Hardware sidechain dynamics, recommendations?

Does anyone know of a cheap self-contained hardware compressor with sidechain, i.e. 2 ins 1 out (mono /stereo doesn’t matter much) and maybe a knob or two? I’m looking for something to duck with, and virtually none of my gear has the capacity to do it. I’m starting a project soon that will need it. My needs aren’t fancy, I just have to duck a massive pad under a kick here and there.

I’m open to DIYing one, but I’m having trouble finding schematics for anything but reproductions which seem a little more complicated than necessary. This is just above my ability to design my own, but I do have most of the basic components I think I’d need.


Would be fun

FMR Audio RNC?

alesis nano compressor

imo u can get a lot of pump from the op1 master compression/drive too but its not a typical side chain

For diy have a look at https://www.jlmaudio.com

Thanks, @docshermsticks looks like I can get one of those for fairly cheap, I’ll look into it.

OP1 drive is great at that, but a little too punchy for this.

@awesome_o thanks, I just realized that I could control a simple amp with an Axoloti, which I’m going to be using to translate velocities on the volca FM, so if I go DIY it’s probably going to be that way. Depends on whether I build the amp in time.

so how does the axoloti/amp combo work as a compressor? the axoloti just functions as a digital compressor? or is to doing something to make the amp do the compressing?

@awesome_o I’d send the kick into the axoloti, generate a contour from an envelope generator applied to the input, then output that to the amp volume control. So it wouldn’t be a real compressor, but more of a sidechain limiter I guess.

I’m also considering using the axoloti as an effects processor and just trigger the ducks with midi/cv if I use a suitable source. Might bring up a highpass instead, or close down to a narrow band for funky effects. It’s a space related EP, so it fits.

ah…i see. that’s very nice. very interesting. i’m off to find out more about the axoloti…

Check this out…


@Zzzach dude you’re giving me GAS. I used to do this kind of thing in Buzz a lot and I miss it.