Most modern compressors, likely including those that come with your DAW, have side-chaining to easily obtain the ducking/pumping effect – popular in dance music. If you want to try a different approach to obtaining it, or prefer a dedicated plug-in for the task, developer Devious Machines may have something for you. It’s a plug-in called Duck, and although it cannot quack, its forte is volume manipulation – including pumping.
Basically, you are given the means to come up with a custom volume envelope which repeats itself with speed and depth of your choosing. This way, you can achieve effects such as trance gate and tremolo, in addition to any happy accidents you happen upon while playing around with its controls. You can shape the volume envelope (draw, drag, or choose from 8 presets), adjust the effect amount, change the crossover frequency, dial in smoothing (to remove clicks), specify trigger level and so forth. Additional control is enabled via split band mode and its separate low and high frequency controls.
Of course, Duck too has a sidechain input, and also listens for MIDI notes so manual control or exact matching to your music is also a possibility. Finally, if you are looking for a starting point, there are 58 presets to explore.
Price and availability
Duck is being sold at an introductory USD 24, down from USD 26. A free demo version is available. The plug-in works under Mac and Windows in VST/AU/AAX formats.