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A compressor... pure humbug?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by De Teng, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    I could make a poll out of it, but I want to know how you guys (and girls...OK... ;) ) feel about this issue:

    I'm using the EBS Octabass, Unichorus and the BassIQ in the bands' music and sometimes the gain is really too high for the band, when a particular sound is being created. (E.g. the BassIQ and the Octabass are both working). Therefore, reducing the gain...it would be a solution.

    So the compressor comes up huh?

    The point is... will that give me some satisfaction? Personally I don't like the compressed sound of a bass, it tends to diminish the real dynamics of the sound to me. In my opinion it is better to work on your technique then using a comp. So.. must I do something on the settings of the effects or just put the comp behind them and I'm done? (My technique is alright by the way, some 'studio people' think I'm almost a pro.)

    So... just simply... I am right or am I wrong?
  2. A compressor is made to even up the volume, not cut it down.

    you'll achieve more by working on the pedals.
  3. What AllodoX said. What you would need is a limiter. However, depending on how drastic the limiting would be, it would kill all the dynamics.
  4. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    I thought the compressor is used to turn op the notes which are a bit too soft en cut the notes, which are a bit too loud?

    Excuses for the bad english sometimes, I'm not really used to explain technical problems...
  5. Yep, that's exactly what he said:

  6. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    A compressor reduces or limits the upper limit of the dynamic range. Basically, your loudest sounds are less loud. This allows you to increase the overall gain without being too loud, (or running out of headroom). This way your softest sounds are louder too. So a compressor does cut down on the volume, but only once it reaches a certain value, called the threshold.

    A compressor will fix your gain problem. But it is a bandaid that may or may not work for you. You may not like how compression changes your sound. On the other hand, most bass players like a little compression when playing in a loud band.
  7. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I hate compression, that's just me. It chokes my tone, a good EQ board is all I need.
  8. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Compression is a must. Especially for me. I play finger style like Jaco used to (although not nearly as good), down on the string so I get a little pop; therefore, I won't play a note without compression. Or else I sound like CLANG-ring-ring-ring-ring-riiiiiiiing. Well, not that bad. I also use compression when I slap. Without compression, you get a lot of attack at the beggining of the note, then your sound peters off as you sustain. Compression will even it out so you can keep good dynamics throughout the song.
  9. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I've recently added a volume pedal to the end of my FX chain to solve the level changes caused by multiple effects. I also use a compressor but I don't need it to even out my playing, I use it for added punch and clarity in dense mixes.


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