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Simple Question. (Compressor)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by KeithBMI, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Before I ask, I have an Ampeg setup. I run a SVT-3 Pro through a SVT-410HLF. I've become more and more aware of that fact that it sounds "woofy" at high volumes. I've hear that this is a problem with most amplifiers. There is a lot of bass and low-mid overtones and not a lot of the actual note. Would a compressor be able to fix this? or is it more of a EQ problem? I have a book by Billy Sheehan that talks about compressors in the first two pages.

    He goes on more to talk about how that amp expands the dynamic range and takes out the character of the note.

    Just like the problem I am having.

    So... would a compressor bring back my notes, or do I just need to EQ it differently? I know a lot of people have this setup.

    Thanks in advance! :D
  2. A single band compressor may (or may not, lol) help you. All a compressor does is compresses your volume by ratio after you exceed a threshold. In other words, if you set your threshold to -18db and your ratio to 3:1 as your volume gets over -18db your compressor will kick in and limit the volume by that ratio: what used to -15db before you had the compressor will now play as -17db because your ratio turned 3db into 1. Make sense? So a compressor will effectly keep your overall volume in check, across all frequencies produced by your bass. I'd think likely that it would help you (at least a bit as it should compress the louder frequencies more than the quieter frequencies evening them out), but it's hard to say in a blanket statement how it will work because every situation is different. I am not sure exactly which frequencies are getting out of hand, or how the compressor will affect the other frequencies.

    Now, a multiband compressor would definitely do the trick for you, but they are more expensive and difficult to use. It allows you to set multiple compression thresholds and ratios based on frequency bands, so you could set aggresive thresholds and ratios and compress the bejeezus out of low frequencies of your bass specifically when you play louder, keeping you cab from venturing into fartville, popluation: mud, while setting lower ratios and/or thresholds to your mids and highs. It's a complicated but elegant way to manage your tone.

    Now that I said all that, yep, you'd probably save a bunch of money and effort by just eq'ing your rig, lol. But compressors are very cool so they are definitely worth looking into. You can always resell if it doesn't do the trick for you.

    Wow that was long, lol. Hope that helped!
  3. Thanks for that post. Good information in there. :D
  4. You betcha!
  5. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Inactive

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    +1 on both statements. EQ first, and if that doesn't work (or if compressors still interest you :D ) check out the compressor reviews sticky at the top of the effects page. It contains a lot of info on different brands.
  6. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    agreatheight: great info!

    A single channel/ single band compressor can be used to accomplish Frequency-Weighted compression. Referring to page 8 of my dbx 160A owner's manual (which is probably available online):

    So basically, the compressor has a detector input that you can use to "tell" the compressor what to compress. It then works on the actual signal, but in the way that the detector input tells it to.

    I'll go ahead and look for a link and update this accordingly.

    edit: ftp://ftp.dbxpro.com/pub/PDFs/Manuals/English/dbx160AManualA2.pdf
  7. Wow, side-chaining an eq into the detector input of a compressor to make a frequency-weighted compressor... now that is tricky :D ! It's a little complicated, lol, but cool none-the-less!

    You could also make like a bi-amp set up and split the signal using a crossover and then use a single band compressor on the the lows. Of course if you are just running one head / one cab you'll need to re-sum the signals, but it's an interesting idea...
  8. It could also be the location of my rig.

    I've heard that corners of basements are real monsters. :D
  9. True dat! Corners / basements - rough for bass!

    Hey, you might want to check this out too (found it in another comp thread): it's a compressor that has a 'tilt eq'...


    Interesting... definitely designed for guitar but may do the trick for you?

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