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{SOLVED} Do I need to Duck, Gate, or Side-Chain Compress? Or Something Completely Different?


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I really don't know what it's called that I'm trying to achieve, so I don't know how to search for it.

I have a project that has 30 tracks, including MIDI instruments, instrument busses, and send effects.

I want to take 29 of those tracks, and mute them every time this one staccato keyboard stab occurs.

I've tried using the noise gate plug, and using side chain compression, but I probably made a mistake somewhere.

I got close to my desired effect using the ducking feature in the noise gate plug, but it didn't completely mute all the other 29 tracks.

it just lowered them, and raised the staccato keyboard stab slightly.

How do I use my staccato keyboard stab to trigger something that mutes all the other instruments, busses, and Effects all together at once?

I hope this made sense.

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You could use sidechain compression for this effect:

  1. Route all 29 tracks to a bus. 
  2. Insert a Compressor on that bus.
  3. In the Compressor, max out the Ratio and set the Threshold as far down as possible. Turn off Auto Gain and set Make Up to 0. Choose the keyboard track as the side chain. 
  4. Ideally you should get about 40 dB of gain reduction in the Compressor. That's not enough to completely MUTE the tracks, so in the Audio FX section of the channel strip, Option-drag the Compressor down to copy it once or twice, yielding 80 to 120 dB of gain reduction (which should be enough to mute your tracks). 


You could also achieve the same effect using parallel processing, a noise gate and a Gain plug-in to invert the the phase... so the noise gate works backwards (when it lets the phase-inverted signal through, that signal is summed with the original, resulting in silence). That gives you 100 dB of gain reduction. 

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Hey David!

Thanks for the fast reply!

This is almost working perfectly.

But It's not cutting off the 29 tracks fast enough.

What should my ATTACK, RELEASE AND KNEE settings be?

Currently they are all set to the fastest possible I think.

KNEE= 0 ms

ATTACK= 0 ms


Is there a way to make the effect faster?

Do I need to set something up differently in the SIDE CHAIN settings of Logic's COMPRESSOR?

Or is there a different way to do this with ducking or gating which might work better?

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Hmmm I just did it and it sounds just as fast as with a mute button to me... did you copy it to get 3 compressors? You Compressor settings sound like they're just as fast as they can go. 


Make sure whatever keyboard sound you're using to trigger the compressor has a fast attack as well? 

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Well i got pretty close using your method, but with a ducker on the bus channel instead of a compressor.

But I can't figure out the  ATTACK, HOLD, and RELEASE settings.

The effect still is too slow no matter what I do.

David do you know any other methods that might work for me?

Like maybe with a GATE?

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