3. Side Chains/Key Inputs

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3. Side Chains/Key Inputs Empty 3. Side Chains/Key Inputs

Post  James on Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:49 am

One really super-awesome-to-the-max/my-favorite thing about gates and compressors is side chains or key inputs. They're both the same thing. Usually they're called side chains on compressors and key inputs on gates. I dunno why, same damn concept.

Not every host program allows for it. Logic has it, I don't think Garageband does, lower versions of Cubase don't but the good ones do. I dunno how Acid is. They let you use one signal to trigger the effect on another. I use it the most by putting a gate on my bass and triggering it with my kick. I set the reduction on the gate pretty low, like -3dB or -6dB. That way the bass just pulses more when the kick hits. Makes the rhythm section sound really tight. You can also say, trigger a gate on a white noise track to open when a snare hits to make it the snare sound harsher.

Effects with key inputs will usually have high- and low-pass filters on the key inputs, as well as a switch to monitor the key input. The filters are used to remove unwanted frequencies. I could filter above 400Hz, for example, so an extra loud snare hit that bled on to my kick track doesn't trigger the bass. The key input monitor switch lets you hear the signal coming in the key input, with the filters on, so your not turning the filter knobs in the dark.
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