Experiments in Sidechaining

Sidechaining is a production technique used extensively in the electronic/dance genres to control the amplitude of one sound(s) based on the amplitude of another at a given moment. It is commonly used to lower the level of the bass the instant the kick drum plays so that both sounds can be optimally blended and balanced in the mix. Often it is also applied to the entire mix to give the music a “pumping” feel. Beyond this the creative possibilities of sidechaining are endless.

In “Utter Code” sidechaining is used to “turn on” a vocal loop using a noise gate that is “listening” to the synth part. The moment the synth plays a note the vocal can be heard. In this way the synth and the vocal are dynamically connected in rhythm. Later on in the piece (1:13) a second vocal loop is introduced that is controlled in the same manner by a second synth line. The synth parts themselves where created using an algorithmic MIDI generation program called M by Cycling 74. The software dynamically creates a synth part by selecting from a pool of specified notes and rhythmic values. The vocal samples for on this track are recording outtakes of Eddie Tadross for another song we were working on.



In “Ad-lib Algorithm” (most clearly from 3:00 – 4:20) there are two pairings of instruments: synth A controls guitar A and synth B controls guitar B. The synth parts were created with M as mentioned above. The guitar parts were improvised separately without playing along to each other or to any synth part.



More tracks using there ideas to come….

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