StageLimiter abuse and 'The Guetta Effect'

Listen to the chorus of 'Titanium' by David Guetta ft Sia. That 'pumping' sound heard around the kick drums in the synth parts is (probably) a result of Sidechain Compression, an effect that's pretty common in dance music which (essentially) uses the volume of a track to duck the volume of other tracks.

I've found it very helpful to employ this technique at various points during performance to reinforce the dominant rhythmic pulse of a set. Take this rehearsal excerpt for example, where the 'bell' sounds are being 'pumped' by the bass drum, it's not too subtle. Or skip to 1.22 in this glitchy excerpt, the irregular pitched-up clap is literally cutting off the atonal chimes underneath it. There's also the first half of this set where I am attempting to riff on some tropes from Psytrance, using the kick drum to modulate the two interlocking distorted synth riffs that are being played.

With the exception of the 'Psytrance' riff, I almost always achieve this pseudo-sidechaining effect in the most brutal way possible - by abusing StageLimiter. As StageLimiter is just a on the output, any sounds over an amplitude of 0dB in the mix will reduce the volume of any other sounds in the mix without distorting. As I tend to use percussion that is normalised to 0dB, any percussion that is played with an \amp value of greater than 1 will compress the rest of the mix in proportion to the volume that they hit above 0dB. This can range from subtle to completely ridiculous.

Here are a few examples of this.

//a complex polyrhythm - no need to worry about the construction of this.
p.clock.tempo = 2.3;
~c = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["c"][0],\dur,0.75,\amp,1);
~c2 = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["c"][0],\dur,Pbjorklund2(Pseq([3,3,3,5],inf),8)/4,\amp,1);
~oh = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["oh"][1],\dur,Pseq([0.5,Pseq([1],inf)],inf),\amp,1,\stretch,Pwhite(1,0.25).round(0.25));
~sn = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["s"][0],\dur,Pbjorklund2(Pwhite(3,10),16),\amp,1);
~t1 = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["t"][0],\dur,1/5*4,\amp,1);
~t2 = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["t"][0],\dur,1/9*4.5,\amp,1,\rate,2);
~h = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["ch"][0],\dur,Pbjorklund2(Pwhite(10,16),16)/8,\amp,Pwhite(0.2,1.4));
~fx1 = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["sfx"][0],\dur,Pwhite(1,4.0).round(0.5),\amp,1);
~fx2 = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["sfx"][1],\dur,Pwhite(1,8.0).round(0.25),\amp,1);;;;;;;;;;
//A 0db kick which doesn't really do anything in the mix
~k = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["k"][0],\dur,1,\amp,1);;
//A >0dB kick which compresses everything else and audibly 'centers' everything around it because it is so loud.
//There's probably some psychoacoustics involved in this that i'm not qualified to talk about.
~k = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["k"][0],\dur,1,\amp,4);;
//a really *really* loud, very occasional percussion which silences everything else (slowed down for exaggerated effect)
~hugesnare = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["mt"][0],\dur,Pwhite(8,16),\amp,4000000,\rate,1);;

//some beautiful pads
//thanks Eli Fieldsteel
p.clock.tempo = 2;
~chords = Pbind(\instrument,\bpfsaw,
    \detune, Pexprand(0.0001,0.1,inf),
//pulse them slightly with a low-passed kick
~k = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["sk"][0],\dur,Pbjorklund2(3,8)/2,\amp,2);
//Low Pass
~lpfSend = {[~k]};
~lpf = {[~lpfSend]),,100),1)};;
//eliminate them completely with an absurdly loud low-passed kick (those with subwoofers be careful!)
~k = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["k"][0],\dur,Pbjorklund2(3,8)/4,\amp,9000,\rate,5);
//Low Pass
~lpfSend = {[~k]};
~lpf = {[~lpfSend]),,80),0.3)};;