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51m0n

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51m0n last won the day on December 14 2017

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About 51m0n

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    Dark Wizard of the Knights Martial
  • Birthday 26/05/1970

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  1. So the make up gain could have been a little higher
  2. A really common thing to do in mixing land (yeah I know, but bear with me) is to eq signal hitting the compressor and then eq it again after that. George Massenburg (massive 'hero' of mine) explains this sort of thing so well in this video:- If you are still interested he does something interesting with eq and compression in this one too:- If you are wondering who the hell George Massenburg is, he literally invented the parametric eq, legend or what!
  3. Nah, we're about to start kicking off dude, ever since he brought my mom up in the conversation, I mean, that stinky poo is unforgiveable
  4. Don't regret it, its a valid point, I wanted clarification of where you were coming from. Its something that has bothered me too. Too often people (and myself included, I confess) say things like, "Nah mate you don't really need a compressor, you are driving a tube style saturating preamp/fx pedal, so you're golden". Of course this is a massive massive over simplification. What is your goal with the compressor for one thing, what are you trying to achieve/fix/improve? Say you are Mr R God, and you love your grinding pick playing, you enjoy driving your all tube behemoth lead sled 400w super amp until its sweaty and grindy and all kinds of grrrr, but you are losing that crisp pick attack somehow. You hear compression might help, but you dont really get it, and the all analogue optical tube pedal with one knob doesnt seem to do anything but crush your dynamics. You come on basschat and some utter twunt (ie me...) says, you need a compressor, you go on a bunch of threads and get told no you dont mate, you're golden. In fact that over simplification isnt true. A fully featured compressor set up right would allow you to do things like allow a bunch of attack through, hold the release for 300ms at a healthy ratio (say 4:1) and use the makeup gain to make that appear to be unity, the effect on the just breaking up amp would be to give the pick transient a massive boost into the front of the amp, but hold the sustain of every note at just the 'right' level to maintain the grind a tiny bit longer, fattening everything up. But we cant be bothered to fight the good fight, because compression, you either study them and play with them for ages to really understand them in the context of a mix, or you misunderstand them and get grumpy or say something daft like, no professional bassists ever use a compressor in their rig live, leave that to the engineer...
  5. Why is that a red herring? In a mix I have found a change in level of less than 0.5dB can completely change the balance between 2 instruments. So by that merit if I reduce the dynamic range of one of those instruments by just 0.5dB, then use make up gain to get it as loud as before, it will dominate the other instrument, whereas before it may have been masked by it. At serious gig volumes everyone's ears are compressing the crap out of everything, so getting louder than something else requires a far more heavy handed approach with a static volume knob than even a very minor change in dynamic range over the time of each note. Whether that dynamic range change is the result of a tube amp beginning to saturate, or a compressor just lifting the sustain level of the note envelope a dB is irrelevant.
  6. Understood, but I consider less full featured compressors as an evil to be fought at all times. I wouldn't be so averse to a 2 or 3 control compressor if they were properly and clearly marked controls (not things like 'glimmer' or 'compression' that are at best unclear and at worst marketing bollocks) and if they had comprehensive metering (so at least 6 LEDs switchable between input/output/gain reduction in dBs, and even better if you could 'zoom' the dB scale, never seen that in a hardware meter though). Anything less and they are unfit for purpose, they are a 'magick' box that is only perceived to be doing something when they are doing so much as to actually damage the player's experience. I have lost count of the number of times I've heard "compressors are rubbish, they crush all my dynamics", which is utter nonsense, what that actually means is "compressors are rubbish, because I can't hear them working until I am doing bad stuff to my playing experience, and I don't understand why". Harsh but true.
