What is ducking and  how can it help you sound better live?
Back to the JBL Blog overview

JBL Blogs

What is ducking and
how can it help you sound better live?

Ever been at an event and noticed that when the emcee starts speaking, the background music instantly drops, then it pops right back up again as soon as that person finishes talking? This isn’t some frenzied mixing engineer frantically pushing faders up and down; this is ducking in action.

Ducking temporarily lowers, or “ducks,” the volume level of a specified audio signal anytime a second specified audio signal is present. In live sound, ducking is commonly used to lower background music anytime a person speaks, then raises it when that person finishes speaking, as in the emcee example above. This technique can be employed in any scenario where you need to be heard over backing tracks, whether you’re hosting an event, giving a speech or teaching a fitness class.
 $display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogStack1Title)
So, how does ducking work? Let’s get technical for a minute: Ducking is an application of sidechain compression, in which the output level of one sound channel controls the action of a compressor effect on another channel. Here, a control channel is set to trigger a compressor on a correlated channel or channels whenever the control signal exceeds a predefined volume threshold. When the control channel exceeds the threshold, the compressor kicks in and the level of the background channel is reduced; when the control level drops back below the threshold, the background channel level comes back up to its normal level.
 $display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogStack2Title)
An audio “control” signal dictates the volume level of the ducked audio signal. The control signal remains at full volume at all times.

Ducking chains can be created manually with signal processors, or for automatic, foolproof results, take advantage of the one-touch ducking feature built into JBL EON700 Series, JBL IRX Series and EON ONE Compact portable P.A.s and select Soundcraft mixers including the Notepad series and the Ui24R. It’s a powerful function that takes the guesswork out of configuring signal chains and lets you keep your focus where it belongs—on your performance.

Ducking isn’t limited to live sound; in the studio, ducking is used when recording narrations, voiceovers, translations, podcasts, YouTube videos, and other productions that benefit from lowering background music under speech. It’s even used (or more accurately, misused) creatively in EDM and pop music production to trigger volume “pumping” and other special effects. (Great examples of pumping include Eric Prydz’ “Call on Me” and Daft Punk’s “One More Time.”) A ducker can also be inserted in a reverb or delay line to manipulate those effects.

 $display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogStack3Title)
Watch the JBL IRX loudspeaker series video walkthrough.
Whether you’re performing live or in the studio, ducking is a fast and easy way to manage audio levels, make room for all of the elements in your mix and ensure your voice is always heard, loud and clear.
 $display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogStack4Title)
The “ducked” audio signal level automatically lowers anytime the control signal is detected or reaches a predefined volume threshold.


JBL IRX108BT
Powered 8” Portable Speaker with Bluetooth®
$ 359.10 each
$ 399.00
JBL IRX112BT
Powered 12” Portable Speaker with Bluetooth®
$ 404.10 each
$ 449.00
JBL EON710
10-inch Powered PA Speaker with Bluetooth
$ 449.10 each
$ 499.00
JBL EON712
12-inch Powered PA Speaker with Bluetooth
$ 494.10 each
$ 549.00
JBL EON715
15-inch Powered PA Speaker with Bluetooth
$ 539.10 each
$ 599.00

