Buffer in Pefal Chain

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by IOA_Bassist, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. IOA_Bassist


    Jan 28, 2014
    im noticing that I’m losing a lot of tonal defination after my bass has come out of the pedal board, so I was looking to get a buffer, looking mainly and the Provience BF, but I have no idea where I’m meant to put it on my chain!?

    Also and recommendations for other buffer pedals would be awesome, cheers
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    1) This would probably get a much greater response in the Effects forum (even though I get that it is technically a live sound issue for you). Those guys are super helpful.

    2) More information will help them help you. If you want to know where in your chain a buffer would go, then perhaps a pic of your board and/or a list of your chain (in signal order) would allow them greater opportunity to weigh in on that.

    Good luck with your quest.
  3. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Why not adjust your pedal board output to give you what you want? :thumbsup:
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    are your basses active?

    if so then the "buffer" is already there on the bass, adding one to the pedalboard will make no difference.

    also, if any of the pedals are themselves always on then they have buffers too.

    @IOA_Bassist what all is on your pedalboard now, in what order?
    kap'n kro likes this.
  5. IOA_Bassist


    Jan 28, 2014
    Ahhh okay that might be the answer!

    I noticed it when i went from using the MXR Bass Compressor to the Cali 76 and was sapping a lot of my tone!

    From the guitar input its Line 6 G50 (sometimes depending the venue, usually cable) > Korg Pitch Black > Cali 76 > B7K > Way Huge Swollen Pickle > Boss NS-2 > Amp
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the wireless is a buffer too.

    sounds like you just need to re-adjust the cali 76 for less squash.
    IOA_Bassist likes this.
  7. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    How familiar are you with really dialing in a compressor?
  8. IOA_Bassist


    Jan 28, 2014
    Not a lot at all tbh

    I just sorta got it to a not completely set my tone and let it at that!

    Can anyone tell what they do for realz
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    remove it off the board until you know, otherwise the answer to "what they do" is usually "mess up your sound".

    the idea of a good bass comp is that when you hit harder it stops the sound from getting way louder, making your level more even in the mix.
  10. AngelCrusher


    Sep 12, 2004
    Mesa Boogie, Tech 21, Taylor
    Well I appreciate the honesty - lol. Compressors are pretty tough to dial in. They take years for engineers to completely figure out. That is why I have not been a huge fan of many pedal compressors unless you really know what you are doing. The Cali76 is a very expensive and complex pedal, which IMO is overkill for a gigging bassist. The 1176 it's based on is really best used in the studio since the compression can be applied more liberally on an instrument chain. But, the Cali76 does have an attack and release knob, which I personally must have on a compressor. I will get into that in a second.

    Additionally, you have already have the Cali. It's a high quality pedal, may as well use it right?

    Start with the ratio - when I put a compressor on a pedalboard it is more for controlling pedals like filters and controlling peaks going into those pedals. So I don't want the compressor to be heard. I want it to keep string pops and octave notes from spiking the filtered tone or clean tone, and that's about it. In order to do that, you will want to keep your ratio low - 4:1 is as much as I would use. On the 1176, that is the lowest amount.

    Please remember, the 1176 is seriously best as a mix tool. The reason it has such high ratios is because it is an amazing compressor for nuking vocals, drum overhead mics and sometimes bass. But In the case of live performance, it is best to not do that - so keep it chill and dial that knob down to 4:1.

    Attack - This is super key on bass. The best way to dial this in is to pop or hard pluck an octave on the G string and also play some low notes hard. Start with the knob all the way to the left (should be the fastest setting). What you will notice is that it immediately grabs the note and will strangle that sound. You want to dial up to the right until it lets enough of that sound through so it doesn't sound squeezed and unnatural. You want the initial transient to come through, but you also want it to clamp down so the signal is not peaking. This is is subjective, but I would suggest really focusing on seeing how fast you can set the knob without strangling your signal .

    Release - Try starting with the release at noon. That is medium. Again, you just want to listen to how the bass responds. A very slow release will mean the compressor will not let go until maybe your next note. So that usually is not optimal. You can play 16th notes (again octave on G close to the hardest you play and low notes close to the hardest you play) to dial that in. It will most likely be best between 6 oclock and noon. I like a medium/fast release.

    Finally, turn the pedal off. play..turn it on..play, and use the output knob to volume match so it is the same level on or off.

    That's really it. I do see that the Cali76 has a blend knob and that is cool, but it's more of a different function. What that is best for is really slamming your tone with a higher ratio and fast attack/release and then blending a little bit of that slammed tone into your dry signal. That is more of a mix effect called parallel compression, and it is definitely something to mess with, but it will not tame your peaks or be best suited for evening out a bass tone. Parallel compression is used in studio in conjunction with peak compression. My order of priority for live playing or recording is always Peak compression over anything. It is FAR more important. I do parallel compression in a mix when making a record.

    Anyway, hope that helps.
    3alfa3 and walterw like this.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    a quick perusal of the website, leads me to suggest the following:

    set the ratio all the way down like @AngelCrusher suggests

    adjust your "in" knob while playing so that the light just kicks in a little when you play, as opposed to being fully lit up bright all the time.

    adjust your "out" knob so that the pedal is the same loudness engaged or bypassed.

    that should get you in the ballpark where the pedal tames the peaks without squashing your sound.

    you can fiddle with the ratio and "in" knobs to adjust when it compresses and how hard it compresses once it does kick in, just remember that the brighter that light the quieter the pedal gets.
  12. 3alfa3


    Mar 14, 2016
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I like Attack that let transient come through, as fast as possible, but not so fast that transients are lost. Release: as fast as possible (100ms in my case, Kelley Compressor Pro) - 16th are not "lost" because of slow release time.
    Ratio: 3:1. Compression: -2 to -6 db on the Keeley LEDs (-3 averege).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  13. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    It might not be the big box Cali 76. Given that it replaced an MXR compressor, I am going to assume it is one of the compact versions. The compact bass version has a single attack/release control. @IOA_Bassist. what version do you have?