Sidechaining to layered kicks

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
boderekstits
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:58 pm
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by boderekstits » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:51 am

I've got a beat I made in my custom "Pete Rock" drum rack, which has 5-6 cells with 128 samplers in them. Kicks, snares, hi hats, etc. I'll use 2 or 3 cells of the same Kick Sampler Rack so that I can select different kick samples, and layer up several of them on each other. Edit accordingly.

Many people work this way, I'm sure. I am still learning the nuances.

Say I want to sidechain a synth track to the Kick. But I have several Kick tracks within the Drum Rack. How do I get that synth sidechained to all of them?

I hope I made sense here.

Vios
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by Vios » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:49 am

When you have multiple kick drums in a drum rack with other instruments, there's no way to do this. If this is really what you want to do, then I would duplicate your drum rack and use one drum rack for only your kicks, and then use the other for your other drums. You probably want to add some compression and effects to all of your kick drums together anyways to help "glue" them together, and you can't do this with other drums playing in the rack without affecting them.

Otherwise, just use one kick for your sidechain. It often sounds really good to have your sidechain compressor use a different kick drum than is used in the track (aka ghost kick)! Lots of producers do this. If you play around with them, you may find that sidechain compression from one of the kicks sounds better than from the others. Otherwise, here are some other sidechaining ideas to get you thinking:

Sidechain Compression Methods Using Operator and Auto Pan

Also where in Colorado do you live? The Denver Ableton community is really good!

southsounder
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:31 am
Location: Olympia

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by southsounder » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:17 am

Actually there is a way. Create three additional audio tracks. Set the inputs on the first two to the kick tracks from your drum rack. Set the input on the third to 'no input'. Now set the outputs of the first two to the third track. Now set your sidechain input on the synth track to the third track and viola! Ugly, but it works...

vitalispopoff
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:18 pm
Location: Warsaw, PL
Contact:

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by vitalispopoff » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:45 am

there's no need to do all that things, unless You really want to have a extremely accurate attack, which is not that good idea.
All You need is to set the side chain to the drum rack track and set the inner compressor filter to sort the sound w/ lowpass and freq set to ~90Hz. You'll get a full drum pattern on in part of the sidachain, but the filter will cut out everything that's higher than BD base freqs. As said before - the sidechain won't be that fast, as the sound that leads it is quite low, but still would work just fine with compressor attack set to ~5ms
MBP/ M-Audio FW 410/ OSX 8/AL 9 Suite/ UC33e + Drehbank

southsounder
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:31 am
Location: Olympia

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by southsounder » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:01 am

vitalispopoff wrote:there's no need to do all that things, unless You really want to have a extremely accurate attack, which is not that good idea.
All You need is to set the side chain to the drum rack track and set the inner compressor filter to sort the sound w/ lowpass and freq set to ~90Hz. You'll get a full drum pattern on in part of the sidachain, but the filter will cut out everything that's higher than BD base freqs. As said before - the sidechain won't be that fast, as the sound that leads it is quite low, but still would work just fine with compressor attack set to ~5ms
Clever. That is a much simpler solution and should work just as well, unless maybe the tracks have Bonham-esque usage of floor toms.

boderekstits
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:58 pm
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by boderekstits » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:00 pm

Vios wrote:When you have multiple kick drums in a drum rack with other instruments, there's no way to do this. If this is really what you want to do, then I would duplicate your drum rack and use one drum rack for only your kicks, and then use the other for your other drums. You probably want to add some compression and effects to all of your kick drums together anyways to help "glue" them together, and you can't do this with other drums playing in the rack without affecting them.

Otherwise, just use one kick for your sidechain. It often sounds really good to have your sidechain compressor use a different kick drum than is used in the track (aka ghost kick)! Lots of producers do this. If you play around with them, you may find that sidechain compression from one of the kicks sounds better than from the others. Otherwise, here are some other sidechaining ideas to get you thinking:

Sidechain Compression Methods Using Operator and Auto Pan

Also where in Colorado do you live? The Denver Ableton community is really good!
thanks for that man...i will check out that link. i live in Boulder. Will be relocating back to Denver this year. I have attended a few of the ableton events but they were way too advanced and super technical, generally nerding out about all sorts of shit that left me uninspired to actually make music. I really want to just find some like minded people to collaborate on music! I'm just at the point where I'm getting proficient enough with Ableton to do that.

