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2channel compressor for kick and bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by morebass!, Dec 12, 2006.


  1. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    There may be more appropriate forums for this question but here goes anyway. I need a compressor for our kick drum and my bass. It has to be a 2-channel model because it seems that those two signals need to be handeled differently. My experience is limited to the Trace Elliot dual compression pedal on my bass so I'm pretty much a newbie on this. Anyone have a recommendation?
     
  2. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    For the money, DBX.
    You do need to read the manual and "play with" the thing to learn how it acts with different dynamics thrown at it.

    A 166 works good for my bass(one channel goes unused for now) to "smooth" levels somewhat(compressor) and protect speakers if something upstream of it goes very wrong(limiter function) like a wireless or preamp crater-ing and sending a super hot signal to a 1400 watt power amp.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.dbxpro.com/166XL.htm

    You can get the 266 for about $100 less but it doesn't have the limiter function.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/home/navigation?q=DBX
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yeah, dbx is a very good suggestion, they make several models that could fit the bill. Almost any rackmount comp with two discreet channels will do, though, depending on your budget, how picky you are about tone, and how much comfort you have with knob-twiddling.
     
  4. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    From your earlier post about PA woes, I gather you don't want to throw a ton of $$ at an LA-2 or Manley Labs Variable Mu or somesuch.

    If so, take a look at FMR Audio's RNC compressor. For under $400 new, you can get two of those and either rack them together, or put one one the front end of your bass rig and the other in the PA rack for the triggered kick.
     
  5. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I should have mentioned my budget. $400 would be the most I'd spend. I wouldn't mind spending less;)

    I could use my TE dual comp pedal for bass but wouldn't mind getting a better one for bass while I'm at it. If different models work better for kick and bass I'd be willing to get a special one dedicated to the kick. I'll check into the ones listed above. I notice dbx offers quite a few models. Any of those particularly good for triggered kick drum?
     
  6. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check into the FMR.
     
  7. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Interesting idea found in the manual for the dbx 166XL. Sounds like a recording technique that could also be done live! Thanks Johnny Crab!

    Keyed gating, that is, controlling the gating of one signal by another, can be used to add dynamics to a sound (e.g., creating perfectly in-sync playing and overdubbing among individual instruments or “fattening” a dynamically weak track). To create two distinct channels of bass guitar for your mix (by splitting the bass signal into two channels and synchronizing one channel of bass guitar with the kick drum), start by feeding one channel of bass directly into the mix and the other into the 166XL’s INPUT. Then key the gate with a signal from the kick drum (connected to the SIDECHAIN
    INSERT - adjust controls as needed). The gated bass track will now open with each kick, adding punch and dynamics.
    This can really tighten up the tracks and add life to the mix.
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    "Keyed gating", also known as "sidechaining", is an awesome trick. It can especialy help a somewhat sloppy rhythm section sound tighter.

    Personally I don't recommend the RNC. It's nice enough for some tasks, but I found it more difficult to set up for clean bass frequencies than other comps.
     
  9. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    The Carvin site really disses VCAs, which I believe is what dbx uses. Anyone have an opinion on VCA vs. optical technology and it's affect on sound? The Carvin certainly seems like a good deal. Thanks PilbaraBass!

     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    VCA vs. optical is like Jazz vs. Precision. Each have their fans, each have a purpose, and it's all up to your own tastes.
     

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