More from JBL

Mixing the world’s biggest artists  with JBL 7 studio monitors Mixing the world’s biggest artists
with JBL 7 studio monitors
Whether it’s crafting a chart-topping single, multi-tracking a live performance or mixing a stadium concert, today’s top producers and audio engineers are recording in a wide range of environments. From legacy studios to home studios to mobile recording rigs, audio professionals need studio monitors that deliver consistent, highly-accurate audio, in any environment.
How to choose  the perfect portable P.A. for your  live performance or presentation? How to choose
the perfect portable P.A. for your
live performance or presentation?
If you’re like most musicians and presenters, your gigs likely take you to a range of venues, from cafés, bars and clubs to parks, corporate spaces and houses of worship. All of these situations have something in common: They all call for sound reinforcement, likely supplied by you.
5 Ways Bluetooth 5 Makes  Wireless Audio Better 5 Ways Bluetooth 5 Makes
Wireless Audio Better
Quick: Count how many Bluetooth devices you own. Chances are, it’s a lot more than you thought.
Dialing in your signature sound:  tips for eqing portable P.A. Systems Dialing in your signature sound:
tips for eqing portable P.A. Systems
Today’s light, portable P.A. systems give you the flexibility to play just about anywhere. But with this flexibility comes the challenge of consistently sounding your best, even in unusual or unpredictable environments. Luckily, many modern P.A. systems offer digital signal processing that brings sound-sculpting tools right to your fingertips. EQ is the most effective tool for tailoring your sound system and once you know the basics, EQing a portable P.A. is simple – all you’ll need is your P.A. system, access to its EQ controls, some reference material, and your ears.
What is feedback suppression  and how can it help your performances? What is feedback suppression
and how can it help your performances?
Squuueeeeeeaaaaccchh! You know it in an instant: that piercing, ear-melting shriek blaring out of your loudspeakers. It’s feedback, and it’s a showstopper—in more ways than one.
10 ideas for socially distanced  events using portable P.A.'s 10 ideas for socially distanced
events using portable P.A.'s
Well, it’s official: This is the summer of social distancing. While a “return to normal” in a post-COVID world means different things to different people, one universal certainty is that as things begin to open up, live music, performances, worship services and presentations will require some different approaches and considerations for some time to come.
Aiming for Accuracy:  How to Set Up Your Home Studio Aiming for Accuracy:
How to Set Up Your Home Studio
Your studio monitors are the windows to your music.
A Sound Decision:  Choosing the Right Studio Monitor -  by Sarah Jones A Sound Decision:
Choosing the Right Studio Monitor -
by Sarah Jones
You’ve spent long hours in the studio carefully fine-tuning your mix, obsessing over every detail until you’re satisfied with your sonic masterpiece. But when you listen to your finished product on a new system—your car, your home stereo, headphones—you’re shocked to discover that it sounds absolutely nothing like that mix you worked so hard to perfect. What the heck happened?
What is ducking and  how can it help you sound better live? What is ducking and
how can it help you sound better live?
Ever been at an event and noticed that when the emcee starts speaking, the background music instantly drops, then it pops right back up again as soon as that person finishes talking? This isn’t some frenzied mixing engineer frantically pushing faders up and down; this is ducking in action.
Best headphones for your loved ones this holiday season: our 5 tips Best headphones for your loved ones this holiday season: our 5 tips

With the holiday season just around the corner, the search for the best gifts also begins.

Les meilleurs casques audio à offrir  pour les fêtes Les meilleurs casques audio à offrir
pour les fêtes

À l'approche des fêtes de fin d'année commence la recherche du cadeau idéal.

$display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogTitle) $content.custom.BlogTitle Best headphones for your loved ones this holiday season: our 5 tips Best headphones for your loved ones this holiday season: our 5 tips

With the holiday season just around the corner, the search for the best gifts also begins.

$display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogTitle) $content.custom.BlogTitle $display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogTitle) $content.custom.BlogTitle $display.stripTags($content.custom.BlogTitle) $content.custom.BlogTitle Start exercising: Our five tips Start exercising:
Our five tips
Starting to exercise is the perfect challenge for your body. Going for a nice run outside, boxing or working out in the gym: there's nothing like some extra movement.
Alles over draadloze koptelefoons Alles over draadloze koptelefoons

Met een draadloze koptelefoon kies je voor vrijheid. Zonder kabel luister je overal naar je favoriete muziek en geniet je van het kwalitatief hoogwaardige geluid van JBL.

Koptelefoon voor je kind Koptelefoon voor je kind

Een koptelefoon voor je kind is beschikbaar in leuke kleuren en is voorzien van volumebescherming.

$content.custom.BlogTitle Alles over DAB+ radio Alles over DAB+ radio

DAB staat voor Digital Audio Broadcasting. Het is dus eigenlijk gewoon digitaal verstuurd

Hoe maak je jouw oordopjes het beste schoon? Hoe maak je jouw oordopjes het beste schoon?

