Cubase: Side-chain function

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Side-chain capable plug-in list

  • Vintage Compressor
  • Compressor
  • Expander
  • Gate
  • Auto Pan
  • Chorus
  • Studio Chorus
  • Flanger
  • Phaser
  • Tremolo
  • Vibrato
  • Mono Delay
  • Ping Pong Delay
  • Stereo Delay
  • WahWah


Start by inserting a plug-in capable of performing a side-chain function on a track requiring the effect. The side chain option is circled in the image below.

Compressor with Side-chain option

This will enable every track in your session (including group tracks) to route the audio to the plug-in.

Send channel with Side-chain option

Select the send destination, set level as desired.The settings in the screen shot below are for maximum effect of the Gate viz. 0dB and post-fader

Cubase side chain Gate viz.png

The audio signal will only be allowed to pass through the gate upon a ‘trigger’ signal from the sending track

Send channel with Side-chain receiving 0dB signal level


As a rule it is not possible to create a side-chain effect within the same track

Cubase 3 and earlier

This capability was not available in the older Cubase standard compressor plug-in, among others, but was only added in version 4

Compressor without Side-chain option