Let's talk compression

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Let's talk compression

Postby Uberjam » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:06 am

ok I'll try to get this right, so compression cuts the top and bottom off a frequency which means you some how get a bigger fatter tone. Is it because you can put more gain on the signal without being worried about peaks? What does the ratio knob actually do? Is a tube compressor superior to a digital compressor? Are the little compressor foot pedals worth owning? Do they even compare to a good rack unit? If I have a dual channel compressor would compressing it more than once do anything or would that be best for bassists using a separate path for effects and things like that?


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Thanks for the assistance
Only sick music makes money today.
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
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Uberjam
 
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Links: Basses:
Marcus Miller signature Fender Jazz V
American Standard Fender Jazz IV
3/4 kay style upright

Gear:
Genz Benz 750 head
Genz Benz 6x10 cab
Tech 21 Sans Amp RBI preamp
TC Electronic C400XL Dual channel compressor

Extra toys:
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
Electro-Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
Boss overdrive
Digi-tech sub octave synth
Boss loop station
Boss super octave
Boss bass chorus
Boss bass synth
Boss flanger

Recording gear:
Macbook
Ableton live 8
Korg Pandora's box PX5D
Boss DR3 Drum Machine

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby shamus63 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:19 am

I've never quite grasped this, either...
"Don't play it if you don't feel it." - James Jamerson
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shamus63
 
Location: 94402
Links: Basses:
Epiphone Thunderbird IV
'84 Squier Japan Precision
Yamaha BB300

Rig:
Ampeg B2-RE
Ampeg SVT-410HLF
=o7o

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Uberjam » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:11 am

I found a page with some good information. It even mentions an optimal range for the ratio setting and describes in plain English what that threshold and ratio knobs actually do.

http://www.tunemybass.com/bass_effects_ ... tings.html

I'm actually not sure why I've haven't run into this site before. It has more that just compression information. Kind of a neat site. I like that it's just for bassists.
Only sick music makes money today.
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
User avatar
Uberjam
 
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Links: Basses:
Marcus Miller signature Fender Jazz V
American Standard Fender Jazz IV
3/4 kay style upright

Gear:
Genz Benz 750 head
Genz Benz 6x10 cab
Tech 21 Sans Amp RBI preamp
TC Electronic C400XL Dual channel compressor

Extra toys:
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
Electro-Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
Boss overdrive
Digi-tech sub octave synth
Boss loop station
Boss super octave
Boss bass chorus
Boss bass synth
Boss flanger

Recording gear:
Macbook
Ableton live 8
Korg Pandora's box PX5D
Boss DR3 Drum Machine

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Freddels » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:14 am

|| Aguilar Tonehammer 500, Ampeg 7 Pro, Markbass CMD102P, GK 800RB||
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Freddels
 
Location: Central MA

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby aussiemark » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:35 pm

Some of the pedal compressors are nice little units. I like the Aphex Punch Factory, which is an optical compressor so it's very subtle in that it doesn't "sound" like compression is being used - but you notice a significant difference if you turn it off. I use a touch of compression to keep my signal in the "zone" all night, so that when the guitards crank their amps in the second and third sets and I dig in harder to compete with them the signal I'm sending to the sound guy remains constant. That way, he can bring me up out front without me cranking my rig in a stage volume war with the guitards.
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aussiemark
 
Location: Sydney

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Uberjam » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:27 am

We have a loud drummer. I guess all drummers are loud, but this guy is especially loud, and before I started using compression the sound guy couldn't really keep me at his level, so he was holding back and it somewhat effected the groove and turned the show into a guitar thing. But I think I'm getting the hang of it now, my volume can come up and my notes are like big fat matching bricks of sound, much more consistent.

Freddels, that link is awesome. It answered a lot of my questions, thank you.

It mentions that adjusting the release is the hardest part and I agree. During my show I keep my bass passive the whole time, I think it sounds more like the bands we're covering, but I switch back and forth from using a pick to finger style. So I might need two different compression settings. I'm not sure. I'll have to mess with it a lot like the article recommends.

Either way I can't believe I've been playing this long live without it.

Compression has given me a much more professional sound. I remember rocking stages in bars back home and in college and always finding a note or two that just popped out way too loud and not being able do anything but turn my whole sound down.
Only sick music makes money today.
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
User avatar
Uberjam
 
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Links: Basses:
Marcus Miller signature Fender Jazz V
American Standard Fender Jazz IV
3/4 kay style upright

Gear:
Genz Benz 750 head
Genz Benz 6x10 cab
Tech 21 Sans Amp RBI preamp
TC Electronic C400XL Dual channel compressor

Extra toys:
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
Electro-Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
Boss overdrive
Digi-tech sub octave synth
Boss loop station
Boss super octave
Boss bass chorus
Boss bass synth
Boss flanger

Recording gear:
Macbook
Ableton live 8
Korg Pandora's box PX5D
Boss DR3 Drum Machine

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Freddels » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:28 am

I've been wanting to get a compressor too. I had an online exchange with Gail Ann Dorsey about how she got such a fat tone and she told me to use as much compression as the bass and amp can handle. Of course, I didn't any recommendation as to which compressor to buy though.
|| Aguilar Tonehammer 500, Ampeg 7 Pro, Markbass CMD102P, GK 800RB||
User avatar
Freddels
 
Location: Central MA

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Freddels » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:40 am

How do you have your compressor hooked up to the amp? Are you running through the effects send/return?
|| Aguilar Tonehammer 500, Ampeg 7 Pro, Markbass CMD102P, GK 800RB||
User avatar
Freddels
 
Location: Central MA

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby aussiemark » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:11 pm

Freddels wrote:How do you have your compressor hooked up to the amp? Are you running through the effects send/return?


Compressor is first in the chain for me (after the tuner). Bass > tuner > compressor > VT Bass/Sansamp > amp input. I only use the effects send/return for octave/wah/flanger type effects, ie. effects that mess with pitch. Anything that relates to the gain structure of the signal I run into the amp input.
User avatar
aussiemark
 
Location: Sydney

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Freddels » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:53 pm

Thanks. I've got an EBS Multicomp on the way.
|| Aguilar Tonehammer 500, Ampeg 7 Pro, Markbass CMD102P, GK 800RB||
User avatar
Freddels
 
Location: Central MA

Re: Let's talk compression

Postby Uberjam » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:06 am

My compressor should be here soon.

Once I get it the signal chain will look like this.

Bass---> bottom half of pedal board (boss overdrive, big muff pi, octave multiplexer,boss super octave, boss tuning pedal)---> Sans Amp RBI---second half of pedal board with 50/50 split (boss bass chorus,flange,synth)loops back in to Sans Amp ----> TC electronic C400XL compressor---- board.

I know this looks bad, but my guitar player's is much much worse.
Only sick music makes money today.
-Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
User avatar
Uberjam
 
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Links: Basses:
Marcus Miller signature Fender Jazz V
American Standard Fender Jazz IV
3/4 kay style upright

Gear:
Genz Benz 750 head
Genz Benz 6x10 cab
Tech 21 Sans Amp RBI preamp
TC Electronic C400XL Dual channel compressor

Extra toys:
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
Electro-Harmonix Octave Multiplexer
Boss overdrive
Digi-tech sub octave synth
Boss loop station
Boss super octave
Boss bass chorus
Boss bass synth
Boss flanger

Recording gear:
Macbook
Ableton live 8
Korg Pandora's box PX5D
Boss DR3 Drum Machine


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