Portemonnee, telefoon, sleutels? Check. Oortjes? Natúúrlijk. Want een dag van huis zonder

Headphones or earbuds? Headphones or earbuds? Listening to music can be better with headphones or earbuds? We will explain exactly what the advantages of both options are. Headphones or earbuds? Headphones or earbuds? Listening to music can be better with headphones or earbuds? We will explain exactly what the advantages of both options are. $content.custom.BlogTitle $content.custom.BlogTitle Help me choose Help me choose You want the best portable speaker for your unique situation. So does JBL! For every situation there is a JBL portable speaker. Want to bring your portable speaker to the beach? Or perhaps take the speaker to the park? No problem! JBL got you covered. Read more about the best portable devices for each situation. 5 conseils pour choisir le meilleur casque gaming 5 conseils pour choisir le meilleur casque gaming

Suivez nos 5 conseils pour trouver le casque de gamer qui répond le mieux à vos attentes !

Alles über das DAB+Radio Alles über das DAB+Radio

DAB steht für Digital Audio Broadcasting. Es geht also um digital versendeten Ton.

5 Tips for the best gaming headset 5 Tips for the best gaming headset

Whether you're shouting commands at your buddies in a raid or want to make sure your housemates aren't annoyed by the racket of your latest game, a good gaming headset is a must.

5 Tips voor de beste gaming headset 5 Tips voor de beste gaming headset Of je nou commando's aan het roepen bent naar je maten in de raid of je wil zorgen dat je huisgenoten zich niet ergeren aan de racegeluiden van je nieuwste game All about wireless headphones All about wireless headphones

Wireless headphones give you freedom.

Alles über kabellose Kopfhörer Alles über kabellose Kopfhörer

Mit einem kabellosen Kopfhörer entscheidest du dich für Freiheit.

Muziek onder de douche? Ga voor waterdicht! Muziek onder de douche? Ga voor waterdicht!

Wil je jouw muziek niet missen onder de douche? Of wil je die podcast ook lekker in bad kunnen luisteren?

Music in the shower? Go for Waterproof! Music in the shower? Go for Waterproof!

Would you like to have your music in the shower? Or do you want to listen to a podcast in the bath?

What are the best home speakers? What are the best home speakers?

A good speaker in your living room is important: it can take watching a film, having a party, doing a workout or having a moment to yourself to the next level.

De beste speaker voor buiten De beste speaker voor buiten Zodra de eerste zonnestralen schijnen zitten we met z’n allen buiten te genieten. Met een drankje in je hand zit je in je tuin Der beste Lautsprecher für draußen Der beste Lautsprecher für draußen

Die ersten warmen Tage locken alle nach draußen. Ob im Garten, im Park oder am Strand – passende Musik darf dabei nicht fehlen.

Wat is de beste speaker voor thuis? Wat is de beste speaker voor thuis?

Een goede speaker in je woonkamer is niet zomaar belangrijk: het kan je film, feestje, sportsessie of momentje voor jezelf volledig naar een next level tillen.

Was ist der beste Lautsprecher für dein Zuhause? Was ist der beste Lautsprecher für dein Zuhause?

Ein guter Lautsprecher darf in keinem Wohnzimmer fehlen. Ganz egal, ob es um Filme, Partys oder Entspannung geht – guter Klang ist immer von Vorteil

Casques audio pour enfant Casques audio pour enfant

Les casques pour enfant (dès l’âge de 3 ans) existent dans des couleurs amusantes.

Casque réducteur de bruit : de quoi s'agit-il et comment ça fonctionne ? Casque réducteur de bruit : de quoi s'agit-il et comment ça fonctionne ?

Vous voulez apprécier votre musique préférée malgré les bruits ambiants?

What is the best way to clean your earphones? What is the best way
to clean your earphones?

Wallet, phone, keys? Check. Earphones? Of course. Because having a day away from home without your favorite tunes is unthinkable.

Tout sur la radio DAB+ Tout sur la radio DAB+

DAB est l'abréviation de Digital Audio Broadcasting (radiodiffusion audio numérique), appelé en français Radio numérique terrestre.

How do I connect multiple JBL speakers? How do I connect multiple JBL speakers?

Would you like to enjoy your music with your friends or take your music experience to the next level?

Comment connecter des enceintes JBL entre elles ? Comment connecter des enceintes JBL entre elles ?

Vous souhaitez profiter de votre musique avec vos amis ou passer à la vitesse supérieure ?

Écouter de la musique via Wifi ou Bluetooth ? Écouter de la musique via Wifi ou Bluetooth ?

