Sidechain in Cubase 5

This tutoral explains how to setup sidechain compression in Cubase 5 in 5 simple steps.

It is pretty simple if you understand what you are doing. You need:

  1. one control signal channel that will drive compression. Kick drum is very often used for "ducking" effect.
  2. the actual signal the you want to apply effect to ("duck" / compress / gate,etc). for example strings or bass
  3. Output channal that wil give you the desired effect on exit. This is a Group channel that you need to create

Putting these 3 together correctly will give what you want!

So, let's do it:

  1. create new GROUP track
  2. add/insert standard Cubase 5 compressor or any other desired plug-in that support sidechaining to Insert of this Group track. We also suggest you to set compressor release to minimum and ratio to any significant amount like 4 or more to hear effect straight away
  3. open compress (or whatever you inserted) and click "Activate sidechain" button at the top of it between "W" (write automation) button and preset selection drop down. this will make you out put channel ready for sidechain compression.
  4. now we need to set actual signal track such that you to hear ONLY sound with applied effect and you don't hear unprocessed sound once everything is set up. So, divert the destination of your actual signal channel to this Group track.
  5. The last but not the least, open the control signal channel (for example kick drum) and add to send effect section the Side-Chains Group 1: Instrument Compressor (or whatever effect you use for sidechaining) and set send volume to zero or more

That is it! Now your Control signal track will SEND signal to Compressor / effect on the Cubase Group track to control actual sound that is coming from your actual signal track diverted to Group Track with Compressor / effect. You actual instrument signal (strings or bass) is getting compressed depending on the volume of control (kick drum) signal.