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Who has more than one compressor....

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by TaySte_2000, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    ....in their pedal board at anyone time.

    I was reading about Tony Levin and he says he has up to 15 pedals onstage with him now most of which are compressors, I was wondering who has more than one compressor in their setup and what you use each for.

    Also are there any of you that adjust your compressor on certain songs? If so why?

    Thanks guys
  2. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Really No One, come on guys it can't only be Tony Levin who uses more than one compressor.
  3. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Well, I use 3 Compressors.

    A stereo compressor with both channels being used
    and the compressor in my multi-fx.
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Ugh. The only reason I can think of for having compressors in series is to have a different setting on each one. That way you only turn one of them on at a time, whichever one happens to have the sound that you want at that particular point in time. Just because people have 15 pedals doesn't mean they use 'em all the time. :D

    Technically speaking, there is no advantage in serializing compressors. One "could" make an argument about tone, if one were to use compressors for tone shaping, but I haven't heard about anyone using a compressor for that purpose lately (EQ's are a better tool in that regard).
  5. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    Even compression 'Naysayer's' often have the process
    'snuck' in on them.

    One common studio, pro/live use of more then one compressor:

    Pre FX compression for OD/Dist:
    Fulltone Bass Drive & Full Drive
    Route 66
    Banzai Fireball

    Usually pedal/MFX compression is used
    before the OD/Dist pedal or for any FX benefiting from increased gain.
    (There is compression and limiting in every
    overdrive, distortion, fuzz, squash, saturation or crunch circuit anyway
    thereby a multiple is present here).


    Rack mount compression.
    Either from your Bass rack, the PA board, or both.

    Overall signal leveling for recording, sustain, punch, leveling...

    Have a limiter at the end for high volume speaker protection,
    and your usually talkin' about a 3rd round of compression on
    the very highest peaks.

    Sometimes compression in hidden.
    Stu Hamm and others dislike compression.
    But their F.O.T.H. mix is compressed, and the recording is too.
    Which only means that they don't like compression on their
    personal rig/stage monitoring mix.

    Amateur Soundmen have the most trouble with Low Freq.'s.
    Like the public at large, they tend to focus primarily on
    vocals, guitars, and other midrange and high freq.
    If there's a problem with the mix, 9x's out of 10 it's the Bass.

    Bottom Line is that a Bass Player needs to know about
    compression and what settings get the best tone;
    even if you don't use it in your gig rig.
    Because if you don't have the knowledge, your at a disadvantage.
  6. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Some of my Vbass patches have a compressor in them, and then there is another in my rack preamp. The rack comp is more like a limiter to eliminate any level differences between patches and basses before the signal goes to the board.

    Comps must be used at subtle levels. Too much compression causes noise and removes all dynamics from your playing.
  7. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The RNC's "super nice" mode is series compressors ... I suppose the second's threshold is lower than the first, so instead of doing one large compression it does two smaller ones. You can't even hear that thing compress when its on "super nice" mode, its really amazing/disturbing ;) I personally like compression *sounds*, every compressor makes some contribution to your overall tone, and the effects are very complex!

    I can see having different comps for different basses or songs if you were really serious about things and you were playing a wide variety of tunes... but I've never done it.
  8. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Tech 21 compactor- I really like this pedal... I just do.
    Boss modelled compresors on the gt6b (not great but help in limiting)
    I use more than one- but only because I split my signal, and then send those signals off on their own effects courses- kind of a poor mans solution to my biamping needs. It often gets muddy and out of hand if I can't control and shape both signals.
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, pickles, you're right. Now that I think about it, my old SpectraSonics 610 works the same way. It has two compressors in it, but one of them is set up as a "limiter". So what you do is, set the first one to the threshold where you want the (linear) compressor to kick in, and set the second one to the limiting threshold. The 610's were very popular in radio stations, probably for that exact reason. As I recall there were other similar designs (like the old CBS Volumax), and even the DBX-165A had an additional "limiter" knob. So maybe there IS a technical reason to use more than one compressor in series. I stand corrected. :)
  10. I have the Natural Comp mode turned on in my ME-50B to slightly even out the peaks and then I run the Limiter on the SWR head to protect the speakers from any loud thumps & bumps. Both are set up just so they are working 10%-20% of the time.

    I would like to get the Boss LMB-3 Limiter so that I can squash the sound before it gets to the Square Wave Synth in the ME-50B (one of the down features of the ME-50B is that you can not place the order of the FXs, hence the need for an external limiter before the synth). Any one want to sell their LMB-3? :)