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Quick Tip: Sidechaining with VolumeShaper 3

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In this quick tip I'll introduce you to my new favourite plugin for sidechaining: VolumeShaper 3.

What Is Sidechain Compression?

First of all, what is sidechaining?

“Sidechain compression is a variation of the well-known compression effect. The difference between sidechain compression and an ordinary compression is that at any moment in time, the sidechain compression level is driven by an external signal (control) and applied to target (destination).

In other words, sidechaining uses the signal level of another input to control the compression level of the original signal. When the external signal is stronger, the compressor acts more strongly to reduce output gain.” Kicks and hi hats are commonly used as external signals.

The most problematic area of sidechaining is choosing the external signal. If you choose the wrong kick, the sidechaining won't have the right effect. I often have this problem. Sometimes the kicks are too long, and sometimes they're too short.

VolumeShaper 3 solves this problem. It doesn'’t require an external signal. You simply draw a curve while looking at the signal.

I will be honest, I find this plugin very helpful! Sidechaining has never been easier. Let's see how it works.

Step 1. Set Up the Signal

First, create something to sidechain. I created a pad, because sidechaining is most obvious on pad sounds.

SoundShaper is more than a sidechaining device—it's actually a volume LFO. So you can use it to make tremolos in your music!


Listen the pad without the sidechaining:

Step 2. Tweak It with VolumeShaper 3

To use VolumeShaper as a sidechain device, select sidechain soft or sidechain full from the preset browser.

On the right you can see the LFO, where you can select the beat sync rhythm. It can be tempo based or tempo independent. There are numerous waveforms which you can use on you sound.

In the main window, you can easily create break points, and manipulate the waveform as you want. The most fantastic thing is that you can see the waveform itself while sidechaining it.

On the right, you can change the main window and create new waveforms. You can also make snapshots to recall later.

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Listen the sidechained pad sound:

Final Words

As you can hear, VolumeShaper 3 can be a really great tool if you know how to use it. No more sidechaining signals, no more headaches, no more compressor tweaking nightmares. Just a single plugin with volume modulation.

I hope you enjoy using it. Happy music making!

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