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Compressor, signal chain.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by inazone, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    Where in the signal chain do you put the compressor and why?
    Bass--> compressor--> preamp--> power amp.
    Bass--> preamp--> compressor--> power amp.
  2. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I want to know too. :hyper:
    Can all comps be put in either way or can only rack comps be put between pre and poweramps as they probably will see a stronger signal?

    Sorry for the hijack. :bag:
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Depends on what the input and output resistance of the compressor is and what level it's designed to work with.

    In other words, try it both ways and see what sounds best to you.
  4. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Definitely try the compressor in the effects loop if you have one. The buffering that most effects loops have can make the loop the most transparent place to put it.

    Whichever place you put it, get a good grip on how your particular compressor works. Some have separate comtrols for make-up gain and some are very simple with just threshold or threshold and ratio knobs.
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    definitely experiment
    i use my dbx in the effects loop of my preamps or between the preamps and the poweramp. Im using the compressor mostly for speaker protection at that point, and locating it after the tone controls and preamp gain helps in this regard.
  6. When mixing, compression is the last thing applied usually. Otherwise you are not guaranteed a bounded signal. That doesn't totally apply to the question at hand though. You may be able to get various artful sounds by rearranging your chain. I still put my compressor last because I need to maximize the efficiency of my rig.
  7. luca


    Nov 22, 2005
    Experiment! I have a symetrix 501 comp ampeg svt pro, and MM SR5.
    For me it is obvious that when I am going bass-comp-pre, the comp has a verry little signal to work with, it's not doing the job very well.
    So my chain is with comp linked to send-return, this is post EQ.
  8. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.

    This depends entirely on the design of the compressor, although any compressor designed for musical instrument usage will probably go post/pre anywhere. The signal coming out of your preamp is probably not strong enough to distort the input stage of a compressor, or anything else for that matter, unless you run thing with the output knob cranked to 12. Putting compressors and EQ after the board and before the power amp is common practice in live audio applications.

    Where you like to stick them depends on what you want to use them for. If you're using them to radically alter tone, then they might sound good anywhere. If you're using them to limit transients, increase sustain, or protect your speakers than they should probably be last in your signal chain.
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge

    I run mine in the effects loop of the GK. The Symetrix referred to above is also designed as a line level and should come after the pre, before the x-over (if one is in use) prior to power. You can of course take just a single band (the 501 is mono as I recall) through a compressor if you want to but that would be a non-typical application. In my old biamped rig, I experimented wuth a sereo comp, using it after the xover so I could have separate settings for the hi's and low's. Interesting experiment but way to much work for too little return...

    Fun and games you can try with your 501... Take side chain out to a delay line of some sort. Set the delay for slap back with 2 or 3 repeats. Now set your compressor to light up for string pop's only... take the output of the delay somewhere useful, like a mixer input... take the main output of the compressor to another channel and mix... pop a few strings...cool, eh ?