Compress my bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by txthrashking, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. which is best for a steve harris metal tone
    1. mxr m87
    2. boss lmb3
    3. digitech bass squeeze
  2. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Steve Harris tone = flatwounds + P bass + agressive finger style .. nothing more :) (and you can also use J-bass or any other with tone all the way down)
  3. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I agree with the first part, but not the last part. Especially the part about the tone being turned down...
  4. That kind of playing can probably benefit from a little compression, sure. It's not slap, but it's certainly aggressive. But the compression isn't what's making his sound. It's just taming the transients of his aggressive style, evening out the volumes of the notes. Any of those units will do that for you if you set it right. I use the MXR, fwiw.
  5. tink9975

    tink9975 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    MoCo, MD
    Harris uses the DBX 160 for compression, not sure what stomp box would sound most like it.
  6. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    If you want to compress your bass i reccomend a trash compactor
  7. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Well, I can get a decent Steve Harris like tone with my J-bass and tone all the way down :)
  8. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I agree that a good compressor with the right settings will help you achieve that tone.

    Steve actually plays pretty softly though, he strikes the strings in a downward motion with the tips of his fingers, his action is incredibly low and his tone is wide open so that kind of right hand technique in combination with the compression really accentuates the fret "clank". The flatwound aspect of his setup is mainly to get rid of left hand noise, allowing him to compress his sound and boost treble without making his tone obnoxious.

    I have no experience with compression unfortunately, I rarely use it. I find that if you don't have the right kind of compression and setup than a powerful right hand attack ala Geezer Butler will bring you closer to that sound.
  9. Massimo636


    Aug 3, 2011
    Tone all the way UP would be closer to Steve Harris. His tone is very trebly and clanky and doesn't have much for deep lows. (Check out some of his isolated bass tracks on Youtube.)
  10. Yeah, wow. Not exactly middy...but nothing too deep and a definite sizzle at the top.
  11. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Ow yea, forgot to tell you, I use rounwouns, so my tone is naturally clanky :) but I still think he doesn't have all that much treble
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    While the M87 is the best compressor of the three, the LMB3 might be the one that will get you the sound you want most easily. Don't bother with the Digitech at all.
  13. Inconnu


    Nov 1, 2005
    My bass-ment
    If you don't have an effect loop and you wish to keep your compressor always on, you could always use a ART Tube MP/C. It's a tube preamp with a very simple, yet effective and nearly noiseless compressor (110$). I LOVE mine! But if you need to have a compressor in pedal format and more control, the MXR is the way to go. :bassist:
  14. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    Steve harris absolutely uses compression....actually, quite a bit of it. His rig is detailed step by step int he new issue of Bassist magazine (from the UK - a bit more expensive than the American titles due to the shipping).

    Hot pickup (seymour duncan quarter pounder) - lots of compression - light attack - LOUD LOUD LOUD amp. Rumor has it that his tech, Toney Keggey, doesn't allow anyone else to play Steve's basses, both for obvious reasons and for the fact that the average bassist, playing normally, would probably blow the speakers in one pluck.
  15. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    His tone knob isn't even wired.
  16. inate_hex


    Apr 4, 2010
    Manchester, England
    I occasionally wet the bed.
    if the tone knob isn't wired then surely that must mean that the treble is wide open. you can only cut frequencies on passive instruments.
  17. Good point. But it sounds like it's pretty tamed by a subsequent EQ. I would say his tone sounds pretty flat to me, maybe not too mid-forward.
  18. Massimo636


    Aug 3, 2011
    Here's an example of his tone.
    Two Minutes To Midnight - Bass track

  19. Massimo636


    Aug 3, 2011
    That's why the tone knob all the way up would be better than all the way down.
  20. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    He has a lot of different tones, they're all similar but with a very different midrange character.

    This is totally different than his tone on Powerslave: