Ducking, Side Chain in Vegas 11?

frederick-wise wrote on 12/27/2013, 11:29 AM

I looked unsuccessfully in the forums and on google/youtube for the ability to do audio ducking/sidechaining in Vegas 11. I only found a few references about how to do it and they were not very detailed and most said it wasn't "real" ducking, whatever that means. Does anyone know how to do it and can they point me to a very detailed site/video that shows you step-by-step how to do it?

I found one site that mentioned a lot about setting up audio busses but it assumed the user knew all about busses which I don't, so it wasn't very helpful. I own Sonar X3 and it works great for ducking and is very easy to implement but I assumed Vegas 11 had it built-in as it seems like it would be a standard feature for any professional video software. I really can't believe it isn't an integral part of Vegas as ducking is used everyday on broadcast TV. Maybe it will be in the next version...


pwppch wrote on 12/27/2013, 11:39 AM
Vegas does not support plugins that expose side chains, so ducking is not directly supported.

There are some third party VSTs that provide a work around, but they are just that - work arounds.

Steve Grisetti wrote on 12/27/2013, 11:39 AM
Can you clarify exactly what you're trying to do?

Ducking usually refers to raising and lowering audio clip levels so that one audio event dominates while the others play quieter or mute behind it.

If this is what you're trying to do, it's very easy in Vegas using Audio Envelopes.
larry-peter wrote on 12/27/2013, 11:58 AM
This VASST plugin may do what you want. It's envelope based, non-destructive. Not a side chain, but supposedly looks at audio content of one track to create envelope events in the track you want reduced.
Played with it once a while back and seemed to do OK. For a long project, I felt I would be doing a lot of envelope tweaking to get totally happy with the results.
frederick-wise wrote on 12/27/2013, 2:42 PM
I'm making a short series of "employee spotlight" videos for my work. Each piece is about 10 minutes long. I've put a lot of background music and sound FX in them and want those sounds to quiet down whenever someone speaks.

I know how to do the audio envelopes (and have been doing them this way) but I think a ducking plugin would work a whole lot faster, easier and more consistently. I find the envelopes to be a big hassle when someone wants me to re-arrange things (which is common) and then I have to re-draw the envelopes.

To bad Vegas doesn't have this as a standard tool. I've seen the VASST plugin but it's over $100 (I think?) and bringing the sound into Sonar X3 is a hassle. Sonar's ducking compressor that comes as a standard plugin in Sonar (PC4K) doesn't seem to want to appear as a usable plugin in Vegas although several of the other Sonar/Cakewalk plugins are available.

I recently bought Izotope Nectar 2 and it doesn't seem to have a ducking feature either although it can be used in Vegas. Hopefully a ducking compressor is added in the next release of Vegas.
frederick-wise wrote on 12/27/2013, 2:55 PM
Thanx atom12!

I was looking for that plugin the other day on the VASST site but thought it only came with the more expensive suite of plugins that are well over $100. This one is only about $10. I'll give it a try.
CJB wrote on 12/27/2013, 3:23 PM
It would be very useful to have Side Chaining in Vegas!

Unfortunately the VASST plug (as well as the Vegasaur plug) look for the existence of an event on another track to lower the volume on the effected track. You will have to chop up the dialogue into small events in order to utilize this. I looked into this for the same reasons you did and decided it was just as easy to put in a volume envelope. True Side Chaining uses a separate source to control the volume (or compression as where ducking is used) . Ergo it is automatic once the controls are set. DJs use this to "pump" their music. The audio stems can be exported to a DAW were this can be done but it would be nice to have it directly in Vegas.

I think the big issue for Vegas would be the connectivity of the driving audio channel to the effected channel. This in many ways is similar to the special compositing type effects from the video side.
frederick-wise wrote on 12/27/2013, 5:30 PM
You're right dancerchris.

I just plunked down my $9.95 and downloaded/installed it and I'm initially disappointed because it wants me to chop up the dialogue into separate pieces and then apply the ducking - how is that faster, easier and more consistent? It seems slower, more difficult and inevitably inconsistent. I'll work thru a few of the other options to see if it can perform better - I see there are at least 2 modes but I'm gonna look into a refund if it's not an improvement.

I thought Vegas was developed from a DAW and had all those DAW kind of audio options. In Sonar X3, you just apply a compressor with sidechain capability to the music track, engage the "sidechain switch" and route the send from the dialogue track to the track with the music compressor and make changes to the amount of compression, gain as desired until it sounds right - EZ. Maybe there is some fundamental routing problem in Vegas that prevents this from happening. I'll try to get an answer from Sony directly.
CJB wrote on 12/27/2013, 6:17 PM
Not all DAWs support side chaining. The good ones do. But even then the implementation can be less than desirable. It comes down to a routing issue. How do you get the control signal from another track onto the effected track? My guess is that SCS would have to set up something similar to the compositing mode effects for audio, (at least to my completely uniformed viewpoint.)

rraud wrote on 12/27/2013, 6:42 PM
Can't be done the 'traditional' way with Vegas. (yes, another short-coming) There are a few plug-ins that can be used. If I recall, the "Slim Slow Slider" VST is free.. I further recall, you will need to use a submaster as a trigger.. (undocumented)
I generally just draw (or copy/paste) volume envelopes. or use SloTools or Nuendo
frederick-wise wrote on 1/8/2014, 10:11 PM
SUCCESS! I finally contacted SONY support and they sent me a few nice templates that seem to do ducking, both for mono and stereo tracks. They also included very detailed notes on how to set them up but that would take me forever, if ever, to figure out. The templates simply work and are only 2 audio tracks for the mono template and 4 for the stereo (plus 3 busses they have already set-up). You simply replace their audio with your own and away you go. So yes, ducking/side-chaining can be done but not very "obviously" as it's not mentioned in their users manual. If anyone needs ducking, just contact SONY support and have them send you the templates.

And no, they wouldn't tell me when a new version of Vegas is coming out...but I requested they include an EZ version of ducking.
frederick-wise wrote on 1/11/2014, 10:09 PM
Wow, VASST was nice enough to refund my purchase of the "Voice Assistant" so kudos to them!
MarkWWW wrote on 1/12/2014, 11:04 AM
Any chance you could post these templates here?

Many thanks in advance.

frederick-wise wrote on 1/13/2014, 5:30 PM
I'll share them , no problem but I'm not sure how to attach them to this forum. Do you know how?

FYI They are actually from Vegas 8 but work great in my version 11.
MarkWWW wrote on 1/14/2014, 7:44 AM
You can just upload them to one of the many free file storage/sharing sites (Dropbox is often used hereabouts, but there are dozens of alternatives - I've used YouSendIt in the past) and then post the address here so that anyone interested can download them.