Internal Side-Chaining In Cubase Not Good Enough

I’ve been slapping CubaseCompressor at the end of the Insert Effects chain of some of my Audio and MIDI tracks, but unfortunately I really think that CubaseCompressor handles side-chain compression pretty poorly. I was introduced to a tool called FilterShaper and VolumeShaper from CableGuys, Inc. However, if I want the side-chaining to activate only when the kick-drum slams down – I need third-party side-chaining to be possible. Since Cubase 6 [still] doesn’t support third-party side-chaining, does anybody have a work around?

No, not with software. But you can do it with hardware and the right interface. My Mackie 1640i will do this with my dbx160xt comp, for example.

I have read that there are some Wave comps that can be run this way, in side chain, but I do not know the actual connection routing here. Doing it my way is analog, send the recorded kick back out of the board to an Aux out, plug into the comp via the side chain connection, plug the comp into the insert of another channel and then take the track you want effected out a different Aux out and into the channel that has the comp inserted into it.

To run it ala software, and have it perform as a sidechain effect, the sidechain input would have to be a separate input, and the compressor would have to have a separate input, too. ?? Is Cubase up to this internally? I have no idea, sorry.

This might be of use to you regarding side-chaining. He demonstrates 3 techniques inside Cubase.

Very cool, ilmolto, thanks for posting!

I couldn’t catch the name of the insert that he used in the third example, or read it on my screen - can anyone tell what he is using?

Thanks -


Thanks ilmolto, i’ll be checking it out as well :slight_smile:

Wow, that was an impressive demo. So, this is to say that Cubase 6 is available to sidechaining while Cubase 5 is/was not? And that the Compressor in Cubase 6 has the upgraded feature of a sidechain button?

Please clear this up for me because I am running C5 and do not find these features. Do I? :confused:

If you don´t find the feature, you´re either not running Cubase 5, or you need to look harder. VST3 Sidechaining is available since Cubase Version 4.1, The quadro bus version even longer…

Woah. I run C5. My compressor - looks like the one in the video example - except - the video example seemed to have an extra button on the top panel that was pressed? Which I took to be a sidechain button? This isn’t on my compressor.

Is there some global ‘thing’ I need to engage before this button appears? But I will look even harder. …Er, that video was using C6, right? My inserts aren’t on top of the channel, for example.

thinkingcap? Are you serious here? I cannot find any C5 sidechain avsailable compressor - not equipped with a sidechain button and as easily engaged as the one used in the video - available on my C5. Nor do I see the option come up in my insert bay that offers a ‘sidechain’ bus. :confused: :confused: :confused:

thinkingcap is serious, Cubase 5 has the sidechain option in almost all the VST3 plugs, like the standard and vintage compressor, expander, gate and many more.
So it mus be there!

You wouldn´t be the first one to tell us he´s running Cubase 5, but in fact is running Cubase Essential 5 (which doesn´t have sidechain) So, if you don´t have the sidechain button on your compressor, look on the package, and read what it says exactly about the version…
And the sidechain bus doesn´t come up in the insert slots, but in the send slots.

Alright, idiot here, sorry! I did find this in C5. This is really cool, and no, I had no idea this was an option. I will still use my outboard gear but this is pretty quick and seems to perform OK. Thanks to all for putting up with my ignorance!!! :blush:

Forgotten in all this … FShkreli - what is it about Cubase “Compressor” that you feel handles side-chain compression poorly?


rather off-topic: does Artist 6 have sidechaining? -> Cubase feature comparison…?

Hey guys, I completely agree with your observation on the internal compressor, it sounds terrible for sidechaining.

I have a few additional suggestions for you:

As well as Araldfx Stormgate, you can also check out LFO Tool by xfer Records If you are using the effect for dance music where you want a simple sidechain pattern, will also do the trick :slight_smile:


Hold out for the DMG Audio Compassion plugin that’s coming out soon. It is VST3 compatible and sounds GREAT for sidechaining. The site to watch is Fabfilter also has a VST3 compatible compressor but it doesn’t sound nearly as good as Compassion for that purpose.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

P.S.: I’ve found a critical bug with the way Cubase does sidechaining, I’ll try to get some steps together for repro, but be on the lookout for a situation where you see destinations not showing up correctly in the sends, rather than getting individual destinations, you get duplicates of others and you are unable to send the signal to certain channels. I’ve been waiting for so long to get forum post access so I can finally start to post my bug reports.

It does apparently, sorry for being lazy :wink:

Hey guys, DMG Audio Compassion including VST3 support is out!! :slight_smile:

Check it out, I think it is the most flexible compressor on the market and sounds fantastic for sidechaining purposes.