Dimmer Setup Guide – Logic Pro X

If you want to get Dimmer working in Logic, you’ve come to the right place. A setup guide for Pro Tools is here. If you would like a setup guide for a different DAW/OS, please get in touch via the contact form.

I’ll be using a stripped-down recording session containing pretty much only what we need to demo the plugin. This example will be as if you are recording someone for a VO, but Dimmer can be used for other purposes too. You can get the session here.

The session contains the following tracks:

  • Talkback: The engineer’s mic input (aux track)
  • Talent: The mic input for recording (aux track)
  • Speaker Out: The submaster, which goes out to the speakers (aux track)
  • Record: Where the talent’s voice will be recorded to audio files (audio track)
  • Take tracks, where you might drop the recordings, ready to record the next take (audio tracks)
  • Stereo Out: the main output track to the speakers

I ran 2 different tones through the Talkback and Talent tracks so I could see what was going on.

Currently, if you have the talkback mic open, the talent will hear an echo of their voice coming out of the engineer’s speakers. So, let’s add Dimmer to Speaker Out in order to reduce that problem.

Dimmer opens up, with its four options (at the time of release), and the option for a Side Chain. This will be a bus from the talkback mic.

Next, we must make the sidechain. We open I/O Labels…

…and scroll down past inputs to see the buses available to us.

We’ll use Bus 4 for our Dimmer sidechain.

So, we make a send to our sidechain on our Talkback track.

So, our track layout looks like this. Logic has created an Aux track, which we do not need.

We delete the aux track and Logic prompts us that it is in use. Click ‘Delete anyway’.

Sends default to -inf dB so option-click the rotary fader to bring the send up to 0dB.

Reopen Dimmer so we can set its Side Chain input.

Select our nicely named bus in the Side Chain drop-down.

Now Dimmer is receiving the send from our Talkback track into its Side Chain input.

Once that is done, the indicator becomes functional and shows the amount of dimming happening – since we are running tone through our Talkback track, it is currently dimming, so the indicator is on.

To set the threshold of Dimmer, we can turn the tone off, open our talkback mic (don’t say anything yet!) and set the ‘Threshold’ to a little higher than the noise floor of the talkback mic.

The indicator will light up to show the Dimmer is being triggered, and the level of our main speakers will drop by the ‘dimming’ amount – 10dB shown above.

Once you’ve set that up, it’s probably useful to save a plugin preset that matches your talkback mic.

I use Dimmer to avoid echos and feedback loops, but you can use it whenever you want to duck any sound under another without the pumping effect of a compressor. For example, if you create podcasts or something with a similar ‘voice-over-music’ style, you can use Dimmer to duck the level of the music while you’re speaking.

And that’s it!

If you have any questions or comments, or want me to make a guide for your DAW, please get in touch via the contact form. If you want my Logic Pro X project, it’s here. If you want to try Dimmer, you can find it here.