:mrgreen:

dr.mysterium
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:15 pm

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by dr.mysterium » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:56 pm

1. One can create a return track inside the DRUM RACK and name it Sidechain Rack Send.
2. Then send the desired kicks to this send by turning up the send level for each kick from the chain list.
Click the R button to expose the Rack Return List (if needed).
3. Now Create a new Return Track (or use the ones stacked by the master track if unused. Name it Sidechain Return. Set its output as 'Sends Only'.
4. Go back to the SIDECHAIN RACK SEND you created in the Drum Rack per Step 1. Set it to send to the
SIDECHAIN RETURN Track you created per Step 3.
4. Add Sidechain Compressor to synth track and select the SIDECHAIN RETURN as the Sidechain input.

You can now select this SIDECHAIN RETURN to Sidechain anything anywhere off that kick signal.
Personally I create a new track and name it SIDECHAIN and place it far to the right away from my Red Box Launchpad work area. Then send everything I want sidechained to that channel from their outputs. This avoids arbitrary grouping of tracks just because I want/need them sidechained.
So for this example I would send the synth to this new Track named SIDECHAIN and place my Sidechain compressor there.
I am Dr. M. Solo artist, member of 86BiTz, host of the Perfect Glitch Show, & the Live Jam Video Stream. Music on Soundcloud and BandCamp. Jam Archive on Patreon•••• I master audio & produce video of all of the above as Tremendm Labs on YouTube.

Vios
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by Vios » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:47 pm

vitalispopoff wrote:there's no need to do all that things, unless You really want to have a extremely accurate attack, which is not that good idea.
All You need is to set the side chain to the drum rack track and set the inner compressor filter to sort the sound w/ lowpass and freq set to ~90Hz. You'll get a full drum pattern on in part of the sidachain, but the filter will cut out everything that's higher than BD base freqs. As said before - the sidechain won't be that fast, as the sound that leads it is quite low, but still would work just fine with compressor attack set to ~5ms
This would not work for me. I do the exact opposite actually. I use the high pass filter on my sidechain compressor set to above about 150Hz. This means my bass pulls back at the very start of my kick, and is out of the way by the time the 'boom' of the kick comes in. Then it starts releasing at the tail of the kick drum. I usually use an attack time of 0.02ms, and a release time around 40-50ms for a 130BPM track.

Also I don't know why you wouldn't want an extremely accurate attack. We're talking about the bass of our track are we not? This is most important part of the frequency spectrum for most dance music. Therefore I want it as tight and accurate as possible. In my experience 'inaccurate' bass sounds like mud. Inaccurate high end can sound like swing or complicated harmony, which often desired. Mud never is on the bass of a track.

southsounder
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:31 am
Location: Olympia

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by southsounder » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:05 am

Vios wrote:
vitalispopoff wrote:there's no need to do all that things, unless You really want to have a extremely accurate attack, which is not that good idea.
All You need is to set the side chain to the drum rack track and set the inner compressor filter to sort the sound w/ lowpass and freq set to ~90Hz. You'll get a full drum pattern on in part of the sidachain, but the filter will cut out everything that's higher than BD base freqs. As said before - the sidechain won't be that fast, as the sound that leads it is quite low, but still would work just fine with compressor attack set to ~5ms
Also I don't know why you wouldn't want an extremely accurate attack. We're talking about the bass of our track are we not? This is most important part of the frequency spectrum for most dance music. Therefore I want it as tight and accurate as possible. In my experience 'inaccurate' bass sounds like mud. Inaccurate high end can sound like swing or complicated harmony, which often desired. Mud never is on the bass of a track.
In hindsight this made no sense to me either. Under what circumstances would an accurate attack for sidechained compression not be a good idea? Seems to me that depending on the synth patch an attack which varied too much could throw off the rhythmic feel - especially with such a quick base attack time.

