Yes initially there is more to click but as usual with Cubase, because of this you get to do more with it once it is set up. Like adjusting how much of each track you wish to send to your SideChain.

They have reduced the clicks from previous versions due to how when turning on sends they are already turned up. They also have ‘Connect sends automatically for each new channel created’ in preferences. Now when you create a new track, that send channel will be routed (but turned off) how you set it up previously. I have this turned off in preferences as i prefer it the other way. Combine both these changes and you now have a 1 click to turn on routing to a sidechain.

If using 2 screens so you have your mixer on the second that is… Sends etc always visible.


If you’re doing ducking for a 4/4 kick i suggest moving to volume shapers. It’s much easier to dial in the release time for the desired pump. On a compressor you have no control over the actual release slope. With a volume shaper you simply draw it in. Another bonus is to easily separate up the frequencies, for example, complete ducking on the lows, 40% on the mid and 20% on the highs. You also get the icing on the cake, the ultimate ducking spice… Adding rhythm to it. You want the first duk of the bar to really slam closed with each following duck to be slightly less. Now you get that head nod to have emphasis on the down beat. This is especially great when creating the invisible kick effect. With a volume shaper you can draw the duked curve in at varying amounts over a phrase of your music. Check out CABLEGUYS!

A Volume Shaper works by simply modulating the volume, which is always better than what a compressor is actually doing to your sound, much easier to avoid unwanted clicks and the distortion due to compression.

I’d like to direct you to this article… http://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/ducking-mixdown, especially the last part of it. It’s an old one but highlights why sidechain, especially ducking kind of achieves the opposite of what we truly desire.

When ducking to create room for vocals, using the standard method that mid level producers would attempt, all they are doing is reducing the volume in the music for the loudest part of the vocals, when in actuality its the quietest parts you want the compression to be most active. You need the compressor to work inverted, to compress the music at the quietest parts of the vocal more than the loudest parts.

This is an advanced level trick (not that i’m advanced), at first it’s a little confusing but once the idea ‘snaps’ into understanding BOOM!

Cubases more complex way of doing things makes these advanced level tricks possible and gives you more control over achieving them exactly as you desire.

Wonderful, wonderful read about the reverse phase gating technique for ducking, thank you, mitchiemasha!

Sounds like you are a real fan. I’m looking right now at a section where’s there’s only a piano and solo vocal. It sounds like this could be a cool way to do this … would you know if that has been done on any commercial tracks? Or maybe you’ve done that yourself?

Thanks again for posting!

I couldn’t say for sure if the reverse phase thing is done in any commercial tracks. I’ve not seen it mentioned in any of the hundreds of videos I’ve watched. Usually the compressor set at -50-60 threshold, tiny ratio is enough. Until i read the article I had been doing it wrong, using higher ratios and thresholds. I was already aware of the problem of how the loudest parts of the vocal duk the synths more, enabling us to took the vocal into the track better but losing the quieter parts, i’d experimented with expanders and all sorts.

I make a lot of reedits, mash ups for my Dj sets and sometimes we only have the full track to smash the vocal into. Another limitation of simply using the compressor method is it ducks the full frequency range. Using the reverse phase method we can isolate what ducks. Not that it’s needed anymore… we have dynamic EQ’s or sidechain functionality on multiband compressors.

In Ozone 7 or Neutron we can set a really low threshold, to a sidechain, at the desired frequency range, use the bell curve. We can set the max amount of Db required 1-3db regardless to threshold, unlike a compressor. Now this will start to reduce the synths at a really low level of the vocal, but not keep on reducing (like a compressor would) the louder the vocal gets.

I’d use the sidechained Dynamic Eq method and the sidechained Compressor (Lowest possible ratio, threshold just above noisefloor) method. A few db max on each.