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MXR Bass Compressor M87 settings

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mouthmw, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    So how do you set yours?
    I only gigged once with mine so far and I had it set:

    Release around 11
    Attack around 1
    Ratio: 8:1
    Input so that I light 1-3 lights with my "normal" fingerstyle (around 1:30 - 2:00)
    Output close to unity gain

    It worked great for fingerstyle and pick. Slap was good, but I noticed I either have to really control myself and slap lighter, because it often eats my signal if I slap hard so nothing really comes out.

    Perhaps a different setting might be more useful, or a lighter compression (4:1)?
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    That's almost the exact settings I use. I slap about 1/4 of the time in the group I'm in now.

    I find the compression settings to be good all-around settings. What I'd really like to experiment with is using the "clean boost" setting on my Multiwave Bass Distortion to change the EQ for slapping--cut some high mids, and get rid of all that string noise. Or maybe I could utilize the EQ on my bass. I have a new Ibanez SR505 with an active high/mid/low plus a mid frequency selector switch (high or low mid). Maybe I can achieve it with that.
  3. 3tsb


    Nov 17, 2009
    Only slap on one song, "Fly Away" and don't pick, so I'm 95% finger style. I'm running:

    Attack 3:00
    Release 1:00
    Input: 1:00 (a few lights at normal)
    Output: Unity
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    My settings are:

    - 8:1 ratio
    - Attack around 8 o'clock
    - Release around 2 o'clock
    - All the green LEDs light when playing real hard (but not the yellow ones)
    - Unity gain

    So far I'm really happy with those settings, but I know that I need to experiment more.
  5. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Nice! I also find it to be good all-around setting. Do you find yourself having to control your slap technique a little more in order not to "drown" the M87 LEDs and cut too much volume?

    Interesting! You seem to prefer slower attack and faster release. Do you find your tone to be punchier that way or?
  6. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Occasionally it does seem like the harder I play the quieter I get. But I think that's an illusion. Maybe going for a slower attack and a faster decay is the answer. In that case you're going to get much more of an uncompressed note attack at the beginning of each note.
  7. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Exactly. I have a strong attack and I consider it part of my tone, so I don't want to lose it. Although, in all fairness, the effect of the attack knob is comparatively subtle to my ears. The release knob is much prominent.
  8. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    That's exactly what I'm getting at, yes. And the faster the release the more likely it is that the compressor is "reset" for the next note attack. So I think Alvaro is right as usual: fast release is even more important to let those attacks come through.
  9. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    I noticed it too, the release is very noticable, while attack always pretty fast to begin with. I might experiment with slower attack and faster release.
  10. Razzmatazz


    Oct 23, 2011
    It took me a while to get used to the M87. Right now I'm set on slow attack/fast release settings and adjust the imput depending on which bass I play, usually half way through the green leds with a 4:1 ratio and ouput at unity. I find these settings to be more natural and peaks are less noticeable.
    RiZzBot likes this.
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    No. I'm comfortable with my finger style note attacks lighting up fewer LEDs on the meter. I always want some, but I can get some that way and more with a slap. I never hit the red. Maybe not even the yellow.

    Besides, it's important to remember that just because all the lights go on it doesn't mean anything gets literally quieter. it just gets louder by a smaller amount than it ordinarily would do. The phenomenon of seeming quieter when slapping is probably because I don't get the same thick, deep fundamental note as when I'm just finger style. I slap and I get a sharp attack, string bouncing off fretboard, etc. But I don't get a beefy, strong fundamental note ringing out. I don't think that has anything to do with the compressor at all.
  12. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    I'm comfortable with lighting up fewer LEDs fingerstyle too, that's exactly how I want it. I guess I just pound too much sometimes when I slap because I light them all up and seem to cut too much volume (maybe just seemingly so). And I agree with the beefy strong fundamental comment.
  13. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Nothing of use to add....been checking the threads about the M87 and I think I'd like to check one out. I have good control with my plucking fingers, but am the first to admit I could use some help with the slap style until I learn to get better control on my own.

    Never used a compressor so it should be interesting.
  14. First time when I tried my M87 at a rehearsal, I found my initial settings cut my volume too much because I dig in more when playing with others.
    I had attack around 1 and release around 10.

    Tonight was 2nd rehearsal with M87 and as some of you guys have mentioned, I tried a slower attack and faster release.
    Attack around 10, release around 1.
    This made my volume more usable even when I dig in.

    Do you guys have to change settings depending on the bass? or does 1 setting generally work for other basses?
  15. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Both examples you cite are cases where you're sending a hotter signal into the unit: either a bass with a stronger signal or you're just playing harder. In both cases you might want to dial back the Input. For me, I like to light up the meter with each and every note I play, but not max it out. So I play the bass I want to play, play it how I want to play it, then I glance down at the unit to see if the meter. If it's redlining all the time, I dial back the Input. if it's only lighting up a few lights on the loudest notes I dial it up some.

    I'm not sure you'd want to mess with the attack/release settings for this, though.
  16. Stretchhh


    Jan 10, 2012
    WA, Australia
    My settings differ for every single bass so this thread to me really is a bit silly as it is all down to playing style and bass electronics that determine the settings. I never have the same attack, release, input and output the same as you tend to playing every bass slightly different but i don't like to be playing really hard and hitting the high end of the LED's as i have enough clipping in my signal as it is.
  17. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I don't know what that is. Can some one help out a stupid guy please?
  18. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    You get unity gain if the perceived loudness (volume) is the same when the pedal is turned on and off. You can adjust that with the Output knob.

    Hope this helps.
  19. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    That does help. Apparently that's where I've setting mine

  20. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.