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What compressor?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by johnsairships, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. johnsairships


    Dec 30, 2005
    I've been quite happy with some deep soft tones I've managed to get out of my bass, but I find them a nightmare to record. Being the clever chap I'd like to imagine I am, I just thought some compression would allow for a decent 'perceived' level without distortion, but in practice the compression I've used (just Sound forge stuff) makes the recording sound really thin and nasty, nothing like the gorgeous rich sound of reality...
    Any tips on improving recording a warm bass sound out there?
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Yup. Get a hardware compressor. Or a different plugin.

    Or, check your compression settings. Your compression ratio may be too high, or threshold set too low, both of which are common ways to make a plugin compressor destroy your tone.

    Is your bass running through the compressor plugin before it's recorded? If not, you're still getting the nightmare bass signal on the hard drive, only squashed before it comes out your speakers.

    There's a whole list I could run down, but more details would be necessary, such as your setup, how you're getting your bass into the computer, etc. Your premise is sound, though, if I wanted more percieved level I'd reach for some compressor or other, as well.
  3. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Could you post your raw and compressed clips to give an example of what you're talking about?

    If I'm recording bass, it's usually a combination of DI out and a couple mics on a cab. When possible I'll run the DI signal through some light compression before it hits the board but I don't have a closet full of compressors so that doesn't always happen. Either way it tends to turn out fine.
  4. bugbass


    Apr 8, 2004
    There are a few sofware compressors that works great, like the Mixpressor from PSP, R-Comp from Waves and Kjaerhus Audio.
    Also you can try a multiband compressor
  5. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Funny. When I read the subject title I figured it was about the What compressor which I am currently trying to build (no, I didn't design it).

    And I think that the What compressor may be what you need. It is indeed exactly what I believe you think it might be. A compressor that compresses the signal for recording, but still doesn't sound unnaturally compressed.

    However, the one I'm building will have some modifications to allow it to be more nasty and agressive - I want to be able to get some of those heavily compressed tones that Tony Levin gets. And preliminary testing has shown great promise.
  6. I occasionally double the bass track (copy & paste) onto a second channel and use heavy compression for that channel and use light compression for the first one. Keep the volume down on the lightly compressed channel (-3db, -5db, etc.) but it's there to keep the lows and some of the feel. Pan the two channels very slightly left and right for some interesting effects.