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order of items in chain

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by millard, Dec 19, 2004.


  1. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    Experimenting with my new rack and I can't get things to go quite the way that I wanted them. Perhaps someone can suggest something I haven't tried (successfully).

    Rack consists of:

    Sabine RT 7000 tuner
    dbx Compressor/Gate (2 channel)
    Sansamp RBI
    TC M300 reverb/effects

    I had hoped to do it this way:

    Guitar to tuner, tuner to compressor channel 1 (perhaps some gating to kill pickup noise), compressor to RBI input, reverb/effects in effects loop of RBI, RBI out to gate channel 2 (to kill any effects related noise), gate out to amp. Currently running to effects return on my combo amp until I decide on a cabinet (there's a QSC RMX 1450 in the rack that isn't being used at the moment and a Furman PL-PLUS II).

    The problem area seems to be tuner to compressor. With this part hooked in, I get no sound. If I go tuner to RBI input, every thing else seems to work fine. I've swapped the channels on the dbx and there seems to be no problem with channel 1, it just doesn't seem to work as the path to the RBI input. I've toyed with the various pad button settings, but nothing seems to work so far. For testing purposes, I've set the bypass switch on the dbx so the settings shouldn't matter.

    Any suggestions or hints would be appreciated. I don't think it is a bad cable issue, though I can't claim to have tried each cable in the same position to verify this. They have gone in and out sort of randomly through the evening, so I'm pretty sure it isn't a cable thing.

    I'm pretty sure I've had the same problem if I chain the compressor/gate into the effects loop -- it just seems to kill things.

    Thanks...Millard
     
  2. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Well, I would suggest taking the tuner out of that signal chain altogether and running it to a tuner out if possible.

    Also, I'd run the compressor last in your chain, or as close to the power amp as possible. The only thing that comes after the dbx 266xl in my rack (I assume this is what you're also using) is the BBE Sonic Maximizer...also, there is a thread on here about running both channels of the compressor to acheive and extra gain stage, that could help as well. I'll see if I can dig it up...
     
  3. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    "The dbx 266XL works with any line level device". I'm sure what is coming from the tuner is simply a passthrough of the intrument level signal (at best).

    My intention with putting the compressor before the RBI was to provide a point for squashing unintended dynamics -- much like using a Boss LMB-3 before going to your amp (though I realize the LMB-3 must have a little pre-amp of its own). Figured it was best to factor that out before the RBI did its processing. But that ain't going to work, so the tuner will get moved to the RBI's uneffected output and I'll plug into the RBI instead.

    Thanks for your reply and everyone's consideration.

    Millard
     
  4. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    If you just search this forum on "compressor" and "channels" you can find the advice RevGroove referred to. I did.

    Millard
     
  5. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    Had a bad cable. Must have not realized it since I was swapping them back and forth during setup. I can pad up the input on the dbx and was able to get it working the way that I wanted:

    Tuner > compressor/gate channel 1 > sansamp > effects loop > sansamp > compressor channel 2 > power amp.

    I could be wrong, but I like that the signal to the pre-amp is "protected" from unwanted dynamics rather than just compressing them out later. Yeah, I should play so that they don't happen, but a little protection doesn't hurt.

    Sorry for the unnecessary drama.

    Millard
     
  6. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Hey if you don't ask, you'll never know...that's an interesting setup, let us know how it turns out...
     
  7. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Bass > RBI

    RBI's 1/4" uneffected output to the tuner

    RBI FX loop run in parallel. TC unit in FX loop, set 100% wet for delays, chorus, reverbs, etc.

    dbx 266 in trash. Or on ebay. Your choice. It's a terrible sounding compressor and you don't need a noise gate if you run your rig as above and follow the recommendations in the noise/hum thread.

    If you get a compressor that won't put a blanket on your sound, you could run it before the RBI or between the RBI and the QSC. For live use I'd recommend a pedal compressor so you can quickly turn it on or off. Do a search- there are lots of good sounding pedal compressors for bass on the market now.
     
  8. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist

    I agree with your proposed signal path, though I would put the rack compressor after the TC unit, or last in the effects loop. What's your beef with the 266XL? I agree the gate is useless in a bass rig, but IMO the compressor is very useful.
     
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I didn't suggest putting the compressor in the loop because I told him to run the loop in parallel, which on the RBI puts the FX at 50%, which would defeat the purpose of a compressor. But running the TC effects in the parallel loop will give him a good signal to noise ratio with the effects and his sound won't get "lost" on stage due to overwhelming effects.

