How I Sidechain

Write guides and how-tos about LMMS for other members.
I have been dabbling in music production over the last few months. Started with LMMS, then tried a few different DAWs. Bitwig 8 track, Ableton Live 11 Lite, Reaper, FL Studio, Ardour and Tracktion Waveform. Ableton and FL Studio being run with WINE, but with good response from both.

I keep going back to LMMS though as I find the workflow suits me the best. I think the piano roll in LMMS just works for me and I am my most creative when using it.

The only thing I don’t like about LMMS is sidechaining. I find it such a chore using Peak Controller. So, I went looking for a way to resolve this for myself and came up with the following.

This is Linux specific, I don’t know if you can install Carla on Windows, or if it would work if you can. I don’t have a Windows computer to try this on. I hope I am not rehashing something that someone has already done a tutorial for, but I have never seen this way in my search for sidechaining in LMMS.

I have the following installed on my laptop:

NDC Plugins
LSP Sampler Stereo
Calf Sidechain Compressor
Synth of choice

So what I have done is open Carla Patchbay on a track in LMMS. Within Carla I add the following plugins:

MIDIRangeFilter from NDC
LSP Sampler Stereo
Another MIDIRangeFilter from NDC
Synth of choice
Calf Sidechain Compressor

I wire everything up as so:
Sidechain.png (127.52 KiB) Viewed 950 times
Next I loaded a sample into LSP Sampler Stereo. This will be the sample that you want to trigger the sidechain with. Then on the MIDI setup tab you need to choose the lowest note on your midi piano roll. For me this is set as note C -2. There is a little weird glitch here where C -2 in the sampler is actually C -1 on the LMMS piano roll on my setup. Not sure why this is.

Then you need to set the midi filter that is wired into the sampler to only allow the note you have chosen in the MIDI setup of the sampler through and on MIDI filter 2 allow all notes but that one through.

On the sidechain compressor activate the sidechain input and make sure that the sidechain monitor (headphones icon) is turned off.

Next, open the piano roll in LMMS and put a note wherever you want sidechain to kick in.

Once you have drawn in your synth notes go back to the compressor and adjust the Ratio and Threshold on the sidechain compressor to the required setting and you should have sidechain working on that track.

You can then save that Carla Patch and use it on other tracks and projects.

Couple of issues, one being you will need to draw the notes for the sidechain on each track, but this can be done relatively quickly using keyboard shortcuts. You will also need to reset the MIDI Filter keys every time you load the Carla patch as it doesn’t save the settings. Also, it means loading Carla on each track and it won’t work on the inbuilt LMMS synths.

Hope this all makes sense and is of some use to someone.
jon267 wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 11:41 am
This is Linux specific,
Great tutorial for all Linux-users!

Besides that, since you are new in Forum
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