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The Tone on Little Things by Good Charlotte.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Airsick Pilot, Jan 13, 2003.


  1. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Hey guys. Have you got any clues how the guy from Good Charlotte gets that unique punchy tone on Little Things. It has a unique tone...punchy yet subtle with a trace of soft growl...

    Anyone?
     
  2. Compression.
     
  3. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Do I need a compression pedal or something then?
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Compression applied in the studio, at the mix-down stage with studio quality equipment, is very, very different to the sound you will get from a cheap compression pedal!! ;)
     
  5. Airsick Pilot

    Airsick Pilot Cleopatra

    Jul 29, 2002
    Cockpit(throwing up)
    Oh ok thanks guys. What does compression pedals do anyways?
     
  6. They compress.
     
  7. www.activebass.com

    go to Articles and click "Effects, Use and Abuse"

    That should tell you everything you need to know.
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Superb answer Terry. Where would we be without you.

    Back to the question - compression is a technique for evening out the sound levels in an audio signal. Common practice in studios and indeed on the radio. The idea is that, given that there as a maximum volume level at which you can play sound without it distorting - if you make the loudest parts of the sound quieter - you can make the whole thing louder. Imagine the sound wave representation of you playing your bass (you can see a digital representation of it if you plug yourself into the sound card, fire up sound recorder, and record your playing). There will be peaks in the sound wave - representing individual notes that are louder than the others - on a digital sound wave representation these look like mountain peaks, higher than all the other mountain peaks! What a compressor does, is it reduces the level of these peaks - so they're not so much louder than the rest of the audio (how much they're reduced by depends on your compression settings). This means that the overall peak level of the audio is lower - since you've just made the loudest bits quieter. This means the whole level can be brought up, without overloading (distortion). When you're applying compression to your playing as you play - using a compressor, what this basically means is that when you play notes louder than a set threshold, it automatically brings the level down, then brings it back up again as the note fades. You basically get a more even sound, less jagged.

    As far as compressing audio in studios goes - it's very easy to go too far, unfortunately. Well, that is - engineers may be pressured by record company execs to apply excessive compression, to get the record as loud as possible. Result: Far too many of the peaks are chopped off - there's very little variation in sound level - so you get very little dynamic range. :( Everything's just so loud, it's in your face all the time. Like reading a paragraph in all capitals. The radio do it too. They apply compression to the signal they put out - in order to make the overall level louder etc. but the thing is - all the records they play have already been compressed. They're giving 'em a double dose of compression - so records you hear on the radio tend to sound over-compressed. This pisses me off, it really is noticeable. Particularly on pianos. When you hear pianos in pop records on the radio - the compression really shows - you can hear the chopped off peaks of the attack at the start of a piano chord or note.

    (rant over).
     
  9. Probably over there.
     
  10. I'll be right here.
     
  11. As long as you don't get lost of course. Because, one wrong turn, and you'll be over there. Trust me.
     
  12. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Terry, are you on something? :confused:
     
  13. :D Nah, just playin with ya.:)