In this music production tutorial, Matt Mauldin, one of Point Blank LA’s instructors, shows how you can create that distinctive ’90s pumping compression sound.
Using the Alesis 3630 Compressor, this technique was made famous over a decade ago by Daft Punk and other French house artists. The pumping sound is created by using the kick drum to trigger the compressor, making the other elements in the track duck out around it. This is especially great for kick-heavy tracks, as it keeps this element prominent in the mix.
This sidechaining technique is still equally as relevant today as it was in the ’90s. If you’re keen to learn more music production skills, much like this one, then be sure to check out Point Blank’s music production courses in Los Angeles. Alternatively, if you’re looking to study with Point Blank in London or online, they have a range of degree courses which specialise in music production and sound engineering. Check out their full roster here.
To start creating this sound, Matt fires up Logic Pro and adds the DAW’s stock Compressor plugin to the master channel. He cycles through the different versions of the compressor to find one that emulates a more classic hardware bit of kit, the Classic VCA, before A/Bing the track with and without the compressor switched on. To really start getting that pumping feeling within the track, he experiments with the threshold and ratio settings, modulating how much of the kick cuts through the mix.