Free SideChainer VST Plugin Released By RDGAudio

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RDGAudio has released SideChainer, a freeware faux sidechain effect in 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows-based host applications.

Pumping synth, bass and drum parts have dominated much of electronic music in the past decade. That sound is typically created by the use of side-chain compression. For those unfamiliar, a kick drum is routed into the sidechain input of a compressor which triggers a rhythmic pulse of whatever instrument it is being applied to. This effect not only creates a more upbeat feel but also creates space for the kick drum to cut through the mix allowing more headroom.

An alternative to the traditional bus-routing method of sidechaining is to use a dedicated sidechain “emulation” plugin. The freeware VST plugin “SideChainer” created by RDG audio automatically creates the rhythmic pulsing effect but offers more advanced options that would be near impossible to achieve with a compressor alone. Available for Windows only, it syncs with the host BPM to provide tempo-locked effects. However, you are not only able to create a simple up/down sine wave compression pattern but also more complex patterns and shapes.

From looking at the plugin’s user interface, it even appears that you can combine several shapes one after the other for longer rhythm patterns. There is also a Wet/Dry control for dialing just as much of the effect as you need. Currently, I use the Waves OneKnob Pumper to achieve this effect, but it only can create a simple sine-shaped pattern. I’ve noticed that I need to use the “Offset” control of the OneKnob to get just the right pocketing for the pump. I don’t see this feature on the SideChainer but perhaps it magically just fits into the pocket even without it! Unfortunately, the YouTube promotional video for this product does not play audio examples of how it works so, if you’re a Windows user, it will be necessary to try it out for yourself.

The plugin is available for direct free download from the developer’s website, no registration required. The downloaded ZIP archive does contain an EXE installer, though. If you’re looking for a freeware alternative to SideChainer, take a look at the excellent BIGKIXDIPPA by Hinton & Fairchild. And if you want to go commercial, Kickstart by Cableguys and Nicky Romero would be the obvious choice.

SideChainer is avaialble for free download via RDGAudio (6.9 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit VST plugin format for Windows, made with FlowStone).

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About The Author

Ben Bishop is a music producer based out of Nashville, TN. He works with many local artists in the pop/indie world and has a recording studio in East Nashville.

4 Comments

  1. A couple of things to point out:

    A) despite during the initialization of the installer showing “available in 32bit and 64bit”, it is 32bit only, reason why:

    B) this plugin is made with “SynthMaker”. Clear indication for this is a subfolder (called DAT) in the installation folder with files that are called saw2KtableSM.dat and tri2KtableSM.dat

    C) even though it’s a copy of the Cableguys “Volume Shaper” limited Nicky Romero concept, it’s still super limited and wonky in usability…

    C1) For example: the “shapes” can’t be selected via mouse click, you have to click with the left mouse button on the large shape view and drag it up/down in order to cycle through the shapes. They are also not in order. And you can’t change the shapes otherwise (even though there are nodes that “invite you” to do so)

    C2) you have access to 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1/1 beats only (so limited to 4/4), and the mouse vanishes once you click on the UI

    C3) the mix dial is stepped

    C4) the waveform view IMO absolutely useless

    D) uninstalling gets even worse. Not only do data corpses remain (at least empty folders), no… it also opens (without asking!) your browser and jumps to the root of the developer homepage, being like “oh hey, you don’t like our plugin – but check out our company regardless”. IMO an absolute no-go!

    I do admire the effort, I like the simplified concept, it works bridged. But in all honesty, better look at the freeware alternative BIGKIXDIPPA by Hinton & Fairchild (which was also made in SynthMaker, therefore 32bit only) which is way, way more flexible. Or the big brother of all these concepts – Cableguys Filtershaper.

  2. Goyeval Luanika

    on

    Whether it’s made from Synth maker or synth edit it’s not the point. The point is It’s FREE vst from a paid synth maker . Bed room producers some times need a FREE plugin rather than $34 Cable Guys Volume Shaper or 15 $ Nicky Romero Kick Start. Other so called companies are making money from FREE C++ IDE, Juce , open Source Delphi etc. At least RDGAudio is trying to help people with a FREE VST. So the comparison between Side chainer & Volume shaper/Kick start is meaningless. From a FREE VST we can’t expect a premium feature. If you expect such things you might be an idiot. Making a VST from any IDE never easy. We should be grateful to the developer. If you don’t like any feature please keep quite.

  3. Circuit Benders Club

    on

    Hey Guys. So i just officially uninstalled this program! PRODUCERS BEWARE! I run FL 11, and this plugin i believe to be malware. completely destroyed a breakthrough track that i was working on.
    NOTES: me and my colaberating partner share and run the same version of fl so we can bounce tracks back and fourth with eachother. we both installed at the same time in the same destination folder for the plugin to work on both of our cpus. we noticed that the program wasnt that great on a previous project. so finding this plugin useless he uninstalled the program. i kept mine installed. and decided to give it one more try on the project that im submitting about today. if you know anything about FL you will know that when you and another person share the flp file if you dont have a particualar plugin that the other person doesnt have as a .dll in thier plugin section, it will leave a ” wrapper ” as the channel slot. so bouncing the track to his cpu again with his sidechain uninstalled, FL loaded the program after it was “saved as” DESTROYED MY FULL LENGTH TRACK! In such manner: It completely destroyed all my mp3 files saved on the “Song Track” it also “Inted” all of my plugins! i cant even load my instrument plugins! says “failure to load” it destroyed all autimation clips that i had inserted, in the sense they wherent even on the “song track” now that i think about it as im looking at it right now, it doesnt load anything on my “song track” everything is busted! The reason i belive this to be a form of malware, is because like i mentioned above it should leave a Wrapper if he doesnt have the pugin installed.. but the same copied file on his computer with this sidechainer uninstalled re uploaded the program and corrupted our Sh*+. PRODUCERS I URGE YOU NOT!!!! NOT!!!! NOT!!!! To install this P.o.s program.

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