Sidechain compression

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by MoonQuake, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Montréal, Qc.
    Hi Justin,

    Is there any way to reproduce a sidechain compression synth bass line live with an electric bass?


  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    You'd have to have a trigger to open and close the compressor, so you'd need a 1/4 note kick drum happening somewhere. Other than that, I suppose you could just taylor a bass synth pedal to have an attack profile timed just right, but that sounds like a trainwreck to me. I think it's vital to keep it locked to a clock source.
  3. just digging up this thread, I know the Fea Labs Opti-Fet compressor has a side chain input, you could go from a drummers kick drum trigger to the side chain and have it squash your bass signal everytime he kicks.....i'm really interested in trying this out and will most likely buy and opti-fet just to try it when one becomes available.
  4. jacobrownoly


    Jun 16, 2007
    Hello, have a question regarding sidechain compression.

    I have a DBX 226 compressor, would it be worth it and how do I go about setting this compressor with a mixer (for live application) to use one of the channels of the compressor for the kick drum to trigger the bass guitar compression, on just channel 1 of the DBX.

    If this is worth doing for live gigs how do i set this up? do I insert the compressor into the bass guitar insert channel then from the compressor side chain input put into the kick drum channel?

    Hope this makes sense

    Many thanks
  5. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    That sounds right to me, but it may take some trial and error.

    Also, you may want this at times when the kick is either not playing and/or not playing 1/4 notes. With that, it's all about having a constant electronic kick going which has a muted output, but is feeding an aux.

  6. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013
    Make sure if you pull the signal out from the kick drum insert that you only push the 1/4" jack in untill you feel the first click. That way the kick still travels on through the channel strip, and you get your signal to duck the compressor for the bass.