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Compressors - trophy or turd?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mr Bassman, May 28, 2001.


  1. Mr Bassman

    Mr Bassman

    Aug 28, 2000
    UK
    This post should probably be in Effects but it is kind of Amp related...

    I use a Trace 7215SMC 1x15 combo amp with an on board compressor but I'm not really all that pleased with the results. With the amp turned up (about 4/5 of 10) it tends to distort if you set the compressor to anything over 1/4.

    I have decided to invest in a proper compressor cos they sound sweet on funky-ass solos. I'm currently between a Behringer rack mountable (swanky-ass) studio compressor and an Alesis NanoCompressor. The Behringer is a proper studio compressor with more features than the Alesis (e.g. noise gate, dynamic enhancer) and the compression hardware is more flexible than the Alesis. It also has balenced XLR outputs alongside standard 1/4" ones. On the other hand the Alesis is smaller, lighter, less expensive and looks pretty impressive with an intuitive interface and controls. The Alesis will also fit in a gig bag along with other stuff, whereas the Behringer will probably require me to get some form of protection for it if it is to survive the rigours of the road (not that we tour but you know what I mean).

    Unfortunately I can't try either of them before buying (the downside of mail order).

    Please help - I've never had to decide between two such impressive units with very different pluses and minuses! Thanx in advance,

    Niggy
     
  2. Is the Trace Elliot compressor in your combo the same as their 'dual compressor' that is in their heads? I have one of those in a stomp box and I love it. I also have an Alesis 3630 and have done side-by-side comparisons and have found that I like the Trace Elliot much better.

    You have to make sure that the input into the compressor doesn't go into the red otherwise you will get distortion. I don't know if you can control that in your amp though. If you have a hot input on your bass, that could be the problem. I have to cut the input on my Dual Compressor to keep it from going into the red continuously.

    - Dave
     
  3. Mr Bassman

    Mr Bassman

    Aug 28, 2000
    UK
    Yeah, it is the dual compressor. My bass is active and has quite a high output which may partly explain the distortion. The lack of compression ratio, threshold, attack and release controls however, are possibly contributing to the problem.

    Its not so much the distortion that is the issue though. I like the extra punchiness you get from a good compressor and although the Trace on board one does this, you can't really notice it unless you're practically on top of the amp!

    This is a pic of the behringer...
     
  4. purely as a compressor, the alesis is a slightly more versatile unit as it gives you the option of hard or soft knee compressionand peak/rms.

    However, the Alesis only features one set of controls, whereas the Behringer allows you to set different compression levels for each channel.
     
  5. Mr Bassman

    Mr Bassman

    Aug 28, 2000
    UK
    True, and I'll only need one channel anyway. On the other hand, the Behringer has their own IKA Intelligent Knee Adaption gizmo which blends the characteristics of both soft and hard knee compression. Question is, how does it actually sound!?!

    I think the Behringer is switchable between peak and RMS as well.

    Just for fairness, here's a pic of the Alesis...
     
  6. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I suggest you check into an ART LeVeLAr before you buy anything. There are a few members on this board that love 'em (including myself). For bass the Art does a much better job than the Alesis Nanocompressor (IMO), it costs a few bucks less, and it's a little bit smaller. I have no experience with the Behringer.

    (Also, try a search in the Effects Forum. There have been quite a few compressor threads.)
     
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The Behringer's sound nice. I own the older Autocom MDX 1000, and it's so good that I can use it in my HD recording setup (and everybody likes it). Great quality for the buck.
     
  8. yawnsie

    yawnsie

    Apr 11, 2000
    London
    Ah, but not amp related enough for me! Away with you and your new fangled effectin' boxes!! :D
     
  9. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    yeah, i love how these sound, i'll be getting one soon. tube power!

    jason