.

The intent is not to only have the bass play when the kick plays, but to slighly reduce the volume of the bass when the kick is played. That way you can have your bass nice and rocking, but still have your kick cut through the mix without causing a big volume spike when the kick hits.

Also works great with vocals and guitar. Guitar automatically comes up a bit during the breakdown, but when the vocal comes back in it will sit nicely on top. It's kind of like automixing.

I believe this is a new feature with the new VST protocol and also I believe in Sonar 7.
User avatar
macrae11
Andrew MacRae
 
Posts: 2128
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:12 pm
Location: Oromocto

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:38 pm

MacRae, you rock my socks!

That's a great idea that's worth investigating with singer/songwriters that just come in to do guitar and vocal tracks. I'll experiment with pre-existing tracks that I already have to try and get familiar with that.

So many tricks to learn, and so little time....
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Postby roachie » Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:45 pm

Didn't Stuart Copeland do a recording trick where you could hear a blast of white noise only when he hit his snare using that method? If not, it's my trick and you can't have it.
User avatar
roachie
Sean Roach
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:18 am

Postby Alain Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:08 pm

Matt, Andrew, you're both a little off on my bass gate keying concept.

While mixing Theresa Malenfant's live album I found myself at a loss on how to lign up the kick and bass guitars timing wise. This is long before computers entered the world of Fluid Audio Group.
I decided to try sending a signal from the kick channel's direct out to the key input on my Drawmer DS201 gate. This gate was then inserted on to the mic'd bass channel.
On most parametric gates there is a 'range' function. This control serves to set how closed your gate is when it is closed. This is calibrated in dB's, for example is a little sound getting through when the gate is closed or is none or maybe even most getting by.
In this case I set the range to let most of the bass through by setting the control at around 6 dB of 'gain reduction', I set the trigger to external and everytime the kick drum was played the bass signal was increased by the corresponding 6 dB when the gate openned. I adjusted the envelope controls to taste and it created the illusion og the bass player being a little more in time with the drummer. I mixed this channel relative to the DI'd track and the results were worth the effort. I'd like to not that i had also shaped the kick drum trigger signal with its own gate channel to get the right temporal envelope that suited the application.

Another very popular 'trick' is to have a kick signal trigger an LFO. I'm sure you can see where this is going.

By feeding a sharp stacatto sound (anything with a square envelope) from a synth to a gate's key input you can 'play' any sound going through the gate.

And the fun carries on..................
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Postby macrae11 » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:27 pm

That's a neat work around Al. Certainly something I would never have used, seeing as how I've pretty much always a 'puter around to edit things.

The LFO triggered by the kick is a great one. Used it on a track with a wimpy kick drum just a few weeks ago.

Roachie's white noise triggered to the snare is a similar idea. I prefer pink noise myself.

All these new things for you to try now eh Matt? Doesn't it kind of piss you off that it took Steinberg so long to implement this feature now?
User avatar
macrae11
Andrew MacRae
 
Posts: 2128
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:12 pm
Location: Oromocto

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:11 pm

No because sidechaining is available now and I'd never have even though of using it before.

Yeah this is all good stuff guys! I'm glad I ask the dumb questions... :-P
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

Mathieu Benoit - Fluid Productions
www.fluidaudiogroup.com
www.facebook.com/FluidAudioGroup
User avatar
Mathieu Benoit
Drumwaiter
 
Posts: 4707
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Postby sammyp » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:56 am

macrae11 wrote:I think it would work better with an expander or comp. I think the word gate might be throwing you off.

The intent is not to only have the bass play when the kick plays, but to slighly reduce the volume of the bass when the kick is played. That way you can have your bass nice and rocking, but still have your kick cut through the mix without causing a big volume spike when the kick hits.

Also works great with vocals and guitar. Guitar automatically comes up a bit during the breakdown, but when the vocal comes back in it will sit nicely on top. It's kind of like automixing.

