This article explains how to use an external sidechain signal with native UAD plug-ins in various DAWs. The following native UAD plug-ins support external sidechain input:
- API 2500 Bus Compressor
- API Vision Channel Strip
- Capitol Mastering Compressor
For a detailed explanation of how to use sidechaining with native UAD plug-ins, see the plug-ins manual page here.
Configuring a Sidechain in Your DAW
Each DAW handles external sidechaining differently. Click on the preferred DAW below to access its specific steps:
Note: the steps for Logic Pro are also available in this video.
- Load a native plug-in that can be sidechained.
In this example, we are loading the Capitol Mastering Compressor on our Synth Bass track.
- Open the plug-in window and click the Sidechain slider button to enable the functionality.
- In the upper header of the plug-in, click the Side Chain drop-down menu and select the track you want to use as a sidechain source. In this example, we are sidechaining our Synth Bass track to the Drums audio track in our project.
Note: the steps for Ableton Live are also available in this video.
- Load a native UAD plug-in that can be sidechained. In this example, we are loading the API 2500 Bus Compressor VST3 plug-in on a track labeled Synth Bass. We also have another track, labeled Drums, that we will use as our sidechain source in the next step.
- In the plug-in tab located in the Device View Selector at the bottom, select a Sidechain source.
In this example, we are choosing our Drums track.
- In the upper header of the plug-in window, the Sidechain switch will enable automatically*, as shown below. You can disable it to easily A/B the resulting sound, if necessary, without changing sidechain settings.
Important: The sidechain switch toggles automatically with the VST3 plug-in, but not the Audio Units version. When using the Audio Units version you will need to toggle the sidechain switch to enable.
Cubase and Nuendo
Note: the steps for Cubase and Nuendo are also available in this video.
- Insert a native UAD plug-in that can be sidechained onto the desired channel.
- Open the plug-in window and enable sidechaining within Cubase or Nuendo.
- Hit the settings cog to the right of the enable sidechain button. Select “Add Side-Chain Source” and select the desired track.
Note: the track name in this example is “Sidechain source.”
- Enable the sidechain input on the plug-in.
Note: the steps for Pro Tools are also available in this video.
- Insert the native UAD plug-in onto the desired channel.
- Open the plug-in window and select the desired bus to enable side-chaining within Pro Tools.
- On the track that feeds the side-chain input, create a send to the previously selected bus. In this case, Bus 1 will be used.
- Turn up the send to a desired level.
- Confirm side-chaining is enabled in the plug-in.
Note: Pro Tools should automatically enable side-chaining in the plug-in once the side-chain input has been selected.