In this video, synthesist Maik Schott demonstrates creating sidechain effects, without using a compressor.
Schott users an inverted envelope generator – like an Doepfer A140 – to make this ‘pumping’ effect. Similar approaches can be used with just about any envelope generator and envelope follower, paired with a destination module that lets you invert the modulation or with an inverter intermediary module.
The goal is to apply a negative voltage to the destination module with each beat, instead of the more typical approach of using a positive voltage to open up the filter or amp.
Schott notes that this approach is discussed by Colin Benders in the book Patch & Tweak.