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compressor -> compressor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by soontobedead, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    hi there, folks... i just wanted to ask what kind of effect could 2 compressors put in sequence do to my overall sound?
    i only use 1 compressor and a noise gate set rather low.
    In case you need thr info, I play metal fingerstyle and really like the use of compression (even though my current compressor colors the tone of my bass a little bit, tho not in a nasty way).

    So at the end it would be:

    Bass -> Compressor -> Compressor -> Noisegate -> Amp
  2. you would have a very compressed bass sound
  3. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Chaining compressors has been a practice in studios for a long time. In short, it allows more overall dynamic leveling with less coloring of the sound. It is more natural compression.

    The down side is that compressors tend to be noisy anyway, especially in less than ideal settings like a live situation. If you aren't careful, you may end up with a really noisy signal. It's easy to do it in a power conditioned, perfectly grounded studio with a chain of $2,500 tube compressors. It isn't always in the real world.

    I see you use a gate, but if you raise the floor high enough to gate a really noisy rig, it can totally screw up the decay of sustained notes. It also makes your attack sound funny in some situations.
  5. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    Juan from mars volta uses to Boss CS-2 one at the begining of his signal and the other at the end. He has both pretty much going at full blast too. He says he gets a little bit of distortion out of them
  6. Some compressors may be equipped with a downward expander. This reduces the level of all signal below a certain threshold - sort the opposite of the compressor itself.

    This allows you to adjust the threshhold to just above the level of noise, and effectively eliminate it, at least from the spaces between the music.
  7. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    The concept is certainly valid, and used frequently. The first compressor should be set to not do too much - 2 or 3:1, attack set a bit slow to let transients through, and soft-knee if available. An optical unit would work well here, like Bellari's half-space tube unit.

    Then the second should be set up to take care of the transients and squeeze a bit harder.

    This when done properly will allow each unit to perform its function without the artifacts often resulting from asking a unit to limit a very dynamic signal. The first in the chain will feed the higher-ratio unit a more controlled signal. The result is quite nice when you get it right. If you clamp down too much with the first one, there's nothing much for the second to do.

    I so this all the time, but often I'll compress a track lightly when tracking, and squeeze it a little harder during mixdown. That way I avoid doing anything too radical that can't be undone in the heat of tracking.

    The concept works for most things, especially bass and vox.