compressor question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by hachi kid, Mar 9, 2010.


  1. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    hello. so, I'm beginning the process of upgrading my gear setup, and one of those stages is getting a proper compressor. I currently use a Boss CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer pedal to do my compressing for the top end (I run two outputs via Chris Squire/Billy Sheehan/John Paul Jones style), and this pedal only compresses the top end. I think I've figured out lately that my sound getting a bit muddy could be cured with a bit of compression as well. so, I'm looking for a dual channel rackmount compressor to run the high and low side through. a question I have, though, is a compressor also a "compressor/sustainer" and the CS-3 is marked? like, does the "sustainer" part come from the compressing of the signal? or is this a special feature I'll have to look for when looking for a rackmount compressor.

    and also, I've only heard of a couple of brands, but what would some of the differences be between an Alesis 3630 and an Ashly CLX 52?

    http://www.alesis.com/3630
    http://www.ashly.com/clx-52compressor.html

    or would anyone recommend anything else? aside from the Boss CS-3 pedal I've been using, I'm completely new to this compressor business.
     
  2. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
  3. Bootzilla

    Bootzilla

    May 4, 2009
    The sustain part is part of compressing the signal.
     
  4. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    anyone have any opinions on the Behringer MDX2600? I'm looking at one after hearing some positive things.
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In addition to the reviews linked above, be sure to read the FAQ there!!! It's linked on the reviews page and in my sig.
    The chief difference is that the Alesis is garbage and the Ashly is excellent professional equipment.
     
  6. nealw

    nealw

    Sep 9, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    +1. Ashly is great. Rane & Symmetrix make some great stuff, too. All 3 are often available dirt-cheap on eBay.
     
  7. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I have read the reviews, and they have been helpful. I was just curious if I could get more of the TB community to weigh in with their experiences and opinions (more heavy on the experience side, though). I think I'm going to go with the Behringer MDX2600. I'm getting into rack mount stuff (I hate pedals), and I think this would be a good beginner to mid-level type compressor. I will eventually get an Ashly CLX 52, but I just don't have the money right now.
     
  8. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    The crossover feature of the Rane is very attractive. I have no experience with rack mount compressors but I use a Maxon CP9 pro, which is a DBX circuit, so I could recommend a DBX. I would refer you to Bongomania as to which models are best.
     
  9. anonymous101511

    anonymous101511 Guest

    Mar 5, 2001
    Dean Markley Strings, Xotic Basses, Kubicki Basses
    Hi, I would suggest not using a compressor at all and definitely not one that compresses the top end only. If you want to use a multi- band compressor, you would want something that compresses the low end WITHOUT affecting the top. Compressing the top end will give a very mushy, indistinct tone. Go for a straight up, clean signal; let your fingers do the work, instead of asking electronics to do it for you.
     
  10. jufros

    jufros

    Nov 24, 2008
    The MDX2600 is an excellent compressor and definitely one of the best sounding Behringer pieces of gear I've come across. It's completely indistinguishable from the DBX 166XL. You can get some very nice smooth results out of it. That being said, the "limiter" section on both of these compressors is pretty horrible. If you can put the money together, the Symetrix 501 KILLLSSS as a live bass compressor and has a great limiter.

    I really can't stress how important limiting is to getting a more even tone. Play your bass through a frequency analyzer and you'll see a ton of activity in the 60-125hz range and then a very steep drop off. When you use a limiter properly, you can block those sub lows without affecting the rest of your sound. As a result, the higher frequencies have room to "catch up" in volume to the lower ones. Your low mids will likely have the 2nd most gain in your tone and so you'll hear those frequencies being effected first.

    If you want to even out the mids some more, try using one channel on a rack EQ to filter out your lows and then feed that signal into the compressor's sidechain input. You can use an EQ to isolate the frequencies that you want to compress and accentuate.

    Anyhow, I'm rambling now, but I will say this: compression is hands-down the most defining effect in modern music, the most personal, and the only one that you really can't cheat at all. Whichever compressor you do wind up buying, and I do definitely think the MDX is a great first choice, make sure you spend some time just playing single notes while you tweak settings and really pay attention to how the envelope of each note changes.
     
  11. davkane

    davkane

    Jul 27, 2007
    Chicago
    I have a DBX166xl for sale in the classified section. It has dual channels. I love it, I am just getting away from the rack mount thing. For me, it worked very well
     
  12. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    hey everyone. thank you very much for your responses! I have recently bought a Behringer MDX2600, and I have some more questions. after coming from the simple Boss CS-3, it was very easy to get what I wanted out of that. now, I have all these knobs with VERY unfamiliar names. is there some FAQ or something that could explain, in english, what these knobs do? I'm finding it difficult to tell exactly how these knobs are affecting/shaping my tone. I'm not sure what I should be listening for, and compression is a very subtle effect, anyway.

    the choices I have on the compressor are able to be seen in this photo:

    http://www.behringer.com/EN/images/lightboxphotos/MDX2600_P0178_Front_XXL.jpg
     
  13. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    No, there is no compressor FAQ in English, and if there was, it wouldn't be linked at the top of that one reviews page, nor in the sig line of somebody who has posted in this thread, nor already mentioned and underlined in this thread. Sorry, I guess you'll have to figure it out on your own.
     
  14. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    It would just be so awesome if someone would write a compressor FAQ and link to it on some kind of bass guitar forum.
     
  15. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    well, I guess I set myself up for that one...I've seen the FAQ, but I was looking for other things when I looked at it a while back. I'll take a look through. I'm also talking to a knowledgeable friend about this stuff. he's definitely making sense of this thing.
     
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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