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Sidechain compression *within* Qtractor


I'd like to know if there is a way to trigger a sidechain compressor to "duck" a synth with a kick, when said synth and kick are actually plugins, specifically ZADSFX for the kick, Calf Monosynth for the synth. And (preferably) Calf Sidechain compressor for the compressor.

I'm looking for a way to send my kick to the compressor on the synth track.



rncbc's picture

hi Phil,

there used to be a video tutorial for just that on yt, all credits and thanks to AutoStatic (Jeremy):
Tiny Tutorial: Sidechain Compression in Qtractor

tbh. personally, i'm no fan of this technique, if i ever tried it once at all. so you may find that the internal qtractor routing design is not that (well) suited for it. however, Jeremy is one big qtractor power-user, no doubt. he even knows (and uses ways of doing) things that i wouldn't dimmed possible if i were to think about it:)


AutoStatic's picture

Hello Phil,

I've played around with the Calf Sidechain Compressor plugin but I fear I don't understand how it works, I keep hearing the sound I want to duck with (so the kick) while I only want that to be the signal on which the compressor reacts. I also get a lot of distortion. Maybe you have a better understanding of it but personally I think the LADSPA SC3 (from the swh package) is a better option.

For what it's worth, I've uploaded a qtz file here:

The Calf Sidechain Compressor doesn't work like you would think. It has filters that allows you to use a subset of the frequencies of the full stereo input as the compression signal. It works best if put on the master bus. In this case the full (filtered) mix is used for the sidechain input.

From the Calf manual: If you cut all lower frequencies from your detection signal the compressor will decrease the volume of your track only if some loud highs appear.

rncbc's picture

also look at the this demo

... these new (qtractor) supa-dope-power-users are surely getting up a few karma notches on it ;) (*)(**)


(*) yep. i know who he is, just waiting for his credits acknowledge here.
(**) no worries there Jeremy, you're still the guy who hold high in the senate ;)

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