Sidechaining in music production is like butter to bread. From ducking bass when a kick triggers or more creative sidechaining, you’ll find the technique in every song – especially in EDM.

Forged in the digital labs of developer Cableguys and producer Nicky Romero, Kickstart 2 is the upgraded version of the renowned Kickstart plugin, reports Gear News.

Kickstart 2

Kickstart 2 delivers on the intent of Nicky Romero and Cableguys to feature all necessary functionality and tools for sidechaining in just one easy to use plugin. As a result, we need only place Kickstart 2 on any of our tracks and the plugin will duck the volume under our kick drum! With appropriate settings in the right places, Kickstart 2 enables us to create interesting rhythms and deliver impact in our music.

But in its first iteration, Kickstart presented just adjustable volume envelopes for avoiding low-frequency overlap. Now, Kickstart 2 travels beyond its previous limits. Kickstart 2 presents the ability to follow the transients of both a one-shot and loops! Not just one-shot kick drums, but whole breakbeats and drum machine loops too. This is made possible by the upgraded volume envelope. The envelope adapts itself to the volume of your input signal automatically and precisely adjusts the level of your sidechain. Finally, the multiband parameter is another new feature that allows us to select the frequency range in which our sidechain effect will apply.

For ease of use, a real-time visualizer allows you to see how Kickstart 2 is affecting your signal.

If you’ve ever asked an electronic music producer what plugins they love the most, the chances are that at least one was developed by Cableguys. In short, this is because Cableguys plugins simplify everyday processes, present exciting tools that generate new ideas, and make life generally easier inside a DAW. Cableguys plugins are very popular among producers not only because they build on familiar concepts, but they serve some niche needs that we didn’t know we had!

Price and availability

You can get Kickstart 2 today for just $16. However, owners of version 1 can upgrade for just $5 here. It’s compatible with macOS 10.9+ and Windows 7+ in 64-bit VST, VST3, AAX and AU formats. If you’re not sold just yet, a demo version is available on the website in addition to tutorials.