    In general I would recommend a compressor before any time based effects and before any other gain stages (the pre), because the compressor will amplify any existing noise present at the compression stage because of the makeup gain.

    And I dislike the 266 because it sounds terrible. I owned one and tried to use it for several years before I got to hear what real compressors do. For the same price as the 266 goes for new, there are lots of good sounding compressors available. And none of them are made by dbx, Behringer, or ART.
     
  10. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I'm not familiar with the RBI, so I'll take your word for it re: the effects loop (I like my effects loop with a level control, personally). What you say about the compressor picking up noise makes sense as well. What compressors did you hear made you think the 266 was terrible? I'm thinking of changing over to the BBE Maxx Compressor, which has a similar chipset to the 166xl. I'm not a fan of floor effects, and IME, rack effects in the loop work just fine. I've always been told, sometimes even admonished that the Compressor should always be last (though I've gone against that recently and moved it up ahead of my BBE 362) Eh bien, I have some time to experiment :D
     
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I've always had good luck with:

    Bass > Boss TU-2 Tuner > BlueMax Compressor > AvalonU5 > QSC 1202 > Bergie HT112

    I know and have read about guys who make the compressor (very light compression in my case) one of the first things in their signal path, giving the rest of the gear a nice "tight" singal to work with.
     
  12. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Compare the dbx266 to a Drawmer DL241, Drawmer MX30, dbx 16x series, or FMR Audio RNC and it's easy to hear how awful the 266 is in comparison.

    The RBI has a choice of series or parallel FX loop, with the parallel FX at a set 50% level. For live bass use, the parallel makes more sense.

    Compressors work fine in a series loop or after the pre, but the noise level can increase.
     
  13. troll

    troll

    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I never even thought of that. Bass - comp. - pre - comp - amp

    I mainly just run it the same without second stage of compressions. And like the original problem, get some unwanted squashing if I get too happy with the limiter. Like was intended, I had been doing so to help dynamics on the way in. I have used the second channel for the dirty channel for the noise gate (I run an svp-bsp).

    So I guess I should try just using the limiter on the way in for the dynamics, then use the compression stage of the second channel on the way out. Great idea. I'll be sure to try it once I get back to my live rig at the practice spot... Silly holidays have screwed up our schedule and I don't have a key yet.

    Troll
     
  14. millard

    millard

    Jul 27, 2004
    SoCal
    I got pushed this route because I wasn't happy with how noisy my BOSS LMB-3 seemed to be and I figured if I had two compressor channels, I might as well find a way to use them. Other discussions here talk about this and you pretty much covered the solution -- light "musical" compression on the front end to tame the bass (doing the same thing as you would with a pedal compressor) and more serious limiting just ahead of your power amp.

    Millard
     
  15. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    When you're right, you're right...Lyle, putting the compressor at the beginning of the singal chain TOTALLY tightened up my sound and gave me much better usage of my dbx 120A as well. Here's the new signal path:

    Bass----Samson Airline Wireless Bass System----Behringer FCV100 Volume Pedal----Boss PW-10 V-Wah----XS800H head---effects loop send.

    In the effects loop:

    dbx 266XL Channel one (set over easy)
    dbx 266XL Channel two (set for peaks)
    dbx 120A Subharmonic Synth
    BBE 362 Sonic Maximizer

    ---then back to the amp's power section (effects return) and out to an XC808...or other cabs...

    ...definitely less noise...I can use the passive input without using the -15 db cut on the Samson Wireless, and it sounds freaking awesome...
    ...can't wait to really let 'er rip once the kids aren't sleeping!

    The only thing I disagree with at this point is the 266 XL, it's working well for me so far...even after the pre in my head!

    Thanks again for the tip, I've been converted (at least partially!)
     
  16. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Great! Now try out a 166xl instead and be fully converted.

    In dbx's defense, the 266 was dictated by the market, as Alesis and ART were coming out with compressors costing a lot less than dbx's existing products. So they introduced the 266, which sounds better than the Alesis and ART units at the same price point. But it still doesn't sound good.
     
  17. Why dont you put the compressor into the amp input where its supposed to go ??
     
  18. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I'll see if there's one kicking about and give it a try...
     
  19. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Rack effects have to go into the effects loop because it's a line level signal, and not instrument...I have a compressor built into my amp, which is fine, but I want post preamp compression, where I can adjust the parameters whereas with the onboard compressor, I can only set the threshold...my only beef with the world's greatest amp head...