How to apply sidechain compression to your instruments in FL Studio

Learn how to make your sounds pump to the beat of your drum.

When you purchase through affiliate links on, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Sidechain compression has been a staple in dance music for decades. You’ll most often hear it working on a bassline or pad alongside, making it ‘pump’ every time the kick drum hits. This technique can create more movement and groove in a track, but it’s also useful as a mixing tool to prevent the kick drum and bass – two instruments rich in low-end frequency content – from clashing and drowning each other out.

In this FL Studio Tips video, Max Venus shows you how to apply sidechain compression to your instruments. Using a kick drum as the sidechain input to the compressor, you’ll learn how to ‘duck’ other elements of your track in line with the kick to create a pumping effect. Max also shows you how a third-party envelope shaping plug-in can achieve the same results, and how FL Studio’s automation options can create the effect.

We’re starting off with the basics in our FL Studio Tips series, gradually moving into more advanced and creative techniques, as in our Logic Tips and Ableton Live Tutorials series. Subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube Channel for weekly updates on new videos and content.

In the first few videos we cover:

Max Venus has been using FL Studio for over a decade and has released music on various labels, including Liquicity, New State Music and GAWA Recordings, under multiple aliases. His current project is MXV, releasing progressive house tracks on MNL, Songspire Records, ZeroThree and more. He’s also written FL Studio tutorials for MusicTech.

For more expert advice, tips, interviews, news and reviews visit MusicTech.netSubscribe to the MusicTech YouTube channel now for weekly DAW tutorials, new product news and much more.


Get the latest news, reviews and tutorials to your inbox.

Join Our Mailing List & Get Exclusive DealsSign Up Now

The world’s leading media brand at the intersection of music and technology.

© 2024 MusicTech is part of NME Networks.