for Live and Studio
Sidechain Comp Secrets


Beyond that classic pumping ducking effect (we all love), there’s much more you can do with side-chain compression. Let us explore some less obvious uses.

Synced Rhythmic Tremolo

A compressor modulates the volume. A Tremolo too. Here I am creating a Tremolo effect with a Sidechain-Compression pedal. But you can do much more with it than a classic Tremolo could do...

Wobble! Noise as a Trigger Source

Very beautiful quiver-ish earthquaky outer-space sounds, made again with a Sidechain-Compression pedal.

Manually trigger the effect with a 0.20 $ Piezo Mic

A kick drum, a foot, a finger, a bongo as a trigger source? Instead of using a microphone (which would also work of course), just tape a Piezo mic onto... ... everything!

Just EDM? No!... Guitar!

In this example I bring a pulse into the guitar reverb and let it breath along my four-on-the-floor foot tapping.

Play The Pill with one only instrument

A special patch to heavily duck the reverb when the guitar hits a certain treshold level.

Keep in time - The Pill as a metronome

Do you know optical metronomes? Here you have one! Of course it works even when the pedal is in true-bypass mode (first part). The second part is showing how this «ghost» bass drum is ducking the reverb of my guitar, creating a pulse out of «negative space»


What I showed here just scratches the surface of what can be possible with side-chain compression. I really hope that it inspires you and I'd be more than happy when it will spark new ideas!

Finally, there’s a dedicated ducking effect pedal: «The Pill». With it, I got rid of all the hassle with sidechain compression on stage (and in the studio)... I was able to get that classic pumping effect (and more, as you can see in the videos) in the twinkling of an eye.

Gear I used for these videos

I am talking into a Sennheiser MD441 mic. This mic is parallelly routed to my beloved Korg SDD 3000 Delay (which is in hold-mode sometimes), eventually followed by a OTO Bam Reverb, then being ducked by The Pill Pedal.

The Pill Pedal is triggered once by a low cost piezo mic, once by a NerdSeq Eurorack Sequencer, once by Pink Noise from my one and only Korg MS-20 and once by my guitar itself, a 70's Fender Mustang.

My Fender Mustang is going into a Lehle Parallel, which creates a parallel path, in there we have a Boss SE-50, used as a loooong reverb (and I loooove this reverb!), eventually followed by a Big-Muffish Jam Pedals Red Muck and followed by The Pill Pedal. That, being mixed with my guitar-direct-signal, goes straight into a 60's Da Vinci Vibrato Amp, I think this was somehow a copy of a Magnatone Amp. This amp is captured by a vintage RCA 77DX ribbon mic, going into a vintage RCA BA-41 Germanium Preamp. Once, I play a vintage Univox Super Fuzz right after my guitar.

The synths are my vintage Korg MS-20 (I modified it, so it fits into my backback), once also fed by a Buchla's Red Panel Dual Oscillator. The bass drum is created with a self resonating filter of a Intellijel Morgasmatron. Everything except the guitar is then mixed together to one mono channel with a Buchla Red Panel 106 eurorack mixer.

So this is an un-touched 2-track recording: the mic'd guitar amp as one channel, and everything else as the second channel.

Of course there is lot more stuff in the room, but I didn't use that for these videos... (Also most of it is (sadly) not mine :))


  • Mr Evan Cull

    would be nice if there was a switch inside to route the trigger input to the output path then you could use it as a bouncing crossfader by putting one effect being modulated by a tremolo on the trigger ducking to a completely different one on the main signal path.

  • The Pill Pedal

    @chef_booboo_doodoo Regarding the Trigger Thru; you can also just use a Y Splitter cable, to split the trigger signal before pluggin to The Pill, feeding one to The Pill, one to your DAW/Mixer/Speakers…

  • The Pill Pedal

    @chef_booboo_doodoo Thank you! Happy you like the videos. A save and proofed way to merge two trigger signals together would be by using a little mixer for summing. But passively with a cable can also work, depends on the trigger sources. You should take a Y splitter cable, (Dual TS → TS), since the pedal is shorting the Ring of the TRS cable to ground (2021 version, to be able to “read” balanced inputs) or is just unconnected (2020 versions).

    The trigger thru is a new feature on the new 2021 Stereo version of The Pill. If you purchaes a pedal in the past, there’s no trigger output jack, you’re not dumb :)


  • chef_booboo_doodoo

    Hey these videos are all awesome – will definitely try the piezo and noise uses! I am wondering if I am using one of those side-of-the-pedalboard patch bays, I can take a dual TS to TRS cable to feed the trigger input of the pill so I can use the piezo, as well as my drummer’s kick and am going to test that out soon… have always wanted one of those telegraph machine pedals :)

    Also, let me know if I’m being reaaaally dumb, but where is the trigger through on the pedal? on one side I see the audio and trigger inputs, and on the other side I see the audio outputs and power. am I doing something wrong? Thanks again David!


    This is so good man. There are an incredible number of uses for this thing.

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