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Compressor for warmth?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Gyoon, Oct 14, 2006.


  1. Gyoon

    Gyoon

    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I'm just really digging this mans tone, especially on "Uptight" by Stevie Wonder. I like that slight "Tubey" grit. I know that somewhere on his signal chain he ran a Fairchild compressor. Just wondering if there is a compressor that can give me that warmth. Also, should I run the compressor first in my chain, or last? I'm basically just running an EBS Octabass (I use it sparingly) and a Fulltone Bassdrive.

    I could just be mistaken on what exactly a compressor can do. Anybody want to set me straight? I'm seriously thinking on getting the Demeter, just because of people's descriptions on it. (sounding like an LA-2A and such)

    I have a compressor built into my Eden Wt-330, but I'm not crazy about it. It doesn't seem to give me the same kind of sensation as running a pedal. Even a crummy Boss was better to my ears.

    Glenn
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    OK, twist my arm. MysticBoo, this one's for you. :p

    Check the links in my sig for some reviews, and in the first post of the Megathread there are some articles explaining exactly what compression is and does.

    The Demeter is based on the LA-2A, sure, but how many of us have worked with an LA-2A to know that's the sound we want? FWIW, there are tube compressors out there that can provide warmth and even grit if desired. However many of them are hella noisy or have other problems, even though they all come with the same advertising hype about the glorious vintage studio gear they are supposed to be based on. The best one I've tried I actually sold not long ago to TB'er cabcreaser. I'm sure I'll regret selling it after a while. At any rate, try before you buy, or at least buy from a place with a good return policy.

    You can put a compressor anywhere in the signal chain that you want it to do its job. Sometimes the best place is right after the bass, sometimes it's right after a peaky effect like a filter.

    Which man are you referring to? Did you mean to include a link?
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh, and although I haven't actually tried it yet myself, I am going to say you should look into trying out an Aphex 661. The sound quality of Aphex's professional lines of gear is excellent. I use their "Dominator" limiter, and it's a great piece for certain tasks.
    661 Link 1
    661 Link 2
     
  4. D-Bone

    D-Bone

    Jul 5, 2006
    +1 Bongo.....

    The "Hype" is usually accurate, but not precise. Yea, many of the Tube compressors do sound as good as the compressors of the '60s and they were sometimes noisey too.

    There's a price to be paid with the use of effects, that exceeds the actual $$$ amount. Especially when mixing different brands and types of effects. There's usually a trade-off somewhere.

    This is sometimes why a lot of the old-timers will "scoff" at using effects in general. They can get all they'll ever need from an old SVT and a P bass, and still get jaw dropping tones. There's no right answer to either premise. Effects have their place. But the compressor is an effect that, if used correctly, you might not even know is there at all.

    In a prefect world, GOOD right-hand dynamics will ALWAYS exceed the compressor's abillities to create an even and balanced tone. But there's a lot of players that think the use of these will be a short-cut to the "Holy-Grail" of tone and perfect balance of the bass. This usually doesn't happen.

    I use a cheap Alesis 3630 Rack-mount compressor in my rig. To be quite honest, I'll bet I use the LED output meter MORE than the effect itself, (just for refrence) on my playing when recording. Tubes will give a natural compression effect, true; but YOU still have to create the actual technique to get the compressor to create that "tone" from your hands.

    If the issue is with the effects, put it last in the effects chain. If YOU are the one peaking the signal, then as Bongo said, stick it right after the bass.

    As for recommending a good compressor EH makes great ones for the $$$. This is one effect more than most others (barring preamps) that probably makes the best use of tubes.
     
  5. Gyoon

    Gyoon

    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Sorry, Bongo, I was talking about James Jamerson. I just love that gritty tube sound, slightly overdriven. I was just wondering if the tube compressor had anything to do with that aspect of his sound.

    There is no place around Toronto where I can try out that Demeter Compulator. I'd love to just check that sucker out, see if it's useful to me.
     
  6. Hey Gyoon, I'm a bit late to this thread (just found it today). This is what bassist Phil Chen has to say about Jamerson's recorded tone:

    "In Hitsville’s Studio A he recorded direct by plugging into one of five inputs in the wall. Each had a volume control, and he would boost the signal so the VU meter was slightly in the red, giving him a bit of warm overdrive from the tube console. His bass then went through a Fairchild limiter and a Pultec EQ, and he’d hear it through a Bozak monitor in the studio."

    SITSOM has a similar passage about Jamerson driving the console.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Good info, thanks. One of the big problems I have with the way tube gear is marketed these days, is everything just sticks in a 12AX7. Like that will replicate the sound of a full tube power section, or the arrays of different tubes used in old recording consoles and limiters. Well, it's all about cost I guess... Not much to be done about that.
     
  8. Bongo, what was the comp you just got rid of(& may regret), if I may ask?
     
  9. I've heard people refer to that as "toob" gear. My father-in-law, who is very knowledgeable about recording and pro audio and who came of age in the analog/tube/tape era, points out that vintage Neve preamps and consoles are solid state. That's not to knock tube gear, but warm, old school sound is achieved in various ways.
     
  10. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Wow... excessive kindness...

    You feeling okay? Drink a little too much egg nog this Thanksgiving?

    You're an oddly nice drunk, BTW. :p
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    GOOD point! The actual components in modern solid state gear are materially very different from what was available back then. In order to duplicate a vintage ss piece and get the right tone, you have to spend a lot of time measuring values of the components "in action", both of the original piece and the parts lot to be used in the new one. Obviously that's too expensive a process for most manufacturers. Plus, the "best sounding" designs often get modified to use fewer parts or easier manufacturing methods, to save on cost. Those modifications are accepted to work "well enough" on paper, but the tone can be lost.

    Bassteban, the one I sold was a prototype of the CAE V-Comp. Man, that was a nice pedal. So smooth and fat.

    MysticBoo, based on the dates of these posts, I can guess who's been hitting the eggnog, and it ain't me!
     
  12. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA

    you been burned!!!
     
  13. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Whoa... I... uh...

    ...damn. :(

    ...but it wasn't egg nog! :spit:
     

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