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Al Krow

Compression - what's all the fuss about?

Compression - what's all the fuss about?  

63 members have voted

  1. 1. Did anyone notice or comment when you switched your compressor off mid-song?

    • Yes - one person (or more) said that something sounded different about the bass part way through.
      9
    • No - no one batted an eye lid!
      20
    • I don't use a compressor but I'm interested in the result anyway.
      34


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I know there have been a million compressor threads - but I hope this one brings something slightly different. I'd like to throw out a challenge to my fellow compressor owners / users. At your next gig (this weekend?) please dis-engage your compressor mid-way through a number, without telling anyone up front that you're going to be doing that, and see if ANYONE, other than yourself, notices?

It would also be really interesting to find out what compressor you're using and what dial settings you had it on - particularly if folk did notice a difference.

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Should we not do the same for:-

If you played a wrong note

Got the timing wrong

Used flanger instead of chorus

Kicked some form of distortion/overdrive/fuzz on in a song you wouldn’t normally do it

 

I take it if only 1 person notices that’s enough, or does there have to be more than that......

 

I have to say IMHO this survey misses the point of how you use compression and so won’t really prove anything either way

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The thing is that I would notice if I didn't have my 1 knob compression at 9 o'clock. I doubt anyone else would.

Even my brother rhythm guitarist says that bass is just bass to him and any subtleties of my bass tone brought to his attention seem to elicit little interest.

As for the audience, I'm pretty sure that as has been said many times before, most would only miss the bass if it wasn't there, let alone discern any difference. The thing that folk readily notice is the volume, "the bass was loud".

I think Motown did a lot to bring a good bass-line to the attention of the listening/dancing public. A few other popular songs had strong bass-lines like 'Hit the road jack' and 'These boots are made for walking'.

I'm happy being part of the rhythm section, I like locking in with a good drummer and rhythm guitarist who are also good team players. But the subtleties we enjoy getting out of our instruments, thumbs & plectrums, strings, nuts, bridges, pick-ups, pedals, amps, speakers and techniques, for the most part are like trade secrets shared and assessed and discussed like new/old recipes by the connoisseurs of the art who are I'm happy to say venerable BCers.

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......aaaaaaaaaaaand all those basslines were compressed.

I would say your band is tight and sounds great together because you have used compression wisely as well as playing really well together as a unit

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Did Anyone Notice or Comment When You Switched Your Compressor Off?

The proper question would be,

"Did Anyone Notice or Comment When You Switched Your Bass Off?"

Blue

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Call me a philistine, but I've never really understood what a compressor actually gave me in a live context.  I had one for a while (Electro Harmonix Black Finger) and all it really did was take up too much space on my board.

Kejserens nye Klæder.

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I don't even know if I've got compression, what's it look like? A pic would be helpful.

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7 hours ago, Bluewine said:

Did Anyone Notice or Comment When You Switched Your Compressor Off?

The proper question would be,

"Did Anyone Notice or Comment When You Switched Your Bass Off?"

Blue

Haha!

Yes they certainly do!

But on this (and many other things) Blue

My dear chap, I can't speak for you. 

The US is a different kettle of fish

On many things, that much we can agree is true?

 

@NancyJohnson the Philistines were much under-rated methinks. History is written by the victors.

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1 minute ago, leschirons said:

I don't even know if I've got compression, what's it look like? A pic would be helpful.

Here you go - from another forum(!):

"The top picture is an uncompressed signal, the bottom one thru a high-end compressor pedal. You can clearly see how it's worth every penny".

Amen_break_sample_image.

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I love my spectracomp, I use it as it adds a ‘fatness’ to the sound that I like. Would anyone else notice? The drummer would IF he could hear it but I doubt very much that anyone else would. But the overall sound is a collective of several small adjustments you make, tone controls, pedals, amp settings. If you dialled them all to the other end then I think people would notice. So it’s worth having every little bit how you want it.

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All the Youtube videos I've watched, whilst wearing headphones have quelled my desire to use compression live. Used properly, the effect is very subtle and almost unnoticeable in a live situation

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@Al Krow are you just gonna pick that one comment from that thread, or will you also quote the 90 other comments that disagree with the post and think it’s not the greatest of questions, putting it lightly....!

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Posted (edited)

Poll results so far from that other thread (after 1 day) you referred to @Cuzzie. I'll post an update on numbers in a little while. Interesting that the bass community splits almost exactly right down the middle between users and non-users of compression.

  1. Yes - one person (or more) said that something sounded different about the bass part way through.13 vote(s)10.2%*

  2. No - no one batted an eye lid! 50 vote(s) 39.4%

  3. I don't use a compressor but I'm interested in the result, anyway.64 vote(s) 50.4%

Edited by Al Krow

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Yep

That's to be expected, but what does it tell us?

Just over or just under 50% of the country voted for or against Brexit

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22 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

Yep

That's to be expected, but what does it tell us?

Just over or just under 50% of the country voted for or against Brexit

At least they got that one right :biggrin:

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Ha!

we both nicely sat on the fence for that one, or the mod police would have us!

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So the point of this thread is: you got suckered in by russian propaganda designed to fool old people, and also you don't understand what compression is so you're going to make a song and dance about it both on here and Talkbass. Great job.

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3 hours ago, T-Bay said:

I love my spectracomp, I use it as it adds a ‘fatness’ to the sound that I like. Would anyone else notice? The drummer would IF he could hear it but I doubt very much that anyone else would. But the overall sound is a collective of several small adjustments you make, tone controls, pedals, amp settings. If you dialled them all to the other end then I think people would notice. So it’s worth having every little bit how you want it.

Here here!

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I use it om my Ashdown ABM1000  to balance the levels when switching between  no eq   &  eq to get a very harsh Yes /Stranglers type sound .

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Interesting that the bass community splits almost exactly right down the middle between users and non-users of compression.

Not really interesting.

Just evidence that we bass players are perhaps deserving of being viewed as the ‘slow learners club’ amongst musicians.

PS: when I can be arsed, I’m going to post a thread explaining the necessity of compression with some audio clips to help illustrate; just so this topic can finally be taken out back, shot in the head and buried for all time.

Until then, as you were.

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4 minutes ago, Skol303 said:

..... just so this topic can finally be taken out back, shot in the head and buried for all time.

Good luck with that xD

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