How To Do A Simple Side-Chain Effect On FL Studio [Images]

I will share a simple lesson today, for FL Studio users. How to do a simple side-chain effect on FL Studio.

A side chain effect, is an effect most commonly used in electro-house music and is becoming more popular in underground and mainstream club songs.

The effect is that waving in and out of volume. Giving it a notorious pumping effect, having the rise in between the beats of the music. It is effective for creating room and space in your mix, while also giving the track a sense of excitement.

Note: While there are many methods of doing this in the program. I will explain a simple and one particular method I have used before. I will demonstrate an easy way to achieve this effect.

Here we have a simple saw wave from FL studio, 3x Osc (Or You can use your own synth/audio)

  • With a 4-on-the-Floor Kick Set.
  • I route and label the Kick on Channel 1 – in the mixer
  • And I route and label the 3x Osc saw wave in to Channel 2 – in the mixer
    FL chain 1
  • Now in Channel 1 (Kick Drum)  in the mixer – Add the Effect ‘Peak Controller’
    (The Peak Controller is use effect different parameters accordingly to how the volume range is affected etc.)
  • The Kick Will be on Mute once you open the peak Controller in Channel 1 – Make sure to Trigger ‘Mute’ to hear the Kick.
    FL chain 2
  • Once you have unmuted the track you can hear the saw wave as one tone, as the track had began. (Shrink your mixer hehe)
  • Right-Click-  The Mixer fader on Channel 2 (Synth)  Where you can see ‘Link to Controller’

FL chain 3

  • Once you have opened the ‘Link to Controller’ You will find the ‘Remote control settings’

FL chain 4

  • Within the Internal Controller Select ‘Peak Control Peak + LFO‘

FL chain 5

  • Select Under the Mapping Formula arrow, select ‘Inverted.’ So control reacts in a different direction.

FL chain 6


What this does, in simple terms, is affects the mixer fader and it reacts to the Peaks Of What is happening in Channel 1, The Kick.

As you see in the picture, the ‘SYNTH’ Fader is at maximum, after being manipulated by the ‘Fruity Peak Controller’.

Now, Returning the effect “Peak Controller” in Channel 1, you can affect the dynamics according to how you wish.

You can tweak it as you wish, for reference, remember, under ‘Peak’ :

  • Moving the ‘Base’ In peak controller controls the slave Fader (Channel 2).
  • Vol (Volume) affects the overall threshold volume (Obviously).
  • Dec (Decay) affects the speed at which all the effect is activated.

Try it on different sounds not just synths, play around with it, use different rhythms, have fun. Now, impress you friends!

I hope you learned something, or remembered something again with this simple tutorial.

I leave you with a track that uses a side-chain effect I enjoy. This Deadmau5 track, uses a similar sidechain-pumping effect. It seems to use it on the Sound Effect Risers (ie. The Wooshes etc.)

Enjoy! Thank you.

Check out my latest electronica releases on bandcamp:
Dark Techno, IDM/Synthpop, Ambient, Industrial

Here is my additional version of sidechaining in FL STUDIO:

How To Do A Simple Side Chain Effect On FL Studio:

5 thoughts on “How To Do A Simple Side-Chain Effect On FL Studio [Images]

  1. I used to use this technique until I discovered compression sidechain using the limiter. It sounds cleaner as well.


  2. Thanks for your comment Evan. It gives more room for mixer fader automation and other options as well. I agree it does sound cleaner, I will add that version too.


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