compressor for this application?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by shwashwa, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    i have zero experience with compressors, but i have read all the threads, but my situation is alittle different. i'm an upright player and i also play electric upright. i have some dead spots on both basses that i want to even out. mostly in the upper register. my primary concern is bringing out sustain and equilizing the volume over the entire fingerboard. is there a compressor that is more suited to this than others? also, how important is it to have a know to slect the ratio on the compressor? one more thing. i did try compression once on the upright, and it caused some feedback. i'm guessing because i didnt have it optimally set. are there compressors that would be more advantageous to the upright that are different than the ones that would be better for my solid body upright? thanks in advance!
  2. I would want controls for ratio, threshold, knee, and make-up gain. If it was me I would use my RNC for upright. It has a full set of controls, and can be set to where it is on but doesn't sound like it is there at all.

    What you are doing is trying to clamp down on everything to bring it down to the level of the dead spots. So you really want to see gain reduction most of the time. As opposed to the peaks. You would see some gain reduction during normal playing, and none (much less) when you played a weak note. So just having a compression knob with no indicator for the amount of gain reduction, it will be completely hit/miss. By the time you can hear it working, you are probably using too much.

    You want a fast attack and release so the compression doesn't blow over, but not so fast that you get distortion. And I'd want a hard knee so that I could get the over/under threshold set more accurately.
  3. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    ok, thanks for the detailed reply. can you explain a few things to me? what does knee, threshold and ratio mean and how does changing them affect things? also, are you saying that the 2 knob compressors, like the aphex or the compulator and other may not be appropriate for my needs?

    thanks again!
  4. I'm saying that I would want control over as many variables as I can get, and I want a real gain reduction meter as opposed to a single LED.

    There are about a zillion places to find out about compression but here is the nickle tour:

    Compression = gain reduction

    Threshold is the signal level where the gain reduction starts

    Ratio is how much reduction is applied for each unit of gain increase. 1:1 = no reduction, 2:1 makes a 1 dB increase = a .5 dB increase. 4:1 makes a 1dB increase into a .25 dB increase. etc..

    Attack is how fast the compressor reacts

    Release is how fast it "lets go", or returns to not compressing

    Knee is how the compressor reacts when the signal gets near the threshold. Soft means that it gradually rolls on the compression and won't reach the actual ratio until it gets well over the threshold. Hard means that it brings on the compression faster as the gain increases over the threshold.

    Most compressors have a gain knob so you can recover gain that was reduced. That can be useful for matching levels or driving an amp/preamp input. You can also boost the input gain and it brings the quieter notes up which squashes the sound even further. Extreme settings can make the sound "toggle" where you hear nothing, then full volume. That is used by lot of rock guitarists.