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Help me adjust my compressor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by fretlessman71, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. i want a rokin tone wat shood i do

















    I'm JUST KIDDING, folks. ;)

    Short of buying a Fairchild, I'm unable to get an effect I'm looking for that I know a compressor/limiter is able to achieve, and maybe it's my knob-setting philosophy. Maybe you know better...

    I desire a tone where the notes high up on the neck sound as Big-n-Blossoming as the lower notes (where the money notes are). I have been searching for a way to squash the tone down so all notes are the same volume, then raise the overall volume to get what I'm looking for, but to no avail.

    It's possible that the comp/lim/whatevers I've tried just aren't capable of doing what I want, but I've tried several pedals and rack units and I'm not getting it to happen.

    Maybe it's the bass itself that doesn't want to push those higher notes...? Maybe, but I've had the same problem with other basses.

    My hollowbody basses do a better job - I can get that "Come Together" bass tone (which of course makes a lot of sense). That F and G up near the 12th fret really have some OOOMPH on the Beatles recording, and that's what I'm trying to get out of my Jazz V.

    Is there a better concept to apply that I haven't considered yet? Maybe I just need to bring 3 basses to the gig - a fretted, fretless, and hollow (no, this is NOT an option for me - sorry).

    As usual, my searches on this have been fruitless - if you do a search and can point me to what I missed, I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance folks.
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    What compressor are you using now? Or, what have you tried and ruled out. Anyway, for me, I like alot of control with compression, like the attack/release envelope besides ratio and threshold, and input/output gain. With greater control of the comp, comes greater control of your basstone. Finding a happy compressor for my board took a few tries, but it's one of the best things that ever happened to my overall sound.
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Low threshold, low ratio. Also a dual-band comp may suit you. I just today added a more detailed section on compressor settings to my FAQ.
     
  4. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I could use a little help with my MXR Supercomp. Just bought and not convinced it is going to do what I want. I'd like something that will make my volume more consistant and punch up my tone in general. Not sure what a compressor can do for distortion / fuzz effects but I do use a lot of those as well.

    Any help on settings, etc? I am using an ATK 305. Hey Bongo, I didn't see the Supercomp in your reviews - any thoughts on it?
     
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I haven't used the Supercomp. IIRC Boo said it was worth trying, but it hasn't been a priority so far. As far as getting it to do what you want, check that article on "good settings" in my FAQ.

    Compression is more often than not harmful if you put it after distortion/fuzz, as it usually takes the edge off. There are only a few comps I've used that didn't harm distortions. You can either put the comp in front of the dirt, or switch the comp off when using dirt since distortion compresses your signal anyway.
     
  6. Bongo, you just became my newest hero. Never saw the "good settings" link before you mentioned it; might provide a lot of help for me. Will do some further tinkering when I'm with my gear again and get back to you.

    FWIW, I'm using a Boss LMB-3 right now, but in the past have used a Guyatone Bottom Limiter, an MXR Dynacomp, and an Alesis Nanocomp (not in pedal form of course). I have a EHX Steel Leather on the way that might also help - it has a smaller footprint than my other Boss pedals and will therefore fit into my molded pedalboard/case. Could be very cool. :cool:
     
  7. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Hmm.. I'm definitely finding the Supercomp to be kinda noisy .. I have zero experience with compressors though, but I'm finding that I have to really crank it up to get even volume with my uncompressed signal. Do you think the DynaComp would be a better choice or should I maybe look for an Opto-Stomp or something instead? Don't want to spend a whole wad on it. I'd like to be able to get a squish effect if possible, but mostly I just want to even out my tone and make it a little punchier in the mix.
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'll need you to do a bit more homework of your own before I answer that question. :)
     
  9. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    How many bassists does it take to dial in a compressor?


    8: 1 to be bongomania, and 7 to... No that's all. Just bongo.
     
  10. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Wait a minute, aren't you the compression professor on this campus?? I'm no good at homework. . . but how would you suggest I proceed in that case? Just buy some stuff and test it out or what?
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    To research something, you look it up in the available reference material. If you have questions that are not answered by reading the available reference material, then that's a good time to ask the professor for help. ;) (BTW I don't really take myself that seriously, just going along with the whole "professor" thing. :) )
     
  12. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Well.. the reference material seems to think that the BBE Opto-Stomp is a pretty darn good Compressor pedal (better review than DynaComp anyway).. so I'm going to take my SuperComp back and see if I can find an Opto-Stomp to check out.. one thing I think I can say for sure is the DynaComp just doesn't seem to be doing the trick for me.. and a lot of the other stuff you've reviewed is a little out of price range.. so that is what I am left with! I will probably be back to ask for some guidance once I find said Opto-Stomp :)
     
  13. ibnzneksrul

    ibnzneksrul

    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    The Opto-stomp is great for evening out your volume but if you're expecting a lot of squish you'll probably be disappointed.
     
  14. Discount Saint

    Discount Saint Bassist for the music in my head Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I think to be honest I am more interested in fattening / punching up my tone and evening up the volume from the low strings to the high strings and what not more so than really getting a squishy squishy sound.. and I am going to be buying a basically new Opto-Stomp tomorrow for $50, so I'm happy with that..
     

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