MessyMass
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:35 am
Location: As many places as possible
Contact:

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by MessyMass » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:50 pm

What about bouncing the sidechain input layer with a -20ms (or less) delay on the track? Then on the track you want sidechained, you set the compressor with a 20ms attack. Now the compressor doesn't click. I don't know for sure, how the attack on the ableton compressor works in terms of curve, but technically setting a slower attack, shouldn't make it less accurate if it picks up the input 20 ms before.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:17 am

boderekstits wrote:
Say I want to sidechain a synth track to the Kick. But I have several Kick tracks within the Drum Rack. How do I get that synth sidechained to all of them?
Two related solutions:

Inside the drum rack
  • 1. Create a new return track and name this something useful like "Kick SC". Inactivate the track so to not sending the kicks to the master.
  • 2. Create a new rack return chain in your drum rack and name it "To Kick SC" for example and set its output to the "Kick SC" track (The Show/Hide Input/Output needs to display)
  • 3. Send all the kicks via this send to the return track "Kick SC".
  • 4. If you're using Compressor or Glue on the Synth track set its side-chain input to "Kick SC".
  • 4b. Alternatively if you're using a plug-in that can't set its SC source directly the return, set the output to the Synth track and the SC input of your device. The track need to be activated for this to work. As the signal now goes to the SC input it shouldn't get added to somewhere else.
The alternative is to:

Outside the drum rack
  • Do steps 1 and 2 from Inside the Drum rack above
  • 3. Group the kicks in the drum rack
  • 4. Extract the group track. This will bring the MIDI of the kicks with it to the new track, which may be very useful or a nuisance, depending on your preferences. If you don't want this use the other method or learn how to counter this (too much to get into here).
  • 5. Use the send to the "Kick SC" return track
  • 6. Do steps 4 or 4b from Inside the Drum rack above.
Make some music!

Razz CE
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 12:53 am

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by Razz CE » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:04 pm

Others have already said more or less the same thing, but just to restate/try to simplify

If you open up the rack i/o you can ctrl+click the chains corresponding to the pads that comprise your layered kick to highlight non-contiguous pads. Or just shift+click if they're right next to each other. Then ctrl+G to group them to their own internal drum rack. Name it Layered Kick or something, and then pick "Layered Kick pre FX" as your sidechain input. This is how I process layered kicks too.
Win 10 x64/16GB/i7 6700k
Live 9 Suite/Cubase Pro 9.5
Audient iD4/Push 2/Steinberg CMC-CH/Launchkey 25

patrick.olson86
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:26 pm

Re: Sidechaining to layered kicks

Post by patrick.olson86 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:26 pm

I think someone else touched on what I do above. However, I must say there are some super clever SC ideas here with the returns. For live performance (which I don't do) I would totally use that.

That said, what I do with my workflow is a little more manual. I use drum racks to build custom kits, and my kick pads have built in layers. This is a super handy instrument my friend made - basically for any pad you want to have a layered kick on, you put three instances of sampler on one pad use EQ to get the low / mid / high freq cutoff points. That way you can drop in 3 different kick samples and carve out the frequencies you need...

Anyway, what I do is build the track with the midi drums first and then once the arrangement is set more or less, I record the midi of the drums to 4 new audio tracks - Kick, Snare, Hats, and Percussion (cowbells/tambo's congas etc). Then just duplicate the kick audio track and mute it, rename it sidechain and use that as your SC. Then you can adjust the transients on the sidechain kick track if need be, if it's not ducking hard enough. Sure it might be a little more manual of a process, but I find that adjusting midi notes is much easier for making arrangement changes than drum wavforms. But I like mixing waveforms with drums for whatever reason, it just makes it easier in my head to keep things organized. And relistening to your track one more time isn't that big of a deal compared to how many times you've listened to it already at this point. What does that tack on, 5-10 minutes tops?

In your case, just route all three kicks to one audio track and record them into one track. Then duplicate that and use one as the SC. But that's just how I work and what makes sense to me.

Post Reply