Any tutorials on non-rhythmic ducking?

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Thousand Ways
Posts: 138
Joined: 18 Jun 2015

Post 18 Jul 2020

Are there? All I can find on YouTube are tutorial videos about sidechaining in order to create rhythmic, trance-style ducking effects. What I'm looking for is something that shows a simple way of ducking one instrument or audio track around another, eg.: audio track containing voice sample says a phrase, and all or some other tracks momentarily drop in level each time this is said.

I'm looking for the kind of ducking that responds to all audio on a single track, and not the kind that, say, ducks every time the drum machine hits the bass drum.

If anyone has a link to such a tutorial I'd be very grateful.

I've noticed that on YouTube there are dozens of videos that mention "sidechaining" but very few that use the term "ducking". I don't know why this is.

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Electric-Metal
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Location: Landstuhl, Germany

Post 18 Jul 2020

Wether you're sidechaining to a kick or any other signal, the priciple remains the same. So take any of these videos you`ve mentioned, and apply this technique to any channel you want to duck by the vocals.
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Thousand Ways
Posts: 138
Joined: 18 Jun 2015

Post 18 Jul 2020

Thanks. I'm using an MClass Compressor to do the ducking. But is there a way to make one track make several others duck? As far as I know, the MClass Compressor can only be attached to one instrument at a time.

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Electric-Metal
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Post 19 Jul 2020

Thousand Ways wrote:
18 Jul 2020
Thanks. I'm using an MClass Compressor to do the ducking. But is there a way to make one track make several others duck? As far as I know, the MClass Compressor can only be attached to one instrument at a time.
Every element you want to duck needs its own instance of the MClass (or any compressor as long as it has a sidechain inputs).

Here's a very basic routing example
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Thousand Ways
Posts: 138
Joined: 18 Jun 2015

Post 19 Jul 2020

Electric-Metal wrote:
19 Jul 2020
Every element you want to duck needs its own instance of the MClass (or any compressor as long as it has a sidechain inputs).
Thanks a lot – very helpful. I also found this video, which just uses Spider Audio Splitters instead of MClass Compressors. But this method seems a bit more limited, since the Spider device will need to use up the "Key" part of the Dynamics section on each affected channel strip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIyOuHsMJwI

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selig
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Post 19 Jul 2020

The main differences are going to be subtle, but basically you need settings for attack/release that follow the voice rather than follow the beat, and ratio/depth amounts that just push things down a little rather than all the way off. I used ducking for stuff like this for many years before ever using it in a more "obvious" creative way - it's different, but not THAT different.
Obvious examples are all over broadcast, most often on a commercial when the VO comes in over the music bed. But you can use this for ducking the track when a lead vocal comes in, or bus ducking (ducking BGVs when lead vocal comes in, ducking rhythm guitars when lead guitar comes in, etc.).

Interestingly enough I actually prefer to do the more transparent ducking with compressors (no side-chain), which is more old school. The technique is simple - set the threshold so the background audio does not cross it but the lead DOES. For example, on a vocal bus with lead and background vocals, set the bus compressor so it only compresses when the lead comes in (you may have to turn up the lead or turn down the BGVs slightly to fine tune the effect). Then set the ratio for the desired amount of "ducking" of the BGV vocals. It's a "two for one" effect: you get compression on the vocals, AND you get the BGVs gently pushed back when the lead comes in, all with only one compressor and no extra cabling! :)
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WarStar
Posts: 130
Joined: 17 Oct 2018

Post 19 Jul 2020

selig wrote:
19 Jul 2020
Interestingly enough I actually prefer to do the more transparent ducking with compressors (no side-chain), which is more old school. The technique is simple - set the threshold so the background audio does not cross it but the lead DOES. For example, on a vocal bus with lead and background vocals, set the bus compressor so it only compresses when the lead comes in (you may have to turn up the lead or turn down the BGVs slightly to fine tune the effect). Then set the ratio for the desired amount of "ducking" of the BGV vocals. It's a "two for one" effect: you get compression on the vocals, AND you get the BGVs gently pushed back when the lead comes in, all with only one compressor and no extra cabling! :)
Love your input Giles.. I'll definitely give this one a try.. very practical !

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