Learn Sidechain Compression for Music Production | Mikael Baggström | Skillshare

Learn Sidechain Compression for Music Production

Mikael Baggström, Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Producer

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10 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Welcome

    • 3. Introduction

    • 4. Why Sidechain Compression?

    • 5. How to Setup Sidechain Compression: Part 1

    • 6. How to Setup Sidechain Compression: Part 2

    • 7. Advanced Bonus Guide

    • 8. The Result of Sidechain Compression

    • 9. Mike's Bonus Tips

    • 10. Final Video + Bonus


About This Class

Do You Make Music?

I will assume that you want to enhance the quality of your music productions to a professional level, get better separation between tracks, and a more controlled low-end.

Awesome! In this creative, inspiring and compact class you will learn how to use Sidechain Compression in your music productions, which will take the quality of your music to the next level.

After this Course You will be able to:

  1. Understand the foundations of how Sidechain Compression works
  2. Setup Sidechain Compression in your Music Production Software (DAW)
  3. Use Sidechain Compression to make your Music Mixes more Professional

Who am I?

My name is Mikael “Mike” Baggström, and I am a professional Music Composer, Audio Producer and Video Creator from Sweden, with a true passion to Teach, Share and Inspire as many people as I can.

I have over 15 years of experience in Music and Audio Production, and I have tried to condense my knowledge and experience of using Sidechain Compression in Music Production so that you can get results without reading boring books and articles.

I am looking forward to seeing you in the class! =)

