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Viewing topic "Ducking"

Posted on: April 06, 2009 @ 03:11 PM
Total Posts:  38
Joined  06-16-2008
status: Regular

Im not really too familiar with sidechaining but I understand you can make one sound “duck” by playing another. This can be really useful for my bass and kicks, they get cluttered and the bass sometimes drowns out the kick drum. If I can have the bass duck when I play a kick this would save me alot of time and create some really cool sounds. Is this possible from the motif es?

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: April 07, 2009 @ 03:24 PM
Total Posts:  36620
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

No. And that would not be a good use for a “ducker”. Typically it is used to lower the output of an entire signal when another is present (true) but this is usually in a situation where you want to hear a person speaking over a soundtrack. For example, the traditional use of a ducker would be the radio DJ who has to talk over the music program. Rather than having a manual knob or fader to do the job, they link the DJ’s microphone and the stereo music output… when the DJ talks it automatically will lower the music and when the DJ finishes speaking the level is will return.

While what you suggest is possible (although not with just a Motif ES) it would not be a pleasant thing to listen to - automatic level reduction within the music program (of the type done by a ‘ducker’) will cause a major distraction to the listener.

There is no sidechain ducking in the Motif ES - and for very good reason (as I outline above). A better solution for kick drum and bass is to work your EQ. Equalizer is the better method to do what you seek.

Typically (and of course the mileage will vary depending on the particular sounds you have selected)… the kick drum has two frequency ranges that are critical: 1) the snap of the attack… usually around 1.2kHz and 2) the response of the body of the drum somewhere below 250Hz… in the middle centered around 800Hz is the dreaded “cardboard” frequency. By eliminating (reducing) frequencies in your KICK drum centered around 800Hz you will open up space for your bass to be heard.

The lowest possible note on a bass (be it acoustic or electric) is 41Hz - of course, the bass is rich in harmonics that extend well above that frequency - so you want to make sure your bass is represented throughout…

but by creating a frequency dip in the KICK drum in the mid-range you will free up room for it to be heard without hiding some other instruments.

Of course, balancing the volume is critical as well… trying to get drums “in-your-face” is best handled with a compressor and not the fader.

  [ Ignore ]