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Compressor to Emulate Sansamp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Big Benner, Jun 9, 2014.


  1. Hi all,

    Can anyone recommend me a compressor that has the same sound and "feel" of a Sansamp but without the dirt.

    Here's the story: For years I used the Tech21 Sansamp Bass Driver Programable with every amp that I played through, usually through the FX's return (to bypass any other preamp if I could). Every time that I would use the pedal, I would perform a "Global Reset" to take the pedal back into it's default settings and then use the Fat Tube setting:

    Drive @ 12 o'clock
    Bass @ 11 o'clock
    Trebel @ 12 o'clock
    Presence @ 9 o'clock
    Blend @ 5 o'clock (fully on)
    Level @ 12 o'clock

    I loooved this sound, and more importantly I loved the compression and "feel" of the sound. It was the first time that I ever felt that I could go from finger style to slap and still have presence and volume in my sound.

    Last year I bought a Markbass CMD 102P and really got into the clean bass sound - EB MM Sting Ray 5 string straight into the amp. I've recently been using a BOSS LMB3 to even things out a little bit:

    Level @ 12 o'clock
    Enhance @ 7 o'clock (fully off)
    Ratio @ 10 o'clock
    Threshold @ 12 o'clock

    Long story short, I recently went back to the Sansamp and WOW, I've really been missing that compression and "feel" to the sound. Can anyone recommend me a compressor that has the same sound and feel but without the dirt. I don't need anything crystal clear or "sterile", but I would like my B string to ring out without any overdrive (what I get with the Fat Tube setting in the Sansamp).

    Should I be looking at the Diamond? Can I get that "bounce" sound & feel and go from finger style to slap and still have presence and volume in my sound?

    One note - I am very strongly looking at pedal type compressors that I can run on batteries. Bass into compressor into Markbass combo amp - super simple and easy for all of the setups & tear downs that I do.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    BALTIMORE CITY
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Can't you just turn the gain down so it doesn't clip? Or compress your signal before the sansamp? That compression you hear in the sansamp is most likely just the severe mid scoop doing it's thing.
     
  3. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    BALTIMORE CITY
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Personally I love the sound clean. I use my sansamp for eq only. I get my dirt elsewhere.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, just turn off the dirt. Boom. Problem solved.
     
  5. So when I turn down the Gain, I loose my compression.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There's always at least a little compression in Sansamps. But I see what you're saying now...you do get more as you crank gain. What if you turn the gain down to just below the point it starts distorting?
     
  7. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    BALTIMORE CITY
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    It sounds like the compression you're getting is the overdrive's natural compression. Are you sure it doesn't work with your current project. Many light overdrive sounds helps fill out the bass sound in the mix.
     
  8. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The compression in the SansAmp is a byproduct of the tube amp emulation. If you turn off the blend you only have EQ. The mid-scoop has nothing to do with compression. The Mark Bass stuff on the other hand is all about clean. Great sounding amps but a very different camp. A compressor might work. I would say with the Mark Bass the VT Bass DI would possibly work better as there is more mid control and you could dial in a small amount of tube emulation and retain the same basic tone. YMMV. Compressors are fine but it's hard for even a high end compressor to do what a tube amp does naturally just ask JimmyM.
     
  9. Mosfed

    Mosfed

    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    Sounds like the kind of problem that either a Mark Bass Compressore or a Diamond could solve. I just ordered both (YAY!) after having been lucky enough to have no cost access to both for quite some time.
     
  10. Agreed - I'm wanting to try out the VT Bass DI as I believe this would give me better control over the mids AND Gain to find the sweet spot of where I can get the reasonably clean sound of the Tube Amp compression simulation but with out the dirt (ok, maybe just a hair of dirt).

    FWIW, I tried out the Markbass compressor and it was not what I was looking for. Great unit, just not for me. I did try out the Strymon OB1 and this was very close to what I was looking for. I'll have to try the OB1 again and spend more time with it, hopefully at the same time as I can try out the VT Bass DI.
     
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    Try the VT bass
     
  12. If it's only your low notes you may need a HPF in front.
     
  13. Big Benner,
    I own the VT Bass DI. I've found it's good with active basses but really good with passive basses. That said, I have my knobs pinned on my active bass so I can't use the suggested settings to good effect (I should look at changing that - that being my old habit of pinning the bass knobs). I've found there is a bit of natural compression when you send a hard signal through the VT Bass DI but I wouldn't think you'd find it compresses enough and/or may distort which is what you're trying to avoid. I believe the Diamond compressor may be your ticket. It has a low compression ratio but have read it warms the tone. Good luck!
     

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