Sidechaining in PreSonus Studio One

Take me directly to the example file download!

Sidechain compression is a very common method to add “pump” to tracks, especially in electronic music genres. But how does it work?
Here´s an example:

  1. Use a signal (trigger) to send it into the sidechain input of a plugin (which is in most cases a compressor) which has been put on a bus channel.
  2. Tweak the compressor to your needs.
  3. Route everything that should be ducked through the compressors bus.
  4. Enjoy the pump.

Example Song

Download the .song file where everything is already set up and ready to use, plus some interesting reverb set ups.


What´s in?

  1. Sidechain Trigger Channel
  2. Sidechain busses
  3. Ducked reverbs
  4. Reverb FX channels
  5. Master channel (inserts)

Explanation of used channels & routing

1.Sidechain trigger channel

Sidechain Trigger

  • The trigger sends the sidechain trigger signal to the upcoming compressors, “telling” them when to duck the signal.
  • To use the trigger signal without hearing it (so you can use your own kick drum), it´s sent before the fader through the send slots by enabling the “prefader” button . Now you can move down the fader to
    -00 and the signal that is sent to the compressors won´t be touched by the channel volume.
  • If a plugin (in this case the compressor) recieves a sidechain signal, it can be recognized by the blue shining sidechain button Sidechain Button in the plugin header.
  • If you do not need more sidechain groups/effects you won´t have to edit something here .


    1. You will only hear the pumping ducking effect where you have a signal on the SC Trigger track. (For example the hits in the “SC Trigger kick drum loop” which is already set up in the demo file)
    2. All Trigger, FX and bus channels are set to safe solo .
      (You can recognize this modus through the green instead of yellow solo button).

      Safe solo means:
      Whatever track you solo, the channels which are in “safe solo mode” will not be muted, so you will always here your ducking and send Fx.

2. Sidechain busses

Sidechain Busses

  • Everything you route in here will be ducked/compressed depending on the sidechain trigger signal (Pumping effect).
  • The difference between these channels is just the intensity of the ducking effect from soft (SC Soft) to very hard (SC Ultra)

3. Ducked reverbs

Reverb FX Channels
  • Everything you route/send in here will be ducked including the reverb tail.
  • The difference between these channels is the intensity and length of the reverb.

Different effects using send or output routing

  1. If ou want the complete sound to be ducked: Route your channel to these busses using the channel output.
  2. If you just want the reverb tail to be ducked: Route your channel to these busses using a send.

4. Reverb FX channels

Reverb FX Channels

Nothing special here, these are in here just for fun.

  • Use sends to these channels to add different reverb effects to your sounds.

    5. Master channel

    Reverb FX Channels

    The master channel plugins

    • Tuner: Ever clicked a sample in your browser, liked it but had no idea which pitch it is? Have a look at this plugin, it will show you the correct pitch.
    • Spectrum meter: Just to have an overview over the mix.
    • Mixtool: Once activated, dims the volume down ( -20dB) … if the neighbours come knocking.

    11 Responses to “Sidechaining in PreSonus Studio One”

    • Motoko Says:

      Nice, easy explained! Great to have files and presets to work with!

    • bmxburner Says:

      Great post. Lovely little tutorial and demo file. Keep it up guys!

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    • Jason Says:

      I just startyed useing studio one upgrade 2.
      If id like to use reverb on all channels but at different volumes etc is there a way to assighne them to those channels w/o having a reverb and or compression selected for each and every channel? Its slamming my cpu and shuts the sound off. I have to shut down and turn off all these effects to continue recording which brings the volumes way down due to not having the compression on the tracks.

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    • Pilot Says:

      Great tutorial was able to get some great sidechained reverb by really pumping the compressor.

    • Plaisirs Says:

      Thanks, keep it up!

    • Dan Says:

      Hey, just wondering if anyone else is having trouble downloading the file? It says “file not found” when I try to open up the song in Studio One. It’s talking about only the .wav file, btw, all the presets and everything seem to be there fine, but it doesn’t really do me much good to have only them. Either way, I appreciate the tutorial, and if anyone else is having this issue and can help, I’d love some feedback. Thanks.

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