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How to Sidechain in FL Studio

What is sidechaining?

Sidechaining is a technique used to emphasize mainly kick drums from other sounds in a song or the whole song itself. The sidechain lowers the volume of the other sounds allowing the kick to come through. Here I will show you two methods of sidechaining your tracks - one is very easy!

Here is a sound before sidechaining:

Here is a sound with sidechaining:

METHOD 1 - GROSS BEAT SIDECHAIN

Not very controllable, the controllable method is methos 2 below.

1

On the mixer channel you want the sidechain to be applied to, select Gross Beat from the available effects in the FX section on the mixer. What I mean by 'the sidechain to be applied to', is the instrument/channel you want the volume to be affected. Gross Beat automatically adjusts the volume to create the sidechain.

Select Gross Beat

2

In Gross Beat, select 'sidechain' from the volume effects (second large group of buttons) and leave the top time section of buttons to empty (unless you really want to be creative with your sidechain!).

That's it! You can adjust the volume levels, trig sync and pos sync for finer control. This method however, has its limitations. The sidechain is now set for every beat and therefore cannot be activated any more or any less.

METHOD 2 - PEAK CONTROLLER SIDECHAIN

This method is the controllable one. If you use a separate kick as your sidechain, you can place that kick (muted) anywhere to create the compression in the sound.

1

On your kick drum mixer channel, (I suggest making a separate sidechain channel with a muted kick), add the Fruity Peak Controller effect from the FX section.

2

Unselect mute if you want to hear the kick (keep it selected if you opted for a separate kick for a sidechain), and adjust the Peak Tension and LFO Tension (TNS) lines so they arch upwards. This will cause your sidechained sound to dip in volume once you link it to the sound. The higher the arch, the more it will dip. You can fine tune these tension lines once your other sound is linked (the next step).

3

On the sound you want to sidechain, right click the volume slider and select link to controller. This will link this sound to the peak controller.

4

In the remote control settings pop-up box, change the internal controller to Peak + LFO, and the mapping formula to inverted. Click accept.

5

You cannot change the volume of that mixer channel any more because it is being controlled by the peak controller. So, adjust the volume knobs on the peak controller or add the Fruity Limiter effect and adjust the Gain to increase or decrease the volume.

If you used a separate kick for a sidechain (and muted it), you can now use that kick to control the sidechain anywhere in the song.