Side-Chain Input for VST Instruments

You can send audio into VST 3 instruments that feature a side-chain input. Side-chaining allows you to use the output of one track to control the action of an instrument on another track.

Depending on the instrument, activating its side-chain input allows you to:

  • Use the instrument as an effect plug-in on audio events.

  • Use the side-chain signal as a modulation source.

  • Apply ducking to the instrument, that is, reduce the volume of the instrument track when a signal is present on the audio track.

You can route the audio signal to the side-chain input of an instrument in different ways:

  • To process the audio signal completely through the instrument, route the output of the audio track to the side-chain input of an instrument.

  • To use both the clean audio signal and the signal processed by the instrument, route a send to the instrument side-chain.


To hear the audio played through the instrument, you must trigger a note, either by playing MIDI events or by playing notes on your external MIDI keyboard.