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Sidechain compression technique for hip hop
Old 11th March 2019
  #1
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Sidechain compression technique for hip hop

I'm new to hip hop productions but a fan since the 90s .
I make techno mainly but started to make hip hop instrumentals. My hip hop instrumentals are really piss poor when it comes to the mix . I'm using ableton live 10 standard and I'm after demo fabfilter eq and compressor. Could someone explain how they use side chain compression with their production please
Old 11th March 2019
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by lectropunk View Post
I'm new to hip hop productions but a fan since the 90s .
I make techno mainly but started to make hip hop instrumentals. My hip hop instrumentals are really piss poor when it comes to the mix . I'm using ableton live 10 standard and I'm after demo fabfilter eq and compressor. Could someone explain how they use side chain compression with their production please
One fairly common use of side chain compression in Hip Hop is for ducking the bass when the kick hits. Especially (and mostly) when the kick and bass share similar frequencies, like a subby bass and an 808 type of kick.
Old 11th March 2019
  #3
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I pretty much only use sidechain compression in two places:

1) vocal delays and reverbs.

2) once in a while a hip-hop record will call for some rhythmic pumping on a synth or something EDM-style.

I never use sidechain compression to get the kick and 808 to sit together.
Old 12th March 2019
  #4
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atma's Avatar
Yeah, in general side-chaining is used a lot with fx sends—a really basic example would be on a reverb sent from a vocal track. Side-chaining will allow you to control that reverb's amplitude in a more articulated and "dynamic" way; instead of the reverb's level always being constant, you can use side-chaining to make the reverb expand (become louder) during vocal passages that get louder, or you could do the opposite and "duck" the reverb (turn its volume down) during the louder vocal passages, and have it only become "wetter" when the original dry vocal isn't very loud. So, in a sense, side-chains are most often used to create more dynamic send fx, rather than everything either being a static, constant level or having to automate them by hand.

That being said, if your mixes suck, it's definitely not related to the use (or lack of) side-chain compression! Side-chains simply give you more specific control and flexibility over what your compressor "hears", and thus react to.
Old 12th March 2019
  #5
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Thanks for this. Il get there
Old 12th March 2019
  #6
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atma's Avatar
I should also add that people can often neglect the "internal" side-chain and associated filters that many (at least modern) comps have. By utilizing the low-pass/high-pass filters with the internal side-chain, you can very easily sculpt exactly what frequencies your compressor is "hearing" (and thus reacting to). This, in turn, allows you to have your compressor only react to individual sounds, i.e., only the kick, or only the snare from within a track that has multiple drums that you're compressing. Essentially meaning that you don't always have to use an external source to take advantage of side-chaining if your comp has internal side-chain filters. This can be particularly useful to refine the way your 2bus comp "hears" and reacts to a full mix.
Old 14th March 2019
  #7
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Find some mixing references and learn how to incorporate them into what you do.
Old 19th May 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
I never use sidechain compression to get the kick and 808 to sit together.
Care to explain?

I use it all the time and I get good results
Old 19th May 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaFleurBeats View Post
Care to explain?

I use it all the time and I get good results
Don't know how to explain it other than I've never needed that technique to get the kick and bass to sit well together. I'm not saying you can't do it. I really don't care what techniques people use if it makes the record sound good. I'm just saying that I've never needed it. I certainly know how to do it and can do it. It's just that I can always get them to sit well together better by not doing it. I have tons of experience so that probably plays a role.
Old 21st May 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
Don't know how to explain it other than I've never needed that technique to get the kick and bass to sit well together. I'm not saying you can't do it. I really don't care what techniques people use if it makes the record sound good. I'm just saying that I've never needed it. I certainly know how to do it and can do it. It's just that I can always get them to sit well together better by not doing it. I have tons of experience so that probably plays a role.
Thank you for clearing that up. I was not doubting you nor your experience, but was wondering if there is a "better" way. But like you just said.. as long as the result sounds good it doesn't matter
Old 2nd June 2019
  #11
Gear Head
I always used to scoop off the start of the 808 kicks when I was layering them with organic hits so that the 2 didn't hit at the same time (I'd get the initial punch of the organic kick and the following swell of the 808) but lately I've just been sidechaining or fake sidechaining (gating the bass on the 1 or the 1 and 3 or whatever feels good). When I use an 808 I might put that in the bass buss so that it goes through the same process. It definitely introduces a different element to it when doing it that way - neither better nor worse, just different. Works with some tracks/sounds better than others.
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