arm your production utility belt.

I’m a huge fan of sidechaining a compressor to a four-on-the-floor kick drum. It’s a useful mixing tool to keep heavy synths out of the way of a heavy kick, but it also makes everything just so dang danceable. Pulling up multiple tracks and setting the compressor to receive input from a “ghost kick” is pretty time consuming, however, especially in a live scenario.

Enter pump, a no-nonsense way to get authentic-sounding sidechain compression with absolutely no set up. All you have to do is load the device and get pumping! From there you can easily customize the shape of the envelope and amount of gain reduction with simple controls. 


The most recent update introduces pump+. The most requested feature for the device has been external input, and with this newest version it is now possible. Simply add the included companion device - pump+ [input] - to your kick drum's chain and it will automatically convert the audio signal to triggers that are wirelessly sent to every instance of pump+ in the set that is set to "input" mode. The new version also fixes a glitch that caused clicky/scratchy audio in some sound sources.

instant dance party.

With pump, the sidechain compression sound couldn't be easier. Just load the device on any of your tracks and you'll immediately get the familiar ducking sound. Anytime you have a drone that feels a little too stagnant, this is the perfect way to add some dynamics!

I highly recommend adding pump to your collections if you use Push. It's capable of totally transforming your session in an instant and totally the kind of thing you want to keep within arm's reach.

the same shape you've always known.

The key to pump is its envelope's accurate reproduction of a compressor's release. The smooth, logarithmic bezier curve sounds natural to our ears and lightly carves out a syncopated groove we can dance to. The video below features a comparison between a "properly" sidechained compressor and pump with the "side chain simulator" preset processing some pink noise. Unmute the video to hear the difference - you almost can't even tell when they switch!

This Max for Live device - pump+ - is completely free, but if you enjoy this device we would appreciate your support for future projects like this one!