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Compression revelation

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by emil_fh, May 18, 2019.

  1. emil_fh


    Apr 22, 2019
    I have been playing a for a long time without any effects. Now I found a second hand markbass compressore which I find myself unable to turn off. (Though the picture was taken without power)

    Initially I tried a slow attack, slow release and low ratio, which warmed the sound nicely.

    Now, with a higher ratio, rather low threshold so most notes are compressed somewhat and a fast release, I found everything just sounds better.

    It actually does not sound super compressed, though the lower strings have a nice squash to them. I can definitely hear the tube in the circuit. And I will probably dial back the threshold or ratio a bit.

    It might not be a good habit to practice with these settings daily, but I am very surprised at the difference. I am getting more confident at playing and finding that my left hand speed is actually very good, rather that my attack is a bit uneven when playing fast.

    The space between the notes is filled out and somehow everything flows together naturally, improving my timing. With these settings I would dare to actually perform on a stage. The improvement is on a level where what earlier sounded empty and thin now sounds ready mixed, like the compressed music you would hear on a cd, much more so than the bass straight into the amp.

    Anybody else having the same experience?
    jmlee, cazclocker, NicJimBass and 9 others like this.
  2. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Why would it be bad to practice with those settings daily?

    Your technique is improving by your account?
    lfmn16 likes this.
  3. Cool!
    After years of procrastination, I finally got an old Boss CS2 and put it on my effects board. It hasn’t been turned off since!
  4. emil_fh


    Apr 22, 2019
    I find that I can attack the strings very hard and getting a different sound, but not much louder. If always playing with compression, there is no downside of the goal is just to sound as good as possible. But from a perspective of playing technique I am thinking that one could lose some sensitivity in the attack, and if suddenly turning off the compression it becomes more difficult to play evenly.

    That said, while I always like to improve my playing, the goal always has to be sounding as good as possible, if effects are needed, I do not mind.
  5. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Enjoy the Compressore. It's one of my favorites.
    eadg98005, jmlee, NicJimBass and 3 others like this.
  6. I keep 2 compressors running all the time now. I love what they can do for you. The trick is to not use too much.
    Low Down Brown and Rip Van Dan like this.
  7. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    A big revalation for me was the first time I tried compression at the start of my chain after years of just putting it at the end.
  8. Yes. Mine feeds my other effects and it really focuses everything and adds punch. Ghost notes really pop out in the funky finger style stuff now, too.
  9. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    The sustain and clarity it adds to effects is tremendous. I foolishly used to think that it would make me lose my dynamics when in reality it gives such greater control over the dynamics with those wonderful sustains and the ability to let things ring out...
  10. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
  11. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    I love my MB Compressore. When I first got it and turned it on, I didn't really notice much difference, but then I turned it off and was shocked by the difference. It warms things up besides just compressing. It is now on all of the time along with my Fdeck HPF3.:thumbsup:
  12. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    I am always surprised when I see gigging players with no compression...especially guitar players, whose clean tones are like icicle spikes through your forehead and notes are like jagged glass shards. It's the difference between a child's writing in pencil and an artistic woman's writing with calligraphy pens.
  13. AlexBassMP


    Feb 5, 2014
    I was a "no compressor snob" because I used to play with my OD on all the time and the my general belief is that it's useless to compress an already compressed signal.

    I saw lots of people using compression before the overdrive/distortion and getting awesome results, so one day I decided to be open minded and invest sometime learning how to use compression.

    I started by tweaking all the compressors on my Zoom MS60B and learning the bassics of how different controls interact. Too many parameters scared me...I didn't want to spend money in a stand alone compressor pedal without being sure about if I could get good results from it.

    After a while I get decent results from the on board compressors and I understand what kind of results I want to get, I decided to move a step forward and save some money to buy a compressor pedal.
    wmmj likes this.
  14. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Great pedal! I use mine all the time for guitar and bass.
    DrThumpenstein likes this.
  15. JPaulGeddy


    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    It is an amazing feeling when you finally 'get' compression. Opens up the world. Welcome to the other side. :)
  16. SirMoak


    Jan 6, 2017
    I am a multiband compressor fan myself. I found that compressing the low end while leaving the higher frequencies alone helps me sit in the mix better and does not affect technique. You can get the same dynamics while keeping the bottom glued to the band. :)
    Whoever says that you don't need a compressor hasn't mixed a rock band yet.
  17. I use my onboard compression, turned down pretty low. Too much can make things flat and less interesting, but just a little cleans stuff up, smooths things out.
  18. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    I intermittently use a Keeley 4 knob after overdrives (before fuzz) with a slow attack so I can get a low end attack slamming effect, it's good for finger funky tight plucked notes too. But always on is a TC multiband toneprint to gently dust off the dullness near the end of the line maybe before delay if any. Been using compressors live since 1989 because they made my under-powered amps more effective.
    Ellery likes this.
  19. BigBear77

    BigBear77 Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2017
    IMO one of the most underrated compressors on the market. It’s been on my board for quite some time.
  20. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Congrats! Great compressor, but I'll admit that I want to send you a bottle of GooGone to get those stickers off. ;-)

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