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Is it a compressor that I need?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by interule, Mar 23, 2006.


  1. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005
    I play speeds on both end of the spectrum, and I have a tendincy to play the notes real hard sometimes and much softer sometimes. The volume fluctuations are noticible and I want to keep the volume at pretty much them same level no matter how hard I play. Should I use a compressor for this? If so, is there a pedal compressor out there that would be good or should I get a certian rack mount? Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks :bassist:
     
  2. Perfect compressor GAS symptoms, you described.
    The EBS multicomp is nice as is the Demeter compulator. That's for pedals.

    If you want a rack the DBX 160 works very well on bass guitar.
     
  3. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005
    Thanks.
    I've never heard the term GAS symptoms before. What is that?
     
  4. Gear Aquisition Syndrome. The "gottahavit" desease!
     
  5. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005
    ;) Haha, good stuff.

    I'd actually only want to get it if it would help tho ;)
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you compress your signal so much that it fixes this for you, then you'll be using way too much compression. Yours is a technique issue.
     
  7. Willem

    Willem

    Dec 26, 2005
    Belgium
    +1
    I think you better start practicing playing the notes equally loud. It will give you more control of your playing as you'll be able to play loud and soft notes when it's called for, not loud when fast and soft when slow. Plus it saves on the compressor :) .
    I had/have the same problem, this is a matter of practicing not buying.

    Good luck!:bassist:
     
  8. rayzak

    rayzak

    Jan 13, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    Hope you don't mind if I jump in here, but.....
    how does the Aphex Punch Factory compare to the EBS and the Demeter.
    Are the latter two worth the added expense?
    Thanks.
     
  9. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    It can help tremendously - guaranteed!

    Just remember that you'll have sage snobs talking about how you 'use electronic means to compensate for your bad technique', blah-blah. Yup.

    That's what they say about me. Yup.

    For compression, I use a Boss CS-3, usually followed by an Aphex Bass Xciter. Don't use what I do, though, unless you want a processed, 'squished' sound like I love so.

    Else go for 'transparent' compression, Like P.F., Demeter... I don't know so-much about those; I like 'the Squish'.

    Joe
     
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota

    While the players technique probabaly needs some work, compression is not an unreasonable suggestion for his question.

    Getting on soapbox...

    Compression is a tool, and like any tool can be used for good or evil.

    Getting off soapbox...
     
  11. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005
    I know my technique could use some work. I just really need something for when I jam with my friends.
    At home practicing I really don't need it as much.
     
  12. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005

    Thanks for the info Joe and Steve
     
  13. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Here's how I think about it...


    I play rock, funk, pop, dance - things like that. For this kind of music (as well as for country, metal... y'know; MOST kinds, really...), you pretty-much want to 'hold your place in the mix', right?

    Here's another fact of sound and hearing and music: "Volume" is not what mainly tells peoples ears how LOUD something is, as it relates to a MIX! Take a vocal, for example - you can completely compress-the-crap out of a vocal, so that there is NO volume difference anywhere; the singer's either "off" or "on" (y' following me, now?), and it'll still be completely, obviously evident how 'loud' the singer's singing, because the voice sounds different - it either SOUNDs 'mellow and smooth' or 'pushed' or whatever!! ..Right? Now if you take that same vocal and don't compress it (and don't ride the faders to-the-max during mixdown), and have a singer sing at different levels of.. aggressiveness or whatever during a rock song - what'll happen is 'medium-push' will sound right in the mix, full-push 'forte'-singing will stick-out like a sore thumb, and 'pianissimo'-singing will be GONE - like all-buried in the mix, right?

    Now - of the compressed and uncompressed examples above, which is MORE-natural - gone, OK, and wincing-loud; or clear smooth-and-mellow, clear meduim-voice, and clear aggressive-voice - all in their proper place in the mix??

    It's the same with Bass. When you use proper compression, you can hold your place in the mix, and still have (my point, really, is that you'll have even MORE..) 'dynamics' fully in-play!

    Someone earlier said that you shouldn't have your fast-playing be harder, and your slow-playing be softer - Why is that?? I - generally-speaking - may tend to want a faster part be more trebly and distinct (as-though I were plucking with more aggression), and a slower-part to be more smooth-sounding (as-though I were plucking lightly). But the poor Sap without a compressor has no choice, right? He's STUCK playing whatever 'volume' he has to to hold his place in the mix!!

    (sigh.) I gotta get-back to work...

    Joe
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well before you accuse me of snobbery for my comments, I use a compressor in my live rig and I compress every single bass track I ever record. Compression is by far my favorite effect on just about everything. But that doesn't mean it should be used to compensate for drastic lapses in technique. I only use it to help bring out harmonics (I use them a fair amount to fill in holes) and to keep my sound consistent when a nice set of dancing boobies distracts me.
     
  15. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005
    Good points. Thanks for the info :bassist:
     
  16. :D :D :D
     
  17. dirtgroove

    dirtgroove

    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    jamming with friends - how loud do you guys play?
    You probably don't "need" a compressor if your playing/jamming for the sake of playing/jamming with friends at medium-ish levels.
    I bought a compressor a few years back under similar sounding circumstances to yours- Payday came buy and I couldn't think of anyone more deserving to spend the money on I got it and loved it. then I got (a bit) better - I don't use it so much these days.
     
  18. interule

    interule

    Jul 1, 2005

    Extremely loud.
     
  19. dirtgroove

    dirtgroove

    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    How loud is extremely loud.
    Are we talking cranked +300watt valve amps with multiple cabs- miked up drums and Guitar stacks-

    If it is more like a 150watt solid state combo I suspect you'd probably be better off spending more time in the woodshed- sorry, not the answer you wanted to hear.
     
  20. johnvice

    johnvice

    Sep 7, 2004
    I stared on acoustic bass and got into the habit of plucking the strings really hard. Then on electric with a small amp, I plucked hard to be heard. When I got a bigger amp, I really noticed the loudness irregularities and started using a compressor to compensate for my bad technique.

    The thing about bat technique is that you can adapt around it to a point and then it becomes the bottleneck to your progress as a musician.

    I don’t know the proper terms for this but when you pluck a string really hard it is obviously louder but THE LOUDNESS DECAYS MUCH FASTER ! Conversely, if you pluck a string with moderate force, the volume level is much more consistent.

    Check out the DVD “Rush in Rio” for a great example of this. Bass master Geddy Lee’s right hand is barely touching the strings!


    Instead of buying a compressor, why don’t you save the money and work on your technique ?
     

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