So… who’s not using a compressor at all ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Inconnu, Nov 26, 2021.

  1. Just curious. So far I have a compressor to limit the peaks of some effects… but those have recently been replaced… not sure I need to compress anymore.

    Who stopped using a compressor and did you regret it?
    rholler, Nefarius696 and bigjames like this.
  2. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I stopped using a compressor years ago and it made little to no difference for most of my gigs. FOH guy would add it on larger shows. I recently stuck a compressor on my pedalboard out of curiosity but, honestly, I could take it or leave it. Beware the TB pedal hype. ;)
  3. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I don't use one and I don't think it is mandatory utility unless you are producer or sound guy.
    More so, chances of musician misusing compression and sounding like crap grow when you are standing on a loud stage, unable to hear the whole band as audience does. Compression is intended for a objective listener, with good ear, standing in the audience - and that is sound guy.
    I spend my energy and time on my playing, entertaining audience, and heaving good time, and leave the rest to guys whose job is exacly that.
    getbent, Rogulus, amper and 19 others like this.
  4. revd


    Apr 11, 2020
    I don't need a compreseor as I actually know how to play the instrument. The tone and control is all in my fingers.

    Joking. I record my bass and virtually every recording of a bass uses a compressor. In my case I prefer to use an analogue pedal than to add it in the box (that means the computer).

    And when I'm just playing and not recording...I still use a compressor as I like how it sounds and feels, I just lower the ratio compared to when recording.
  5. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I think I tried one once…..:D
    My pedalboard has an ART Phatboy that has a switchable compressor/limiter.
    I’ve never liked the compressor sound, but the limiter seems to enhance the sound of my other pedals.
    And it also seems like whenever I’m recording, the producer invariably squashes my bass sound with too much compression.
  6. I pretty much only use a comp to add sustain or to raise the level of a quieter technique. I *never use it as a peak limiter or for general leveling. It doesn't seem to bother anyone I'm playing with.

    *until I try one that's amazing and never take it off my board again.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  7. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    There’s more than one reason to use compression. In my case, I have a system in place where the energy captured by compressing my signal is used to charge a battery, much the same as regenerative braking in a Hybrid car. Really extends the life of my pedalboard battery. Saved my butt on many extended improv jams.
  8. Afc70

    Afc70 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Northeast Arkansas
    I never used any pedals for any length of time until earlier this yr.. I’m currently using a Cali76 bass compactor & absolutely love it.. I’ve played with / without it for comparison and I vastly prefer to have it in my signal chain !
  9. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth Nothing to fret over. Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    I pretty much always have a compressor on my board, either as a tone-shaper or as an effect.
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  10. I never used a compressor until I found one whose sound I like. Now I use it all the time. But it’s because of the way it makes my bass sound. The dynamics management would annoy me if it was too noticeable.

    So if you don’t like how your compressor sounds, or don’t notice it having/adding a sound at all, then it is definitely ok to take it off your board and not use it.

    I never got the idea of trying to make all effects come out at the same volume. For me that really defeats the purpose of most effects - the change in gain is a feature, not a bug.
  11. OldSchoolFlats


    May 29, 2021
    Is a compressor less of an issue at stage/gig-volume?

    For my playing at home I always have it on, but I remember "back in the day" with my 2x15 cab and 200W cranked-up, the tone was different (speaker distortion), and the volume highs/lows were less extreme.

    Just going by memory, though: it's been years...
  12. Eden solid state heads have compression built in, some adjustable, some input driven. My Eden tube head does not, so I just need to be little more careful but my technique.

    I had a Boss compression pedal years ago and found out I tended to over do it. You know the old story, it two is good, 8 must be better.
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  13. ItsmeSantiago

    ItsmeSantiago Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    The only time I use one is at the end of the chain to stop some of the wild effects like self oscillating analog delay or goofy Earthquaker pedals from getting out of hand. Other than that, I've never noticed a difference with or without.
    Slimz likes this.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I love subtle compression, but for me it's nice-to-have and not must-have so I usually don't bother to set one up. I'm a lazy FX user; these days I typically go with a single dirt pedal.
    Al Kraft and bigjames like this.
  15. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man

    Apr 10, 2015
    My live playing involves "bad" technique like windmill powerchords, slapping while jumping up and down, punching the syrings, picking up the whole instrument by the B string and dropping it and all sorts of other poor taste overplaying. I always use one. Dont get me wrong, i have the talent to stand in back and play even volume eigth notes, but a show is supposed to be a show.
    Slimz, Jason Hollar, Joebone and 10 others like this.
  16. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I almost always use compression for recording but I almost never use it live.

    If I do use it live it’s usually in conjunction with other effects but I very seldom use any processing live.
    Joebone and Dabndug like this.
  17. makanudo


    Dec 26, 2008
    You had us in the first half not gonna lie.
  18. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    I can't help but dream about what a WTDI pedal would sound like with that tube head - especially inna effects loop -you'd have compression and a S/S (or at least combination) front end.
  19. Just so happens I have one of those too. Hadn’t though of that good idea. Thanks.
    vvvmmm likes this.
  20. sharpiemarker


    Feb 15, 2013
    I haven’t used one in years. Live sound consoles and recording software have them and my playing isn’t to dynamic. There are some I like the sound of but I feel the subtle difference isn’t worth carrying around an extra box.

    I do notice a few people seem to have them set with hardly any comp on there playing. But they have the output level higher. So I feel some people use them and like them but they are just hearing a slight boost and not the actual compression
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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