Hi guys, I'm Kevin L. and I'm an amateur audio engineer and producer. I've been recording a long time though. I first got the bug back in about '81 or so when a roommate brought over two cassette recorders; one that could play only and the other that could play and record simultaneously. "Wow! I can overdub".. That was quite a revelation back then..
I've been constantly trying to improve since then, and so, that's why I'm here at #PWYM.
In the spirit of sharing and learning, I posted an introduction to ducking audio using compressor sidechaining in the Logic X meet. It's nothing new to you pros and experienced guys, but maybe some folks will get something out of it.. and maybe the more experienced folks here will correct or add to it.
Ducking Audio With Compressors
Ducking is reducing the volume of one or more audio tracks based on the volume of another. One example would be to reduce the volume of a music track in a commercial while a voice-over is being spoken, then allowing the music to increase after the voice-over completes.
This is also useful in audio mixing. For example, having the bass guitar's volume lowered or ducked whenever the bass drum plays. This could be done manually using the bass guitar's fader or drawing volume reduction automation, however, this may not be practical because it might require lots of volume automation throughout a song depending on how many times the bass drum plays.
One solution would be to use a compressor on the bass guitar track sidechained to the bass drum track. The idea is that the bass guitar audio will be attenuated whenever the bass drum plays. The bass drum controls the compressor on the bass guitar track through the sidechain.
Here's the video I made using both a bass synth and synth pad with compressors sidechained to the bass drum track. Bass synth compressor is on the left and synth pad compressor is on the right. Listen especially to the synth pad. Every time the bass drum plays, the synth pad volume is immediately reduced, then the compressor releases and volume increases until the bass drum plays again and the process repeats.
This is a pretty aggressive use of sidechained compressors sometimes used in dance/techno type music for a "pumping" effect, but it can be used more subtly and in different ways on other types of music.