Compressor before effects chain or after effects chain?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lopxtc, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. lopxtc

    lopxtc Guest

    Jan 18, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    So I working with my effects chain and wanting to get it all finally laid out the way I want before mounting to a pedal board. My big question to those with effects and compressors is what order due you like to put them in ...

    I have the following pedals;

    Boss TU-2 Tuner
    EHX Russian Big Muff
    MXR Phase 100
    Ibanez Weeping Demon

    and an Alesis 3630 rackmounted compressor.

    Right now I run: Bass => {Pedals} => compressor => Amp

    Ive running from the pedals to the compressor to make use of the noise gate feature on the Alesis, but wondering if maybe Im screwing up the signal by doing that?

  2. Kingkananga

    Kingkananga Guest

    Jan 5, 2009
    I would have said that you should go to your comprssor first but. if its just a noise gate your after buy a noise suppressor pedal and put that at the end of your chain.
  3. lopxtc

    lopxtc Guest

    Jan 18, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    No I originally bought it for the compressor features, but the noise gate was sort of an added extra bonus. :) I dont need it, but was using playing around with it seeing how it effected my signal chain. So I can by-pass it and not worry about it missing.

  4. BOSS OC2 -> Compressor -> to whatever is left. You want to put pedals w. ****** tracking before the compressor.
  5. Kingkananga

    Kingkananga Guest

    Jan 5, 2009
    I would run into teh compressor first, as sometimes compressing the effected signal causes problems, like squeal and alters the sound dramatically.

    You will still b getting the noise gate feature just not after your effects, so you would have to see if that is needed or not?

    some effects mean you get a bit of buzz or crackle so you might need something after if you want to be super clean?
  6. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    I run mine at the end so I can still get the most touch sensitivity out of my overdrives and envelope filters, whilst evening out any volume jumps from the overdrives and envelope filters!
  7. That's actually not true, from my experience and understanding. Assuming that you're using a clean compressor, you want the comp to even stuff out before you send it to tracking pedals.

    Personally, I get a LOT more punch and balls out of my signal chain when I run the comp first in line.

    Another option you have, since you have a two-channel compressor, is to run your bass into channel A, then through your pedals, into channel B, into your amp. That way, you can take advantage of the noise gate, and maybe set the second channel as a limiter to just tame the really high peaks that you might get from the wah. Just a thought.
  8. debassr


    Jan 23, 2008
    A lot of people say it should be first in the chain but I personally like it at the end.
    Dilbert likes this.
  9. lopxtc

    lopxtc Guest

    Jan 18, 2007
    St. Louis, MO
    Interesting note there, hadnt thought of using it that way.

  10. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Check out the FAQ linked in my sig. The real deal is you have to analyze exactly which points in the chain put out volume spikes that need regulating; whether there are any points in the chain that would benefit or suffer from having a less dynamic signal at the input; and whether the input and output levels of those points in the chain are in the range of the input and output levels that will work best with the compressor.

    All this "first" and "last" business is strictly for people who set up their own gear by ear (which is fine) but then they think other people's gear and tastes will be the same, when it won't.
  11. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    You can try your compressor elsewhere in the chain, but if it sounds OK to you now I wouldn't worry. Especially since it's a rackmounted compressor and harder to move around in your signal chain.

    Personally I'm currently running my compressor last in my chain. I used to have it second after my envelope filter and before my dirt pedals. Then I added a few more in front of the comp (synth, pitch shifter). It got moved back further when I got a Maxon PH-350 because that phaser can be set into oscillation and I wanted to guard against those volume spikes. Now I've got a delay that I purposely set into self-oscillation and need to tame those spikes so my compressor is now all the way at the end.

    The point is that with effects you should use whatever works and if it sounds good, it is good.
  12. I am currently running my rack comp in & out of my effects send and return on the back of my amp with switch on and dial to 90%

    Then just going from bass--->through pedal board--->str8 into amp. This IMO is giving me the best overall sound considering the amount of pedals i have.

    I can also use my footswitch to turn it off and on. But basically if i need to i can just reach over and turn the by-pass on or off at the start/end of a song.
  13. Swift713

    Swift713 Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I like the first and last idea. I would definitely try that out if I had a two channel comp, but it might be an annoying bunch of wires. I have my overdrive, fuzz, and filter before my comp, and my delay after so my finished tone goes through the delay. I don't often use the comp and dirt at the same time but I like the dirt before the filter. My tuner is last, as a mute in case I want to fiddle with anything else on my board or switch basses. In the end it all comes down to you and how you use your stuff.
  14. 2x4strgkramers

    2x4strgkramers Guest

    Dec 15, 2008
    I run a touch of compression before and a touch after. Helps even up the signal as long as you do not try to compresor your way out of istrument and playing issues.
    franvarin likes this.
  15. franvarin

    franvarin Supporting Member

    May 30, 2013
    Rhode Island
    I do something similar as well. I use a BBE Opto Comp right after my tuner, then through the pedal chain. Next, into the preamp (yamaha pb-1 rack). Last high and low outs from pre amp to dbx 166A rack unit set as a limiter. Each side of the dbx feeds stereo power amp which hits crossover for biamp cabs. This evens the signal, provides punch and sustain.
  16. BigDanT

    BigDanT Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2011
    image.jpg I don't know if this might help but someone had posted it once here before. It seems to suggest the compression should go last. Of course that's just one opinion.
  17. taylor16


    Dec 25, 2012
    Sedona, AZ
    Totally this. Comps at the end.
  18. Alban


    Apr 8, 2004
    The Netherlands
  19. As a sound man I always ran the compressor on vox only via an insert, which I guess puts the compressor before anything else on the mixing board. As a pedal effect, I would think it's up to you where you want it, especially if you're using it for an "Effect". You aren't using it as a pedal though, so I'm assuming you're using it to even things out at the end of the chain, which I think is fine. A lot of amps have built in compression, which would put the compression at the end if you're running the bass through all the pedals first; and if I'm correct, it would put the compression at the end of the signal if you were running effects through your effects send. For live purposes, I'd put it at the end.
  20. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    Wiltshire, UK
    Some like their 'presser at the beginning of their chain...some effects like the cleaner signal (octaver is a good example). But other effects get throttled by it (Envelope Filter for example). So some like theirs at the end of their chain. There's no hard and fast rule...just guide lines and what works for you best. Some guys have two 'pressers at either end of their chain.
    lowplaces and Moosehead1966 like this.