Put simply, sidechain compression reduces the volume of the initial part of a sound, then increases the volume shortly after for the remainder of the sound. This all happens in the space of a beat. The purpose of this is to allow for other elements (most commonly the kick drum) to be heard more clearly in the mix.
An example plugin which adds sidechain compression in FL Studio can be seen below:
You can see that the purple circular control allows you to change the amount of sidechain that is applied onto the sound, while the wave-looking options on the bottom right allow you to control the type of sidechain that you want to apply to the sound.
In general, by adding sidechain to an element you're allowing the kick drum to stand out more, rather than getting drowned out by other elements such as the bassline or vocals.
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