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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Sep 2019 > SIDECHAINING IN LOGIC PRO X


The sidechaining process has become a popular and essential tool for many professional mix engineers and producers, but how can we apply the technique in Logic Pro X? Here’s a sideways look…

From French-style EDM compression, through to de-essing and chopped-up synth pads, there’s a range of creative signal-processing techniques powered by sidechaining. However, while most of us have heard about the concept, things can get confused when it comes to implementing it in your DAW. In the case of Logic Pro X, you’ll find a large number of plug-ins that support sidechaining, but what can you expect to achieve and how do you configure and route signals in your mix to make best use of sidechaining?

In this workshop, we take a look at both the practicalities of setting up a sidechain in Logic Pro X, as well as exploring some of the key techniques and approaches used in music production.

The key benefits of sidechaining are its ability to make a mix more dynamic and to create space

Sidechaining is a technique that originates from the days of dedicated studio hardware, where a device would have multiple inputs and engineers had complete flexibility in respect to how they routed a signal around the studio.

The key point to note is that signal processors such as compressors and gates have both an audio input – which is used as the input for the signal need to be processed – and a so-called Sidechain or External Key input that allows the engineer direct access to the ‘listening’ circuitry.

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About MusicTech

It’s probably not all that contentious to say that everybody, at some stage in their music-making journey, needs a synth. Whether you’re working on deep, intricate soundscapes, creating pounding dance music or concocting chart-climbing pop hits, taking advantage of the myriad textures, pads and leads that the synthesiser provides is a no-brainer. This month, we celebrate this beloved instrument with a series of linked features, highlighting the history, science and ongoing development of the synth. We speak to Georgia, an artist who wowed Glastonbury with her retro synth-pop stylings; take a trip to Bristol to visit UDO and look at the making of the Super 6, a synthesiser that merges the very best of old and new technology; while Andy Jones delves into the synth’s pivotal role in shaping dance music. We also continue Adam Crute’s Sound Synthesis Masterclass series, this time exploring the science and mechanics of sampling and synthesis. Aside from our synth focus, we also have a fantastic interview with The Prodigy engineer and co-producer Neil Mclellan, who tells the inside story of the making of their classic record Music For The Jilted Generation. We also speak to MPG Breakthrough Engineer Of The Year 2019 Dani Bennett Spragg about her incredible career to date and her best-practice advice. Later, we experience the mind- (and ear-) blowing wall of sound that is James Murphy and Soulwax’s Despacio sound system. Our review section this month continues the synthy vibe that runs through this issue, as we get hands-on with Native’s latest iteration of Massive X, have some fun with Modal’s CRAFTsynth 2 and explore the scope of Softube’s Volume 3. I hope you enjoy the issue.