New in Duck 1.3Posted on 19th April 2022
It’s our biggest ever update to Duck, and it’s free! Find out about what Groups, MIDI Filtering and Band Solo mean for your music and your workflow
For version 1.3 of Duck, we’ve added three new features that make it the most powerful and versatile LFO and sidechaining tool on the market.
With this update we’ve added groups, MIDI filtering and band soloing. This update is free for existing users [head to the Downloads page to grab the new version]. New users can pick up Duck for a regular price of £20, or download the demo.
GROUPS – Edit multiple curves at once
Duck 1.3 lets you edit curves on multiple Ducks simultaneously. This means you can adjust the timing and depth of the pump across multiple channels at the same time, making experimenting quick and easy.
Choose a group for any instance of Duck – A, B, C or D. Two Ducks placed in the same group will all follow the same curve shape, meaning you can edit and change them all as one – no copying, no saving preset shapes, no need for bussing, and no painstaking curve recreation.
Here’s how to use Duck’s groups in your music…
Step 1: Load multiple Ducks
Start by loading Duck on each channel you wish to sidechain in the same way. This could be, for example, on several pad sounds that you have layered.
Step 2: Assign a Duck plugin to a group
Select the new Group menu and choose a letter for this new group.
Step 3: Add the remaining Ducks to the group
Now go through the remaining iterations of Duck and add the all to the same group you just selected.
Step 4: Edit any Duck to make changes
Once you make an edit to any Duck in a group, every other Duck in that same group will change its envelope accordingly.
More on how it works
Envelope (curve) shape is the only thing that syncs across groups. Tempo and triggering are left independent, so if you have Ducks set up with different speeds or trigger modes, these properties will remain when the Ducks are grouped.
You can use Duck groups as a sort of pseudo global Depth control. Reduce the maximum amplitude of the curve [like below], and all Ducks in the same group will pump a little less.
Grouping only works when you use the same type of plugin for all instances (VST/VST3 or Audio Unit). Additionally, if you are using Logic Pro or Reaper groups may not work correctly if you have multiple projects open at the same time.
MIDI FILTERING – Exclude unwanted note triggers
With Duck 1.3 we have added MIDI filtering, which allows you to set which range of MIDI notes actually trigger the plugin’s envelope. For example, you can isolate just the kick from a MIDI drum kit clip, by telling Duck to trigger only up to C1, ignoring the snare on D1 and the cowbell on G#2.
Duck has always offered MIDI and audio triggering. You may want to trigger the plugin’s envelope only when an audio track plays or when the MIDI from another part (often the kick part) is playing. This means you don’t need to duck on a constant loop – only when the other element is playing.
Previously, when working with MIDI triggers, any and every MIDI note would trigger Duck’s envelope – as well as the kick, any hi-hat, snare, tambourine or woodblock in the input MIDI signal would have triggered the envelope. To get just the MIDI kick triggering Duck, you previously had to copy all the kick notes out onto a new channel.
Duck is now easy to trigger from Ableton’s Drum Rack, Logic’s Drum Machine Designer, or any other software drum machine, instantly getting your Duck (or Ducks) triggering from the right element.
Let’s look at how to do it…
Step 1: Load Duck
Start by loading Duck on the channel that you wish to sidechain.
Step 2: Route MIDI from trigger channel
Next route the MIDI data from the channel you wish to use as a trigger to the instance of Duck you just loaded. The method used to do this will vary depending on which DAW you are using. Some DAWs such as Ableton may require you to duplicate the trigger channel and remove the instrument loaded on that channel in order to route MIDI from it.
Step 3: Edit Duck’s Trigger Mode
Click the icon labeled ‘Trigger Mode’ and select MIDI. Next, click the cog to the left of the icon. A window will open where you can alter the range of MIDI notes from your trigger channel that will trigger Duck.
BAND SOLOING – Audition or filter high/low bands
Since its first iteration, Duck has allowed users to split their sound into high and low frequencies, change the crossover point and duck the volume of each band differently. This is great for ducking just the lowest frequencies of a bass when a kick plays, leaving its upper frequencies unaffected – great for mixing.
We’ve expanded this functionality in Duck 1.3, allowing you to solo each band. This is useful both for fine-tuning each frequency band to get your pump perfect. Here’s how to do it…
Step 1: Activate crossover
To activate crossover in Duck click the power icon to the left of the Crossover dial. You can alter the crossover point of the high and low sections with the Crossover dial.
Step 2: Solo the bands
Once you have activated Crossover the High and Low dials will light up orange and solo buttons will appear next to each dial. Pressing these buttons will solo each band.