Reply To: Live band using Ducking?

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Ducking can be used for creative mixing tricks. For example – get a lead vocal channel to duck grouped backup vocals by a few dB to create separation in the mix without using more lead level (apply only when needed!), or use an entire vocal group to duck other competing mid range instruments (like guitars etc or even EVERYTHING else) again by a few dB only. If done sparingly and with correct attack/release times this can help a lot especially with a loud band and an undersized PA that is out of headroom for the vocals. Just like an announcer or DJ mic ducking music it’s about making space for what is important in the mix, and ducking can help do this automatically. Most people use positive mixing by turning things up to hear them in the mix but negative mixing can often work better – reduce whatever is competing with what you want to have up front.

I’m on iLive’s so don’t have built in ducking (come on A&H Please!)- but you can create a ducker in iLive using a complex mix set up like this:
Use the iLive signal generator fed into a DSP channel with it’s noise gate side chained to the source trigger channel to get a constant level (gated) signal, which is then used side chained into the compressor of the target channel to be ducked. Use the target channel compressor with a low threshold and use the ratio to set the amount of fixed gain reduction and release time etc, use the gate on the signal generator channel to set the ducking threshold. Unfortunately iLive side chaining only works in the same 8 channel DSP processing block (1-8, 9-16, etc) so all these channels need to be created within the same block.

Happy Ducking!