Please improve sidechain compressors

Hi Steinberg,

i have asked this before & I know other people would definitely want this, so can you please take notice.

Can you please please improve the vst3 compressors for sidechaining.

They do have the right controls on them to be good, but they just don’t seem to work as well as others I have tried.

To get them to pump in a really nice way is not impossible but it’s not easy & nowhere near as good as it should be if you want to compete with Logics sidechain compressor (which a lot of people/pro’s use & don’t have a problem with).
I love cubase & have been using it since the early nineties & I will never change to Logic (unless something crazy happens!) but it does NEED a top quality sidechain compressor especially in this day & age.

Come on Steiny, don’t let me/us down! :smiley:

If anyone else agrees please post.

Sorry if this has been mentioned before recently & thanks for your support.

Kind regards, Codsworth

I just looked for one minute & I found this. This is exactly what i’m talking about.

Come on steinberg you must be getting fed up with having a bad compressor reputation :smiley:

What specifically don’t you like about Cubase’s sidechain compressor? How specifically is Logic’s better?

What specifically don’t you like about Cubase’s sidechain compressor?


Yeah, it works perfectly for me too…

Here, have a look at this thread as well.


How about simply a better compressor? Sidechain, too.

Logic’s compressor is how a compressor should sound. The Platinum setting on the compressor is very nice.

Snappy attack (if that’s what you want), and a musical release.

I could try to describe the color blue, and I can try to describe Logic’s compressor. You just have to experience them to get it.

The only software compressors that have wow’d me are Timeworks (great for snare), Digilogue (another great snare compressor), and Sonitus (great on guitars). The Timeworks and Digilogue processors remind me of the Symetrix 501 in sound and response. The Sonitus was gentle and unobtrusive yet, did the job nicely.

I am on a Mac now so none of these compressors will work for me.

But, when I tried my friend’s Logic on a song he is working on, played with the compressor AND EQ - well sorry Steinberg, your built-in compressor and EQ are sadly lacking still. Seriously, those bread and butter processors make me want to jump ship alone…and there’s a lot NOT to like about Logic in comparison to Cubase.

Hello Egelmett,

This topic is not about how a compressor should sound. It is about “Can you please please improve the vst3 compressors for sidechaining”.



I follow you on this one. The stock Cubase compressor, while doing an OK job as a compressor, simply doesn’t release fast enough to pump properly.

Hi all & Steinberg,

Thanks for your responses.

To answer this:

As i said in the initial post I don’t like the way it responds & pumps to a rhythm. It’s hard to get it to groove nicely with a track compared to others I have & use.
For eg, get a single bass note & play it all the way through four bars. Get your really happening beat & then copy the kik & send it to the sidechain group with the bass on it & then try to get it to groove really nicely on the off beat like you hear in a lot of tracks. It will do it if your lucky with the sound (because it seems to be worse with some sounds) but after trying for a while you still seem to have problems getting it to sound really pulsing with the groove. You then try a third party vst3 side chain comp & it does it virtually straight away. It just grooves with the track & sounds RIGHT.(to my ears anyway).
If I didn’t have this problem I would just use the cubase compressor but it just can’t give me what I need & the sound I want unless i’m lucky with the sound etc After the third attempt I just bought third party one’s= no problem anymore.

I don’t own Logic but I know from watching many Videos by pro’s that the Logic compressor just does this correct & they are happy with it. For eg I remember the FREEMASONS talking about it in a vid, watch it if you can find it.

I had a quick look on the net & came up with these posts in a few minutes.
Please take time to read them if you’re interested:

nternal Side-Chaining In Cubase Not Good Enough
by FShkreli » 26 Apr 2011 05:32

I’ve been slapping Cubase’ Compressor at the end of the Insert Effects chain of some of my Audio

and MIDI tracks, but unfortunately I really think that Cubase’ Compressor 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?

  • F
    New Member

Posts: 29
Joined: 05 Jan 2011 21:25

Re: Internal Side-Chaining In Cubase Not Good Enough
by fgimian » 27 Apr 2011 13:11

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:…

VST 3 Sidechain Compressor
by LeVzi » 07 Jan 2012 01:23

I am looking for a VST3 compressor that offers a bit more than the stock Cubase one for the

pumping effect, not sure why but the Cbase one just doesn’t seem snappy enough for my liking.

Has to be VST3 as I cannot be arsed setting up quadro channels anymore.


Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:38 PM
Does anyone know how to stop this, I’m using cubase, I’ve tried cubase’s inbuilt compressor as

its VST3 and dosent need routing, I know its not the best for sidechain but will do for what I’m

doing (if it stops clicking!) I also had the same issue with FabFilter PRO C (which I love btw)

so can anyone help?

There’s no FFB1 or FFB2 on these compressors and using the release and attack to try and get rid

of it is a waste of time cause mucks up my sidechain
#2 tehlord

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:55 PM
What makes you say the Cubase compressor isn’t the best for sidechaining?

Does your trigger sound have a sharp cutoff?
#3 WayneFontaine

Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:06 PM
tehlord, on 05 May 2011 - 08:55 PM, said:
What makes you say the Cubase compressor isn’t the best for sidechaining?

