Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Oven Soup
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:55 pm

Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by Oven Soup » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:07 pm

Hello,

I have been using Ableton for about a year now. Recently I decided to try my shot at sidechain again. Previously, no sidechains option (I am using default plug ins) would not work. I tried again recently, and it still does not work. I have looked at many videos and did exactly every step they did and it still does not work. For example, say I want to sidechain a lead to a simple 4/4 kick. I do so, but whenever I turn down the threshold, it does not do anything with the sidechain. It is clear that Ableton knows what I am trying to do because the threshold levels are going with the kick. It acts almost like the sidechain is not even there.

Please help me.

aseemsuri
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by aseemsuri » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:36 pm

This seems odd.
Can you share your signal flow chain?

Da hand
Posts: 1637
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:38 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by Da hand » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:28 am

1. The threshold setting alone might not give noticeable results, as it is only the "barrier" over-which the signal has to get past to potentially make things happen. The Ratio and Attack/Release settings will be significant in giving the final results. Set the Ratio to full, Attack to 0/0.1, Release to 300-500ms. Peak setting for the compressor. Knee = 0. Make sure the threshold is way down, so you see the orange "signal reduction" bar go half way down when the compressor activates.

These settings should give you a good test result - not necessarily the settings to compress all your signals with :wink:

2. Where are you taking the mix out of the soundchain's signal path? Post Mixer, Post FX, Pre FX? If your setting is Post Mixer and you turn the kick track off to hear the sidechain in action, then you have effectively turned off you sidechain source :wink:

3. Is the signal your are trying to test compress (the track your compressor is on) long enough for you to notice? Take a pad that never dies for example.

Do you hear anything now?

If not, then post a screen capture of your compressor settings.

ShelLuser
Posts: 4030
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Re: Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by ShelLuser » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:23 am

Oven Soup wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:07 pm
I have been using Ableton for about a year now. Recently I decided to try my shot at sidechain again. Previously, no sidechains option (I am using default plug ins) would not work.
Can you be a little more specific? What plugins? Because Live does not have VST plugins by default.
Oven Soup wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:07 pm
I tried again recently, and it still does not work. I have looked at many videos and did exactly every step they did and it still does not work. For example, say I want to sidechain a lead to a simple 4/4 kick. I do so, but whenever I turn down the threshold, it does not do anything with the sidechain.
How are you setting this up?

Unless you're a bit more specific about how you're trying to set this up, at the very least by naming the devices you're working with, then there's little to say because all we can do is guess and assume that you're using the same devices as we think you're using. Also: what version of Live are you using?
With kind regards,

Peter

Using the 'Power' Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Maschine Mk3 (+ the ultimate Komplete 12).
Blog: SynthFan (under heavy construction!)

Oven Soup
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:55 pm

Re: Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by Oven Soup » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:50 pm

ShelLuser wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:23 am
Can you be a little more specific? What plugins? Because Live does not have VST plugins by default.
Live does come with default plugins. I did not say VST Plugins, I just plugins. As in the default reverbs and delays and all that. I am trying to use the default compressor. It just called "Compressor".
ShelLuser wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:23 am
Unless you're a bit more specific about how you're trying to set this up, at the very least by naming the devices you're working with, then there's little to say because all we can do is guess and assume that you're using the same devices as we think you're using. Also: what version of Live are you using?
I am using 10.1.7 (the most recent version of Live as of writing this). I've been following the Side-Chain tutorial by You Suck at Producing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gej-sIZDTVU). I follow the steps of enabling the sidechain option and input it to what I want to that sound to sidechain with, which is a kick. I do the whole rising the ratio and lowering the threshold and nothing happens. It treats like I have no input. If I lower the threshold, it just treats like a normal compressor. As in, it just turns down the threshold without creating the sidechain effect.

TLW
Posts: 434
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by TLW » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:25 pm

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that if the attack is set too long or the release set too short side chain compression may not be audible because either the compressor never kicks in or it switches out before the effect can be heard. For the same kind of reason, if the compressor has an adjustable ”knee” it often needs to be set for the most abrupt response.

I use side-chain compression to clear space for the kick or a moving bass playing against a drone quite a lot and it definitely works for me in Live 10. It can be quite a subtle effect though. I usually use Wave’s multi-band compressors to do the job because they can be set to leave higher frequencies alone and only compress the track’s frequency band which overlaps with the track I want to make room for.

As an aside, despite what the video says, side-chain compression wasn’t invented in the 90s. It’s been around longer than that.
Live 10 Suite, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

Shift Gorden
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:45 pm
Location: Oklahoma City
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Re: Unable to Sidechain Anything.

Post by Shift Gorden » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:03 pm

Would it be possible to post a pic of your routing and mixer channels?

This is really odd.

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