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Do you Compress?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by NJL, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. Yes

    349 vote(s)
  2. No

    209 vote(s)
  3. What's a compressor?

    32 vote(s)
  1. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Just wondering the amount of people that use a compressor in the rig as opposed to the number of people that don't. (i really just wanted to do my first poll!!! :D) this thread is just for live rigs....

    1) Why do you use one?

    2) Why don't you use one?

    3) What brand and model?


  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Yes - I use compression

    Because - I have to slap and pop for many songs in large clubs and it keeps the dynamics tight.

    Which - It's built into the heads I use but that's about to change as I'm on the verge of going back to a rack system.

    Studio stuff is a totally different story.
  3. jonathanl


    Jan 12, 2003
    Orinda, CA
    Yup, I use one.

    I use one because I haven't fully learned to control dynamics with my fingers yet.

    I've had a few but I recently switched to a pedal-based setup so it was easier to carry around. (I only have 2 effects, comp and gate)

    Currently a EBS MultiComp, but for my rack-based setup it was a dbx 166A...
  4. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I like to use it as an effect for a more pronounced attack. I can get a very kick-drum like attack with finger-style.

    I will also use light compression to bring out the partials in the note.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Nope. I control my dynamics with my hands. I can bring my slapping down to almost a whisper. It just takes practice. Admittedly I had problems when my wrist 9v died.

    Lesson: carry a spare;)
  6. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I also like to use obvious/noticeable compression as an effect... you can almost sound like a bass synth if you want to. Another good way to state it, is that it can make it sound like there's a kick drum tracking on every note... very cool in some situations. This I accomplish with a Retrospec Squeexebox (tough to find).

    For recording, I may also dial in a mild, neutral-sounding compression to simply reduce the peaks... I did this recently on a fretless track and it allowed me to get a stronger signal to tape. That was with an RNC.

    So... different compressors for different purposes (the RNC doesn't do the kick-drum thing all that well, and the Squeezebox is much more noticeable than the RNC).

  7. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I compress because I wanted more LEDs to flash when I play:D Seriously, I think it cleans up dynamics nicely, I don't have mad skills like Brad...
  8. JMBass


    Nov 27, 2002
    I just use compressor on stage. On studio I prefer to control de dynamics with my hands.

    On stage.....well you know.... some times we need to be a little crazy and than the compressor is good to avoid some excess. ;)
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Heck, I don't play as well as he does.
  10. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I use the 2 band comp. in my Trace GP12SMX. The nicest, smoothest compressor for bass I've ever used. It doesn't leave those nasty artifacts. If you've never used one, you wouldn't understand.

    Also, I don't think that the use of compression necessarily implies that you have faulty technique or a lack of dynamic control. Sure, some people probably use compression as a crutch, but I use it as a tool. In fact, the only time my compressor starts working is when I really dig in.

    I would venture to say that most players have probably never used a really great bass compressor.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I think Roscoe Beck and at least 100 other first call bassists would agree. If nothing else, it can keep you from ruining your speakers.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    I don't think it implies that either.

    In my own case, I'm not saying compressors are bad or a crutch, I'm saying that in my own situation I've figured out a way to not need one. I've used lots of them before, with varying degrees of sophistication.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone using compression. I think what is sometimes thought by implication is that someone who doesn't use them looks down on those who do. Wrong (at least in my case). I don't care what anyone else uses:D

    And I honestly do control my dynamics with my hands. It's pretty amazing how much control you can have.
  13. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    That's a fact. :)
  14. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    "Do you compress?"

    Only if there is a bruise....

    No, i don't , my playing is pretty steady, ...

    Ok,,, maybe a TOUCH.....
  15. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Hell, yes. Squash it like a bug!

    I'm using a JoeMeek VC1Qcs. It's really a mic preamp, but it works great for bass and guitar, too. I thought when I got it that I would also use the EQ and enhancer sections, too, but I find that I don't need them with my new rig. It also helps bring up the level of my SWR 'Stella to really drive my SWR Power 750.

    Seriously, though, I use the compressor because I like the way compressors sound, and in particular, the JoeMeek compressors. You can squash the hell out of just about anything with them without turning your tone into cheeze.

    For bass I use one between the preamp and power amp. It can also double as an alternative preamp for a different sound, or in case my 'Stella dies. For guitar, I use one to level out the volume between chords and single notes (makes it easier to control the distortion), and another between the preamp and power amp like in my bass rig.

    They also make great channel strips for recording. Here's a few others to try: Focusrite Green Range (if you can find one), the ART Pro Channel (good and relatively inexpensive with discrete input stage plus tube), HHB/TL Audio's tube units, and, of course, the Demeter units.

    Of course, the Graile (at least for tube stuff) is probably the Manley VoxBox. Others also like the Avalon units or anything designed by Rupert Neve (earlier Focusrite stuff, AMEK Pure Path, etc.). But then, these types are for the rich guys; the ones in the preceding paragraph are quite a bit cheaper and nearly as good.

    As far as dynamics control--I just play loud, so I'm really going more for that smooth compressor punch.
  16. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Oh yeah, I also have two Trace Elliot SMX Dual Compressor pedals that I got before the rack gear. Now I use them when I don't feel like hauling the whole shebang.
  17. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    I have a couple, but I don't use 'em. IMO, music "breathes" more and sounds more "human" without them, and I would rather be in control of the dynamics. I have nothing against them either, they're just not what I am looking for.
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Interesting you should mention him by name, as Roscoe has his own website where he explains his gear and here is a relevant quote from that :

    "Lately, I've not been using compressors or limiters, preferring to challenge myself to play more evenly"


    You can find it here :

  19. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I'm a compresser addict - I always use a Trace Elliot Dual Compresser pedal, with the low side set to about 3:1 and kept on all the time, and the high side set to about 5:1 but only switched in when I'm slapping. I practice with my bass unplugged and can definitely control my dynamics without a compresser, I just like the added punch a compresser gives me (I'm one of those awful bassists that likes to be heard).

  20. Yes allodox uses a compressor.. why ? because it makes his 4x12 sound more rounded, and that's the way allodox likes his sound.