Your Friendly Instructor,
Mike from Sweden


1. Trailer: Hey, friends. Welcome to this course where you learn how to sit up and use side Shane compression in music production. This is particularly useful in Elektronik styles of music, but I will share a secret with you. It is actually used in almost every shong er of music today. All right, so what seen it for you? What? All the benefits of using sightseeing compression. Well, let me give you three off the main use cases. Former side Shane compression one. You can bring out the kick drum clearly on every beat. Two. You can make the snare drum in your track more punishing in the mix. And three, you can make that pumping chord sound that drives the track. After taking this course, you will understand the concept of a citation compression and, more importantly, how to use it professionally in your productions, the techniques you will learn in this course or essential for modern music production. To make it even more clear, let me show you a before and after example off using sites and compression. - All right, Are you ready to learn sites in compression for music production and take your music to the next level awesome. Just click to enroll on the course, and I am waiting for you in the next video, my friends. 2. Welcome: Hey, friends, let me introduce myself. My name is Mike and I am a music composer, audio producer and video created from Sweden. I have a background in music in order production since 1998 and I have run my own media production business since 2000 and four. So why do I teach? Well, I started teaching on YouTube in 2010 and soon I realized that I have a true passion to teach, share and inspire as many people as I can. I was also amazed how many people appreciated my videos and truly wanted to learn and improve their craft. It's a win win concept. I get to do what I have a true passion for, and you get to learn, improve your skills and become motivated and inspired to take action. Now it's your turn to learn. So let's dive straight into the course and I will see you in the next video. My friends 3. Introduction: three friends. Before we go deeper in the course, I want to let you know a bit more about it. To get the best experience out of this course, you need a D a W, also called music productions, off where you should also have basic knowledge and experience of using common compression. You also need access to a compressor. Plug in with a side chaining option inside your D A W. And you will learn best if you have an open and positive mindset and perhaps a cup off coffee or tea. I will use a software called Logic Pro X in all of my example, because it is the software I use personally. But all techniques I teach in these cores can be applied in other D A W's as well. By the way, D. A W stands for digital audio workstation, and it's the professional term for music production software. Some of the top D. A. W's or pro tools logic pro que base ableto live and a Studio one. But there are plenty to choose from going forward. In this course. I will use the term D A W. Instead of music production software. It doesn't matter which music production software to use as long as it has the capability to add a compressor plugging that supports side chaining. In fact, many music production applications comes with built in compressors that already supports side chaining. So your first action is to check what is included with your software before you go and buy an expensive compressor plug in. To be specific, look at the compressors that are included at Stoke plug ins in your software and check if they support side chaining. If they do, they usually have the word side. Shane's Some were in the graphical interface, all right, now that you have got a basic introduction off these cores, let's continue in the next video, my friends. 4. Why Sidechain Compression?: difference. Let's start by defining what citing compression really is. First, you need to know what regular compression ists compression is actually short for dynamic range compression, which means that it compresses the dynamic variation off audio by pushing the loud reports off the way form down. The main use case for regular compressor is to balance the audio level of a track so that the softer parts can still be heard in the mix, and the louder parts don't overtake the track. Now let's compare this with side Shane compression. While ordinary compression effects the track, you put it on side Shane. Compression depends on two channels, one for input and one for the effect. The side. Shane compressor looks at the Input channel audio level as a trigger for the Output channel compression effect, so the definition off site in compression is side. Shane compression reduces the level of one audience signal by the presence of another audience. Signal. A common term for this is ducking well. It's considered a practical example. If you have two tracks, the 1st 1 is your kick drum track, and the 2nd 1 is your bass track. Both of these instruments compete in the low and frequencies of your mix. You want to make sure that your kick drum is clearly heard on every beat. But you realize that on the beats where the base is also present, the low end becomes muddy. So how can you solve this? Well, you can try to do some separation by equalizing and filtering the two tracks, but this will only take you so far. Enter side Shane compression at a side chain compressor on the bass track, using the kick drum track as the input. This way, every time the kick drum hits the side, sheng compressor will compress the bass track. Basically, the bass track will decrease in audio level every time the kick drum hits. And by doing this, you're kick drum track will be clear and present on every beat in the mix. All right, now you know what side Shane compression is and why you use it. So let's move on to the next video. My friends 5. How to Setup Sidechain Compression: Part 1: Hey, friends. In this lesson, I will explain the process of how to set up sites and compression. All right, let's start. All right. So the first thing you have to do is to create the tracks in the project that you're going to effect with side chain compression. So in my case, I have created a kick drum track and a bass track, and I have muted these other two tracks in this example. The kick drum track is a basic four to the floor pattern like this. And the bass track sounds like this. So before I will show you how to sit upside Shane compression, I'm going to let you listen to and see what it is we're going to solve. Let's listen to the kick, drum and bass track together. If you listen carefully, you could hear that on the beats where the kick drum and bass were heating on the same time , the kick drum actually lost some of its clarity due to the competition with the base. If I mark both of these tracks and go into the editor, you can even see the competition for yourself. Here we have the kick drum track heating on the beats. 