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If you use a compressor...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bodeanly, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015

    Help me off of this fence.

    If you use a compressor:
    A. Which one do you use? And where does it go in your chain? And is it always on?
    B. Style of music?
    C. Why? (Limiting, color, etc.)? And could you live without it?

    If you do not use a compressor, please do not go on and on about it. :thumbsup:


    Yes, I searched... And I read some of these:
    Does anyone NOT use a compressor? (... and why not?)

    Compressor use in a heavy rock band

    Didn't find what I needed.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
    CatSquare and DirtyDuke like this.
  2. A. I have OD -> Fuzz -> Empress Compressor -> VT Bass DI. I like the compressor after my dirt pedals so that they are still responsive to how much I dig in, then. I leave the compressor always on.

    B. Modern pop/rock/worship

    C. The VT Bass does add a little compression as well. I keep trying to get rid of the compressor to make room on my board, but when I A/B my sound with/without the compressor I just like it. I can't really explain what I'm hearing, maybe it's just a little bit fuller sounding on the low end.
    Tigerpig, hintz and Bodeanly like this.
  3. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    First pedal in chain (after tuner)
    Only a small amount for mellowing in the big notes, low threshold, low ratio. Quick attack and release.
    Most of the time it's off
    RolandMHall and Bodeanly like this.
  4. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    A. currently i am using the compressor in my Zoom B3 for my needs and last in fx chain
    B. big scary wide variety of genres from current to classic....my personal fortes are funk and jazz
    C. Limiting, usually about 10:1 to reign in aggressive slap bass "pops" and transients
    D. Always On
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
    Bodeanly likes this.
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    A: EHX Black Finger, first in the chain right after the bass

    B: Use it in all my projects on both guitar and bass, ranging in style from hard progressive rock to slightly experimental and psychedelic primarily electronic music.

    C: Tightens up the sound a little, making it slightly more punchy and beside that I use it as a booster, making the output signal a bit hotter with a hint of tube sound, since Black Finger is a tube based pedal (The compressor part is optical though).

    D: And yes, it is my only always on pedal.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
    DaveAceofBass and Bodeanly like this.
  6. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks! I forgot to ask the "always on" question...
  7. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    A. I use the FEA Labs Dual Band Compressor/Limiter(DB-CL). It is last in my chain, and it is always on.

    B. I play in a modern/hard rock cover/original band.

    C. Mainly for peak limiting. It's pretty transparent, so it doesn't really color my sound. Yeah, I could live without it, but I like what it does. I'm wanting to try the Origin Effects Cali76-CB and the Ovni Effects Smoothie, but those can wait. A good compressor, that's set up well, should sound like it's not really doing anything. I like it like that.

    Good luck!
    btmpancake and Bodeanly like this.
  8. A) FEA Opti-Fet, it goes last, it is always on
    B) Currently I play in an all-original punk project (think first wave style punk)
    C) Because it sounds awesome, and is probably the most important pedal I own in terms of establishing my tone. No, I wouldn't ever want to play without a compressor. Sometimes I think I would be well suited to have two. :)
    fly agaric and Bodeanly like this.
  9. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    A. Yes, Always on. Currently, when I use my ZOOM B3 (as a preamp for a full range rig powering PA-type stage cabinets), I have the dbx 160x model, located before the amp model. I've also used the real analog dbx 160x in some traditional live rigs, placed last after effects/stomps, and before the amp's input. My last traditional rig had me using an Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor (AWESOME!), again, after all pedals/effects, and before the input of my full Ampeg SVT Classic all tube 8x10 rig.

    B. Generally hard rock/metal. Currently, with my modeler rigs, it can be anything from soft pub duo acoustic music, pop, R&B, rock, hard rock, metal

    C. Settings and coloration depend on the compressor being used. I find the virtual B3 compressors to be sort of picky, and tend to set them less aggressively than I might a good analog compressor. 2:1 ratio or less, a couple db of gain reduction, used to even out the tone discrepancies caused when engaging stomps and effects, and when my playing gets a little unhinged from having too much fun! In the case of the EL8 Distressor, that particular compressor is a high end unit designed to provide a type of emulation of tube compressors (though it isn't a tube comp). It has side chain filters, distortion modes (2nd & 3rd order harmonics for tape or tube type distortion), and can be set very aggressively (it has NUKE setting that is a very transparent "brick wall" limiter) without a lot of the obvious negative side-effects that plague a lot of compressors on the lower side of the pricing scale. It is a great "vintage" emulator when used with, for example, a nice Neve mic pre and recorded direct. EL8 = great, great comp. Pricey.

