A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

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moreofmorris
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A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by moreofmorris » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:38 am

I've been wondering this for a while. Say I have a thick pad sound and a heavy kick drum. Rather than just side-chain it so the volume of the pad is lowered when the kick comes in, is there a way of setting up an EQ on the pad so it's lower frequency only is cut when the kick comes in. That way the pad doesn't have that obvious "pump" sound but it's lower end is being taken away only when the kick comes in?

I don't want that to be confused with setting the EQ on the side-chain part of the compressor. It's dynamically cutting away the lower end of the pad only when the kick comes in... If that makes sense!

Cheers you lovely people x

re:dream
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by re:dream » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:09 pm

Yep

You create a frequency splitter and put the compressor only on the lower channel

How you create a frequency splitter - that's a bit more complicated. You can do it by racking an EQ 3 or and EQ 8 and then duplicating it inside the rack. Then you set up one so that it only passes mid to highs, and the other so that it only passes lows. You can also set up macros so that the low-mid split can be adjusted.

The issue is that these frequency splitters are rarely perfectly transparent. They will slightly colour the sound. You can set up a transparent frequency splitter but that requires some kind of strange trick with phase inversion that i have never gotten the hang of.

But that's only an issue if you are really concerned about a completely transparent splitter.

There's someone who makes M4L devices, website is called something like Performodule, who has a range of free splitters (stereo and frequency) downloadable. If I can find the details I will post them

re:dream
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by re:dream » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:17 pm


3dot...
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:25 pm

use the m4l envelope follower device with a lpf'd version of your kick
have it control a hpf freq on the desired track... (push freq higher when sound is kick bass is coming in)
you can tune and adjust the response to your liking on the 'envelope follower'...
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moreofmorris
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by moreofmorris » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:27 pm

Thank you! That's great.

I suppose my next question... Is this a valid mixing technique? Is this something people actually do?

I have this one track that is particular heavy due to a rather powerful pad. Doing the normal side chain with the kick doesn't work as I don't want the pad to duck in and out, and however much I try and scoop out the EQ I can't retain the same power that the pad had previously. In my mind, simply scoping out the lower end with a side-chain seems to make sense. Not just with the kick, I could do it with the bass and the pad too for example.

It's a valid technique I presume? Just needs to be done with a touch of caution because of the possible phase issues?

Thanks again!

moreofmorris
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by moreofmorris » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:28 pm

3dot... wrote:use the m4l envelope follower device with a lpf'd version of your kick
have it control a hpf freq on the desired track... (push freq higher when sound is kick bass is coming in)
you can tune and adjust the response to your liking on the 'envelope follower'...
Ah, that's interesting. Cheers, I will try this too.

3dot...
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:36 pm

but if the kick coming in is predictable... might as well draw in freq automation on the clip :wink:
although you can reach some very happy mistakes using the envelope follower...
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moreofmorris
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by moreofmorris » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:40 pm

3dot... wrote:but if the kick coming in is predictable... might as well draw in freq automation on the clip :wink:
although you can reach some very happy mistakes using the envelope follower...
That is very true. And obviously the simplest approach in many ways.

I really like the envelope following idea though, that makes sense and basically avoids the phase issues when splitting. Still curious though, it's a common technique to do this sort of thing (in theory at least)? Or are my EQ skills still shit? (that's a distinct possibility)

Willyum
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by Willyum » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:45 pm


3dot...
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:52 pm

moreofmorris wrote:
3dot... wrote:but if the kick coming in is predictable... might as well draw in freq automation on the clip :wink:
although you can reach some very happy mistakes using the envelope follower...
That is very true. And obviously the simplest approach in many ways.

I really like the envelope following idea though, that makes sense and basically avoids the phase issues when splitting. Still curious though, it's a common technique to do this sort of thing (in theory at least)? Or are my EQ skills still shit? (that's a distinct possibility)
using envelopes on filters is not a new concept..
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by re:dream » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:56 pm

moreofmorris wrote:Thank you! That's great.

I suppose my next question... Is this a valid mixing technique? Is this something people actually do?

I have this one track that is particular heavy due to a rather powerful pad. Doing the normal side chain with the kick doesn't work as I don't want the pad to duck in and out, and however much I try and scoop out the EQ I can't retain the same power that the pad had previously. In my mind, simply scoping out the lower end with a side-chain seems to make sense. Not just with the kick, I could do it with the bass and the pad too for example.

It's a valid technique I presume? Just needs to be done with a touch of caution because of the possible phase issues?

Thanks again!

I dunno if it is a 'valid' technique (what does that mean?) but I do it all the time 8)

It is a great way of using SC to make sure there is space for your kick, while avoiding that pumping sound. There are no phase issues; it is just that the splitter will very slightly colour your sound. But that is true of EQ3 anyway, and that does not seem to bother most people.

The point is, there's many different ways to do it. Sidechaining, envelope following, drawing in automation envelopes for EQ, they can all work. Experiment and see what works for you.
Last edited by re:dream on Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3dot...
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:03 pm

btw .. phase issues will also occur when using a simple filter..
only way to avoid is to use devices linear-phase behavior...which take considerably more cpu and added latency..
this is also true for multiband compressors crossovers...
so there's always a trade-off.. I say use your ears...
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3dot...
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:08 pm

The Finn wrote:
moreofmorris wrote:Thank you! That's great.

I suppose my next question... Is this a valid mixing technique? Is this something people actually do?

I have this one track that is particular heavy due to a rather powerful pad. Doing the normal side chain with the kick doesn't work as I don't want the pad to duck in and out, and however much I try and scoop out the EQ I can't retain the same power that the pad had previously. In my mind, simply scoping out the lower end with a side-chain seems to make sense. Not just with the kick, I could do it with the bass and the pad too for example.

It's a valid technique I presume? Just needs to be done with a touch of caution because of the possible phase issues?

Thanks again!

I dunno if it is a 'valid' technique (what does that mean?) but I do it all the time 8)

It is a great way of using SC to make sure there is space for your kick, while avoiding that pumping sound. There are no phase issues; it is just that the splitter will very slightly colour your sound. But that is true of EQ3 anyway, and that does not seem to bother most people.

The point is, there's many different ways to do it. Sidechaining, envelope following, drawing in automation envelopes for EQ, they can all work. Experiment and see what works for you.
I disagree.. many people can hear a cross-over that's diminishing some freqs when idle...
this is one of the reasons most people do not use eq3
and this is also the reason I don't use Live's MB compressor other than creative far-out effects..
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by re:dream » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:16 pm

@ 3 dot: Are EQ3's problems avoided by using EQ8 instead?

Do you have any guidance on setting up a transparent frequency splitter?

(And I did not say ppl can't hear the crossover. I said that many aren't bothered by it. There's a difference 8) )

3dot...
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Re: A way to side-chain the lower end of a sound?

Post by 3dot... » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:34 pm

you have more control using eq8.. and it's dependent on the filter types... but generally for dialing the desired sound its better..
you can minimize damages by handling q..

ideally.. in general to retain phase relations..you would use eq / multiband fx sparingly...

for blunt fx.. i personally find eq3 fine... mbcomp too..they're great
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