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Compressor + Limiter Enhancer

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by darkfish01, Jan 19, 2006.


  1. darkfish01

    darkfish01

    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    Would it be possible to use both? I have a Limiter Enhancer but I'm thinking about getting a Compressor to replace it. Is there really a difference between the two? I heard that the LE is a more extreme version of a Compressor, but I'm still in the dark about this whole thing.
     
  2. IcedEarthWOM

    IcedEarthWOM

    Oct 2, 2005
    True. Limiters just have higher ratios than compressors.

    Oh, and you should be able to use both. I'd go Compressor -> Limiter.
     
  3. johnvice

    johnvice

    Sep 7, 2004
    This is correct. The ratio on a compressor is;
    The decibel increase in loudness BEFORE:
    The decibel increase in loudness AFTER

    So with 2:1 compression, the level BEFORE compression would have to increase by 2dB for a 1dB increase AFTER compression.

    At some point, the compression becomes so extreme, it acts as a hard stop. I think at 10:1 it becomes limiting.

    I've never tried this so I'm commenting from theory, not experience. The limiter is going to squash the dynamic range so much that I don't see a point in compressing the signal first.

    Conversely, two compressors can be used effectively. I know I've commented and posted on this elsewhere. Tony Levin frequently uses multiple compressors. (There is a pic of his rig at a club somewhere here that shows an AnalogMan Bi-Comp.) Jimmy Page used two Urei compressors for his solo on "Black Dog".
     
  4. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    My dbx 266 XL is both.
     
  5. IcedEarthWOM

    IcedEarthWOM

    Oct 2, 2005
    I don't really know if going comp -> lim or lim -> comp would make any difference. I think that the thresholds would make more of a dif. I only have a compressor but I'd set the limiter to a higher threshold than the compressor, otherwise you'd risk the compressor becoming redundant:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Technically speaking, compression becomes limiting at infinity:1. At 10:1 you'd have a fairly extreme compression setting, but you could still attain a signal level higher than the threshold. With a limiter, the threshold becomes like a brick wall/ceiling that your signal can't surpass.



    The limiter is only going to squash the dynamic range if you have it set at a threshold low enough to be hit all the time. It makes more sense to run a compressor first to attenuate some of the signal regularly, and a limiter afterwards to get rid of any peaks that occasionally occur.
     
  7. darkfish01

    darkfish01

    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    With all of this in mind, how would I want to set the two to get the most out of them? Thanks guys, this has been quite informative!
     
  8. I'd place the compressor before the limiter in your signal chain. Adjust the compressor settings to attain maybe 2-5 dB of compression during normal playing. You can then set the limiter so it comes on occasionally during peaks in your playing.
     
  9. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Zombie Thread Brought Back to Life. (Thanks to Bongo's Compressor Megathread)

    I have been having similar thoughts for my upcoming situation. Maybe I'm just thinking "out loud".

    I've been eyeballing an old Yamaha PB-1 Preamp. Picking it up tomorrow after Payday. I came across this vid. A church performance in which the PB-1 is used (according to the comments).


    It sounds a bit harsh to me. Granted that could be anything from poor recording, to he is playing an SR-4 with a pick (Warwick fingerstyle here) and he just likes that sound. I'm sure it could be EQ'd out but I'd like to get a little more of a smoother sounding high end out of this preamp.

    My thought is that a Rackmount Compressor run through the FX loop would warm that high end up a lot. I want to bring the harshness of the high end out without loosing the high end. Can you Find the Fault in that logic? Is this compressor duty? Or more like Aphex 204/Bass Exciter duty?

    On to the Limiter + Compressor

    What I currently have is a Boss LMB-3 that I would run at instrument level to help take care of pedalboard and bass duties and use the rackmount compressor to handle the preamp. Would that be a pretty accurate description of what is actually happening here, or is it just redundancy?

    Units I'm considering:

    ~BBE MaxCom: Seems to have a built in maximizer. I love multi-taskers and would love to remove the Sonic Stomp from my signal path.
    ~dbx160: In one form or another.
    ~ART Dual Levelar: I don't know much about it but tube compression has an appeal to me for some reason.

    Luv You Guys

    ~James
     
  10. If you can find one, the Boss RCL10 works as a compressor/limiter/expander and it's got a built in noise gate. It sounds great, very quiet. I used mine for years both live and in the studio (I got some very nice comments from engineers while recording with it). You'd probably be able to get one fairly cheap too. Just my 2 cents (CAD) worth...

    Check it out here: http://www.bossarea.com/other/rcl10.asp
     
  11. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    That looks like a great multi-tasker, but to clarify I'm thinking this.

    Bass => FX => LMB-3 => Preamp Input => etc.

    +

    Rackmount Compressor Through the Preamp FX Loop. I'm

    My thought process being that the LMB-3 would tighten up the all my FX, while the Compressor through the FX Loop would tighten up the Preamp itself.

    Using this logic however I'm thinking that the Aphex 204 run through the FX loop may be more what I'm looking for.

    ~James
     
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That's not the PB-1 sounding harsh, it's something else about his setup or the recording.

    Unfortunately that will only work with a few compressors which are non-linear in the high frequencies. Most compressors will take a harsh sound and make it louder and more obnoxious.
    Neither. An EQ is the tool for the job, especially one which is designed for coloration of the signal. My fave in that application was an ART Tube Parametric EQ. But it's possible the EQ built in to the PB-1 is sufficient, you'd just need to set it up differently than the guy in that vid did. Now, there are some compressors which are non-linear in the highs, so it can work out; you just can't assume any compressor will work for that. If you like stronger compression settings then most dbx units attenuate the highs at those settings.

    Redundancy IMO. I think you'd be better off using a different tool for warming/softening the highs, or leaving the LMB-3 out; and again you may not need to "handle" the preamp at all considering it is not normally harsh sounding.
     
  14. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Thanks James, Sounds a lot better than in that youtube clip. Band sounds good too.

    ~James :D

    Thank you too Bongo M. Looks like my best bet is just picking up the preamp and seeing how it works for me before making any decisions on buying extra gear.

    When you talk EQ is that like a 32 band EQ, or do you think that something like a GEB-7 would be sufficient?

    ~James
     
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I would actually not recommend a graphic EQ for that. I'd go with either a parametric or a simple low-and-high knobs EQ.