123 and four. This is the bass track and as you can see, some off the hits off the kick drum competes with the bass notes like here, here and here and so on. And I could remove these baits bass notes to solve the problem, but then the base would lose all of its drives. So instead, I am going to use side Shane compression to compress the bass notes on Lee on those occasions where the kick and bass are sounding at the same time. Okay, so what we want to do is to compress the base every time the kick. It's so we can start by adding a compressor with side chaining capability to the bass track . Then we want to tell the compressor to listen to the Kick Drum Channel because it is the kick drum that will trigger the compressor. And here comes the tricky part off, citing compression. The problem is that the kick drums signal output is already routed to the moster stereo output in the mixer, which which is what we're here on our speakers. So what we need to do is to send a copy off the kick drum signal into a separate channel that the compressor on the bass track and listen to you do this by creating what's called on auxiliary track or orcs Track. An auxiliary track is a special track in your D A W that you can send a signal to from another track. The most common use case for ox Alia retracts is for send effects like reverb. To make your side chain set up more organized, you can name the oaks earlier attract kick side chain, for example. Then you go back to your kick drum track, go to the send section off the channel and add a send to the axillary retract you just created. Turn the send level up to the maximum setting, and now you have created a knocks ilya attract with basically a copy off the kick drum signal. But you don't want that signal to go out to your speakers as well, so you can change the output routing off your Akseli, retract to know output or simply just turn the fader fully down. Then we go back to the compressor. On the bass track, look for the side shaming input setting on your compressor and choose the auxiliary track as the input. If you named your ox Ilia, retract earlier as I recommended, it will be much easier to find the right input. Congratulations. You have no set up side chain compression. Now it is all a matter of choosing the settings on the compressor until you are satisfied with the sound you get. But to guide you, I have some recommendations for settings on your side. Chain compressor first for all side chain compression. The attack time should be forced. I usually go for the fastest setting. Even the release time depends on how long you want the pumping effect, but for kick and base, citing compression, I personally said it quite low around 40 milliseconds. Then you have the threshold and ratio values. Here is where you choose how much to compress the bass sound on each hit off the kick drum . Apart from hearing the result of the site chain compression, most compressor plug ins have a visual representation off. How much gain reaction you get for RUK, Pope and other styles of music where you don't really want to hear a pumping effect but still get some extra separation between the tracks, you can be a little more careful on how much side chain compression you apply. A couple of decibels will still make a difference in the mix. When it comes to the clarity of the kick drum, I personally aim for around 3 to 4 decibel when I want more subtle result off sightseeing compression for Elektronik music styles were the pumping effect is something you want. You can go for extreme, citing compression. Personally, I aim for around 10 to 15 death sigel of gain reduction for electronic music styles. One final thing I always do on the site and compressor is to make sure that no automatic level gain is supplied. All right, now you have learned how to sit up, citing compression. In the next video, I will show you the entire process off, setting up sites and compression in a step by step guide. So I will see you in the next video. My friends 6. How to Setup Sidechain Compression: Part 2: Hey, friends. In this lesson, I will show you how to sit up, citing compression in a step by step guide. Right? Let's start step one. Start with two tracks and choose which one of these tracks is the most important. Let's say your kick drum track is the monster, and your bass track is the slave Step. Two. Add a compressor on the bass track and make sure that that compressor has aside shaming capability. Step three. Create a knocks Ilia Retract in your mixer named the track kick Side Shane and choose a input for the oaks. Ilia Retract to a bust number that you choose. Let's say this one is empty, so let's choose bus for Step four. Go to the kick track channels, Send section and add a send to your New York's Ilia Retract Step five Sick. These send level to the maximum setting Step six. Go to the oaks Ilia. Retract and change the output routing to know output. Alternatively, you can turn the fader fully down. Step seven. Go to the compressor on the bass track and look for the side shaming input setting in the interface. Choose the bus number. You just created for the side chaining track. In this case, we chose bus number four. Step eight. Make sure that the automatic level gain setting on the compressor is turned off. Step nine. Just the attack and release settings off the side chain compressor. As a rule of thumb, you should have a forced attack time and quite forced release time. Personally, I usually start with one millisecond attacked time and 40 millisecond release Time and step Tim, adjust the threshold and ratio settings on the compressor. This is where you choose how much side Shane compression you want for subtle side chain compression, I personally aim for 3 to 4 decibel off gain reduction. This is good for most styles of music, where you don't really want to hear the pumping effect. For extreme citing compression, I usually go for 10 to 15 decibel of gain reduction. This will create a noticeable pumping effect, which is popular in electronic music styles. Awesome. You have now a complete step by step guide on how to sit up and adjust side Shane compression Before we continue. I would like to ask you to share a review on my course because it keeps me motivated to continue teaching 7. Advanced Bonus Guide: Hey, friends in this video, I'm going to show you a bonus tip to get such ing compression working even when the kick drum drops out. All right, so here I have two tracks, one kick drum track, which is a regular 9094 to the four kick, which sounds like this on a pad track, which sounds like this. So now I want to create that famous pumping effects on this pad scenes here. So let's add side Shane. Compression to these pad sound. Open the mixer, creating a new auxiliary channel strip. Make sure it has the right bus put into it as the input. And I have already named it side Shin kick, which is the lost bus. Make sure that the kick drum sends to the bus so open sends