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.