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Compression and flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by armybass, Nov 23, 2017.


  1. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    I use flats on a Stingray as my typical tonal starting point. I roll most of the highs off of my bass and play through a Fender Bassman tube amp. I say all this to say that my tone is fairly old school and dark. Many of the YouTube compressor examples I see are folks with rounds and a really bright tone and slapping. I slap and am curious what if any benefit I would get out of a compressor with flats or if that will have any effect at all. Is there still much to be gained tonally from a compressor when you have a darker old school tone?
     
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Tonally, not much.

    Pretty much you would only "benefit" from the volume clipping aspect in my view (if that would even be a benefit in your situation).

    Oversimplified, it chops off volume spikes. So if your pop is a ton louder than your slap, it will level that out for you.

    But if your style doesn't produce a lot of volume spikes you may not benefit from a compressor at all.
     
    armybass likes this.
  3. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010

    I'll offer a general response just to get your thread bumping, but I would think that superior compression would improve your tone to the extent you wish to wring all available detail out of your tone. And the harder the squash it, the more juice you'll wring.

    Also a general thought, but of my sound maven pals has says that all things being equal, a bit of judicious compression nearly always improves a mix or track. He said the human ear and the way we tilt our head is an example of how when we listen we protect against peak transients and the like.

    All that and $4.95 gets you a grande latte at my local Starbucks. Happy Holiday, and subbed to thread.
     
  4. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Riff-finder General Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Springfield, MA
    If you're playing through an all-tube amp, then you're already getting some compression from the power section of the amp, and more may be redundant if you're not getting any spikes.
     
    Kenova, 3alfa3, 40Hz and 2 others like this.
  5. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    Thanks for your input. I think I’ll save my money and stick with the TC Spectracomp for now for the times when I’m playing rounds and slapping. ;)
     
  6. Pacodelivery

    Pacodelivery Supporting Member

    May 25, 2014
    Baltimore
    I play a bass with flats into a tube amp and yes you can make a compressor unnecessary if you drive the power section.

    I still like my milk box tho
     
    armybass likes this.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think it all depends on what comp you use. I've been trying to develop a taste for it again lately, and I just discovered that simple old school circuits like the Dyna Comp and CS-2 are pretty cool for adding some juice to the low end, plus you can play lightly and get big fat loud notes that pop out. I just got this little $20 compressor called the Kokko Compressor which is based on the CS-2 and it's excellent for that kind of thing. I don't think it's a necessity, but it does do some interesting things with big low endy sounds.
     
    pcake, Son of Wobble and armybass like this.
  8. Hotblack

    Hotblack Pay the cost to be the boss. Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
    Provided content for Genzler Amplification
    I find it adds a little more sustain.
     
    Son of Wobble and armybass like this.
  9. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight

    Dec 25, 2000
    A lot 60s and 70s recordings have judicious use of compression with flat wound strings.
     
    Son of Wobble and armybass like this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    ^This.

    Unless you’re clipping and need additional limiting on your signal I wouldn’t bother. I’m a believer in the benefits of using compression when it’s needed. But I never use outboard compressors when I’m plugged into an all tube amp.

    Hmm…Now that I’m thinking about it I just realized that the light compression settings I favor tend to make what I’m playing through sound and respond as much like a good tube head and old school 15” cabs as I can get it.

    Who knew? :woot:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  12. :thumbsup:
     
  13. CapnSev

    CapnSev

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I have a Stingray with flats as my only bass, and my compressor is always on. The only time it’s off is if I need huge low end for reggae or the like. I love the fat squish!
     
    amper and Son of Wobble like this.
  14. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i just ordered one for $18 and change off of amazon. it'll be fun to play with.

    have you had time to play with your kokko compressor? if so, what do you think of it so far?
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh yeah, I've played it pretty extensively. I ended up liking the Boss LMB-3 better overall, but the Kokko juices up the midbass and low mids in a very cool way IMHO. What I didn't like about it is it takes a little too much dynamic range out of the equation. Like if we play a song where I need to be quiet, I found that it doesn't want to quiet down as much as I'd like. I've found that to be par for the course with most pedal comps, though, and it's why I'm enjoying the LMB-3 more. It's a limiter and doesn't really mess with quiet dynamic range. It can, but doesn't have to, whereas the Kokko does. But it's still a good little pedal. For $20 I'll never complain about the job it does.
     
    pcake likes this.
  16. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    thanks for the response :)

    i've had virtually no experience with compressors. i figured if i enjoyed this one, maybe i'd grab something better. but to get my feet (or should that be strings?) wet, the price was hard to argue with.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  17. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    Ummm.... can you not just switch it off?
     
  18. craigie

    craigie

    Nov 11, 2015
    calgary
    So are they acting as a HPF (and helping to tighten up the bottom end)?
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    :D Come on, dude. You're not dealing with a newb here.

    I suppose they can, although I'm not sure what the cutoff point is, and I wouldn't be buying a compressor in place of an HPF if I needed an HPF.
     

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