  7. @Jus Lukin For sure, we aren't really disagreeing, I just wanted to point out that although the shape of the waveform could be seen to be the same at any one moment, the nature of the way the amplitude is controlled definitely changes the shape of the waveform over time, in doing so changing the frequency/amplitude curve throughout, ergo changing the waveform itself to all intents and purpose. This is damnably subtle stuff mind, and I agree also that the manner in which these things are achieved are truly different, yet to a large degree (especially in the case of subtle tube saturation) the differences in how the dynaimc range changes are made can be largely ignored, and if you ignore the saturation element then the results wrt to dynamic range are extremely similar. But I'm picking at nits because, well ,compressor thread: the rules are I have to unintentionally fosters at least one person off by being overly pedantic or not quite agreeing. Its all meant as fun discussion though, promise
  8. Equate the behaviour regarding dynamic range of a very fast hard limiter (ratio >20:1) with a lowish threshold to a fuzz, and a soft knee compressor with a very low ratio, a medium fast attack, and a very low threshold to a tube amp. Clearly compressors/limiters are not producing the same levels of saturation (an awful lot do produce some levels of saturation at certain settings though, certainly both an La-2a and an 1176 add saturation artifacts, that's why they are 'magic boxes'), and understanding the effect on the dynamic range of these different types of effect, and it is absolutely true that tube amps change dynamic range in much the same ways as compressors can do, and in a more extreme way fuzzes change dynamic range in much the same ways as limiters do. The saturation effects are the differences, and their psycho-acoustic effect makes what tube amps do much more obvious to us. But they both 'compress' the dynamic range. The term is an over simplification, but the result (with respect to dynamic range) is very much the same. Otherwise mastering limiters couldn't get you to within 3dB Crest for an entire track. Crest is the measure of the difference between the peak loudness of a track and the average loudness of a track, the mastering wars were all about getting Crest as low as possible. Overdo this and you rob tracks of punch, dynamics and ultimately emotional content, plus it sounds stinky poo. Didn't stop marketing boys always opting for the louder master for years though, louder almost always equates to better unless you are trained to know the truth of what you are hearing, or have metering to help you. For instance when you apply serious compression to a track you have to change your reverb/delay levels to avoid the track disappearing down a well, that is because quieter parts of the signal are more loudly perceived as a result of the compression, make up gain make them louder compared to the rest of the sound that goes over the threshold of the compressor, the ration of reverb to dry (typically louder) signal changes, a lot. Same with a simple bass signal. Compression will bring out artifacts in your playing that you otherwise wont hear, poor muting, string squeaks etc, whilst 'containing' other issues (thuds on muted strings as you play) dependant on which contain the most energy in the signal as a whole and what the particular compressor side chain is best at 'hearing', or set up to hear, hence the use of low pass filters on compressor side chains to retain dynamics. Compression and limiting give you vastly more control over the effect in terms of envelope and transient manipulation, for better or worse, and this is where they shine. But in terms of dynamic range there are many similarities in simple terms.
  9. This is, in fact, absolutely not the case in any setting of a real world compressor circuit that I can imagine. Sorry. A compressor does not turn the volume of the entire signal down - that is far too simplistic a way of thinking about compression, it is not a thing to eb considered in a given moment, it is a thing that is all about the time domain at the milli/micro-second level. Once it starts being triggered it begins to act upon the input signal. And at some point after it stops it being triggered it stops changing the amplitude of the sound that triggered it. The attack control allows some of the signal through, before the compressor starts to work, the point at which the compressor has turned the signal down by the ratio that the ratio is set to occurs some time after that. With an attack of 20ms and a ratio of 4:1 the compressor will take 20ms to have achieved the majority of that ratio (but not actually necessarily all of it). The manner in which that turning down of the volume occurs (commonly called the attack curve) varies hugely between different settings and different circuits (hard/soft knee, FET vs optical vs VCA vs Vari-Mu vs digital). Likewise setting a release time of 200ms means that 200ms after the threshold is crossed (going below the threshold) a percentage of the level will have returned (though not necessarily the full 100%) the way this returns is rarely a straight line, optical compressors sound like they do