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Eq for side chain in compressor (unfairchild user) Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 11th August 2018
Here for the gear

Eq for side chain in compressor (unfairchild user)

Just got my hands on the unfairchild and I asked myself, what would be a good choice for a hardware Eq in the side chain.

What do you use?
Old 11th August 2018
Lives for gear

Side chain signal is not mixed with actual audio signal running through the compressor, it’s used as a selective trigger. This means you can use the crapiest of hardware EQ’s for the job. Peavey makes a multi band parametric that you can find on eBay for under $50 that will do the trick or if you have an extra converter channel to pipe out to the compressor’s side chain you can use your DAW’s EQ.
Old 11th August 2018
Gear Maniac
TimFoster's Avatar
I would add that while the eq isn’t part of the audio chain, it is directly coupled to the detector circuit which does impact the resulting compression action and audio path indirectly.

So were you to use an eq which doesn’t have a great transient response, the compressor cannot accurately track leading transients in the source signal... probably doesn’t matter in most real world situations, especially for vibey pieces like the unfairchild... and any minimal differences could likely be compensated for via your compression settings — but my OCD still struggles with the “what-if.” I suppose if you want to ensure the detector circuit in your compressor is reacting precisely as was intended, you want to send the exact same transient information through the sidechain as exists in the source signal. That means a relatively clean and fast EQ, and probably most inexpensive hardware eq’s would suffice.

I’ve struggled with it for use with my GML 8900. In the end I just use whatever, and adjust the knobs till it sounds good. But in a perfect world, where funds permit... give me a Kush electra for every sidechain circuit. Then you can AGGRESSIVELY mangle frequency content in the sidechain without the slightest worry of dulling your transients!

Oh, and while I’m spiraling off into crazy land and away from practicality... might as well add that I like to do any signal splitting in the analog domain (even for sidechains), versus separate outs at the converter. For the same reason that I don’t like parallel processing via multiple converter I/O pairs — I feel like the inter sample timing issues result in a less tight phase response between the signals. I.e, works great in the box, but coming in and out of my apogee symphony rig on separate channels and summing them back never sounds quite right... but who knows. Just my perception, and could be something else entirely.

Last edited by TimFoster; 11th August 2018 at 03:20 PM..
Old 11th August 2018
Gear Maniac
Sniff's Avatar

Kept my old cheapo berhinger mixer just for sidechain duties. Works well enough, although haven't the pleasure of an Unfairchild. Can't see that an expensive eq would make a huge difference, as normally it's either the esses or the low end needing the sidechain.
Old 11th August 2018
Gear Maniac
bzone's Avatar

I use two MPEQ-1’s with my Unfairchild to keep it in the family. Last time I spoke to Eric, he told me they are developing another box to do this and a few other useful tricks. Should be out shortly.
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