best sidechain plugins for music production

Best Sidechain VST Plugins for Music Production

Making sure every sound has its own place to breathe and stand out, is key in mixing a song. Use EQs, compressors, reverb, delays, and distortion tools to achieve more richer-sounding sounds and more clarity in your mix. Compressors are mostly used to change the envelope and the volume of a sound. Sidechain is a form of compression that allows you to duck the incoming volume, to make room for a different sound to shine through, and to get a better result. There are plenty of ways to sidechain a sound with each having it’s unique characteristic. We have compiled a list of the best sidechain VST plugins you can utilize in your music production & mixing process.


Best Sidechain VST Plugins for Music Production


  1. Cableguys VolumeShaper 6 [We Rave You Recommendation]
  2. FabFilter Pro-C 2
  3. Waves Factory Trackspacer 
  4. Devious Machines Duck
  5. W.A. Production Dodge Pro 

*more sidechain vst plugins listed at the end


1.VolumeShaper 6

Divide the incoming signal into 3 bands to control every part differently. VolumeShaper has been built to improve the workflow while mixing to spark your creativity and efficiency at the same time.



2.FabFilter Pro-C 2

FabFilter’s compressor unit has been built to change the look at compressors drastically. Almost every inch of this plugin has been visualized for you to see the incoming waveforms. The most important knobs like Threshold, Ratio, Attack, and Release are included. This VST plugin’s newest feature Sidechain lets you adjust only certain frequencies by using the EQ.



3. Waves Factory Trackspacer 

This sidechain VST plugin made by Waves Factory will shape every sound the way you want to. Trackspacer is an award-nominated plugin that creates space in a mix by carving the frequencies that the main track needs into another track in real-time.




Devious Machines’ envelope shaper offers you 8 preset curves, 58 duck patches, it lets you draw your own curves & rhythms to use or save, or use Duck as a multiband compressor to treat only the low or high end.



5. Dodge Pro 

Dodge Pro has been pushing the boundaries with not just sidechain ducking functions but also rhythmic motifs, gated rhythms, and special fx. Get an instant pumping sound by using its presets or let the plugin surprise you by its randomization, and use its feedback visualizer to control every detail.



6. Multiband Sidechain3 by Vengeance Sound 

7. smart:comp by Sonible

8. Pulsar 1178 by Pulsar Audio

9. Waves C1 Compressor 



Read the next article: Best Saturation Plugins for Music Production

Image Credit: Cableguys



Hemant has been actively involved in the dance music industry with over 3 years of experience. Currently working as a Project Manager and heading the We Rave You Tech division. Get in touch via email.

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