Vous souhaitez bénéficier d'une expérience musicale optimale à la maison ou au travail ?

Headphones for your child Headphones for your child

Headphones for children are available in fun colors and have volume protection. So listening to music, watching a film or playing a game is completely safe.

All about DAB+ radio All about DAB+ radio DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting. So basically, it is just digitally transmitted sound. Wie kannst du deine In Ear Kopfhörer reinigen? Wie kannst du deine In Ear Kopfhörer reinigen?

Portemonnaie, Telefon, Schlüssel? Check. Kopfhörer? Natürlich. Ein Tag ohne deine Lieblingsmusik? Unvorstellbar.

Wie verbinde ich mehrere JBL-Boxen miteinander? Wie verbinde ich mehrere JBL-Boxen miteinander?

Du willst mit Freund:innen gemeinsam Musik hören?

Hoe koppel ik meerdere JBL speakers met elkaar?  Hoe koppel ik meerdere JBL speakers met elkaar? 

Wil jij met je vrienden van je muziek genieten of je muziekbeleving naar the next level brengen?

Kopfhörer für dein Kind Kopfhörer für dein Kind

Kinderkopfhörer gibt es in unterschiedlichsten Farben und mit integriertem Gehörschutz.

Les meilleures enceintes d'extérieur Les meilleures enceintes d'extérieur

Quoi de plus agréable que d'écouter la musique émise par vos enceintes d'extérieur, installé dans votre jardin ? Rien de tel pour profiter des rayons du soleil, un verre à la main, sur votre terrasse, et même dans un parc ou à la plage.

Quelles sont les meilleures enceintes pour la maison ? Quelles sont les meilleures enceintes pour la maison ?

Installer de bonnes enceintes dans votre salon est primordial. Surtout si vous souhaitez faire passer votre film, votre soirée, votre séance de sport ou tout autre moment de détente à un niveau supérieur.

Listening to music via Wifi or Bluetooth? Listening to music via Wifi or Bluetooth?

Do you want the best music experience at home (or at work)? Then the way you stream music to your speakers is certainly important.

Musik hören via WiFi oder via Bluetooth? Musik hören via WiFi oder via Bluetooth?

Willst du den besten Sound? Dann ist die Verbindungsart wichtig!

Muziek luisteren via wifi of bluetooth? Muziek luisteren via wifi of bluetooth? Wil jij thuis (of op werk) de beste muzikale beleving? Dan is de manier waarop je je muziek naar je speakers streamt zeker belangrijk. Quelle est la meilleure façon de nettoyer des écouteurs ? Quelle est la meilleure façon de nettoyer des écouteurs ?

Parce que tu les as toujours avec toi, les écouteurs doivent être nettoyés régulièrement

Noise-cancelling headphones: what are they and how do they work? Noise-cancelling headphones: what are they and how do they work?

ant to enjoy your music despite the noisy sounds around you?

Noise-Cancelling Kopfhörer: Was ist das und wie funktioniert es?  Noise-Cancelling Kopfhörer: Was ist das und wie funktioniert es? 

Deine Musik trotz lauter Geräusche um dich herum genießen?

Noise cancelling koptelefoon: wat is het en hoe werkt het?  Noise cancelling koptelefoon: wat is het en hoe werkt het? 

Toch genieten van je muziek ondanks rumoerige geluiden om je heen?

De la musique sous la douche ? Optez pour une Bluetooth enceinte ! De la musique sous la douche ? Optez pour une Bluetooth enceinte !

Pour pouvoir écouter votre musique dans la salle de bain, équipez-la d'une enceinte adaptée !

Tout sur les casques et écouteurs sans fil Tout sur les casques et écouteurs sans fil

Grâce aux casques audio sans fil JBL, vous pouvez écouter vos musiques préférées partout. De quoi profiter d'un son de haute qualité et d'un maximum de liberté !

Musik unter der Dusche? Wasserdichte Lautsprecher! Musik unter der Dusche? Wasserdichte Lautsprecher!

Du willst unter der Dusche nicht auf Musik verzichten oder im Bad Podcasts hören?

Fünf Tipps für das beste Gaming-Headset Fünf Tipps für das beste Gaming-Headset

Teamspeak, immersiver Klang und das alles, ohne deine Mitbewohner:innen zu stören.