Setting a compressor?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by J03YW, Jan 17, 2014.


  1. J03YW

    J03YW

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    I don't know how to put it into words, but there's this bass sound that I particularly like that's gotten by setting a compressor to get this kind of throbbing sound, but I don't know how to get it. It's very apparent here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9dQYa7_fZM where Tommy Shannon's bass sounds very gentle but the volume of it seems to be backed off harshly, borderline limited. He manages to hit the bass hard (and during Couldn't Stand the Weather he plays on his own with the drums and he actually has some treble click too) but keep this kind of throaty growly midrange/bass sound that I really like. The only other example of this would be Rush's Moving Pictures, where Geddy's bass has this same sort of compressed quality but more overdriven and aggressive than Tommy's tone above. How would I go about setting my compressor to sound like that?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    What compressor are you using? And what other gear (amp, pedals, etc) are you using at the same time?
     
  3. el murdoque

    el murdoque

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    I can't really figure out the bass specifics in the video - bad speakers on my computer,
    but from what you're describing it sounds like you want the threshold really low and the compression rather high with fast attack and slow release, so you basically have the signal compressed the entire time so normal play will trigger it and the peaks in harder playing get limited.

    I'd start with setting attack to the fastest setting and release to the slowest, then the threshold to the lowest setting (careful, on some units that knob goes all the way clockwise on others the other way) and the ratio to a high ammount. next thing to to is raise the threshold to meet your needs - since different instruments offer different output you need to find the right setting. Note that, when there's a very high compression ratio dialed in, the signal will not cross the threshold. When you have to dial in a lot of volume to make up for the loss, you will increase groundnoise and may be better off with a higher threshold and less gain.
     
  4. el murdoque

    el murdoque

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    Sorry to highjack this thread, but since bongomania, as one of the heavyweights in compressors joined in here, maybe i can sneak off an answer.

    Here's my setting: My bass has an active Glockenklang 3 band preamp, the comp is an aguilar TLC (later edition that works with angled jacks) and the amp a tonehammer 500.

    What i want to achieve is a signal with little dynamics where i can play 16s and every note will sound the same regardless of how hard i hit it, starting from a light touch. That's for a song that calls for roots played in 16s. I get them out ok, but only with a softer touch and when the song
    changes parts, i dig in more, resulting in either the 16s being not loud enough or the other part being too loud.
     
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  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm listening to the video, and to me it sounds like a low-wattage tube amp pushed hard, and miked at the speaker. Unfortunately I don't see the amp or any pedals.

    To get that effect, I would do just as murdoque said: low threshold, high ratio. Plus an overdrive.
     

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