Compression Before Going Direct

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by kirkm24, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    I was talking to my sound guy at church last week and he indicated that our board doesn't have good compression built into it (it's an all digital Yamaha board) and that they didn't have any external compression. As a result, my bass signal has no compression at all. I was wondering if it would cause problems for him or the FOH mix if I ran a compressor in front of my DI box. I play direct and use In-Ears through an Aviom system with no on-stage amp. I was wondering if this would cause a problem to send a compressed signal to the board ahead of the mix. What is your opinion on this? I've seen high praise for the Aguilar TLC compressor and have been giving that unit serious consideration but I don't want to buy it if it wouldn't be worthwhile.
  2. spz8


    Jan 19, 2009
    Glen Cove, NY
    No, no problems at all. This is what I would do as well. Personally, I really like compression, although it may not be needed in your situation, depending on your wants, needs, playing style/technique, or choice of music.
  3. I believe it would be a great idea. Sending a compressed signal to the board should be helpful to your soundperson by leveling out your signal.
  4. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I always use compression in a pedal chain pre d.i., even if the board/foh rack has adequate compression;
    because even with the best sound guys and the best equipment, I typically find that they just do not have enough time to give me the bassist that much personal consideration.

    I use a lot of compressors for the 'tonal fattening', so it makes sense that I always control my own compression, but even or especially with transparent peak limiting of the TLC itmakes a lot of sense to have in line with or without foh compression
  5. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Central Virginia
    I started using a Carl Martin C/L in front of my JDI for church and it works great. The Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum as also a good choice as it dries everything out and squeezes the access rather nicely for an overly live room. It's powered from the phantom switch on the PA board so that's another plus.
  6. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    My whole goal with compression is to fatten the tone up a little and even out the volume levels (i.e. when I move up the neck and the volume of the note is considerably louder). I used to use a compressor when I played with an amp but that was a while ago. Thanks for the advice everyone!
  7. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I guess what we need to know is what you're trying to achieve? if you want good peak limiting to eliminate spikes, I will view that as almost essential depending on your playing style..

    the main thing you want to be careful of is not having 'almost good' settings..
    if your threshold is set too low with a high ratio, making your signal constantly dip, will definitely ruin the front of house sound; you have to figure out how the peaks in your technique actually work very carefully

    if what you are using is a compressor to sort of smooth things out, the main thing to keep in mind is that you should notice when it's off rather than when its on; subtle/light dynamic compression, (as opposed to always-threshold-crossing fattening compression) can definitely make you sound worse if you fight too hard to make the effect audible.. not to mention that subtle compression can really ruin your presence if you overdo it