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Using the side chain

FabFilter Twin 2 offers the possibility of feeding an external signal to its side chain, which can be used to trigger Envelope Generators around Envelope Followers. Feeding a signal to a plug-in's side-chain inputs works slightly different in various hosts. This topic describes the procedure for some of the most popular hosts around: Pro Tools, Studio One, Ableton Live, Logic Pro and Cubase.

To explain how it works, we use a scenario with two tracks. The first one contains Twin 2, which we'll call the main track from now. The second track contains the audio that we want to route to Twin 2's external side-chain input and use as trigger signal. We'll call this track the side chain track.

After setting up everything according to the instructions below for your host, any envelope generators or envelope followers that are set to trigger on the external side chain, will now respond to the side chain signal. You can check whether everything is routed correctly: play the audio, open an EG of EF interface and confirm it's set to trigger to the external side-chain. Then use the Audition button to listen to the side-chain signal.

Pro Tools

  • Open Pro Tools and start a new empty session.
  • Create and intrument track and an audio track. Add and audio file to the audio track (the side chain track).
  • Open the Mix window to display the tracks with their Insert slots and Sends slots.
  • In the first 'Sends' slot of the side chain track, choose 'Bus 1'. The track view for Bus 1 will open: set its level slider to 0.0 dB so the bus actually produces audio!
  • In the first 'Inserts' slot of the main track, choose Instrument > FabFilter Twin 2.
  • Open Twin 2's interface and set up an envelope generator or envelope follower, triggered by the external side chain signal.
  • Now, in the 'Key Input' menu of the plug-in interface (just above the FabFilter logo), choose bus > Bus 1 instead of the default 'no key input'. Now, the audio from the side chain track is routed to Twin 2's external side chain input via Bus 1.

Studio One

  • Open Studio One and choose 'Create a new song'.
  • Create and intrument track and an audio track (via Track > Add Tracks...). Add and audio file to the audio track (the side chain track).
  • Access the mix window via "Mix" in Studio One’s bottom right corner.
  • Insert FabFilter Twin 2 on your main track via the '+' button next to the Insert tab.
  • Open Twin 2's interface and set up an envelope generator or envelope follower, triggered by the external side chain signal.
  • On the side chain track, select Sends > Sidechains > FabFilter Twin 2.

Ableton Live

  • Open Ableton Live and start with an empty arrangement. We'll use Track 1 as the side chain track and Track 2 (a MIDI track) as the main track.
  • From the folder menu's on at the left top of Ableton Live's interface, drag an audio clip to the first empty slots of Track 1.
  • From the VST (or Audio Units) plug-in menu, also at the left top of Ableton Live's interface, drag FabFilter Twin 2 onto Track 2, the main track.
  • In the small device interface for Twin 2 in the bottom Effects section, choose 'Track 1' from the 'Sidechain' drop down menu.
  • Open Twin 2's interface and set up an envelope generator or envelope follower, triggered by the external side chain signal.
  • Note: In earlier versions of Ableton Live (< 10.1), setting up sidechaining worked differently, which is described here .

Logic Pro

  • Open Logic Pro and create a new empty project via File > New...
  • Create and intrument track and an audio track. Add and audio file to the audio track (the side chain track).
  • Select the main track and add Twin 2 in the instrument slot.
  • Open Twin 2's interface and set up an envelope generator or envelope follower, triggered by the external side chain signal.
  • In the right top corner of the plug-in interface header, in the 'Side Chain' menu, choose the side chain track. Now, the signal from the side chain track is sent to FabFilter Twin 2's external side-chain input.

Cubase

  • Open Cubase and create a new empty project.
  • Create and intrument track and an audio track. Add and audio file to the audio track (the side chain track).
  • Open the Mixer. In the main track, click on an empty insert slot and select the VST 3 version of FabFilter Twin 2 in the Instrument menu (note the VST 3 icon which looks like ///).
  • Open Twin 2's interface and set up an envelope generator or envelope follower, triggered by the external side chain signal.
  • In the plug-in header, click on the Activate Side-Chain button (right of the R/W buttons) to enable the external side chain in Cubase.
  • At the top of the Mixer, set the output for the side chain track to the side-chain input of FabFilter Twin 2.


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