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How to sidechain multiple instruments

lucid life

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I am rewiring reason with logic, and I would like to sidechain everything except to sounds I have layered together. How would I go about doing this?

As long as you've got the audio from Reason into Logic first, here's how to do the rest:


I'm assuming you'd like to externally sidechain compress a bunch of sounds to something else, like a (layered) kick, in order to make it pump?


Change the output of all the channels except the layered kicks from the default Output 1-2 (Stereo Out) to a free bus, e.g. Bus 1.


Change the output of the two layered channels to another free bus, e.g. Bus 2.


Insert a compressor on Aux 1 (which contains the signals from Bus 1). Select Bus 2 as the key for the external side chain input. That's done in the upper right corner of the compressor plug-in. Make sure you turn down the Make-Up gain to unity (0).


Now all tracks will duck whenever the two layered sounds (combined on Aux 2) are playing, assuming you've set the ratio and threshold in the compressor. For maximum effect you should use a very fast attack and a fairly high ratio in the compressor on Aux 1. I recommend you turn off soft knee.

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I should have added more detail. Sorry about that, and I wil lget to adding my more to my sig also.


Well I am using ultrabeat, and I have separated each sound I am using in ultrabeat to it's own out. I haver layered an open hat with a shaker. The sounds hit together 4 times, but I have the shaker just hitting by itself also. I would like to compress all the sounds except when the layered sounds hit, but not when the shaker hits alone. Would I duplicate the shaker I am using to it's own track, then take that off stereo, and add a bus to it. Then send all my sounds to that bus with a compressor on it? That just doesn't make sense to me.

Edited by lucid life
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Ok I see you've edited your previous post, adding what your goal is.


I would like to compress all the sounds except when the layered sounds hit, but not when the shaker hits alone.


If I understand you correctly, you want to compress all the non-drum sounds (?) when the shaker and hi-hat hit together, but not when the shaker hits alone?


Take all the tracks you want to be compressed, and output them to a bus. Logic creates an Aux for that bus, insert your compressor there.


Now create a dummy track with a sound where you want the sidechain to occur (for example kick drums. Manually place them wherever you get the hi-hat and the shaker hitting together). Set that track's output to a new bus, delete the Aux that Logic creates for that bus. In the compressor, choose that bus as the sidechain.

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So look at your ES1 channel strip: under the i/o labels, there are two slots. The first is where you choose the i (input), the second below is where you choose the output. That output slot is where you select the bus you want to send the ES1 to.


When you select, say "bus 1" from that output slot, Logic will automatically create a new Aux (auxiliary) channel strip with its input set to bus 1 and its output set to Stereo Output. Click that Aux's label (at the bottom of the channel strip) to select it, and press Delete on your keyboard to delete it. An alert will pop-up, just click "Delete Anyway". Then continue per my instructions in my previous post.

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  • 3 years later...

Hey there,


I was trying to tackle a similar problem here myself and my first thought was to use the aux compression method detailed here. However I encountered a problem... Basically, I have several tracks of spoken voices (all of which have different panning positions) and several layers of background sounds. What I want to do is have the vocal tracks side chain compress the background sounds, but if I route the voice tracks through to an aux, I lose the panning orientation. Is there any way to side chain from multiple sources and preserve the panning for each individual track?


Any help is highly appreciated!

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Hi there!


Click this link to your signature and add your system information:

• Logic version and sub-version (e.g. Logic Pro X 10.2)

• OS X version and sub-version (e.g. OS X El Capitan 10.11.2)

• Computer (e.g. MacBook Pro, Mac Pro, iMac)

• Processor (e.g. 2.2 GHz Intel i7)

• Memory (e.g. 8GB)

• Audio interface manufacturer and model (e.g. RME Babyface Pro)


(most of that information can be found by choosing Logic Pro X > About Logic Pro X, and  > About This Mac)



if I route the voice tracks through to an aux, I lose the panning orientation.


Why would you do that?

Routing the output will always use the panning info.

If you are using sends you can always set them to post pan.

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