How To Use Sidechain Compression In FL Studio

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Sidechain Compression

If you’ve been listening to electronic dance music for a while, I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that “pumping” sound that majority of the songs have. Especially in house and trance you can hear how the volume of the pads, leads and bassline goes down every beat of a kickdrum. That’s sidechain compression in action and it plays a huge role in a modern dance music.

Basically a sidechain compression is a technique where the level of audio signal 1 controls the amount of compression applied to audio signal 2. That is how you create that – often called – “ducking” sound. In dance music it’s common practice to sidechain kickdrum to bassline, pads and leads to create that pumping effect.

In this video tutorial I will show you how you can easily create a sidechain compression in FL Studio. I’ve also attached a FL Studio project file (.flp) where the sidechain compression is all set. Download and open it and  start experimenting. You need at least FL Studio 9.1 to be able to open it.

Download the project file here.

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About Author

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

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44 Comments on "How To Use Sidechain Compression In FL Studio"

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Jon W
5 years 6 months ago

That was the most complex bassline I’ve ever heard! LOL just kidding 😀

That is a really helpful tutorial!!! I always end up clashing to many sounds with my kicks so it sounds bad. It also gives off more of a dance feel, but I guess that’s why its used lol.

Keep them comming 😀

Have a good one.

imaROBOT
imaROBOT
5 years 5 months ago

So how would you sidechain a bass without having the kick actually playing. Say you go into a break and don’t need the kick playing, but still need the bass line playing while sidechained. I’ve tried to just mute the kick, but that’s not working. Any ideas?

Ryan Gowler
Ryan Gowler
4 years 7 months ago

You could also go into the mixer and select gross beat to your bassline. It has a ton of different effects to add to it, but you want sidechain. Once you select sidechain, you will get a similar effect heard in this video without having to have the kicks play. You can do this with any sound in your arsenal. Hope this helps.

Jon W
5 years 5 months ago
I was actually wondering the same question that robot was hah, so thanks! Hey and Robot, I have the M-Audio Oxygen 49. I love it, although I haven’t programed the controls yet….it looks a little confsuing. But the keyboard alone saves so much time, especially with chords since you don’t have 3 or more mouses haha. I almost got a 25 key or 29…I can’t remember, but the 49 key is alot better, I just sit back on my couch with it on my lap, works great! It comes with a cd, I think it shows you how to program… Read more »
Boogie
Boogie
5 years 4 months ago

OMG! Wow, that was so interesting and so nice and educational! Who ever that discovered or created this way of sidechain was a genius! Very cool! Thanks a lot!!!!

paul cronin
paul cronin
5 years 4 months ago
there is a really easy way using peak cotroller this is a different way than most people use peak controller first put a kick drum in playlist and put peak controller on mixer channel 2,can be any mixer track then route your kick drum to mixer channel 2 leaving the mute on peak controller then in mixer channel 3 well call it sidechain add fruity compressor { by this time you should make a normal kick drum and pads hats bass etc in your playlist however you want obviously route them to empty mixer channels} so put a 4 kick… Read more »
paul cronin
paul cronin
5 years 4 months ago

that would be good,petri

Charlee
Charlee
5 years 3 months ago

Wow! just discovered your site and have spent nearly three hours just watching your tutorials, this one, definitely makes me write to you, thanks for this! I never knew how to do this!

ylbeats
ylbeats
5 years 3 months ago

A great way to sidechain indeed, but I encountered a problem. I wanted to sidechain a certain sound which also had a delay on it. This gave the kick which was sidechained into the delayed sound’s channel a delay too. Now, i could probably use another channel for every sound just for sidechaining, but is there another way? For now I’m back at peak controllers…

Hovig
Hovig
5 years 1 month ago

Man i am so impressed with your tutorials. You make everything look so easy. I’ve learned so much. Keep them coming plz!!

Steve T
Steve T
5 years 10 days ago

Thanks for taking the time to make a great tutorial.

Steve

Rakam the Red
Rakam the Red
4 years 10 months ago

Amazing! Thanks a lot for all your tutorials. Great job bro

Steve Vinx
Steve Vinx
4 years 10 months ago

Thank for your tutorials

Joe Ezeh
Joe Ezeh
4 years 8 months ago

Literally one of the most powerful effects in any kind of electronic music. Great tutorial. Really liked how you played with the limiter parameters at the end to show what they actually did instead of just a “copy these settings” type deal.

Tokiz
Tokiz
4 years 7 months ago

So how would you sidechain a Lead Melody without having the kick actually playing? Say you go into a break and don’t need the kick playing, but still need the melody line playing while sidechained. I’ve tried to just mute the kick, but that’s not working. Any ideas?

Gary
Gary
4 years 1 day ago

Awesome tuts.. I am impressed. But I would also like to know what tokiz asked, how to keep the melody playing without the kick actually sounding.
Thanks a lot.

Ed
Ed
3 years 10 months ago

Hey, I followed all the instructions and for some odd reason now I can’t hear the kick.

I can hear the side chain happening to the bass but the kick sound is not playing.

Can someone help me please????

paul b
paul b
3 years 7 months ago

thanks for that tutorial bro,, what do you think of the axiom pro ?

Raymond
Raymond
3 years 4 months ago

Hi…can anyone show me how to do a kick drum like Arctic Moon or TrancEye…. Those really in ur face type of punch kick drum…??

Siddhi Susant Behera
2 years 11 months ago

thanx sir , this tutorial really helped me and for my band to create songs like rap and hip hop as ………..

Dilu
2 years 10 months ago

Your tutorial are sexxxxyyyyyyyy

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