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Another Compressor Question - DO I REALLY NEED ONE?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DosiYanarchy, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. hi y'all,

    im really tempted by the BBE OptoStomp, but i cant really tell you why, ive never used compression before, but i know the OPTO STOMP is highly regarded here.
    heres my current pedalboard for reference:


    i know the Sansamp offers a little compression (not officially, but it is hinted on in the manual), but i just want to know what to expect form the BBE pedal? i know its a light compression, not a gimmicky type one.
    A few of my pedals (ie: the Synth bass) are reliant on playing dynamics-would i loose these using the BBE?

    i find myself playing on the A and high D strings more because they cut through the mix alot better, would the Opto stomp help even out the difference (ps: ive adjusted the pickup/string height but i dont think its a volume thing)

    obviously the Aphex Punch factory has 'punch' in the name, but could the BBE also be subtly punchier than my normal tone without messing with my dynamics or the tone of my effects?

    i've never really noticed massive volume peaks in my playing- but just stuff like playing at the bridge or the neck does have slightly different volume outputs.

    oh yeah, sometimes i play really hard,- sometimes just to be heard during heavy passages in songs

    would a BBE Opto Stomp be a really worthwhile purchase for me? id like it as an 'always on' pedal, just to enhance the stability of the tone.

    i know loads of bassists are using the BBE on their boards, but i just dont know how it will affect my sound.

    if it helps: i play a MIA Fender Deluxe Jazz, Fender Jaguar bass and a Tokai Rockinbetter (rick-o-clone) into a Ashdown MAG300 combo
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Few people "really NEED" a compressor on their board. A lot of sloppy players could benefit from a peak limiter, but the Opto-Stomp is not as much of a peak limiter. It's a good tool, but I'm not sure you'd "need" it or even "hear" it in the use you're describing. I'd say give it a try and hear for yourself; there's no way we could tell you "by remote" whether it will sound worthwhile to you. FWIW I do think it would help a bit with the uneven string levels, but OTOH sometimes adjusting your pickups or string action will achieve the same thing.
  3. cheers bongomania, i've checked out ur compressor review before, and it was the partly that you seemed keen on the BBE that kinda clinched it for me, altho i cant try one out really, not unless i buy one then decide if i want it or not.

    hmm maybe im alright without a compressor for now, maybe i should save for a Subdecay Noise Box instead :)
  4. hey DosiYanarchy how happy are you with the behringer pedal tuner and the ibanez synth??
    are the bypass functions good or the suck tone?
  5. well ive never noticed tone-suck on anything, but then again id probably have to have quite alot of non true-bypass pedals for it to make a difference.

    i bought the Behringer tuner as a cheap replacement for my Boss one, well the behringer one works, has most (if not all)of the settings that the boss one has, altho it does seem to take a little longer to tune that the boss one.

    the ibanez is great, but dont think ur gna get any 'real' synth sounds out of it, its an envelope filter with optional distortion, but u can mess around with it and get anything from a funky autowah sound to a synthy distortion from it check out the ibanez website, they've got clips :) personally it beats the hell out of my old mini q-tron- controlable volume, different decay settings etc
  6. Illbay


    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Well, if you're going to bother purchasing the thing, then yes, it's preferable to turn it "on" rather than leave it "off."
  7. LOL! totally my bad, it should be "Do i need one?"
  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
  9. thanks for the review
  10. cheers guys
    i think im gna hold out for a bit, maybe spend my cash on stuff im really GASing for, before thinking about compression, plus i havent even got any gigs lined up yet, so ill worry about that another time
  11. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    Dosi; What you need compelty depends on your objectives. When I look at your pedal board, I think "Why do you have three distortion pedals" (Blues Driver, SansAmp, BlowTorch) ? If you're really into a palette of distorted sounds, that's great. For me, one distortion sound is all I need.


