Show 71 – Ducking & Sidechains and Off Axis Mic Placement

This week Ryan talks about ducking techniques and using a sidechain and Jesse does an experiment to show how a few different mics sound on and off axis.

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Apple iPad

Rode NTG-2

Sennheiser MKH 416

Shure SM57

2 thoughts on “Show 71 – Ducking & Sidechains and Off Axis Mic Placement

  1. I’ve used a compressor plug-in within Pro-Tools using it’s sidechain and I could never really get it to work quite right, the idea was to get guitars out of the way of the vocal whenever it was active and I felt that the volume was very “fluttering” with the guitars. Another technique I tried was to have the guitars sent to two Aux tracks, and on the second Aux track I put an expander/gate with reversed polarity and had it keyed from the vocal track, and on the first I just put a time adjuster plug-in for 88 samples. Blending the volume of the reversed polarity aux track and the otherwise unaffected aux track I felt had a better result. But then again the situation could be different when using an outboard compressor rather than a plug in. Regardless what do you guys think of this technique and do you have any other advice with balancing a guitar/vocal relationship?

  2. @jacob: seems like for what you’re trying to do you need a long hold and slow release on your compression, but that seems like it’d be a really weird sounding effect. duck the guitars under the vocals in a mix, really?

    as for me i use this technique to “cut a hole” for the kick drum in the bass guitar. i use fast settings on the compressor to quickly duck the bass by about 3db when the kick drum hits. this has always been my solution to the powerful bass and powerful kick drum on the same track problem. am i the only one? for some reason i thought this was a common mix technique but then i hear discussions like this and realize i don’t know if i’ve ever heard of somebody other than me using it….

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