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Compressor Advice for live techno/house band?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ortli, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Ortli


    Feb 22, 2013
    Hello bass players,

    I'm new here, this is my first post.

    I have a band that plays electronic music live - minimal techno, deep house, house etc.
    In this band we play normal instruments (bass, guitar, drums) but use lots of effect pedals to modulate the sound; it is meant to sound rather like a minimal techno / house DJ set than a live band.
    My main sound there is the BOSS OC-2 with just one octave below, no dry signal (you know this setting...).

    My current setup looks like this:

    Bass -> BOSS LS-2 Line Selector (Loops A & B parallel and always on) ->

    Loop A: BOSS OC-2 (Octaver) -> Electro Harmonix Frequency Analyzer (Ring Modulator) -> CoPilot FX Orbit (Fuzz) -> Iron Ether Xerograph Deluxe (Low Pass Filter) -> Iron Ether FrantaBit (Bitcrusher / Sample Rate Reducer)

    Loop B: BOSS OC-2 (Octaver) -> MXR Bass Octave Deluxe (Octaver) -> passive DI-Box No. 1

    -> BOSS LS-2 Line Selector -> passive DI-Box No. 2 -> Amp

    The LS-2 is in parallel mode and both loops are always on.
    Loop B with the OC-2 is always on, providing a basic bass base :D

    When I use the different effects in loop A however, the volume sometimes changes dramatically or I get lots of noise (especially when the low pass filter is all the way open of course) from just touching my strings or playing dead notes.

    I feel that I might need a compressor to make the sound (and volume of course) more consistent / even, to prevent huge dynamics and to make it sound more 'machine-like' and clean. However I don't know which compressor to buy and where to put it in my chain.

    I would be really happy if you could recommend me 2 or 3 different compressors. I was thinking of the MXR or the Daring Audio Phat Beam but really I don't know.
    Would greatly appreciate any advise. It doesn't have to sound 'organic' and the original sound of my instrument isn't important at all since I use the OC-2 sound almost all the time.

    Doesn't matter how much the compressor costs but it should be a pedal and not a rack unit.
    Thank you very much and sorry for my bad English.

    Regards from Dresden,
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Hi Phillip,

    There are a number of compressors that could help you out. Since you're looking to even out your volume and not add tonal improvement or "fattening" and the effects can generate some big volume changes or spikes I think what you want is a relatively transparent compressor with clean action that is capable of fairly high ratios and a fast attack.

    The MXR would definitely be a good choice. Others I'd recommend would be the Empress, Demeter Compulator, Maxon CP9 Pro+ or the FEA Dual Band.

    If you're a knob tweaker the FEA is incredible and if you want something super simple the Demeter is great. Doing similar stuff to what you describe I also got good results using a modded Boss CS-3.

    One thing to note - a compressor won't help you with the noise issue. If anything it will make the noise louder/raise the noise floor. That's just part of how a compressor functions.

    As for chain placement, some guys doing electronica stuff like it first in the chain to add sustain and improve tracking of the OC-2. But for your needs I'd say put it after the Boss LS-2 to limit volume spikes.

    Hope that helps.
  3. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    I've used the v1 Optostomp (simple) and MXR comp (complicated) in the situation you're describing. Always goes after any of the synth-type pedals that need some taming.

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