I believe this is a new feature with the new VST protocol and also I believe in Sonar 7.


that about sums it up!
Sonar, PT, Sound Forge
sammyp
Active Member
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 5:59 pm

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:51 pm

Alain Benoit wrote:In the world of gates we use the term key or keying. When you input a signal into a gate's key input it is that signal which triggers the gate to open or close not the program signal.
I don't think of "key" input being limited in any way to gates or expanders. Certainly any dynamics control devices use the term "key" input.

macrae11 wrote:I believe this is a new feature with the new VST protocol and also I believe in Sonar 7.
This is a big deal for Sonar7, and one that I'm wanting to try. It's set up for most of the native Sonar processing from what I understand.

I remember a common cool use for sidechaining in my early days being to track synth pad chords, and gate them with the hi hat keying the gate. Great for "sequence" type 16th notes that were perfectly in time with the drummer. No click necessary.

Bob Clearmountain was known for using this type of method extensively with everything from drums, to rhythm guitars, just to get the "feel" of things to lock up.

Check out this.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Postby Alain Benoit » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:27 pm

And then there is Chroma Keying.
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Postby Jef » Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:11 pm

Alain Benoit wrote:And then there is Chroma Keying.

...explain?
"I did what any good producer would do. I rolled a fatty." - Mixerman -
User avatar
Jef
Gold Member
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:00 am

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:15 pm

Jef wrote:
Alain Benoit wrote:And then there is Chroma Keying.

...explain?
Someone had to fall for it...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_key
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Postby Jef » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:42 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:
Jef wrote:
Alain Benoit wrote:And then there is Chroma Keying.

...explain?
Someone had to fall for it...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_key

I get it... it's a video thing... (duh) :roll:
"I did what any good producer would do. I rolled a fatty." - Mixerman -
User avatar
Jef
Gold Member
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:00 am

Re: Sidechaining

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Wed May 23, 2012 10:58 am

Exhuming an old thread again!

I'm waiting on a $99 Boss slicer from L&M, but in the meantime, I'd like to be able to achieve the same effect using a noise gate with external key triggers. I asked Google for a list of noise gates with external key capabilities, but Google just shrugged at me. Anyone here have any suggestions of where I should look for such a device?
User avatar
Christian LeBlanc
Silver Member
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Sidechaining

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Wed May 23, 2012 12:18 pm

Christian LeBlanc wrote:Exhuming an old thread again!

I'm waiting on a $99 Boss slicer from L&M, but in the meantime, I'd like to be able to achieve the same effect using a noise gate with external key triggers. I asked Google for a list of noise gates with external key capabilities, but Google just shrugged at me. Anyone here have any suggestions of where I should look for such a device?
Just a single channel gate with a separate key in? Hmmmmm.... dunno... Maybe a single channel comp/lim/gate like that, but you'd probably be way out of your price range. Most software gates that I've used have that functionality, but I bet that's not what you're looking for...
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Re: Sidechaining

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Wed May 23, 2012 12:38 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:Just a single channel gate with a separate key in? Hmmmmm.... dunno... Maybe a single channel comp/lim/gate like that, but you'd probably be way out of your price range. Most software gates that I've used have that functionality, but I bet that's not what you're looking for...

I should have specified that yeah, I was looking for hardware. I think I found one, though, the PAiA 5730 Gator:
http://www.harmonycentral.com/reviews/145770
Innnnnteresting! Thanks, Malcolm!

Edit: a dbx 1074 seems to be a 4-channel device that'll do what I want, too; 4 channels is two too many for me, and the $500 or so price makes it no longer fun for me, but may be interesting for someone else.
User avatar
Christian LeBlanc
Silver Member
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Sidechaining

Postby Alain Benoit » Wed May 23, 2012 11:42 pm

I have what is or was at the time arguably the finest keyed gate ever made, the Drawmer DS21, for sale.

A.
www.fluidaudiogroup.com

"No one has time to do it right, but we all seem to have time to do it twice."
User avatar
Alain Benoit
Self Biased Resistor
 
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am
Location: Canada

Re: Sidechaining

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Wed May 23, 2012 11:55 pm

Alain Benoit wrote:I have what is or was at the time arguably the finest keyed gate ever made, the Drawmer DS21, for sale.

A.
Certainly one of the finest.
"Once again, it is NEVER the gear that makes a good record.
It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

middleaudio.com
User avatar
Malcolm Boyce
Your Humble Host
 
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 12:07 am
Location: Saint John, NB

Next

Return to Sounds Good...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron