Nicky Romero collaborated with Cableguys to create a sidechain compression plugin. In a video he talks through the features: "We have the wet button… then we have the different presets. I made custom presets to make sure that you can work easily, nice and fast, on different kinds of instruments and different kinds of frequencies in your mix. Whenever you make a kick-bass, it's always tricky to do the right sidechain. It's hard to get it right, to get the punch, to make sure that it keeps tight and that it sounds punchy in the club. The most important thing is that the kick has space to breathe."more
In this photo, Jay Hardway can be seen in front of his MacBook, which shows his open DAW session. The Nicky Romero Kickstart Sidechain Compression Plugin can be seen in the upper left corner of his screen. This photo was posted by [Burak Yeter](https://equipboard.com/pros/burak-yeter) on his Facebook in November 2014.more
Nicky Romero’s second attempt at creating a plug-in is easily as successful as his first. While not as advanced as KICK, Kickstart is a unique little sidechain VST effect plug-in that has no real competition on the market. Kickstart, honestly, is the simplest sidechain solution available to anyone right now. It’s cheap, it’s effective, and best of all it has an incredibly intuitive and visual layout. Nicky Romero and Cableguys should be very proud of their handy work and I applaud them for creating Kickstart in such a compelling fashion.
When attaching Kickstart to a mixer channel, a simple window pops up. Firstly, the main display shows users the shape of the sidechain curve they’re going to be applying to the channel Kickstart is loaded in. To the left of that is a huge knob that is just a wet/dry knob for the effect being applied to the channel and on the bottom you can determine the general shape you want by selecting from 16 options. It’s definitely a really simple plug-in, but simple does not mean it isn’t quality. Each of the shapes provided come preloaded with a description that details the type of sound they are best used in conjunction with, giving users a quicker road to track development. While sidechaining is definitely one of the most essential techniques used in electronic music production, it generally takes some time to set up any of the various techniques used. Cableguys and Nicky Romero definitely had user workflow in mind when they created Kickstart and it shows in the final product.
Being as simple as it is, Kickstart comes with a small flaw. As anyone who’s heard of Nicky Romero surely knows, he’s a house producer and primarily focuses on house music in general. Sadly, so does Kickstart. Kickstart has built in timing options because it isn’t linked to any type of trigger. However, if you are making any type of offbeat kick pattern or any syncopated drums, you’re going to have a tough time using Kickstart. You can only choose denominations of eighth, quarter, half, or whole notes for the sidechain to be applied on. I’ve attempted to use automation of the wet/dry knob to trigger when Kickstart applies its effect on a channel, but at that point it’s not anymore useful or time efficient than other sidechain options. I’m not sure what I would suggest to remedy this problem, but as far as any house music producer is concerned Kickstart should work very well for them.
This plugin by Nicky Romero & Cableguys saves me about 10 minutes on grouping, shaping, moving, and compressing tracks. I makes things so much easier, and it works for tons of genres! I use it in dubstep with the mix at 45-60% to give my intro synths and drops more punch.
I like this plugin a lot. It's a good buy at $15, too. However, the update to FL Studio 12 gave me free Gross Beat, so I'm mostly using that now. However, I still use this if I am feeling lazy and need to duck something behind the kick briefly. My one complaint with it is that it doesn't let you make your own volume patterns. For that, you would need VolumeShaper, Gross Beat, or LFOTool. However, this isn't a major issue.
Save your side-chain for ducking and specific 'coloration and time-constant' applications because if you just want the "rhytm & pulse" typically created via side-chain, this plugin is a time saver and a RAM saver... It's tons of FUN...!
Its a great plugin that everyone should have. I use it less than a lot of people but my version of electronic music is very retro and often straddles rock and vintage pop so its maybe not applicable to my arrangements all the time. Still a fantastic plugin that simplifies the whole sidechain thing and takes it into strange new places like when Barney left the Be Sharps in the simpsons. Taking Barber Shop to ssstraaange new places!
Nicky Romero collaborated with Cableguys to create a sidechain compression plugin. In a video he talks through the features: "We have the wet button… then we have the different presets. I made custom presets to make sure that you can work easily, nice and fast, on different kinds of instruments and different kinds of frequencies in your mix. Whenever you make a kick-bass, it's always tricky to do the right sidechain. It's hard to get it right, to get the punch, to make sure that it keeps tight and that it sounds punchy in the club. The most important thing is that the kick has space to breathe."