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So, Am I Looking For A Compressor?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BassGod, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I've been getting into tapping a lot over the past few months, and I've made quite a bit of progress so far, but I find that my volume varies from note to note, which can be a problem. Like, my left hand's index finger taps louder than my right hand pinky, etc. So basically I just need to know if a compressor will help to even out the volume when I tap, and when i switch from finger-style to tapping.

    I tried out a compressor in a music store once, and I didn't even notice much of a change when I turned it on, so I really don't even know how to tell if it's working. :help:

    If this is the effect I need, what are your opinions on the MXR Super Comp and Dyna Comp?

    Finally, what effect does a compressor have when it's teamed up with distortion/overdrive? I've heard it changes the sound, but I don't know.

    Sorry for all the n00bish questions! :)

    Graeme :bassist:
  2. Are we talking double stop tapping? If so, a compressor won't help balance one strings volume to another stings volume while both strings are vibrating. What will help is technique, action, EQ set up and a good pickup(s). (Pinky finger tapping!?! Wow, adventurous! :bassist: )

    Even so, a run of the mill "one knob" compressor won't do it for you either. You'll need a fully adjustable type so you can dial up the right attack and release times for optimum effect.

    I know that when you first encounter compressors you can't even hear what they do for your sound, but eventually you'll get it. If you can lay your hands on a fully adjustable unit and tweak it to extreme settings you'll start to get a sense of what they do.
  3. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    The biggest thing I use my Super Comp for is to smooth out variations in my attack and poor technique because of an old injury.

    You really need to sit down with a comp to use it effectively. You're right, turning it on doesn't change anything other than the color of the tone. But if you know what to listen for, you'll know if it's working for you or not.
  4. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    About the overdrive question: Yes, a compressor BEFORE a distortion makes a big difference in the sound. I love using distortion and overdrive on my playing, and I ALWAYS run at least one compressor before my ODB-3 distortion.

    ..Ya' see - as well as my Boss CS-3 compressor, now I have Aphex Big Bottom too, which is technically a low-freq compressor. I run CS-3 to Xciter to ODB-3, and get such a killer distortion tone!!

    Here's the thing: When I want a natural-sounding OD, the compressor keeps my bass output from ever pushing the ODB into the crackle/buzzsaw zone. It just stays beefy, growly, harmonic-y

    When I'm going for all-out distortion, on the other hand, compression keeps the sound from ever falling-back OUT-of buzzsaw! Because of this, I can get a very synth-like sound!

    I don't really care for the sound of the ODB so-much with the bass straight into it.

  5. My harmonics ring much cleaner and the rest of the band hears/feels the bass much better with a Demeter Complulator running. I like it. ( havent played live with it yet, but plan to)

    I'm a noob, and didnt expect better harmonics. Chords sounds nicer too. Am playing a 30yr old passive which may make a difference. Donnow, but I LIKE IT!