Pump up your jam
So you’ve developed a thirst for sidechain compression, but which plugin should you use to create the perfect pump?
Your first stop should be your DAW’s stock compressors, as they’re easy to route due to tight integration, and usually CPU-light, so things run smoother when sidechaining multiple tracks.
If you want a third-party processor that'll help you to perfect your pump, however, read on. For a complete guide to the secrets of sidechaining - including video tutorials - check out Computer Music 219 (August 2015) which is on sale now.
HoRNet MultiComp Plus
A great external sidechain-enabled compressor is HoRNet MultiComp Plus. Its three modes each produce a different reaction - from precise to loose - giving you a quick way to try different pumping vibes.
For even more creative use, FabFilter’s Pro-MB can pump specific frequency ranges for greater control.
BUY: FabFilter Pro-MB currently available from:
Waves OneKnob Pumper
There are a number of auto-pumping tools out there that don’t actually require a sidechain input to work, instead producing a regular volume modulation (eg, on every beat) that mimics the effects of sidechain pumping.
The simplest pumping tool on the market has to be Waves’ OneKnob Pumper, which was free, but now has to be paid for.
BUY: Waves OneKnob Pumper currently available from:
Xfer Records LFOTool
Taking things a little further, Xfer Records’ LFOTool offers trance gating, tremolo, auto panning and dubstep-style wobbling, too.
Cableguys VolumeShaper 4
Cableguys’ VolumeShaper 4 gives you three frequency bands of pumping, stuttering, gating goodness.
Vengeance-Sound Multiband Sidechain
The undisputed daddy of autopumping is Vengeance-Sound’s Multiband Sidechain. Pumper of choice on countless Swedish hits, it offers incredible control over a multiband filter, and customisable envelopes to control high- and low-pass filters.