Side chain groove techniques

Author: sleepfreaks

Using side chain to add some spice to your groove


Side chaining is the technique of adding a pumping feel to instruments via the kick sound.

By changing the compression to side chain mode, you can create these kind of sounds.

  • The famous side chain sound

We’re certain you’ve heard this sound once before.
It’s especially prevalent in EDM.

In order to set it up, we added articles look at this technique via DAW.

Side chain settings by DAW

Lets take a look at the main settings.

Because sidechain is a very distinct sound, you can create a very specific nuance.
Use it as a way of adding a bit of character to the sound, and add a natural groove to the song.

Tutorial video

Video key point

Send the kick to the bass track, and use it as a side chain.
The key point here is keeping the sound natural.


Set the gain reduction to around「-2db〜-3db」, and keep the release fast.
When the kick hits, the bass sound will duck, and quickly return to its regular volume.

Because of this, a natural compression like heard at a live performance will be created.
This helps prevent the kick from being buried in the mix as well.

The amount of duck can be controlled with the「threshold」,
so adjust according to your song to find the right sound!