Sidechain Compression

Free Video
pureMix Fall Sale Get 50% OFF



How To Setup a Sidechain Compressor in Pro Tools

In this mixing tutorial Ben Lindell explains everything you need to know about sidechain compression.

He demonstrates how to set up your tracks for sidechaining in Pro Tools but the concepts apply to any DAW

With several examples, he discusses and explains the impact that the often forgotten settings of ratio, attack and release can have on the groove.

You'll learn how to create a deliberate pumping effect on of your synths. Then Ben shows you how to use side-chain compression more subtly to help your kick and bass blend together in the mix.

Not a Pro Member yet?
Pro Memembership
Watch all videos for
$24.99 / month
Ben Lindell

Ben is a NYC based producer/engineer who has worked with artists from MGMT to Soulja Boy, Bebel Giberto to Lloyd Banks, Ryan Leslie, Olivia, Tony Yayo, Red Cafe, Edie Brickell, Carole Pope and hundreds of other artists from around the world. He grew up in Iowa and then attended the University of Miami.

In addition to being a fantastic musician he is also a tremendous geek when it comes to anything technical, be it software, plug-ins, microphones or outboard gear. It's this marriage of musical creativity and technical know-how that makes him an in demand producer/engineer.


50 Cent

Soulja Boy


Kelly Rowland



What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2021 Mar 02
10/10. I've never used side chain compression, so I'm excited to try it on my next track!
2020 Aug 19
Great explanation. Now it becomes very easy to the novices like us. Thank you Ben.
2020 May 12
Maybe its just me but like that second example sound better without the compression.
2018 Jun 02
Great explanation of the concept of sjidechaining for compression and using these 2 examples really clarifies things. I've been using different DAWs to ProTools - Logic and Mixbus, these days but imagine sidechaining is similar in the set up. Hope so.
2017 Jun 09
Now, exactly I know what I am doing. Thanks, Puremix.
2017 Jan 14
no names
2015 Dec 07
I've had the hardest time understanding basic compression over the years. This video has helped me finally get a general understanding of compression and more, Thank You!
2015 Oct 23
Excellent! Great information. Thanks
2015 Feb 16
THanks Ben! This really helps me understand the concept of Side-chain compression!
2015 Jan 25
BEN, Excellent video and you have a natural ability to explain things that even a do-do like me can comprehend. Keep up the good works! TOMMY...
2014 Nov 17
This video helps a lot! I especially like the second half. Most guys would have stopped about the 3 minute mark, but you took it further and played with diff. parameters like ratio, attack, and release. AND you showed two diff. applications (the pad and the bass)! Thanks!
2014 Oct 28
thanks!! bb
2014 Jul 16
2013 Jun 23
Finally! Thanks!
2013 May 11
this video was very straight forward and not as complicated as others make it side chain compression to be.
2013 Mar 11
Great! Side chain made simple. love it!
Becky Jo Benson
2012 Nov 09
Ben! That is really fascinating how the pad turned into a pattern that was synced with the bass drum after you set up the side compression. Cool effect! And the bass guitar really melded into the track with the bass drum as the machine did all the work to sync the notes and highlight what you wanted to. It seemed difficult at first, but you explained it well. THANK YOU! I learned a lot about what the knobs do in the compressor for Pro Tools. That helped me so much to know why there is such a difference in the sound. Thank you, and Fab, for being there! Becky Jo Benson
Joseph Piccione
2012 Aug 07
Ben, Thanks for the great tutorial! I need to start setting up some side chain compression and Eq. I appreciate the lesson.
2012 Jul 10
Wow!!! Great tutorial!! Another great way of creating space for the mix..thanx bigtyme Ben!! You the man.
2012 Mar 16
to bun102 in waves even if ARC (automatic release control) is on ARC works differently following the release time you have choosen
2012 Mar 16
REAL NICE Like Fab did it for the oxford plugs, Ben just don't show the way to create a sidechain but he's well explaining why and how to do it...
2012 Jan 21
Does Waves RCL release work in ARC mode,BEN ?
2012 Jan 08
Very informative, thanks!
2012 Jan 01
2011 Dec 02
Very cool. Gonna try this to get bass and drums to sit better together on some hip hop mixes. Thanks Ben.
2011 Dec 02
Thanks Ben...this is what my tracks has been missing.