Pro Audio

Cableguys team up with Nicky Romero for Kickstart 2: a sidechain plugin for all genres

Cableguys teamed up with Nicky Romero for Kickstart 2. It’s a simple, fast and cross-genre sidechaining plugin. As well as being a quick tool for sidechaining we found it can also open up tonal possibilities.

Cableguys are a plugin company founded in 2007 that makes aesthetically pleasing plugins as used by all the top Dance and EDM producers (read: David Guetta, 808 Mafia, Armin Van Buuren).

For a revision on the original, they have teamed up with Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer Nicky Romero who’s known for his viral hit Toulouse to make this excellent sidechaining plugin, Kickstart 2. Let’s dive in!

Kickstarting Kickstart 2

Kickstart 2 is simple, but don’t be fooled, it does more than meets the eye and in more genres than you would imagine. On the left side, there’s a Mix knob, a Band on/off button, and a Frequency slider from 20 Hz to 5.12 kHz — frequencies duck under this selection.

The top tool bar has note lengths from 1/8 to 1/1, Input modes of Sync (to DAW), Midi (Input), and Audio (Input). The main display shows the sidechain envelope — that can be clicked and dragged, then down the bottom, there are Move Curve buttons — both normal and fine, and 16 presets to choose from.

Using the Kickstart 2

Downloading, installing and opening up the Kickstart 2 was extremely simple — not to mention that it’s a very affordable plugin. Starting with a 4 bar synth part I played in, I placed the plugin over the whole track. As I moved around the presets were very easy to use, and I quickly changed the part by clicking and dragging the envelope.

I then opened up a recent recording session of a rock band and put the plugin over an electric bass to duck it in the chorus so that the kick drum can cut through. It worked so well, and I didn’t have to go through the laborious process of creating a send, adding a compressor and making all the connections to sidechain. This plugin did it quick and smart.  See, not a genre specific plugin!

Hidden Gems

Going back to putting Kickstart 2 on the synth, I found a hidden gem in the Band on/off section. When engaged, the Band adds a headphone symbol. If you engage this it listens to the ducked frequencies only. Wow! Using the slider it completely changed the tone of my hard edged synth.

I found myself enjoying this mode, and I’m sure they didn’t intend this to be such a great function of the plugin, but thank you! A great tonal reshaping tool.

Overall this plugin is simple, affordable, and well designed and the hidden feature won me over. I’ll be reaching for this a lot more so watch out David Guetta, let the side chain games begin!

For more details head over to Cableguys website, Cableguys.com