bus 64 and turn this up all the way. Then on the compressor on the pad, choose on the side. Shane, the bus citing cake and you will get this result way. Have side shaming going. There is one slight problem here though. You see this gap here? This is where I dropped the kick for one boar. Which means that the side Shane compressor that is put on the chill out. Patrick won't get any signal fed into it. Ah, which in turn means that it won't compress the pad. So we get into this problem here. Listen, way have side shaming going on here before and when the kick ropes, the compressor stops working. So we get the regular pad sound and then back to sites in compression. Most often, you want that pumping sound to be continues on the track. So how do we solve this? Here is when my advance Boehner's tip comes into play. What you do is that you create a second kick track and we can do a duplicate of this track . Put it on top, rename it into, for example, side Shane for four. Which basically means that you want a 44 beat going on throughout the whole track. And you can do this by, well, let's make it empty Media region and put in Ah, some quarter notes Here, Grace note. There we have the kick and, um, duplicated four times. So we have this and then go out and just loop this throughout the whole trek. For as long as you track is. So now you want this track to trigger the citation compressor instead of the regular kick track. So let's go to the mixer and ah, you can turn this off on the old kick Track the side Shane compressor or the bus to the side. Shane compressor, that is, and then send from this track instead, do the bus station compressor bust that we created. Turn this to the full setting. And if we listen now, side chain compressor is still on but triggered from this track. But the proof is that now we have to kick treks, which we don't want. So what you do is that you rout the output off this side, Shane kick track to know output. So basically, it just sends a secondary signal to the axillary track, which then triggers deciding compressor. But it doesn't feed this signal into the stereo output, which means that you will hear this kick drum, but the compressor will hear this kick drum track. It's best if I show you what I mean. I will play the track from here so you will hear the kick drum beat. But you will hear that the kick drum drops out here, but that the citation compressor still is working on the chiller pad, so the pumping effect will still be left here because it gets its signal from this side. Shane for four track and a side chain 44 track If we take a look at the mixer again, is output to know output. So again it's It just sends a secondary signal to the axillary output, and that is used as the input for the sights and compressor, as you can see here. So let's take a listen. Works like a charm. So that is my advanced bonus tip for you guys. Hope you enjoyed it. All right, let's continue in the next video, my friends. 8. The Result of Sidechain Compression: Hey, friends in this video, I will show you how side Shane compression can sound in a mix. I have a bunch of tracks here in this beach, and I have applied, citing compression on the base as well. And as on these synthesizer tracks here I will play the beat first with outside shooting, compression applied. Then I will play through. We'd citing compression. So are you ready to hear the results off? Sizing compression? All right, let's start. So that was the beat without side chain compression. Now let's take a listen with sideshow in compression applied. All right, so let's also do a quick A and B test so you can hear the result more clearly. All right, now that you have heard the result, I am sure you want to test this for yourself. So now it is your turn by friends for your course project. I want you to from create a track using side chain compression, make sure that you can really hear the pumping effect to publish to the track on YouTube or soundcloud, and three post the link to your track in this course as your final course project. Great. You're very close to finishing this course. So let's continue in the next video. My friends 9. Mike's Bonus Tips: Hey, friends in this video, I want to give you some extra bonus tips from my personal experience of using side chain compression. All right, here we go. One. You can use the same kick side Shane Orcs, Alia Retract as the input for a side chain compressor on any track, not just on the bass track. In fact, it is great for citing compression on pad sounds. If you want a modern pumping effect, which is great for electronic music styles to experiment on different release times on the compressor to shape the pumping effect. A longer release time means that the pumping effect will be slower. Three. If you get a quickie or distorted result from using side chain compression, it is most often because off to extreme settings, you can try to adjust the attack in release times. But you will probably also need to decrease the amount of gain reduction applied by the compressor, so adjust the threshold and ratio value for less gain reduction amount. Four different compressors have a different sound, so if you are able to choose from several different compressors, you contest them out one by one to see how they call her the sound. Listen to this comparison. As I switch between compressors live but still have the exact same settings on each one, you will hear a clear difference in the sound. Five. Once you have set up citing compression for a track, you can try out different sounds on that instruments on the side chain compression will still be on and six. Remember that side Shin compression is only the final stage of separation between two tracks. You should always e que and filter first. All right. Now let's move on to the final video. So you get 100% completion off this course? 10. Final Video + Bonus: Hey, friends. I want to congratulate you for completing the full course. This means that you are a person who finish what you start. You don't give up and you don't quit. This is one of the main characteristics off successful people and you have my respect for it. I would really appreciate your support. And you can do this very easily by leaving a review on this course. Let me know what you think, my friends, Now that you have completed this course, I would like to invite you to a community for all music makers that I have created. It is a group where we help each other improve our skills, get our music heard by more people, and become truly successful in our music making career. I would love to see you join the group and take part in our discussions, competitions, collaborations and all kinds of fun activities for music makers. Off all styles simply go to Facebook and search for new seek makers group and join us today . I wish you a great day and remember you Look, my friends, Your support is legendary, my friends. So I invite you to go to my website and become a V i p