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Compression and input level

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Pierrick, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Pierrick


    Jul 3, 2012

    I've got a Markbass compressore, and I wonder why there is two knobs gain and threshold because raising th input level is the same as lowering the threshold?

    Maybe the gain is useful to match the ideal operating range of the compressor, but how can I find this ideal operating range?

    Finally, I've read: "With GAIN turned up, it had a warm growl that could be used to punch through a loud section, or provide an "instant-vintage" tone to a modern amp." But, I believed that "warm" and "punch" are contradictory, aren't they?
  2. "Punch" is an ambivalent term. It can mean either an in-your-face woofy kind of tone (wich IMHO is equivalent to scooped mids) or just a tone with a great deal of low mids that boulders within the mix giving great fundamental.

    About the compression: "I'm from Barcelona, I know nothing"
  3. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Being a tube pedal, I would say that the gain sets the saturation of the tube, giving more growl and warmth. Whilst to a certain extent input and threshold achieve the same result, in this case they are different and interactive. It allows you to keep dial in as much tube tone as you want yet keep the compression consistent.

    As far as 'warm' and 'punch being contratictory, these are very subjective terms. One man's punch, is another man's warmth.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    They are not exactly the same. For one thing, increasing the gain increases the amount that the input stage may be saturated by your signal, for more "warmth". For another, you can use the gain control to adjust your signal-to-noise ratio, for example depending on whether other gain stages in the chain are quieter or noisier than the MB's gain. Finally, you can view the input gain as extending the useful range of the threshold control, like coarse and fine tuning.
    Use your ears and watch the flashing LED. Personally for average use I look for the light to flash about 50% of the time while I'm playing, letting me know that the compressor is catching peaks, but that my whole signal is not squashed.
    As the other guys said, "warm" and "punch" are subjective terms with no universally agreed meaning; therefore they cannot be contradictory.