Kern preamp effects loop and compressor question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JimS, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. I'll experiment myself but can anybody with a Kern comment on their experience putting compressors in front of the Kern or in the fx loop?

    I have two compressors: a Carl Martin pedal and an FMR RNC and will only use ONE of them. The Carl Martin can easily fit on my pedal board and bypass it with the built-in footswitch but I also can do that with the FMR RNC as I have a true bypass box. I think the FMR may be a bit better but (....rambling....)
    • bass->FMR->Kern or FMR in the Kern fx loop
    Experience, commentary, expletives?:confused:
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I run an EBS MultiComp pedal in front of my Kern. I use the EBS because of it's multi band compression facility - so I can keep the lows but tame the highs.

    There's a Trace Elliot pedal which does the same thing. I got one to try it out, but haven't yet.

    I've heard the RNC is, well, Really Nice :)

    Rane make a rackmount split band compressor - the DC22 or DC24, one of those two.
  3. David,

    Thanks. I know about multiband compressors but I really prefer simple pedals. Relatively speaking, I prefer to plug in and play. Too many tweakable parameters on pedals or fx aren't my thing.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY

    I hear you regarding the plug and play thing. I generally get settings on my pedals and the

    n leave them there. Same with the comp pedal, I got it where I wanted it and now I never change it except sometimes to take it off when I don't want the high band comp.
  5. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    It's most typical to run a compressor in front of any signal processing or preamplification - i.e.

    bass --->compressor --->preamp

    in order to smooth out the transient peaks that could clip the input, thus allowing a higher average signal level without clipping. Basically, it will let you turn up the gain in your preamp more, and the smoother signal going to the power amp will give you a lot more headroom.

    HOWEVER, especially in the case of tube preamps, you may want a bit of clipping to get a bit of distortion or "grit". If you want a bit of crunch just on the attack of the note, you don't want to smooth out those peaks, but if you want some grittiness in the sustained portion of a note, you'll want to smooth it out so that the attack isn't a crunchy mess.

    In any case, you should run the compressor before any effects. Most effects do at least a little something to the volume, especially a chorus or a flanger, and compressing after the effect will kind of make it, uh, less effective......:p
  6. Thanks for the reply.

    I agree.... except I think you have to run the compressor after envelope filters; otherwise you compromise the dynamic range needed to trigger the filter.
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    What Bruce said is spot-on. The only thing I'll add is that if you run the compressor post-preamp to get that tube grit (which is a fine idea), you have to use caution when adjusting preamp settings: in other words, you *might* have to re-tweak your compressor settings if you tweak your preamp.

    Running the compressor in front of everything, you can pretty much set it and forget it... unless you tweak level/EQ on your bass!

    But none of this is a huge deal, it's more of a heads-up: you might only have to retweak the comp if you make major changes in EQ/levels.
  8. Quite often on my two Sadoswky basses!!! :)
  9. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Even if you're tweaking the eq on the bass, the compressor shouldn't have a problem with it UNLESS you are tweaking it so much that you clip the input of the compressor. It should keep your level consistent with minor eq changes and if switching from one bass to another. You shouldn't have to tweak the pre- or power amp and the sound man will appreciate this as well. If everything is set up correctly, to cause problems you'd have to basically be going from +0db to +12db (active eq) on the bass or treble knob, and if you're trying to dial up that much eq I'd say you need to investigate getting a different bass that naturally has more of what you're looking for.
  10. I agree; the EQ on-board changes aren't that drastic. Ain't know way it change or get rid of my Sadowsky!:D
  11. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, I kinda figured that - I just threw that out there for other folks that were reading the thread. With even just a decent bass, a little dab of on-board eq oughta do ya.

    If you were dialing up +12db on the bass knob of a Sadowsky, I'd say you need to switch to playing keyboards, or possibly investigate explosives as an audio source..............