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MXR M87 attack/release times comparison test

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Jan 20, 2012.


  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    Hi everybody.

    The demos in this thread are inspired by this request:

    So, I recorded several samples of the same riff with different settings for the compressor. The thing is, I don't have a Y cable, so I recorded the same riff six times with a metronome. So, none of the takes are identical, but I tried to do my best to make them sound the most similar possible.

    Common settings for all files:

    - Ratio: 8:1
    - Input: The most powerful notes light the last (from right to left) yellow LED (-15 dB)
    - After recording (making sure there was no clipping), all samples were normalized to 96% using Adobe Audition

    What I wanted to do first was mixing the uncompressed tone with each of the compressed examples panning them hard L-R, but I felt that hearing each version through just one channel is not comfortable. So, I recorded each version separately and uploaded them to Soundcloud. Here are the files:

    1. No compression:


    2. Attack and release in the middle. That should be an attack time of 410 microseconds and a release time of 575 milliseconds approximately:


    3. Both attack and release times at their slowest. 800 microseconds AT and 1100 milliseconds RT:


    4. Both attack and release times at their fastest. 20 microseconds AT and 50 milliseconds RT:


    5. Slowest attack and fastest release. 800 microseconds AT and 50 milliseconds RT:


    6. Fastest attack and slowest release. 20 microseconds AT and 1100 milliseconds RT:


    And, in case their are useful, here are the screen captures for each sample's wave file (in the same order as above):

    Nocompression.
    AttackReleaseMiddle.
    SlowestAttackRelease.
    FastestAttackRelease.
    SlowestAttackFastestRelease.
    FastestAttackSlowestRelease.

    Since I'm a learner, I don't want to comment on this. I want to hear whatever the experts (and anybody who wants to express his/her opinion, of course) have to say. I'm willing to record more samples with other playing styles or other compressor settings if necessary. Thank you for your time!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    My apologies if some of you found a mess with the Soundcloud files. It's the first time I try to post Soundcloud stuff. Everything should be normal now.
     
  3. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Very interesting. I kind of like door number two. Makes everything round and even to my ears. But I know nothing. I just started looking seriously at compression just a few months ago.

    What do the compressor gurus have to say?
     
  4. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

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

    A couple settings more:

    1. The one with which I feel the most affinity at home (I'll try it tomorrow with my band and see if I feel the same in that context): Slowest attack and moderately fast release (800 microseconds AT and around 680 milliseconds RT - release knob between 1 and 2 o'clock)


    2. According to this document, this is the closest you can get to Billy Sheehan's compression settings using this pedal: Fastest attack and release (20 microseconds AT and 50 milliseconds RT), but now with a 12:1 ratio


    Screen captures (same order again):

    SlowestAttackModeratelyFastRelease.
    FastestAttackReleaseRatio12.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  5. the V

    the V

    Jun 8, 2011
    Italy
    Thank you for your extensive testing,
    very useful (and carefully done!),
    I think it's a really solid proof of the versatility of this great pedal, showing how effectively the user can attain to bring out the notes, or the transients, or anything in between.
    :)
     
  6. jschwalls

    jschwalls

    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    Sheehans settings are closer to .1 ms ATTACK and .1 sec RELEASE

    and he pumps his compressor up to 20:1

    he varies ratio between 12:1 and 20:1

    great clips
     

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