Bloody Pedals!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Lee Edward, Sep 29, 2022.

  1. Lee Edward

    Lee Edward

    Jan 28, 2021
    I have been playing with a band for a few months and things are starting to get serious. The pedals I currently use are a tuner and a big muff (on one song), but I have been looking and feel I would benefit from a compressor. What else would people recommend to just give me a more consistent feel? Or is the compressor enough?
  2. I can’t help you with your question. I saw the title, had a chuckle, and came here to ask if you are an Aussie.
  3. Lee Edward

    Lee Edward

    Jan 28, 2021
    :laugh: No I'm not an Aussie, I am British.
    Peter Torning, Blue Moose and WRM like this.
  4. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    EQ pedal.
  5. It probably depends on what consistency. Between notes, or between each end of a steady crescendo. If it's the second, then a compressor will help. If it's the first, a compressor may still help if it saves you from having to force things to get the dynamics you want.

    You're probably right, getting a compressor is likely enough, but thinking about what makes the inconsistency is the first thing to consider, to get the best out of the compressor.

    When I was focussing on other details of sound I tried several things with a compressor, and kidded myself they were working, and they weren't, and in the end I settled for a low 2:1 ratio and used the threshold and attack to get what I wanted from it. Starting with a low ratio is likely to get you there faster than starting high, because killing the dynamics is no fun, and it hides details you probably want to hear.
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  6. Yes, if it's consistency of timbre, but the question was about 'feel', so probably a dynamic thing, and if he's thinking of compressors, he's probably after fixing dynamics. Not that going for EQ first is wrong, I did it that way and it works out in the end.

    The problem is that like someone said in the thread on developing a good ear for tone, it's a deep rabbit hole, and a standard comp>overdrive>EQ chain can get tricky, they interact because we hear differently with different loudness, and because compression bumps up the sustain, so it sounds deeper. It really pays to get compression right before overdrive, because EQ changes may be needed if it was done before those.
    mikewalker likes this.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA

    A compressor would be great and tons 'o cheap options along that avenue. A "character" preamp pedal (w/ EQ) can also be a blast. Some pedals combine both...thinking along the lines of a BDDI v2 which has some baked-in compression.

  8. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    +1 for compressor. I find that a pedal (vs. typical one-knob amplifier compressor) is more versatile, and you can easily kick it in/out as you please (although mine is always on :)).

    Going to pedals HAS become a bit of a rabbit hole with me (I'm up to 8 now), but I feel that they all serve important functions rather than just sit and look pretty. I play with a couple of groups that only have one guitar, so one of those functions is to help fill space as needed.
    Spidey2112 and Lee Edward like this.
  9. I play through a big muff too. I added a compressor pedal a little while ago for other reasons but what I noticed was that it really helped level out my sound when i click the muff in and out. Before the compressor, my recorded bass waveform in my DAW would be pretty tall and spiky and when i clicked on the muff it seemed like it compressed the waveform and it was short and uniform as well as a bit of lower volume (even though it sounded fine live). Now with the comp, its always uniform and sonically stable. Ive used compressors a lot in my home studio stuff but didn’t realize the benefits one would bring in pedal form for my bass rig. Plus it gives me that extra umfff in my gain structure.
    If i were to recommend any other pedal, it would be a bass wah but only because it sounds awesome with the muff engaged (at least for what and how I play). :)
    Spidey2112 and Lee Edward like this.
  10. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    Having just went through researching and buying a compressor just know there are a lot of opinions and options out there. It can be a little overwhelming, especially when looking at the price of some of them. For me it is hard to justify spending a lot of money for an effect that is incredibly subtle. But to contradict myself, it is an important effect. It is one of those things that you don't know what you are missing if you've never used one.

    Tinkering with my pedal board I came to the conclusion that I don't need any of them to sound good. I'm not tone chasing through pedals, but my pre-amp makes my rig sound, like, 10 percent better. Add a compressor in the mix, and my rig sounds 5 percent better on top of that.

    There is a comprehensive review of compressors from a another T/B'er here: Compressor Reviews

    On that site I went to the Top Picks (My top picks) and selected one from that list I found used at a pretty good price. (I went with a Boss LMB-3.) The Ampeg OptoComp was also on my short list.
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  11. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    A compressor is a useful tool if used properly. I won’t tell you which is best, there is no best.
    Dirt or modulation or time based effects I’d only consider if they work with your material.
    That said, if you are using multiple pedals make sure to invest in a good isolated power supply.
  12. Lee Edward

    Lee Edward

    Jan 28, 2021
    What did you buy in the end?
  13. Crawforde

    Crawforde Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2016
    South Florida
    Anything from OBNE.
  14. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    A Boss LMB-3. I’ve only had it about a week or so but I like it so far. I just turned the knobs until I could hear the compression kick in then dialed it back a little.
    Lee Edward likes this.
  15. WestyBassBob


    Mar 2, 2020
    Personally I find a compressor of limited utility. Since you already have a muff I would recommend something to give your tone some uniqueness and flexibility. I say get the Geddy Lee pedal by Sansamp of maybe this sweet pre-amp by Walrus.

    another possibility is an envelop filter.
    Walrus Audio Badwater Bass Preamp Pedal
  16. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    A good compressor is an essential part of what I call "signal hygiene." I started using one ten years ago and I'll never play without one again. It enables me to sit higher in the mix without the danger of certain notes honking out over the whole thing. Aside from that, I like something that gives a nice ampy sound, like a sansamp, that can give me that "I just stepped out of 1972" vibe if I want it.
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  17. H K

    H K Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2021
    ** Noh ahn ausie, ah am bri-ish

    But yeah, a compressor or EQ goes a long way. One, both or a combined pedal.
    Just make sure to switch it off if youre using an envelope or want "more distorted" distortion.
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  18. SunByrne

    SunByrne trained monkey Supporting Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    Pearland, TX
    +1 on geting a compressor. As @Killing Floor said, there's no best one overall—but there might be a best one for you. When I decided to get a compressor I spent a long time reading about different options here:

    Testing Compressors: Cali, Smoothie, Empress, Diamond, Keeley, FEA, Darkglass, Doc Lloyd, JHS & more

    This is a VERY deep rabbit hole, but I'm really happy with what I ended up with (Darglass Hyper Luminal). YMMV.

    You probably don't need anything else. Lots of bassists don't use any pedals at all. Some of us, well, we like to experiment. A friend of mine recently asked me how many pedals I own and my answer was "enough that I don't know the actual number." Do what works for you.
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  19. WestyBassBob


    Mar 2, 2020
    Agreed. Pedals are best used sparingly unless it’s an eq or preamp. One exception I’ve found is a good reverb can set to very subtle effects just gives an additional depth and warmth to the tone. Most revers pedals are too strong to do this but I’ve found at least one that can.
  20. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    In my opinion a compressor is a must-have. It's the secret weapon of the bassist. Depending on the genre, an overdrive pedal may be worth the dough.
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