    Note to mods: given the number of thread starts in the EFFECTS and LIVE SOUND forums, it may be worth polling the forum to see if you should create a specific sub-category forum just for Compression, and all things related to Dynamics processing. It is a really complex and important topic, and it would be great to have all of this info correlated in one location. Just a thought. ;-)
    SpazzTheBassist, hintz and Bodeanly like this.
  10. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Seymour Duncan Studio bass (wet dry mix side chain is a godsend)
    Country, and rock
    Last in chain.
    On for effect. Primarily makeup gain for longer notes.
    Occasionally for smoothing/fattening, with bases with somewhat uneven output string to string. (IE weak G on a bass i no longer use until i "fix" the electronics)

    HAD the MXR m87, that was with a different rig, and a different band/music
    Still last in chain, always on, Boost and distortion were built into the amp head
    Hard rock/metal played with a pick

    Basses range from a 5string active with rounds to passive 4 with tapes.

    I go effectless often enough, and went for YEARS without compression.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  11. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I use a built-in compressor once in a while. It's built into this Focusrite pre that I own. I like to use it with funk. I max out all knobs because I don't know how to properly use a comp, but really like the effect it has on my sound (especially when popping!).
    Bodeanly likes this.
  12. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Yeah, I managed to play for over 20 years with nothing more than a dirt pedal. Lately, I've been struggling with the idea of evening out my sound between higher/ lower strings, taming the finger noise, and switching basses during the set on top of that. I am looking for a sweet analog comp to even things out and tighten things up.
    BawanaRik and hintz like this.
  13. NoxNoctus

    NoxNoctus The Crushinator

    May 9, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    A. Which one do you use? And where does it go in your chain? And is it always on?
    Previously MXR M87, Currently Origin Effects Cali76 CB. Right after my tuner and right before my overdrive. Always on.

    B. Style of music?

    Rock, six-piece band mixed with experimental instrumental

    C. Why? (Limiting, color, etc.)? And could you live without it?

    Even out playing dynamics and bring out more harmonic content and bite. I'm a Thunderbird player, I need every ounce of that growly goodness! I alternate between pick and finger depending on the song. I liked the MXR M87 as a compressor, but it was too clean. I wanted something with a bit more of the classic 1176 characteristics.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  14. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    The last time I intentionally used a comp was when I had an amp with a built-in limiter thingie. This was about a million years ago and I saw it only as something that made me less loud (I was young and stupid).
  15. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks for all of your info, but this was very important to me.
  16. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Now that you mention it, I played a gig last weekend with my limiter working full-time. Sounded bad and told me I probably need more power!
  17. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    i have a Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Comp pedal ... last in my pedal chain o stuff before heading into the HD ProX amp/fx/cab modeling ... then i use more tube comp models within those patches also ... and i usually use stereo 2 amp patches ... to many items to try to remember and list .. ! late night mayhem

    it's on quite often , but it has a Blend knob , so i can use a small bit of comp to mostly limit any low end overages .. it also has a switch ( mid/flat/low ) which filters the return signal .
    i use it on bass and guitar ... bass for smoother deep lows without clipping , guitar for the same plus a bit more sustain ...

    before modeling chain ; Eden GlowPlug , Wampler Dual Fusion w Blender pedal , Seymour Comp ... into HDProX w/ TC Dreamscape and stereo tube EQ in FX loop ...
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  18. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    FWIW, I went through quite a few, and my specs jive with your listed goals, the Seymour is the one i kept (i bought mine directly from Bongomania it was the one used for review) dead simple to use, and quiet (as compressors go) does not affect tone.
    Only marginally "better" as a compressor than the M87.
    it the sidechain in the Seymour that does it for me (as I can use a high ratio with a lot of makeup gain, and dial in the dry, so normal playing is un-effected--- yet when I need that note to hold-- it's there) if i were to leave it on at all times it would barely change the tonal profile, i just don't need it
    to be there--- so switched in/out it is :)
    TonyP- and Bodeanly like this.
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A) BBE OptoStomp, SD DoubleBack, Rane DC 24 rackmount. The pedals are first in the chain but could easily and effectively be used as the last component because the DC 24 is always last by default and nobody has noticed and / or complained. Always on...remember: flashing LED's scream "rock 'n roll!".

    B) Country, oldies...virtually anything.

    C) Give me control of the envelope (attack, decay, etc) and sits better in the mix.

    Bodeanly likes this.
  20. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    MXR 87,second in the chain after the tuner,always on.
    Pink Floyd tribute band.
    I use it to control the peaks. No more than 6 db of gain reduction.
    Bodeanly and rufus.K like this.

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