Compression Depression

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bobbybass85, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. MXR Bass Dyna Comp Mini

    12 vote(s)
  2. Darkglass Hyper Luminal

    14 vote(s)
  1. bobbybass85


    Dec 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Morning everybody! I’m in need of a little group therapy and hope you’re up for helping.

    I’m looking to add a dedicated compressor to my board, and my options are narrowed down to the MXR Bass Dyna Comp Mini and the Darkglass Hyper Luminal. I like the size and the sound on the MXR, and obviously the price, but I’m not sure if I’m just settling. The Darkglass sounds great to me, and has way more functionality to it, but I’d only take advantage of that in home studio applications where I could also use a plugin if I needed something different than the MXR...

    My main compression goal is back end sustain and fattening. I want the blend function so I can keep my dynamics and note attack, but want to even out the decay of a note. There will be instances in which I use more squash-like compression and as a boost as well, but that’s not the main purpose.

    As for my rig, basses include a P, a J, and a Lakland 55-01 with upgrade Barts. Pedalboard is an MXR Bass Octave Deluxe, a B3k, Zoom MS-60B, Tone Hammer DI. If/when I need an amp it’s my Ashdown ABM 500 into a 2x12. I like use both vintage tones and more modern clean tones in my gigs and like having a good bump in the 800hz-1.2k range. Genres include modern worship, country, 80s funk, modern pop, and punk.

    With all that in mind which way would you lean? To the MXR or the Darkglass? I know the MS-60B has some solid compressors, and they’ve suited me well, but I’m looking to free up a slot in my patches there that the compressor holds currently.

    Thanks everyone!!
  2. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Honestly I have no experience with neither of them, but based on absolutely very little I'd say the Darkglass.

    Personally I came to the conclusion that I don't really like using compression pre production, mixing and mastering is a completely different story, even if you need to be careful there too with how you apply it not to kill the dynamics and more delicate nuances and destroy the sense of depth and air in a mix.

    I do however still own an EHX Black Finger, which is a tube driven optical compressor, but I don't actually use it as a compressor, I use it as a tube preamp, dialing in the input gain so that the tubes are driven to just on the edge of breakup, and almost entirely dialing the compression circuit out of the equation, only having it work subtly when I dig in fairly hard, otherwise it feels like it kills my dynamics and somehow makes my tone sound less natural and rich, like it robs it from some depth.

    I guess that is what some perceive as a more focused tone.

    It's not for me however, to me it sounds less rich and natural.

    Personally If I absolutely should chose a compressor that I was forced to use I would get a multi band one as those works much more dynamically and doesn't mess as much with the frequency content of your tone as a traditional compressor, where theoretically a volume spike isolated to a relatively small frequency area will cause a traditional single band compressor to bring the whole overall signal down, making less prominent frequencies even more subtle and as such contributing to actually enhancing the frequency imbalance further.

    Perhaps something like the Boss BC-1X could be an option for me, but that is just me.

    I actually only heard good things about it.

    Anyway, to get back to you, if you haven't actually played with a compressor before I would strongly advise you to try out some before deciding to buy any to see if it's for you, cause it is definitely not for everyone, and generally choice of compressor will be very individually too, so will not be easy to advice you.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
    fast slapper and Bboopbennie like this.
  3. HalfManHalfBass


    Jan 21, 2003
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    While the MXR Dynacomp can work well for guitar and is still a key part of David Gilmour’s signature sound, I personally never thought it sounded that great with a bass. Mine gets mostly used by my guitarist SO these days. She has one particular Strat that works incredibly well with that pedal, so it’s effectiveness may be more dependent on the instrument being plugged into it than I realized. Either way, there’s still better choices for bass players IMO.

    The Hyper Luminal I tried (but didn’t end up buying) was interesting. Decent sounding. There were a few of its warmer settings I liked a lot. But despite the stunning scifi cosmetics, I didn’t like the way the controls felt on the one I demoed. So I passed.

    From what you're describing you’re looking for, I’d suggest checking out the Ovnifx Smoothie. It’s affordable, built like a tank, sounds great, and is a good first (or second, or third, or… ;)) compressor to have in your kit. It’s easily one of the safest bets out there when it comes to compressors.

    I have a small collection of compressor pedals. The Smoothie gets used the most often whenever I decide I need or just want a compressor in my signal chain. Compression is not something I see as an “always-on” type of thing for what I play. But the Smoothie definitely gets its share of use from me. Recommended.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Limited to these two options, I say your best bet is the Cali 76CB.
  6. Sub-hoo-fer


    Nov 27, 2015

    The MXR makes Dagan sound good!
  7. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA

    Is November still the date for the new batch? (Is there a formal waiting list, or first come, first serve?) Thanks.
  8. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for?

    Dec 31, 2018
    J'ville Florida
    I recently bought the Empress and really like it. I have some other mxr pedals and think they are quality but between the two of those choices I would go DG.
    Personally I think you need to do more research.
    The thread posted above with the link to all the compressor reviews is awesome and helped me to decide on the Empress.
    The biggest thing is do you want color or transparency?
  9. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    Th guru of compression has written above, Bongo. Check out his reviews; Compressor Reviews

    Your answer can be found there. My answer was his Smoothie compressor.
    Low Down Brown likes this.
  10. red_rhino

    red_rhino Artful Dodger Gold Supporting Member

    That was my thought as well. Easy and intuitive to operate, set and forget, sounds great.
    40Hz likes this.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    You betcha! I put the Smoothie up there with the Southampton Fifth Gear as one of those pedals that just sounds great with bass - period. And best of all, doesn’t require a new line of credit from your bank to get one.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Dyna Comp totally has a vibe of its own, but some people love it while others don't. It's a little too compressy for my tastes, even though I'm a big MXR fan. Actually, all compressors are too compressy for my tastes :D but hey...
    Clutchcargo and Curtbass like this.
  13. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    I have a Dyna Comp Bass Mini and like it. I get a nice, smooth bit of squish.
  14. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    Not what you want to hear, but after trying multiple compressors, the only one that did what you are looking for was the Markbass Conpressore. Mine is on full time and will never get sold.
    eadg98005 and Low Down Brown like this.
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, November. First come first serve, no pre-orders, no list; but there will be plenty then, no worries about availability.
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Good. I just might buy a second one. :)
  17. Jonahlane


    Mar 29, 2016
    I play a lot of worship music, rig is currently a tone hammer, a micro synth, and my Darkglass hyper luminal (Last in chain before RNDI) and I love the character it brings. The MXR (When I had it) always felt very sterile and lacking of any character or punch, it worked great as a brick wall limiter, but the Hyper Luminal has this great action and character that keeps me searching for a transformer inside that little box. Seriously, its that good. The FET mode is super gritty and punchy, and the SYM mode is dark and wooly, great for vintage sounds.
  18. Ringhammer

    Ringhammer Supporting Member

    Sep 3, 2016
    S. F. Bay Area
    I have a Boss BC-1x as well as a Darkglass Super-Symmetry and a Hyper-Luminal. I like 5hem all, but I feel the Boss is the most versatile, while the Darkglass ones are more subtle.

    Just my 2 pesos
  19. TonyRo

    TonyRo Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2017
    Cleveland, OH
    I played a gig today with the Hyper Luminal, and think it's one of the best releases of 2018. It can do it all in very small, pretty box.
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