Zoom B3n's compressors -- better than analog

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bioflava, Apr 2, 2018.


  1. Bioflava

    Bioflava Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    I picked up a Zoom B3n and have been playing around with it over the weekend... I though I would use it just for modulation effects, but the SanSamp emulation and tube compressor are so good, I'm wondering if I will need analog at all!

    Has anyone used the B3n to replace compressors and drive boxes?
     
    Bassmike62, patrickj, jimfist and 2 others like this.
  2. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    I have several Zoom efx pedals. I actually have been using the MS-60B I think... small size pedal on my pedal board. I use the Zoom compressor instead of the Boss. And even though I can have up to 4 effects simultaneous, I find that only using the compressor alone improves the sound. I'm really happy with it. In fact I'm going to sell the Boss compressor.
     
  3. I find the Zoom comps, preamp,amp models and most other effects to be very useful. I still prefer my overdrives, fuzzes and distortions analog but they are really getting there as well.
     
  4. Bioflava

    Bioflava Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    @Bijoux Interesting --> I've got the MS-60B on order too... So you use that as your main compressor?

    @bassbrad --> What do you use the Zoom for? What do you run as your OD box(s)?

    I've got an Effectrode and a DarkGlass supersymmetry for compressors -- I haven't gone head-to-head yet with the Zoom models, but I plan to this week.
     
  5. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The Zoom B3n and G5n do everything for me: effects, compression/limiting, amp and cab modeling. I think the compressors in the B3n are perfectly serviceable and work well IF (and a big IF) you are able to wrangle the settings properly so that they compliment your bass sound and do what you want them to do (whatever that may be). There are no input or gain reduction meters, which make things a bit tricky. Experienced ears can work around this, presumably, but those who aren't fully intimate with compression may struggle a little.
     
    Bassmike62 and Bioflava like this.
  6. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
     
    Bioflava likes this.
  7. I use all of the effects in the Zooms at on time or another and also have an always on set for a basic tone. While I do on occasion use the Zoom drives I have a nice collection that have certain characteristics I use for their specific vibe that the Zoom either does not have or the analog boxes just have a better texture. I am in the process of doing some tweaking on the Zooms to make live playing more consistent and lighten my load.

    Austone Fuzz Nutz TexTone, Austone Millenium Overdrive, Fuzzrocious BDPG v1 and v2, DOD Boneshaker, GGG Brassmaster (@karter2000 build and tweaked), Moody Sounds Hjart Muller Lo|Fat Bass OD, EHX Hot Tubes, Digitech Hardwire CM2 Tube Overdrive, DanElectro French Toast, Zeibek Electronix Cross Drive, Joyo Califirnia Sound. Plus some vintage fuzz pedals like an original ProCo Rat, Muff and Maestro.
     
    Guest of Honor likes this.
  8. TodaysTomSawyer

    TodaysTomSawyer Supporting Member

    May 2, 2017
    Northern Oklahoma
    IME I don't see replacing the DG Super Symmetry with the B3n without real compromise
     
  9. Bioflava

    Bioflava Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    @Guest of Honor --> That's what I would think too (especially given the cost of a DG SuperSymmetry) but on headphones at least I was really impressed with the B3n's SansAmp drive and amp models.

    The time-delay and mod effects sound great too althoyugh the envelope filter doesn't equal my SourceAudio Manta.

    Without a doubt a lot of value, I've got to take it to band practice and try it out to see if it's really a keeper for me.
     
  10. Bioflava

    Bioflava Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2016
    Uh, wow! That's quite a collection :D What do you like best?
     
  11. They all have different textures but the Austone pedals have sentimental value as they were built by a dear friend of mine no longer with us.
     
    Winton likes this.
  12. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    I know this is a old thread but I don’t hVe a lot of time. I have a gig today, and the group I’m working with asked if I could add a little compression to my sound, it’s what their bass player does when he slaps. Their money is good $350 fir 3 hours so I’m open to what they are asking. My problem is I’ve never used a compressor and all I have ida zoom b3n multi effect box. Could anyone suggest one of the compressors on there and some settings that would work. I’m using a fender elite 5er a Genz Benz shuffle max 12.0 with two 112 cabinets i,m not carrying the room I’m in the FOH. I know this is strange request but I need the help if I had time I would figure it out for myself. Thanks in advance
     
  13. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I use the LMT-76 model, but you may want to start with the 160 comp, default settings. If you can hear the sound of the bass getting squashed by the compressor, then there's likely too much compression going on if you only seek mild compression. Adust the threshold so that you can barely detect a difference when the comp is engaged/bypassed. This is tricky stuff IMHO if you don't know compressors well and don't know exactly what you're looking for. With compression, a little bit goes a long way. Start off with the effect of compression being quite subtle, and go from there. good luck.
     
    Bassmike62 and woody357 like this.
  14. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    First thank you!!!! I heard a bassist in New Orleans last week that hat a nice sound I know he was using a compressor, never thought about asking anything about. He had a snap to his his highs when he popped kind of percussive. I’ve heard it before with cats that us a compressor. The notes are not dry or dead but the seem not to ring out as much. Does that help?
     
  15. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    ok. here's another point...someone who knows compressors - like the engineer/mixer/producer - should be giving you more specific guidance here. To say that " their bassist" uses one isn't really saying much. They may want your sound to be more like the other bassist, but unless someone can tell you a little more exactly how and why a comp will help, and how they'd like the comp set, it's a sort of crap shoot. Typically, if a mixer/engineer needs dynamic control of a sound, they will apply it at the mixing desk. If the sound of your popped strings is just too abrasive, maybe it's a matter of tone settings (less high end), but no doubt a compressor set as a peak limiter would help solve the problem.
     
  16. Loring

    Loring Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    Ontario
    the problem with the zoom compressors is there is no visual feedback. You have to overdo the squeeze and then back off of bit.
    I have had good luck with the lmt76 and the 160 but lately been using the opt.

    It is nowhere near as transparent or easy to use as a real compressor (like my empress) though.
     
    jimfist likes this.
  17. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    agreed @Loring
    No visual metering or feedback makes setting the compressor difficult...a lot of trial and error. Once dialed in to your liking, the comps do work fine. A dedicated, quality outboard comp is almost always going to outperform the comps in these low-cost modelers, but I'm happy with the results I'm getting with the B3n (and G5n), and I'd rather travel as light as lean as possible. I had a TC Spectracomp at one time but ditched it in favor of the simplicity of all-in-one.
     
    Winton, Ikkir and Loring like this.
  18. Loring

    Loring Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    Ontario
    yep once dialed in the sound pretty good. but yeah a bit of trial and error. Hard to share settings too since it is so dependant on the output of your bass (including your playing style).
     
  19. warrplayer

    warrplayer

    Apr 16, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I use the ms-60b, ms-100bt and have a B1on too. Use the heck out of all three using every effect they have to offer. EXCEPT for the compressors. None of them sound quite right to me no matter how I mess with them. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t sound horrible. I would use them in a pinch if my analog comps died on me or something. But, never by choice. I have a cheap Boss Cs-3 and a DOD Milk Box and bth sound better to me than any of the Zoom comps. Now, dirt, amp models, anything other people seem to be finicky about? Zooms do me just fine. Lay down tracks on commercially released projects with them no problem.
     
    Loring likes this.
  20. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    i use the 160a comp as an always on, lightly. I use the SVT as an OD. I find it is enough without being too much.
     
    Bassmike62 likes this.
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