Triggering a Compressor with Side-Chain Signals

Compression, expansion, or gating can be triggered by side-chain signals exceeding a specified threshold. This allows you to lower the volume of one audio signal every time another audio signal sets in.


You have set up a project with a bass guitar and a bass drum track, and you want to lower the bass guitar volume each time the bass drum hits.


  1. Select the bass guitar track.
  2. In the Inspector, open the Inserts section.
  3. Click the first effect slot and from the selector, select Dynamics > Compressor.

    The effect is loaded and the effect control panel opens.

  4. Make the desired effect settings for the effect, and activate Activate Side-Chain.
  5. Select the bass drum track.
  6. In the Inspector, open the Sends section.
  7. Click the first effect slot and select the side-chain node for the Compressor effect that you set up for the bass guitar track.
  8. Click Activate Send, and adjust the Send level.


The bass drum signal triggers the Compressor on the bass guitar track. When you now play back the project, the bass guitar will be compressed whenever the signals on the bass drum track exceed the set threshold.