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Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by McHack, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!

    I run a straight signal... my bass into my Ashdown pre -> power -> cabs. If I want grit, I crank on the valve. That gives a nice furry tone. But, thats all I do when it comes to effects.

    However, the more I read, the more I'm thinking compression is a good thing. Now, this may be a very stupid question, but how do you KNOW if you need a compressor, if you dont KNOW if you need a compressor???

    I'm outta rack space, so a stomp box is desirable. Seems like the Aphex Punch Factory is a front runner when folks are comparing compressors.

    Also, my pre has an effects loop... would be advantagous to use that, or run it into my RPM1's input?
  2. didier


    Aug 4, 2005
    What is it you are reading that makes you think it's a good idea? I'm not saying it is or isn't- it's just a matter of what you want to accomplish with it, right?

    I ask that bc if you don't know that you NEED a compressor, my guess is you don't. But if you're not sure if you might get some benefit from it, it could be nice to try one one out, preferably with your own bass and rig, and see if it adds or takes away anything you would like added or taken away. If you can try before you buy all the better.

    Are you struggling with uneven levels in your playing? A compressor can help even things out. It can also add some fullness, sustain, or punch. But you will give up some dynamics, even if just a little. That is what compression does, right?

    There are many choices, and even more opinions about them, but the Aphex PF would probably be a good start, esp for the price.
  3. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, it sounds like some folks use compression to even out the dynamic range of various strings on thier basses.

    As an example, the B string on the MTD Beast I just bought generates a substantial amount of signal... but, it just sounds like mud. There's so much signal coming off my B, that it maxs the VU meter on my preamp, whereas the EADG strings float nicely to where I've adjusted the input gain.

    I'm expecting, compression will limit the signal coming off that B string, & help it sound much more focused,,,w/o hintering the tone I get off of the EADG strings.

    Also, I'm kind of a noob slapper... I'm hoping that compression can help even things out.
  4. didier


    Aug 4, 2005
    ahh... slapping. Compression cand be a really good thing for slapping, even for the most experienced and best players.

    I have an aphex PF, and I liked it best for slap. (And for the flashing LEDS :) I am not much of a slapper, but it can add some nice almost bubble poping umpf when I dared get my thumb going.

    It should even out levels, and lower the level on your B, just like you said. It may focus the B and clear up the mud, I suppose that depends on whether the problem is because your driving the pre harder or if it's just a muddy signal to begin with.

    If you can borrow a nice compressor to experiment with it would be great, but even if you buy one the PF isn't very much $ and if it's not for you then you can probably sell it here or somewhere for close to what you have in it.

    As for in front or in the loop, you should try it both ways and see which works better for you. This may be obvious, but if you're overdriving or running out of headroom in the input of your pre, it's going to work better in front of that. I would guess that would be best for you, but it's worth trying both ways. As I recall, the PF has a switch for active/passive, and you'll need to set that depending on the bass you use and where the pedal is in you signal.
  5. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    OK - I'll give it a go:

    I use some amount of compression or limiting all-the-time; usually more than less! I love compression - more than most - but I'd still say that no bassist like-totally NEEDs-needs compression, I guess.

    BUT: for just about any kind of music you could do - if you go into the studio to record it, your bass is going to end-up quite compressed, whether the engineer or producer tells you about it, or not. ..So I'd say that just-about EVERY engineer and producer NEEDS compression on Bass Guitar!

    Also: Keep in-mind that there are TWO kinds of compression - all other smaller catagories pretty-much fitting into one of them. That is 'transparent', like 'studio' compression (the Punch Factory is pretty amazing at this), and uh.. that other kind; the kind I like (oh, that would be 'that Tony Levin and I like'... hey - I kinda' like that... Yeah, that's-it: my buddy, good-Ol' Tony Yeah...) - the 'squasher'-kind. I like the Boss CS-3, my self; it 'sounds like it's workin' hard'!

  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If you use a stomp-box comp, you want to put it in line between your bass and your preamp.

    If you do decide to try putting it into your effects loop, make sure your effects blend is at 100%, and make sure the output level of the preamp's fx loop is compatible with the input levels suited for the comp. What I mean is, if your fx loop out is line level, it may be too hot for a stompbox input, and the comp may not sound or perform at its best that way.

    Some stompboxes (and fx loops) are more forgiving than others when it comes to level matching.
  7. it would definitely be a good thing especially if you slap, if you have a 5 string, or if you like to play really high stuff alot. it'll even things out alot.

    you will be able to get a louder overall volume before clipping out of your amp.

    and yes, on 99.9% of the recordings you hear the bass is compressed, as well as the overall mix.

    as far as stompboxes i don't know, mine is a rackmount dbx.

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