Use compression with dirt slap tone?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Unemploid, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. Do you need compression for slap and is compression necessary if your slapping with OD or distortion?
  2. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I don’t slap much anymore but a compressor was always pretty essential to my slap tone
    Zbysek likes this.
  3. Basscasey


    Apr 17, 2018
    Portland, OR

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  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member


    Compression isn't necessary for slap. Plenty of bassists don't use it for slap, but plenty do. It's your choice, there's no right or wrong.

    Note: distortion inherently adds compression: the greater the distortion, the greater the compression. Could well be that distortion alone is enough for you. If not, then sure, a compressor can help.

    Also, a compressor can do things that distortion alone can't: you can tailor factors such as attack (which affects the transient, AKA leading edge of the note), release (sustain, trailing edge of the note), and more.

    Compression is the trickiest effect to use: steep learning curve; can be counter-intuitive. If you're not familiar with compression, this link can help get you up to speed: Compressor and Audio Gear FAQ

    Love this video - demonstrates how compression can be used to enhance a heavily distorted signal:
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  5. Compression before or after dirt?
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    You're going to hate me, but: depends. :D

    Here's an important factor to consider: how you want your distortion to behave. If you want a consistent level of distortion regardless of how hard you play, then put compression before dirt. If you want dynamic distortion -- that is, less dirt when you play softly, more when you play hard -- then put compression after dirt.

    Edit: that's a general rule of thumb. Results can vary depending on what comp and dirt you have, and how you dial it in.
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  7. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Compressor is very helpful for slap.
  8. That guy is just sick. What a sound! Not for me but wow!
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005