    I started of playing accoustic, standup bass and developed a heavy plucking technqiue. I graduated to an electric bass with a small amp and plucked hard to be loud. When I moved up to a really big amp, my heavy technqiue was habitual. As this bad technique put my dynamics all over the map, a compressor/limiter pedal worked but it was a band-aid over my bad technique.
  12. tyggis


    Mar 11, 2008
    If you have kind of uneven attacks you could use one, but not overdo it. One should not hear the compression if you know what I mean. It can be a thrill to play with compression some times, you get that extra punch.
  13. I think you should buy a rack compressor if you are looking for tone because i havea dbx166xl and it makes a hell of a lot of difference in tone through my amp and good at keeping distortions in a way 'under control'. They be a bit more expensive but a worth it in the end.
  14. thanks guys, i think that my need for compression is more just a curiosity. and its not really the overdrives i want compressing, but i guess just more even volume on all the strings, in all the positions ie: be able to hear a low E as well as a top E ina bassline. altho thinking of it, a professional setup might help. i should point out that my sansamp is not used as an overdrive, i use it like an eq to get the clean sound i want and comes first in my signal chain. i use different distortion pedals becuase they do have very different tonal characteristics, and while one may work for one song it may not work for another, which is where i may want to use another one.

    i think i should investigate with my gear whether a compressor is really neccessary.

    i jumped the gun by asking the question so soon really, i've recently got a new amp (Ashdown Mag 300) combo, but i've had no need to bring it to rehersal yet, so i've been playing through a 120w behringer amp at practices, and think that there are alot of variables in my setup that i should sort out before running out to buy a compressor when, it could really be as simple as a profession bass setup and using a 300w amp instead of a 120w
  15. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    +1 to a pro setup.

    +100 to not using a 120W Behringer for practices. :bag:
  16. do u know whats more criminal than that? i practice in this squat in london, and they have an ampeg 4x10 cab just lying around, no one uses it, they think its broken, and i know no one is ever gonna fix it :(, so i get the behringer, which is on its way out (its old and truly knackered). althi i'll say this, the behringer is pretty damn loud, louder than i expected for 120w :)
  17. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    +1 from me too.

    I'll also add that's it's an easy trap to fall into, adding more and more fx and gadgets trying to improve the tone, when taking stuff out of the mix actually works better.

    I was in this position a few years ago, with a rack, multi-fx and separate amp sim handling bi-amping duties into dual channels of compression. Oh, and I think I had a little tube pre-amp in there somewhere to warm things up a bit.

    One day I wanted to work something out quickly at home and just plugged bass straight into amp, and oh my god it sounded fantastic. I'd quite forgotten how good it sounded I'd spent so much time adding more and more stuff to the signal path.

    I've since got rid of rack and amp sim, got a small pedal board with a few essentials and that's it.

    My new rule of thumb when trying out prospective new gear is that if it doesn't sound right with just bass and amp, both set neutral then move along. No point trying to fix something with fx if the tone isn't there to start with.
  18. I would agree with the above quote. I added a dbx 1066 to my rack and it seems to have tightened up my LBM quite a bit and made it more useable, for lack of a better word. Maybe it's just my ears playing tricks but I am quite pleased with the addition of a compressor. :)
  19. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    This fact should probably be factored-in:

    There is quite possibly very-very near ZERO professional record company recordings that were ever made without an appreciable amount of compression on the electric bass guitar. Not just on the mix; I mean on the bass track itself.

    And in the various ROCK genres, the very-great lion's share of bass tracks are KKKKKRRUSHED with individual track compression!

    Y'think there's something to that, maybe?

  20. hey thanks everyone, id like to say what while a rack compressor (or a rack anything really) would be cool, im in no position really (financial or otherwise) to be considering a rack unit, my old band died a death, so i downsized my amp setup and for that reason i got my ashdown combo and ditched my old gear, and i think until i could at least reasonably set up a rack for practice purposes (or hell: even storage space- i still live with my parents, so andy gear i have stays in my room) id never get any sort of real use out of it. im gutted coz a BBE opto stomp just sold on ebay for £24, and i was too broke to get it :(

    the ashdown is physically half the size of my old amp setup (home-made 'marshall' 1x15 with 150w peavy head), but its 300w, so was ideal for a gig/rehearsal amp, but its not left my room yet, so i hope you understand why a rack might be impractical for me.

    i have to say that i aggree with joe P that compression is often used in recording (if not always), but our drummer has a studio with enuf top end gear (including rackmount compressors) to see us all thru till doomsday. if i see another bbe optostomp goin cheap, i may get one and judge for myself, even if it helps a little, im sure its useful enough to keep its place on my board

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