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how do you know if you need compression?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by grinx, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    just curious. i have no complaints about my rig...
  2. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    Then you probably don't need it.

    Compression is just another option, another tool. Try it. If you like it, use it.

    Just be careful! Using compression can lead you down that lonely path toward a life-long struggle with effects abuse. ;)
  3. If you fell that your tone is a bit too raw..
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Compression is not really an effect.

    It is more a useful tool to keep certain frequencies from being overpowering, while others may be weak.

    If you set up a compressor properly, you can get all of your frequencies to be strong, without any of them being too "boomy".

    For example, on the bass, the lowest frequencies tend to get very boomy (especially in a room that has alot of echo...i.e.- marble, or very smooth floors, high ceilings, etc.).

    A compressor can (and should) be utilized to cut back those frequencies that get out of control. You can't set which frequencies get the compression, but you can set the compressor to keep the overall sound from going beyond a preset level. When any note you play tries to go beyond it, it will control it's output so that it stays consistent with the rest of your notes' volumes.
  5. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Sundog is right on. A compressor is primarily a studio tool, and it's unlikely that the effects will even be noticeable in a live situation.

  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    While compression is almost always used for bass in a studio setting, it is just as useful and IMHO necessary in live gig situations as well.

    I am not talking about using compression live as a means to alter your sound, but rather as a means of controlling the sometimes overpowering low notes that tend to make stage sounds (especially) too "boomy" and can wash out any other low tones from drums and guitar. This often leads to the common "volume competition" onstage.

    I often use a compressor onstage to keep low tones from being too overpowering and we also use a compressor/expander in our PA to also control tones that are either too overwhelming or too weak (the expander will bring those weak tones up).

    I find most people do not use a compressor properly. There is a fine line between control and totally squashing your sound to death.

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