Friday, September 14, 2012

Aphex 651 Sidechain Compressor Demo


This is a quick demo of the Aphex 651 Expressor.  The Expressor has a bit of a reputation for being one of the most transparent compressors around.  It's a sidechain compressor with a lo-shelf and a high frequency restoration processor called HFX.  HFX is basically an EQ boost only on the gain-reduced part of the signal.  Despite this, the signal can still be crushed to bits if that is your sort of thing.

Common uses for the sidechain are ducking a background music signal with a voice over.  You've heard this in commercials and annoying radio announcements that interrupt your favorite songs beginning and ending.

Part 1 shows some compression settings on a drumloop provided by BFD acoustic drum plugin.  I'll crush the loop to bits, extend release time, add more transient pop by increasing attack time, and demonstrate the HFX processor.

Part 2 demonstrates the use of sidechaining a mic voice input to duck the background drum loop.

Part 3 demonstrates how a bass synth can duck the drum loop to provide a punchy groove.  Sidechain is a very common solution to the age old problem of keeping the bass and kick drums from fighting each other in the lower frequency spectrum.  Plus it just sounds great in electronic and pop music.  Please excuse my horrible synth playing, I'm juggling the compressor settings at the same time.

CONTENTS
0:05 PART 1: DRUMLOOP COMPRESSION
2:19 PART 2: SIDECHAIN DUCKING W/ MIC
3:25 PART 3: SIDECHAIN BASS

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