Reverse/Invert/Ducking Gate

Short question: Is there a way to reverse the gate…?

Long description: Basically what I want is to activate an effect when a signal goes below a threshold instead of the other-way around. This is often called ducking. Default reactions you find on forums when googling this subject is to side-chain a compressor. But this will not give the desired effect. As far as I know side-chaining is an on/off switch, it has no threshold. When it receives data it’s on and otherwise off.

A good example of the effect I wish to make - and other effects like this - is from the song: the Silent Enigma - By Anathema. On this YouTube link the song starts and when the guitar stops playing then the distortion enters, which is pretty cool.

You can of course do this in other means - post editing, analog paddel/encoder, pre build automatons - but I think it would be cool if I can just use a ducking-gate to trigger the distortion when the volume of my guitar drops to a certain level… So, can this be done? Or perhaps someone knows a other great way of doing this?

Thanks in advanced for any replies!


This feels more like a production question then something that should be in a request section.

Anyway, what you’ve described here could indeed be achieved (easily) with a side-chain compressor.

Going by your example, you’d need to place the compressor on the distortion channel. This channel can be anything, including an FX channel fed by your guitar’s output but with a distortion on it. Place the compressor as the last insert on whatever chain you go for.

*It has to be a VST3 compressor with side-chain functionality for this to work, the bundled compressor (named compressor) would work just fine for this.

Once this is done, head to your guitar channel and make a send from there to this compressor, which should now be selectable as a destination on “Audio Sends”.

Now you just need to tweak the compressor’s settings: attack will determine how fast the compressor reacts to the incoming signal from the guitar, a short attack will make it duck quicker; while the release determines how fast the distortion’s signal will resolve to its normal volume.

Hi There yanantin,

thank you for your reply! And a short question would be: “Does side-chaining offer a threshold on the volume?”. As far as i Know the side-chain is a digital on/off switch. It has no threshold. But i want it in a way that it stops on a certain level, not necessary zero. So what I want is a checkbox on the gate with a label say: “invert”. And all it has to do in pseudo-code is this.

if (invert_checkbox==checked) {
    gate_state = !gate_state;

This will result in the gate being active when the signal is too loud and nonactive when the signal drops to the gates threshold. This way i can use the dynamics of my instrument to influence the gate - which in my mind seems very cool. As far as I know this functionality does not exist in Cubase, hence putting it in the feature request thread.