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Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

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Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Airlane » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:30 pm

I'd like to experiment with the kind of rhythmic control over signal level synced to a track as Johnny Marr did with his guitar on 'How Soon Is Now' in which a drum machine is inserted into a compressor's sidechain (see this YouTube demo).

I use Cubase AI which has a VSTDynamics processor with a sidechain function, though I don't think it can be used this way. Is there a free VST compressor/gate that enables its sidechain to be controlled by a rhythmic input? Perhaps someone will educate me on how to achieve what I want.
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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Mixedup » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:29 pm

I'm not familiar with Cubase AI, so I don't know what support for side-chaining is like... but if it's the same as in Cubase Pro, you can do what you want with any VST3 gate. This recent SOS article describes a number of such techniques...

If AI doesn't support sidechaining in that way, then there are a few alternative approaches:

• a tempo-synced tremolo/gate such as Xfer Records LFO Tool (no actual sidechaining required, but a similar effect).
• Draw in level automation — again, not sure if AI supports this, but in Pro you can draw different 'waveshapes' for automation (square wave, sine wave etc). If you do that on a parallel track, you get a tremolo effect.
• Use the Cubase MIDI Gate — send the MIDI that plays your drum machine to the MIDI Gate on the track you want the effect on (I can't recall if you can do a wet/dry blend with that, but if not you could again use it on a parallel/du-plicate of the original).
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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Airlane » Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:35 pm

Some interesting suggestions for me to try there. Thanks. This is the VSTDynamics processor that comes with Cubase AI. The gate has a sidechain which I suspect is only for a filtered part of the main input signal, for de-essing and so on - I don't think there's a way to get another signal into it. I'm not wanting just a steady pulse as from an LFO, I'd like to try various rhythms.
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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Mixedup » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:07 pm

Yeah, that's just a sidechain EQ to tailor the response. It's not an extetnal sidechain input. To do hhat in Cubase you need to use VST3 plugins in, I think, Artist or Pro. Though there are some lengthy workarounds with VST2.4 in versions that support Quad or Surround group busses.
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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby The Elf » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:09 pm

Cubase AI is entry level, so I doubt you're going to be able to do it with that. You could try Reaper?
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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Urthlupe » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:40 am

Yup, although I couldn’t find specific reference to Cubase AI, the comparison chart here...

https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/compare-editions/

...shows sidechaining is not available in Cubase Elements - so I’d assume the same of Cubase AI (midigate also not included).

Upgrade or new DAW..... Elf’s suggestion is a good one.

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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Airlane » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:02 am

Urthlupe wrote:Upgrade or new DAW..... Elf’s suggestion is a good one.

Loopy
Yes, I might have to spend more money. But I'm thinking of the suggestion of a MIDI Gate such as the free A1TriggerGate which I presume would allow me to create a repeating sequence onto my audio signal, such as my guitar. I've never used anything like this. Would it work?
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Re: Using sidechain to get a rhythmic effect in VST plugins

Postby Mixedup » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:54 pm

Try it!

I also noticed a Hornet plug-in that looks similar to LFOTool on sale at €2.70 for Black Friday... here
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