Side-chain compressor simulation effect is a standard in modern electronic music. You can hear this effect in just about every top charting dance track of today. One of its main applications was to process dialogues. This means that the compressor was used for automatically reducing the level of music in order to create the room for the voice. Today, most engineers mixing films and pre-recorded TV shows are likely to use volume automation to ride music levels. Nevertheless, sidechaining can still come in handy, especially in live broadcasts or event situations where music must make way for commentary. As time passed this effect was more and more used in various ways. Nowadays, producers apply it on various instruments, drums, vocals and in just about any element in the mix.


Try out LFO Tool by Xfer


In most recent years we witness the emergence of effects that greatly eased up this process, by avoiding parameters found in compressors like threshold, attack, release and sometimes complex routing of the effect. One of those software plugins that is not just reserved for simple side-chaining effect but offers a variety of options for further processing of the signal is without any doubt LFO Tool by Xfer. So in the next tutorial, I will go thru its basic functions and show you what this plugin is capable of.


I have made a short Progressive Techno pattern In Soundbridge which contain some basic elements like a kick drum, hi-hat, snare drum, chord sequence, and bassline.



Let’s start side-chaining


In the first place, I will apply the LFO Tool plugin on the bassline. I want to achieve that side-chaining effect. Upon opening of its interface, we can see an envelope part in the center. You can assign the envelope not just on volume, but also on filter cutoff, resonance, panning and just about any other parameter available for control. You can create lots of envelope points in order to create complex envelope shapes. However, for this purpose, I will just lower the attack point by dragging it down and make a short and smooth edge on the release point in order to avoid the cracking sound at the end of the loop. Let’s hear how the bassline sounds before and after applying the effect together with the kick drum.



~Bassline – Unprocessed

~Bassline – Processed with LFO Tool


In addition, you can try placing the LFO Tool onto the Rhythm Group. Consequently, you can make a complex envelope sequence which will affect the filter cutoff and the resonance. I will automate the filter cutoff parameter just to make it a bit more interesting. Let’s hear how that sounds, the first solo and then with other elements of the mix.



~Rhythm Group – Processed with LFO Tool

~Full Mix


Feel free to download the project here.