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Compressing in an effects loop

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by TimWilson, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Is it a no-no to use a compressor in the amp's effects loop? When I use mine between the bass and the amp, it's fine, but when I put it in the effects loop, my Genz•Benz goes mute after a few seconds. Weird, huh?
  2. Ely

    Ely Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    When I use my MultiComp in my effects loop it makes my GK preamp get some beautiful growl. Unfortunately, I want my compressed sound to be clean.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty sure rackmount compressors are meant to be in the loop.
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Click on the FAQ linked in my sig for a detailed answer to that.
    That is weird. I'm guessing it's some sort of incompatibility or conflict with the grounding, but there are too many weird variables to know.
  4. Fat K

    Fat K

    Mar 7, 2008
    Hong Kong
    I run my EBS MultiComp at the end of my effects loop of my Genz Benz Shuttle 3.0, it seems fine.

    My loop is:
    Aphex Bass Exciter
    Boss EQ
    Boss Chorus
    MXR Blowtorch
    EBS MultiComp

    I just bung everything I have in the loop and in a sequence that I think is OK. Frankly, I do not know if it is correct or not approach, but it seems to be doing what I want it to do.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Then it's the correct approach for your situation! :) There are different ways, and I wouldn't have recommended the loop for you at first, but if it works for you it works! No-one can argue with that.
  6. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    I have an EBS, and it can't handle the effects loop off my Shuttle. The signal is too strong for it as it was designed for instrument level, not line level. However the dbx 160 works great on the effects loop as it was designed for that.
  7. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: Distributor of Ashdown amplification
    what kind of compressor?

    I use a DBX without any issues.
  8. An Alesis stereo nanocompressor. I don't know if it's instrument or line level.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The Nano runs ideally at nominal -10dB, which is sort of between instrument and line level, but it can work at a fairly wide range of levels. It certainly shouldn't be causing the amp to go mute. When the amp mutes, does it stay mute or does it unmute after a while with the comp still in the loop? Does it shut off altogether, or just stop passing sound? Are the indicator lights on the amp still functional while it's muted? What kind of cables are you using to connect it in the loop? Do you have any other rack signal processors you can put in the loop to see if they work there?
  10. I connected the nano to the FX loop with 6" standard signal patch cables. The first and only time I tried it, the amp played for a few seconds, then went mute with all lights still glowing. I was certain I'd cooked the preamp or at least a fuse. I pulled the cables from the nano, but the amp woke up only after I pulled the cables from the loop as well. I was afreared to try it again: I figured I got off lucky.

    I have a full Boss pedalboard that I could test in the loop: tuner>auto-wah>octave>limiter>compressor... But I'm ascairt!:bawl:
  11. Eublet


    Jul 28, 2006
    Pedals aren't made to go in the effects loop. They are typically instrument level and won't handle the hotter signal of an effects loop.

    Why do you want to run them in the effects loop?
  12. Well, the nanocompressor isn't really a pedal - it's a small unit that sits atop the amp. Too small for a rack, but ideal on top of this little GenzBenz M-Line 210 combo. I figured by putting it in the loop it'd be more stable, less prone to being tugged off the amp when I reach for a frosty cold Heineken. But it's no big deal to put it before the amp.
  13. Ely

    Ely Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    I need to use my compressor in my loop, because I run my Moog effects through my loop and I want to control the crazy peaks they produce.
  14. TMacATK


    Jul 9, 2008
    Davis, CA
    I use a NanoComp, too. It's funny because it's designed to be a rackmount but it works much better before a preamp. I just velcroed it above my amp's input and I plug right into the back of it.
  15. fender_mod


    Jun 23, 2005
    what about if your amp has a preamp out/power amp in? i have a traynor yba 200 and this is the only "effects loop" but i think it operates on a different principle from a traditional loop. im thinking off putting a graphic EQ in the preamp/poweramp loop followed by a compressor, both of which would be rack mounted effects.

    not to hijack the thread about my personal setup or anything like that, just seeing if this would be a solution to any problems people might have. of course we could always touch on that ;)
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No, it operates on exactly the same principle. Sorry! However since you want to use rack processors, and since those typically operate at line level, and since the in/outputs you want to use run at line level, you're in luck.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The NanoComp is a -10dB device, I wonder if you are driving the comp's input stage it so hard that the signal latches up. The effects loop of all of our amps is +4dB (maximum of about +24dB) which is the pro standard (ie DBX-160, 1066, Drawmer, KT etc).

    My hunch is that the input overload on the NanoComp is not much more than 0dB and because it operates off of a low voltage supply, probably with a derived ground like other similar Alesis products), when you really overdrive the input latching up can result. Usually, the external device will not be damaged, just cycle the power and it should be ok. Your amp is protected against external effects latch-up so no worries there.

    I think you would probably be better using that comp at the input rather than the effects loop.

    Hope this helps.
  18. fender_mod


    Jun 23, 2005
    bongo, thanks for the input. its good to know about this stuff.
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