Splitting / doubling signal to feed compressor sidechain, most transparent way?
On a master bus, I'm coming out of an eq, going into a compressor. I wish to send a separate copy of the signal to the compressor's sidechain so I can eq the sidechain separately. On compressors that have sidechain SENDS and RETURNS, this is a breeze... just stick the eq between the send and return, done. ALL compressors should have this!!!! But, sadly, even a lot of great compressors out there have just sidechain inputs only (no sidechain sends), thus you need to get a copy of the signal from elsewhere to feed the sidechain. So now, in a critical master bus path, I have to wonder how to split my master stereo signal without in any way harming it. Is there some kind of ultra high-end splitter that can be gotten that 100% preserves the original signal? I am aware that some mastering consoles have features that allow for this, but I was hoping to avoid buying a super expensive mastering console just to do this one operation. Thanks.
Just a quick workaround idea, if you have multiple AD connected from your daw, you could dupe the track in the daw and send one out either to an external unit to EQ before your sidechain input, or perform the EQ for the sidechain within the daw itself. Alternatively you might have a signal routing system via your software that would allow you to dupe the daw signal to different AD.
That might not always help if your compression is happening later in your analogue chain, but I felt it worth mentioning. It would certainly avoid having to split signals in the analogue domain if there were pretty light EQ before the comp that didn't effect the overall detection much, or if the EQ in your analogue domain was fairly easy to replicate on your software EQ for the purposes of feeding the sidechain.
Y cable. Barring some kind of really screwy impedance mismatch, what could be more transparent than a piece of wire?
But isn't it bad to take a signal and merely split it? Don't you lose half the energy going to each of the two destinations? As well, doesn't this indeed mess with the impedance? I never tried it but was always told not to. On a master bus or mastering chain, surely you don't want to mess around and do anything that might even slightly "degrade" the signal.
Man, I really wish more compressors had sidechain SENDS as well as returns. This is becoming an important feature in my world here.