Cableguys has posted a video which demonstrates how you can get louder mixes using “invisible” sidechaining in its VolumeShaper 5 effect plugin.
This video tutorial kicks off by demonstrating how overlapping kick and bass parts eat up headroom, causing the mastering limiter to distort easily. VolumeShaper 5 is then used to duck the kick drum and bassline, so that they slot together with no overlap.
This alternative to sidechain compression gives clean and precise results with no routing required. The additional headroom created is clearly visible on the mastering limiter’s meter. However, the effect is also quite obvious, as the bassline disappears every time the kick drum hits – so VolumeShaper’s multiband functionality is used to target the ducking/pumping only on the lower frequencies. This achieves the same goal of increased bass headroom while making the effect “invisible” to the listener.
The end result is a tight low end and a mix that will go way louder without distortion.