Logic X – How to create a pulse side chain

Hello dear followers. This will be the first of a series of posts in which I will try to explain some functions of the programs that I use.Today I’m going to write about the DAW that I’m using during this project and one of its functions. More specifically Logic X and a method to create a pulse side chain in it.

First of all I should clarify why you should use this method and when. At the moment I am composing some sketches of musical themes that could suit our Battle Fur Bamboo gameplay. I found myself experimenting with different styles and instruments.
During one of these tests I was using a synth to arrange the melody. I liked the sound of the synth itself but its lack of attack and dynamics were making the song flat and boring.
To overcome this situation I tried the good old side chain compression to achieve a more interesting dynamic response on the track. It worked pretty well, so let me explain the process step by step.

The first step is  to create one track with an Ultrabeat instance on it.
You can then pick one of the drum kits in the preset library, it doesn’t matter if it sounds good because we won’t hear the Ultrabeat sound, we will just use it to duck our synth track.
Select a new unused sequence in Ultrabeat, toggle the Full view button, find your kick sound and Ctrl + click on its first empty note and choose to add a note every downbeat. In this way you will have a kick sound playing along every downbeat of your song.

Now we should make this kick feed the so called side chain. To do so change the output of the Ultrabeat track into a free Bus. You can then rename the Bus track as Side Chain to avoid any confusion later.
Then we should Ctrl + click on the solo button of the bus in order to prevent the muting of the Bus track if another track is soloed.
The output of the Bus Should also changed into “no output” since we don’t want to hear the kick itself.

Side chain

Side chaining Ultrabeat

Next step is to create the track that you want to duck. In my case it has been a synth track, more precisely a synth track stack.
If you also are using a track stack, the first step to do is to drag the Ultrabeat track into the stack itself, when you do so pay attention if the Bus on your Ultrabeat track gets reassigned to another Bus and, in case, set it back to the Side Chain one.

We should then create a track from the Side Chain bus that we have. To do so open the mixer window, select the Side Chain bus and hit Ctrl + T , that adds it into the tracks area.
The next step will be to put a compressor on the instrument or track that we want to duck, in my case the synth one.
The compressor must then listen to the Side Chain Bus in order to work properly.

Make sure that the Ultrabeat track is on, create a reasonable long loop region, press play and start to play your instrument that should be ducked. If it is pulsing then the signal path should be good.
Adjust then the parameters of the compressor to gain the wanted shape of your pulsing instrument.
Remember that if you are using a stack track you should not select the whole track when playing MIDI notes because this would trigger the Ultrabeat sounds as well. You’ll rather have to select the specific instrument inside the stack track to make it work properly.

We are done. I hope that this little trick will help you during your productions. Let me know if this has made your track more interesting or if your fan’s crowd is now jumping higher.

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