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Demeter compulator issue

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Funky Doctor, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I know a lot of you guys love these compressor pedals. I just received mine and I'm not sure I like it just yet. I am getting a noticable swelling effect when the pedal is on. Just so you know, I have the compress knob at about a quater and the volume at half. Is there anything I can do to fix this for example by adjusting the gain trim pot?
  2. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
  3. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004

    Wish I could help you! I've had the same experience-- my Compulator is now in the box it came in.

    My favorite compressor so far is an old ART Levelar that I bought used on ebay.

    IIRC, you have an Avalon U5. I'm finding that I don't really need compression with the U5. You might try going without. The Avalon is so articulate and punchy!

  4. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Yeah as fantastic as the U5 is, my playing can be REALLY dynamic when I'm slapping, especially slapping those low strings (slapping my B string can sometimes clip my power amp). I have experimented with reducing the gain a little (ie, adjusting the trim pot on the side) with good results. It doesn't swell at all now. In fact, I almost like it. It will take a while to get used to the fact that hoeing into the strings every now and again doesn't get the same increase in volume anymore... but man my amp is way louder now, like, WAY louder. It was already f**k off loud to start with. For those of you who use one on a regular basis, what kind of settings do you use?
  5. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I believe you wrote me a PM just on this issue...which I have not had the time to get a round to responding to...but I will try here:

    You are right in going for the trim pot adjustment. MY first guess is that your bass is providing too much signal for the "default" setting...hence you are overcompressing the signal (then again, some guys like that kinda thing!). Turn down that gain (which when cranked all the way is +28dB).

    A couple of questions:
    Were you picking up any distortion from the compulator before you messed with the trimpot?

    What kind of bass are you playing thru it? (if it is active, and you tend to boost the eq...then we have found the solution!)

    The Demeter is a photo-optic compressor, and so it will respond much differently than VCA based or FET based compressors. It has a much softer "knee"...and, in true cliche of how compressors do their thing, it is one box you should not be able to notice it working. Like any electronic effect, pluuging into it will have a (minor) effect on your tone (yet I found for the most part the Demeter's effect, like that of the U5 or a LA2A or LA4...is musical and with its' own merits...
    The demeter compulator is fairly transparent, especially at low compress settings.

    A compressor SHOULD do exactly what it is doing for you now: that is tame the signal when things get a bit "happy". If you are trying to use a compressor to even out the dynamic variances caused by poor technique, you are going about it all wrong. Dynamics are an essential part of music, and should be there, in all their glory. But, they should be produced and controlled by the player (and his/her hands), and if you cannot control your dynamics...learn how to!
    One of the big bproblems with contemporary music is overcompression to compensate for poor playing techniques. This is especailly apparent in recorded bass tracks...which sound dull and homogenous..but also the phenomenon seems to have run amok with a number of producers (compressing the crap out of everything to gain more volume (perhaps)..pre-mastering! Which leaves the mastering engineer with nothing to work with...and so you have the lifeless, vapid and dull music so prevalent today.

    In short...don't over compress (if you compress at all). The rule of thumb is: If you can hear the compressor working you have too much compression going on (unless you are going for the Tony Levin tuned-kick-drum-compressor-as-an-effect sound...which again takes a lot of work to achieve.).

    for a while I was using a Demeter Compulator to tame things with piezo-equipped basses live (piezos have a much greater dynamic range and frequency response than magnetic pickups do..and so dynamic control is a big issue). I no longer use a compressor live ( I spent a couple of years practicing dynamic control and right hand placement....I think I have it pretty much under control now).
    In sessions, engineers compliment me on not requiring much or any compression. My tracks are always dynamic, but within reason (they "breathe", without making ridiculous jumps in level).
    I like the compulator...I also like my UA LA2A, my ADL and Retrospec Squeeze-Box. None of which I use anymore.....

  6. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    Hey max!!

    Thanks so much for the reply. I know I kinda covered more than one bass (sorry, had to do it) by pming you and starting this thread, but this is as good if not better than just replying to me.

    I think you have made some very good points (well obviously) about over use of compression and I am glad you put it in a public post.

    Thanks for the advice, but yes, I am using it to even things out when they get a little over zealous in the dynamic department, like when soloing or slapping that B string.

    Now that I almost figured it out, I have the compress knob on about "2 1/2" which makes for some smooth as compression that I can only hear when I really get really silly and dig in heaps, which I never go that crazy when performing. When it has been on for a while, I don't notice it, but then when I turn it off, man is there a difference, and a good one at that. The sound is a bit fuller and notes don't die away as fast, say for example when sliding down the neck.

    One thing though, I find it chokes my sound a little when I slap, which I don't like. I know I said I want to use it to smooth things out a bit but I guess I can just turn it off when I slap.

    Apart from that I am quite impressed by this little unit. I have had pedal compressors before that I was not impressed with at all. I think I may just keep this little baby.
  7. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    So does anyone else get a loud pop when turning their comulator on and off, ie, when you bypass it?
  8. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001