Sidechaining is one of the first techniques that aspiring dance music producers discover, as it is one of the most vital to the genre’s signature pumping sound. Nicky Romero is now making it easier than ever to use.
The Dutch DJ/producer this week announced that he has developed a new plug-in called Kickstart, which could become the side-chain compression equivalent of Dada Life’s Sausage Fattener distortion for the everyman. While Kickstart is far from revolutionary, the plug-in does offer 16 easy-to-use modulation curves and a dry/wet mix control that beginning producers may find helpful to understanding the concept.
Test drive a free trial of Kickstart or purchase the plug-in for $15 here.
Welcome back to Dancing Astronaut Studios with Dubspot! The last two weeks of Dubspot Online courses have found us exploring the most effective uses of the equalization and compression concepts we learned last time, as well as introducing some new basic concepts as well.
When I first started producing as Sicarii, I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have to the order in which I applied effects to my elements. For example, did you realize that equalizing audio before compressing it can result in a significantly different sounding end result than doing the vice versa? The same goes for compressing before or after applying reverb, delay, and so on.
Much of the dance music magic that fans enjoy in surging crowds is actually conjured up late at night in empty rooms. Production can be a lonely endeavor — lacking the dynamism and social banter of a live band rehearsal. Most of the tracks you love were crafted by a handful of people who spent an inordinate amount of time in front of computer screens, burning the workflow of their favorite software sequencers into their retinas.
The democratization of digital technology has simultaneously evened the playing field and eliminated excuses. No longer does one need expensive hardware synthesizers and mixing boards to make a mark, as advanced software can place any learned hand on an industry standard trigger. Skrillex won his first three Grammys using a simpler setup than most bedroom producers, prompting all to ask, “Why can’t I?”
My name is Sicarii and I count myself among them. My journey to dance music production may appear unlikely. Unlike much of the digital generation from which the current flock of prodigies propagates, I grew up idolizing the Doors rather than Daft Punk, and disrupting my parents’ sleep with basement rock bands rather than four-to-the-floor beats. Coming from a rock frontman’s mindset, creating music has always been a paramount priority. After I traded in patch cables for turntables and began playing club gigs, I came to view DJing as a means to the eventual end of sharing my music with the world.
Aspiring producers need all the help they can get, so it pays to listen when a talent like Nicky Romero is talking. The Dutch sensation will be sharing tips and answers via his YouTube channel and Google+ page, so tune in at 1PM EST with your burning questions ready. His class and Q&A session will be accompanied by a live set from Vince Moogin, whose single “Love Me Right” is forthcoming on Romero’s Protocol Recordings imprint.
Update: We’ve embedded the livestream video after the break.