Sidechain Compression SL: how to set it up on your bassline



It takes some practice to get a super-tight kick drum and bassline mix.

Usually something ends up feeling all mushy and flubby, and when you turn up the volume it just gets worse.

That's normal for beginner mixes.  Happens to everybody.

To really solve this problem you need start doing sidechain compression in your mixes.


I can tell you from working as a live sound engineer and DJ'ing for the last 15 years, boosting up the bass EQ is not how to get the best bass sound.

That just makes a low-end soup that flubs around and roasts your sub amp (think of a DJ with all the bass EQ's up to max...  no good!)

What you need to do is CUT low-end elements out of the mix, so there are only a few things going on down there.

And that is exactly what side-chaining does. 


Play this video to see the actual lesson in action and hear what you're going to learn how to do.

Plug in your monitors or headphones for this one, because you need to hear the bass. 


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Sidechain compression ducks one sound when another sound happens, and this hands-on session lesson takes you through the process of setting it up.

  1. You'll learn how to make your kick drum EXPLODE through the mix, keep your bassline and sub tucked right into place, and clean up your whole low end
  2. You will know how to get a tight and focused sound, not mushy and woolie, and hear your own original tracks make the room thump like every other song in your set
  3. Instantly dial in the right compressor settings to make your tracks pump and swell with energy, instead of sounding flat & lifeless.
  4. Stop being confused about what the right settings "should" be... No, Ableton's compressors are not the problem.  You just didn't know how to make it sound right.
  5. Learn how to setup a sidechain compressor the right way so you don't have to stop and google anything, or worse, sit through another video tutorial waiting for the missing piece!


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In these innovative hands-on session lessons, you not only learn by doing it, you also get a guided tour right inside the Ableton Project.

You get audio instructions in the lesson:


I tell you the thought process behind everything we do, so you can understand it from the inside -- not just copying my settings.

voice guide

And you follow along with automated examples and practice exercises using real mix channels and sounds. 


You'll learn how to make your kick drum louder in the mix, and how to do that classic EDM pumping and swelling on your synths...

Sidechain compression is an essential production technique that you will be using in every session you touch.

And with this session lesson, you're not buying a video tutorial, you're getting a hands-on Ableton Project where you learn by DOING IT.



If you missed out on the background compressor theory, you can catch up on it with these printable PDF guides that you find on the members' site when you get the lesson.


Attack, Release & Threshold: what to listen for so you can really hear these settings working.

inInput Filter Setup Process: reminder on what to do with the sidechain input filter and why it's so critical for beatmatching your compressor


How to Sidechain a New Sound: review of the process for doing this on any new session

There are a few more, and I know you don't want to sit around reading all day.  I just wanted to show you that this lesson goes DEEP.

If you only got these compression guides, and followed the written instructions, it would be worth the price!

But the hands-on lesson inside Ableton is what really makes it stick in your head.



...with macro knobs mapped to the essential controls, ready for you to drop on all your sessions and get instant bassline ducking.

It's creative music production backed up by real audio engineering,

that will make your kick drums sound GIGANTIC and stop your compressor confusion. 

Sounds pretty good right? 



  1. You will understand what sidechain compression is all about
  2. You'll know how to hear the difference it makes
  3. You'll know how to set up a sidechain compressor in your own sessions
  4. You'll be able to do better low-end bassline and kick drum mixing
  5. You'll be able to dial in creative sound design FX to make your reverbs & synths pump & swell
  6. And you'll have this custom sidechain FX rack to use on every session!

Trust, me, the best way to learn this is by DOING IT inside Live.

Don't waste any more time with a crappy low end that sounds all floppy and loose.

Get your kick drums bumping like you want them to!


  1. Use the secure payment portal below to get instant access and download the Live Pack.
  2. Follow the instructions for installing and opening it.
  3. And learn by DOING IT inside Ableton, where you can actually touch the controls and hear what's happening.

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Download the Guided Live Pack Here

4 Lessons

Click the green “View Module” button to get started with the lesson download and instructions.

Compressor Theory & Tips

8 Lessons

Read through these lessons to get more of the audio engineering theory behind using compression, and to review what we did in the Live Project.

Sidechain Compressor FX Rack

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Here's the FX rack and installation instructions for how to drop it into any session you're working on.  Faster workflow using presets!