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comp or not?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ninefoldbass, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. ninefoldbass

    ninefoldbass Guest

    Feb 26, 2003
    okay guys.. i play in a modern rock band.. i like it low and punchy... but in order to get it i have to crank the lows.. and when i [play fast with my pick.. it clips and limits on the e(or downtuned to d) string.. its not TOO bad on the a.. so do i need a comp to compress the lows?.. i use a 410 cab..
  2. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    What type of 4x10 Cabinet and what type of head are you using?

    A compressor can smooth out dynamics and help with some punch. It can also hurt your dynamics.
    Do you need more volume? A compressor might give you a slight overall boost but you might need something else.
    You mentioned that you are detuned down to D. Lower frequencies tend to need more Power and Larger cabinets to produce those frequencies.
    What frequencies can your cabinet produce?
    You may need either more power (giving you more headroom) or an additional Cabinet if you need more volume at your current tone.
    You could also try cutting the Lows (this will dramatically affect your tone though). Since lower frequencies eat more power, cutting the lows will keep your amp from clipping as often.

    I personally use (maybe overuse) compression in my sound. I use a compressor in my preamp with a 4:1 ratio to smooth dynamics and I use another compressor just on my lows (biamp rig) with a 10:1 ratio to limit the lows above a certain point (to protect the speakers).
  3. ninefoldbass

    ninefoldbass Guest

    Feb 26, 2003
    im using a Hartke 410BX 240 watt cab, and an ampeg b2-R head.. yes, volume would be nice. the410BX is somthing like 30hz to 5k?...biamping would be awsome.. but my head doesnt have biamp.. is there a way to insert a crossover between the speakers and head(like in a car)?
  4. yes, a compressor can keep you from "bottoming out."
  5. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    The Ampeg amp has a decent limiter, so using compressor may help a little but it won't give you very much more volume. If it is volume you need in the low frequencies, biamping may be the way to go.

    Biamping would require 2 cabinets and 2 amps (or a single stereo amp) as well as a crossover.
    You could use the existing Ampeg head as the preamp as well as the power for one of the channels (such as the high channel).
    To do so you would run the Preamp Out section of the Ampeg head into the Input of a crossover. A crossover will have several outputs (one for each band it has). A 3 way crossover will have a low, mid and high. A 2 way crossover will have a low and a high - this is what is most suited for a biamp rig (biamp = splitting signal for 2 amps). The output from the crossover for whichever band the ampeg will be powering will go into Poweramp In section of the head.
    So for example:
    Bass -> Ampeg head Input
    Ampeg Preamp Out -> Crossover Input
    Crossover Out High -> Ampeg Poweramp In
    Ampeg Speaker Out - > Hartke 410
    Crossover Out Low -> Another Poweramp In
    Another Poweramp Speaker Out -> Another Cab

    Since High Frequencies require less power than low frequencies, you would probably want to use the smallest amp for the highs.

    Rolls makes a cheap 2 way crossover (SX21) that is ideal for Bass.
  6. My SWR has an excellent limiter, but it's not even in the same league as my dedicated compressor.

    And yes, I use my preamp limiter in concert with the rack mount compressor.

    And yes, it makes a SIGNIFICANT difference in volume. The compressor adds another gain stage (or two) before hitting the amp.

    What was 2:00 master volume setting, beginning to clip... has turned into 10:00 master volume setting without clipping and much louder.

    That's my experinece.

    BTW: Bi-Amping is a waste.

    Keep your gear to a minimum.
  7. ninefoldbass

    ninefoldbass Guest

    Feb 26, 2003
    What kind of comp do you use? and what are your settings?.. biamping is outta my price range.. but i'd be the one to do it.. what are some affordable comps that will do the trick? and how can i apply it to my rig for max results? thanks so much.. its cool of you guys.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'll have to check but I doubt that a your 4x10 goes down to 30 hz. Not many do.

    Can I make a suggestion here. Add a second cab. It'll create more volume and more headroom in one hit. And if you use a cab with a natural bottom end punch (say a 15") you will probably be able to wind off some bottom end eq and free up even more headroom.

    Check your impedances first.
  9. [​IMG]

    $89 at American Music Supply you can read the manual on site.

    This is what I've come up with: (repost)

    Compressor Settings
    Do you have a stereo compressor? Want to make to most of both channels? Well you could use one channel between your preamp and amp and the other for a DI to the mixer. Or you could share an extra channel with the lead vocalist, kick drum, or even a guitarist.

    Most of us want to make available the maximum apparent volume possible from our Solid State Power Amps, and proper use of a compressor can contribute extra db.

    Normally, for maximum level you’d just set the output gain as high as possible, short of incurring audible distortion. But I recommend optimizing in two passes. For example, instead of increasing the loudness by 6dB, do one pass with a 3dB increase, and a second with an additional 3dB increase. This does the best job at combining natural sound and high level while providing two additional gain stages to the power amp.

    Daisy Chain both halves of the Stereo Compressor by patching channel one output into channel two input.
    Bass>Preamp>Channel 1 Input>Channel 1 Output>Channel 2 Input>Channel 2 Output>Amp

    Turn off gating. Compressor gating is better designed for vocals and drums. It really cuts into your stringed instruments sustain. Another Noise Suppressor/Gate designed for guitar/bass will cut the noise and keep the sustain. Recommendation: Rocktron Hush, Boss Pro NS-50, or other high quailty noise suppression.

    You can place noise control & line level effects after the preamp and before the compressor, or if everything works better with a hotter signal... between channel one and channel two of the compressor.

    Use Enhancer's and Sonic Maximizer's after the compression, last in the signal chain before the power amp.

    Channel 1:

    Threshold: -10db,
    Ratio 4:1
    Soft Knee Compression
    Attack: 30 ms
    Release: @ 0.25
    Output: Boost +3db

    Set Peak Limiter (+16db) or to where it barely flashes on your strongest open low string slap. Setting depends on your preamp output.

    O.K., these seem like reasonable compressor settings. The magic is in the second channel that maintains dynamics and raises the headroom thus making the amp louder.The trick is just "re-compressing" the peaks only.

    Therefore the noise floor does not go up and the remaining high energy peaks are tamed, not limited, for more headroom without over compressing the dynamic signal.

    Channel 2:

    Threshold: 0db to +3 db

    This Threshold setting allows Channel 1 to duck under this setting and therefore only the peaks that reach 0db -/+3db are processed by Channel 2. This will process only the louder peaks.

    Ratio: 6:1
    Hard Knee Compression
    Attack (Fast Setting): 1 - 10 ms

    Fast Attack times cause "click."
    This phenomenon is eliminated by the Attack setting on the Channel 1, and the Channel 2 Threshold also protects against click. A very fast Attack is necessary on Channel 2 in order to have the Peaks acted on a fast as possible, thus extending headroom.

    Release: A touch above 0.25 ms.
    Output: +3 to +5db, this gives an additional gain stage, don't push to distortion.
    Peak Limiter: to taste...
    Or the slightest flash with the the hardest slap on open E
    {suggestion @ set at +16 db.}
  10. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio