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 :))