I’ve written about how to get that cool “pumped” drum sound using the Compressor’s internal sidechain—but I’ve never written about how to obtain the traditional, sidechain-based pumping sound that works with any sustained audio. Apologies! Let’s remedy that oversight.
If you’re not familiar with this effect, a waveform is worth a thousand words. Here, the drum track’s kick is pumping the Mai Tai synth part, which would otherwise be sustaining (like it does at the end).
Fig. 1 shows the routing. The Drum Mix track’s signal goes through a pre-fader send to a Bus. To isolate the kick sound going through the Bus, the Pro EQ cuts off the highs, and boosts the bass. The kick signal from the Bus goes through a pre-fader send to the sidechain of a Compressor in the synth track. The Compressor does the pumping.
The Bus EQ
Fig. 2 shows the EQ settings. Yes, I know it’s horribly distorted. But it doesn’t matter, because we don’t hear it. We just want a big honkin’ blob of kick energy to bombard the compressor’s sidechain…which this does.
Fig. 3 shows the settings used in the audio example, but these are quite critical. You’ll likely need to tweak them for your specific musical scenario.
Frankly, I never get tired of this effect. I hope you enjoy it!
For more tips on how to get the most out of Studio One, check out the series of Studio One eBooks that cover tips & tricks, creative mixing, recording/mixing vocals, dynamics processors, and recording/mixing guitar. Remember, eBook owners can download the latest “point” updates for free from their PreSonus account (or Sweetwater account, if purchased from there), just like software. Owners are also eligible for new editions at a reduced price.