precisely because the release curve is, well, really curved! They initially return the volume very quickly, but this speed tapers off over time, the light source does not dim in a simple 1:1 relationship to the input signal. So the compression doesn't. The make-up gain works over the entire signal though, drastically changing the ratio of the transient to the sustain phase of the input signal. Many many compressors on the market also exhibit saturation qualities, the 1176 is often quoted as 'sprinkling some kind of fairy dust' on the sound, especially at extreme settings - guess what, its saturating, which adds harmonic overtones. Like a tube amp, but in a different way. Almost all 'tube' compressor pedals (not the Markbass Compressore), use a tube not to control the compression (a Vari-mu circuit) but as a preamp to a VCA compressor, guess what the tube does in these compressors? It saturates if you drive it hard. This makes people think the compressor is 'doing some magicks', when its not the compressor part of the circuit as much as the tube preamp to the compressor. The compressor does help make the additional harmonics sound a little louder in the overall resultant output signal, by removing some dynamic range. The result is a very very different wave form envelope over time. So much so that you can definitely change the timbre of a sound using compression (really fast attack, ratio about 8:1 or above, threshold medium low, catching all the sound, about a constant 3-6dB of GR will effectively make any percussive bright transient disappear, the entire sound is now perceived as darker). As soon as a compressor compresses it changes the wave form, with a hard enough limiter you get clipping, you can see it in recordings! Some digital limiters are designed to digitally clip (sounds gash to me but what do I know). No tube amp or analogue circuit anywhere can match the utter brutality of digitally clipping, it is the hardest limiting we can achieve. Every single digital audio recorder with an input gain knob and a loud enough input level can be forced to digitally clip. It just sounds stinky poo. And hard limits dynamic range. This I agree with 100%. And in the way people say tube amps compress the signal, that is exactly what they are referring to (well I am). The result is, you get less dynamic range, however within the less dynamic range you get to vary the saturation level with your playing dynamics instead, which just so happens to be very musical, or Mr Gilmour would be just another geezer saturating his amps.
  10. The Stella, as a learning aid, since it is ridiculously full featured...
  11. Reason this is a great pedal comp to learn with? Look at that lovely Gain Reduction meter. Oh my, what a beauty! That and a ratio variable from 0 to infinite. With a similar threshold range. Christ you can even play with the knee and the attack release curves! If someone wants to really really learn about compression then this is the stinky poo. Assuming its signal to noise ratio is decent (no reason it wouldn't be) and it doesn't play nasty with your tone (its supposed to be pretty transparent) then this would be a killer pedal for someone looking to really learn how compression works and what it can do. If you don't already know your beans regarding setting up a compressor then you are not going to get this one figured out in 10 minutes during a soundcheck. As someone who really understands what compressors do, and what the controls are giving you as options I would be willing to bet good money I could set this up for anyones particular needs in under 5 minutes. Easier than setting up a Joe Meek compressor, or a Diamond Pro for me (because all the controls are labelled with exactly what I would expect). Also just to clear something up the Threshold is correct, anti-clockwise is the lowest threshold, i.e. it causes the most signal to be compressed. This is actually the correct way to do it, pedal comps get this wrong all the time, because they label the control 'compression' or whatever and then have to switch around wiring on the pot - drives me bonkers!
  12. Teehee, you should hear the rig matey, last rehearsal was such a blast, gobs of power, and so so clean (nomnomnom). But I digress, I'm excited to see something that is so well specced, if I had any say I would move the ickle switches and knobs well away from the main footswitch though - I am far too likely to utterly trash it all in a stompy moment of madness - other than that it looks like a great clean sounding compressor; I like those LEDs a lot! The bigger version really floats my boat though, because I like having proper control of attack and release (honestly once you 'get' compression you start to realise that the real power is in the attack/release curves).
  13. derrière! There I was happy to have determined that I need to be getting an ovnifx smoothie to replace my rack comp moving forward. Now the bigger one of these really does look rather like my personal wet dream of a compressor (if only it was optical, that would be it, kidney selling time)....
  14. Yeah, its killer, or its higher spec sibling the Babyface Pro, which is also superb!
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