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Best approach to sidechain external drum/synth to achieve pumping kick and bass

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  • Best approach to sidechain external drum/synth to achieve pumping kick and bass

    I have just started with the Blackbox, sampling from external drum machine (UNO Drum) and external synth (UNO Synth).

    Let's say I would like to achieve pumping EDM kick and bass, I wonder what the best approach would be. Whilst I can achieve this mixing it all into a DAW, I wonder if it would be possible to achieve DAW-less.

    I realize that the Blackbox might not be enough, even though we can play around with sending the kick and bass on a separate outs, and thus feed it into either a hardware or software based compressor, and receive the ducked audio in return.

    My hope is that someone with longer experience with DAW-less setups can enlighten me and how they would go about to achieve ducking bass controlled by kick from external machines.

    I also realize that I might need more equipment (haha, been there before!) an external compressor like RNC 1773 and possible a mixer like BlueBox

  • #2
    The only way I can think of doing it in the BB itself is to use the new LFO from firmware 1.9 to modulate the volume of the bass. Pick a sine LFO, set it to a rate of 1/4 bar, choose it as a mod source for volume. The % amount should control the intensity of the ducking. It will only work for 4 to the floor style kick patterns though and you won't have any control over the attack or decay, etc, as you would with a compressor.

    Outside the BB you'd need a dedicated compressor or a mixer with inbuilt sidechain (eg Behringer XR18). MPCs also have this feature. If you wanted to add a tablet to the setup, given that your synths are controllable via USB midi you could achieve it with an ipad, too, using a similar method to above but with more control and more pattern flexibility.


    • #3
      Not using a DAW and wanting to do it only in the BlackBox, I would multismaple the bass sound, and play the bass line using the BB sequencer.

      Then manually ‘duck’ the individual bass notes using the velocity ‘Events’ coinciding with the kicks. Assuming your bass line isn’t overly long, say in the 8-32 step range, it wouldn’t take much time or be too much of an effort. Depending on the bass line, and how long and frequent the individual notes are etc, you could approximate a decent effect - or not. YMMV. Let us know what you come up with?


      • #4
        Small update! I went for a hardware-solution! Suonobuono's nABC+ does a splendid job ducking the bass (or any other sounds if needed) based on the kick-drum from my UNO Drum. I use the Retrokits RK-006 mode 8 to split the input MIDI from UNO Drum, so I get a CV-signal for the nABC+ for the kick only.


        • shankiphonic
          shankiphonic commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm interested to see/hear this setup when you have it working how you like.