To hear what I’m on about check the latest track ‘From the Undergroud‘ by Love Deuce.
I recently discovered side chaining compressors on bass and other instruments, and in this song’s case, fed by the drums.
Kinda milked it on this track but boy does it sound heavy and hard!
Used wisely, you can create rhythm and movement to straight 1/16 patterns (good for Hi hat’s too) – where going to a 16C, 16D or 16E isn’t what you want. I use Logic, so here’s how you do it in Logic audio.
There’s many things you could feed into the side-chain of a compressor from your mix but so you can hear what’s happening try this:
You’ll need a tune on the go, eg drums, bass and a lead.
Create a new track
Grab a drum loop and run it on this new track (audio or a sampler)
Audio Track: Turn off the main outputs
Sampler: Turn off the main outputs and instead, send to a new bus. Turn the bus outputs off. (you should still see the track playing)
Next, say on your Hi Hats channel for instance, open a logic compressor. Select OPTO compressor.
In the top right of the compressor you will see ‘side-chain’. Select from the menu the looped audio track you made or if it’s a sampler instrument the bus you sent it to.
With your tune running..
Now move the threshold down, and bring the ratio up to about 3.5. Bring the release time back, now you can hear how it’s effecting your hats. Move on to the attack time.
Attack, release and ratio will change depending on how you want to use this and what instruments you are working on.
Try and feel it and trust the vibe when it feels good for what you want to achieve.
Now try it on your bass! Change the loop?
Another thing you can do is duplicate your kick drum track. Again turn off the outputs and feed it into the compressor, work that and you’ll find you’re getting an offbeat from the pump instead of playing in a bass note on the off-beat.
Of course I’m no expert but this is a great technique widely used for electro house etc and may just give you the buzz I got recently discovering it!