Does your trigger sound have a sharp cutoff?

I have got better sounding results from abelton’s compressor and pro c. Prob just a personal

thing or the fact I’m new to cubase.

Trigger is a kick with a shorter decay, but not so short that its sharp.
#4 innerlyte

Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:50 PM
No, I agree. Cubase’s native compressor isn’t good for side-chaining. It doesn’t pump as

dramatically as other compressor units I’ve tried. If you’re going to use it though, pull the

detection over to 100% peak mode.
#5 varroae

Gear nut

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 119

Thread Starter
Fabfilter Pro C VST3 for Cubase 5 - great sidechain
A few weeks ago I upgraded from Cubase SX3 to Cubase 5. I was looking forward to the new

integrated sidechain and not having to set up quad busses etc… A found very quickly that I do

not like the built in compressor for stereo sidechain, I just can’t get it work musicaly with

what I’m trying to do, regardless of the settings. It just doesn’t groove for me - defintely not

as good as the built in compressor in Logic. Anyway I starting looking around and found there

really aren’t many VST3 compressors out there with sidechain. I decided to try the Fabfilter Pro

C and it works great. Right away I noticed the difference, big difference in the variety of

adjustment and the feel I can get out of it. Adjusting the parameters in the Cubase compressor is

just flat, I couldn’t quite get where I wanted.

One thing to mention, when you open the Pro C you want the one in the Dynamics folder of the

plugins list. This is the VST3 version. If you just open the one listed under Fabfilter (not in

the dynamics folder) it won’t work.

25th July 2010 #2
Gear Head

Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 53

waves plugins are vst3 complatible and work great as well!!! I have always wanted to get pro-c, i

have all of their other plugins and all are great. welcome to the dark side of true side chain in


I hope this explains what I mean about the cubase sidechain compressors & I hope they will look at this and take note.
It really would be great if they could upgrade them. It’s a fantastic program but in this day & age with the styles of music using so much side chaining & other creative effects, Cubase needs a top quality sidechain compressor!

I look forward to any feedback.

Kind regards, Codsworth :smiley:

Thanks Lasso :smiley:

I think the Freemasons talk about the logic compressor pumping in one of these “In the studio vids” But i haven’t got the time to find it right now, sorry.

Good luck :slight_smile:

Hi Lasso,

I don’t know if it’s definitely the release, I don’t know if it’s the attack or the hold but it’s just not quite right is it?! You just have problems getting the breathing to sound as good as you know it can & should. I know what you mean :smiley:

Hey Codsworth,

The sidechain compressor works really well for me. I’ve included 3 presets for you to try out.
Like you’ve said the release is very important, but so is the threshold and all the other controls
too, relative to each other.

Try these presets, but just vary the release between 100 - 350 ms.
These presets are for a house track at 125 bpm. Of course more advanced compressors with extra
‘character’ algorithms in them are going to sound different and I know logic for example has a few
different ones.

Anyhows let me know how you get on.


It looks like the presets aren’t shown, even though I uploaded them.

Anyhows the settings to try are :
Threshold -60,
Ratio- 8,
Attack - 0.1,
Hold - 0,
Release 100 - 350 ( or whatever works)
Analysis - 50,

and adjust makeup gain to suit. This is for a serious pumping effect, try increasing the threshold and lowering the ratio and shortening the release for a more subtle effect.



Thanks Hazy, i’ll try it out.

Kind regards, Cods :smiley:

Here’s my ‘Bah, Humbug!’

VST3 ‘side chaining’ is just a sorry excuse for Cubendo being unable to easily route audio to audio.

I just keep using the ol’ quadro group track routine and then I can use any VST2.4 SC compatible gate, compressor, etc. Once you get your head around it, it’s pretty easy.

I love it when they pour that brewski!


Really? That seems pretty subjective to me…

What is so nice about it compared to Cubase’s compressor?

So you’re saying Logic’s compressor has a faster attack? Have you tested this? And what is “musical release”?

So you have the release on the Cubase compressor set to 0 and thats still not fast enough? :open_mouth:
I usually set my release around 300-500 when doing pumping sidechain which is plenty fast enough for me…

Nothing you or any of the comments from other threads you posted gave any specific reasons as to why Cubase’s compressor allegedly isn’t very good for side-chaining… everything is very vague. This tells me that you and the others probably don’t know how to use Cubase’s sidechain compressor properly which is the reason why “it just doesn’t sound right”.

That looks pretty similar to my sidechain setting (except I usually prefer a little longer release). Also, I find I get better results if I set the ‘Analysis’ all the way to ‘Peak’ for side-chaining…

Terms like “snappy” attack mean nothing, for example I read snappy as a slow attack thus making the sound have more snap!!!

Fast release for pumping effect??? isn’t the release time the most critical setting for this type of effect? and is set to time in with the track, thus will be set in the 100s of millisecond region???

Anyway not all of us use the sidechain for just that “pumping effect” I use it a lot for auto ducking of guitar tracks to let various other sounds pop out a mix without having to affect the overall level, It’s very good for that.

To the OP: