Sidechaining a 3rd party plug-in

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

Sidechaining 3rd party plug-ins can be easily achieved in Live by using Live's powerful Track routing possibilities.

What do we need as preparation?

  • A Track with a sidechaining capable VST or Audio Unit plug-in (in this tutorial, this track is named "Sidechain-Capable Plug-in"). Note that you may need to enable the sidechain in the plug-in itself.
  • A second Track with the source for the sidechain signal trigger (in this tutorial, this track is named "Sidechain Trigger"). When sidechaining a compressor this could be a kick drum, for example.
  • An additional Audio Track which is used to route the audio signal (in this tutorial, this track is named "Audio Signal Routing Track").
  • In case the Track's In/Out section is hidden press [cmd][alt][I] on Mac or [ctrl][alt][I] on PC.

How to route the sidechain signal from the sidechain trigger Track to the plug-in in the other Track?

  • Make sure that the Monitor of the Audio Signal Routing Track is set to "In".
  • In the Input Type chooser of the Audio Signal Routing Track, select the Sidechain Trigger Track. The Input Type chooser is the top "Audio From" chooser.
  • In the Output Type chooser of the Audio Signal Routing Track, select the Track with the plug-in which should receive the side-chain (in this example "Sidechain-Capable Plug-in"). The Output Type chooser is the top "Audio To" chooser.
  • In the Output Channel chooser of the Audio Signal Routing Track, select the plug-in. The Output Channel chooser is the bottom "Audio From" chooser.


Additional Information

In the example above it's assumed that the sidechain signal itself should also be audible. However, in certain cases, the sidechain trigger signal is only used to trigger the plug-in, but it shouldn't be heard itself.

This routing can be achieved in Live with only two Tracks. The Audio Signal Routing Track from the example above is not needed in this case. The Sidechain Trigger signal can be sent directly to the plug-in by utilizing the Output Type chooser and the Output Channel chooser.


How to route the sidechain signal to multiple sidechain-capable plug-ins?

With the release of Live 10, Standard and Suite users can now route one Sidechain Trigger to multiple Sidechain-Capable Plug-ins using the Surround Panner Max for Live device. 

To establish this routing:

  • Add the Surround Panner to your Audio Signal Routing Track and select 'Sends Only' via the Output Type chooser (this routing will be completed using the Surround Panner device and a Track selection in "Audio To" is not necessary).
  • Then, route the signal's output by selecting multiple Sidechain-Capable Plug-in tracks in Surround Panner's Output Type chooser, making sure to also select the sidechain-capable plug-in in the Output Channel chooser.
  • Note: Please do not edit the leftmost panning section of the Surround Panner if you are using this device only for sidechain purposes. Up to four separate outputs can be routed using one Surround Panner device.