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compressor - send or direct?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by project_c, Mar 11, 2009.


  1. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    is there a 'correct' way to go through a compression pedal? i can either go straight from bass to comp to amp, or use the send/return on the amp. seems to make more sense to go direct in my mind, but i'm wondering if there's a right and wrong way to do this.
     
  2. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    +1, good question
     
  3. PhilMan99

    PhilMan99

    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    For one, it depends on your compressor and rig.

    I'm no expert on The Ultimate Tone(tm), but I do know that the line-in to your bass-amp and the effects-loop (send/return) generally operate at different levels.

    In general, the input to your amp operates at "instrument" levels, and the effects-loop operates at line-levels. Most studio-gear operates at line-level (higher voltage).

    Stomp-boxes are generally "instrument-level". Rack-mount equipment is often "line-level".
     
  4. A compressor proccesses dynamics, so it will not work in an effects loop unless it's ran in series.
    It must work on all of the signal or it will not work properly.
     
  5. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    It can be desirable to run it in the fx loop (as long as you have an fx loop in series, and either a loop that runs at instrument level or a comp that can take line level) if you want to get a bit more grit from your preamp when you dig in but still keep your levels in check.
     
  6. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    thanks for the replies, it's just a Boss CS3 stomp box, having experimented a bit, i seem to get the most obvious and audible effect when i go direct, and the whole thing sounds completely different in the loop. i can get quite a nice gritty but even tone with this and a touch of EQ, i'll give it a shot at rehearsal tonight and see how it goes.
     
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    This is a stupid over-generalization on my part but I always thought if its a stomp box, you go instrument direct. If its a rackmount, you go the effects loop route. Are there any that work equally well in both applications?

    Riis
     
  8. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA

    Depends on the effect you want. Parallel compression is used by a lot of mastering engineers, where you want to smooth out peaks but retain your dynamics. It can be very effective on a mix, not sure how well it works for a live bass.

    Actually, my DB750 has a series/parallel push/pull send knob, and the other day I accidentally played a rehearsal with it set to parallel. It sounded good but then again I use a transparent compressor set to just tame the peaks...
     
  9. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    like it:D
     
  10. 18eranaRic

    18eranaRic Banned

    Mar 7, 2009
    Malibu, USA
    that's cool about the db750 being able to do both. so how do you get the eden style then, is that like an internal series or parallel?
     
  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Wow, so some people actually like the Eden compressor??? :confused:

    That's definitely series, since it grabs and squishes the whole signal. I always turn it off on my WT400.
     
  12. I personally think that compressors should be run in the effects loop. To me, compressos are all about taming dirty power and unruly highs that an amp puts out when it is being driven hard.

    But thats my HO

    BTW, whats this series and paralell input all about?? I know how it applies to ohmage and speaker cabs, but how does it apply to sound equipment??
     
  13. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    England
    The Barber Tone Press does this too.
     
  14. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    In series, your full signal goes through the effect.

    In parallel, you mix the uneffected signal with the effected signal.
     
  15. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    By the way, I also prefer the compressor in the send/return, so I can hit the preamp hard and get a nice feeling of dynamics, while limiting the output that goes to the power amp.
     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Take note of the FAQ linked in my sig. If there are any questions not answered adequately there, please let me know. :)
     
  17. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    IMO a compressor is a compressor, whether it's rack or stomp, they do the same job. So to say one has to go here or there in the signal path because it's one or the other seems a little narrow minded to me. Unless of course it has to for a certain reason recommended by the manufacturer, e.g., must be line level.

    Anyway, back to my point. It also depends how you want to use it, and how you use the rest of your rig. If you regularly use other effects, or change the eq on your amp, if you have a compressor post pre (after the eq section) in the loops, any changes you make to the eq or other fx will change the incoming level. You'll then have to adjust the compressor to compensate the differing trigger point. Doing this every time will become a royal pain, unless you're a set it and forget it kinda guy.

    If you do want something post pre to tame the peaks when you drive the amp hard, then maybe a limiter is more suitable than a compressor. This will be more forgiving with level changes in front of it.

    Personally I prefer to run compression front end (after filter fx), that way I get a more consistent, smooth signal feeding the rest of my signal path. I used to use my old amp's limiter too to protect against peaks, and I sometimes wish my current amp had one.
     

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