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Les Elvin

Compressors

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Hi there. I've been advised a Boss Compressor is a useful tool to place in line for my Fender Precision. To be honest, I've borrowed one and have a little difficulty in finding the best setting. Any advice, please? Cheers!

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23 minutes ago, Les Elvin said:

...Any advice, please? Cheers!

The experts will all pile in in due course, but I've always found, with Boss products, that a decent starting point is 'all at 12 o'clock', then let the ears decide after getting used to it for a while.
Hope this helps. B|

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I recently picked up a TC Spectracomp.  

It's relatively cheap when compared to most and the TonePrint functionality makes it easy to try different compression settings without having to understand all the technical detail.  Of course as your knowledge grows you can deviate from the TonePrint and create your own patches.

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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If you haven't got the pedal because you thought you needed it, I really wouldn't bother with it.

Compression can really mess your sound up if you don't really know what you're doing.

I'd avoid using it until you personally think that's the exact effect you need.

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I can't make up my mind with compression. I have been using a Spectracomp for a while and thought all was good. I didn't use it at the last band practice and now can't work out why I thought I needed it.. Typical! 

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Personally I’d recommend getting a decent one with a gain reduction meter, I’ve tried pedals without them and they are a pain (and easy to get very wrong). With a meter, compressors are pretty straightforward in my opinion as you can see what it’s doing - and you don’t want it doing very much.

p.s. Which one have you borrowed to try out?

Edited by tedmanzie

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I decide I need a compressor so I buy one, use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy one use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so late I decide I need a compressor so I buy... (repeat ad infinitum) 

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1 hour ago, BrunoBass said:

I decide I need a compressor so I buy one, use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy one use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so late I decide I need a compressor so I buy... (repeat ad infinitum) 

I once bought a ...

...

...

...

...

...

delay pedal. :|

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You need to know what you need the compressor for. Is it for home playing, live playing or post recording processing? Each situation would require different settings and if ten of us from basschat used a compressor in the aforementioned situations you would have 30 didfferent settings exception would be @Dad3353 who is a drumner (the louder the better 😊).

We all hear sound differently so your ears are the best tool the find the answer.

Also , remember that there are other aspects that have impact on how you set up the compressor. If you do a little search on basschat , there is a thread or more about compressors in general.

I own TC spectracomp which is extremely versatile. Currently sits in the box but I was never dissapointed with it's performance.

Horses for Corses.

 

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The compressor is one of those devices that you shouldn't be able to hear having an effect until you turn it off.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

The compressor is one of those devices that you shouldn't be able to hear having an effect until you turn it off.

+1

I use a Diamond compressor. I don't really notice that it does anything until I switch it off. In short, it adds punch and clarity. 

Can't play without it. 

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12 hours ago, BrunoBass said:

I decide I need a compressor so I buy one, use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy one use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so late I decide I need a compressor so I buy... (repeat ad infinitum) 

We must be related, as I do the same. I also duplicate this process with Jazz basses.

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I've had a few compressors that actually affected my tone, most notable being the Line 6 constrictor which could really squash the sound on its max setting. I now have a Boss Limiter Enhancer which only gets used on the enhance setting when playing my fretless because I want it to bring out the little string slides leading in to a note, which it does. I don't use it as a limiter though. I tend to have the compressor on my Ashdown amp permanently on at its mid point. It doesn't add to the tone or anything but it evens things out, so when it's off the bass can be a little uncontrolled in terms of volume peaks etc. And it definitely sounds better with the subtle compression on. 

If I didn't have the amp compression I'd probably need to really improve my technique or I'd look to get a spectracomp and choose one of the toneprint settings that suits me best. It's not something I want to invest time in messing about with like I do my chorus and drive effects.

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I personally, wouldn't get within 5 miles of a compressor pedal!

I've recently taken issue with our monitor engineer, who, in spite of my occasional protestations, insists on adding "Just a little bit" of compression, which is mostly fed to the drummer and keys player.  Dynamics in the band is very important, I need to be in total control. Using a compressor, even "Just a little bit", takes away just a little bit of control.

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15 hours ago, BrunoBass said:

I decide I need a compressor so I buy one, use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy one use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so late I decide I need a compressor so I buy... (repeat ad infinitum) 

Pretty much my pattern as well. It normally comes about by me reading a line in a post on here and have a 'wow' moment, so i go and get one. These days i use a Sectracomp, and i have actually gone back to it from a higher end comp, but i think i use it because its on my board so its no effort to take with me.

Not sure if i need it but it doesn't seem to do any harm.

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"Not sure if I need it but it doesn't seem to do any harm."

dave_bass5 : from "the ultimate truth about compressors"

Brilliant! 😂

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Zoom MS60B has some decent sounding compressor options on it if you just want to try some different sorts out. You won't get anywhere near a decent compressor for the price you can pick one of these up for. Even the B3N is cheap compared to a half decent compressor.

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19 hours ago, Al Krow said:

"Not sure if I need it but it doesn't seem to do any harm."

dave_bass5 : from "the ultimate truth about compressors"

Brilliant! 😂

🙂 ive never had an issue with not using one, but i also like what i hear when i do. Im pretty sure a lot of others feel this way, but are too 'cool' so say it lol.

Edited by dave_bass5
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5 hours ago, Japhet said:

Zoom MS60B has some decent sounding compressor options on it if you just want to try some different sorts out. You won't get anywhere near a decent compressor for the price you can pick one of these up for. Even the B3N is cheap compared to a half decent compressor.

Shameless plug... but there is a MS-60B in the FS right now on at a reasonable price :)

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On ‎18‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 04:10, CygnusX2112 said:

I recently picked up a TC Spectracomp.  

It's relatively cheap when compared to most and the TonePrint functionality makes it easy to try different compression settings without having to understand all the technical detail.  Of course as your knowledge grows you can deviate from the TonePrint and create your own patches.

I could never get a sound I like out of the MXR M87, so tried a Spectracomp.

Left it's only dial at noon for our recording session

BOOM there is the punch I was seeking right out of the box. 

Edited by bazzbass

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On 17/07/2018 at 22:15, BrunoBass said:

I decide I need a compressor so I buy one, use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so later I decide I need a compressor so I buy one use it and then decide I don’t need it so I get rid of it. Then a year or so late I decide I need a compressor so I buy... (repeat ad infinitum) 

Love it!

Remind me - am I correct in remembering that you are a fellow Ibby SR Premium user / fan?

In terms of using / abandoning compressors are you playing in a band?

 

Edited by Al Krow

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4 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Love it!

Remind me - am I correct in remembering that you are a fellow Ibby SR Premium user / fan?

In terms of using / abandoning compressors are you playing in a band?

 

Hi Al, no I’m pretty much all Fender. 

I am indeed in a band, gigging regularly and I currently find myself approaching that time of the year when I start thinking about buying a compressor pedal again... 

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Just now, BrunoBass said:

Hi Al, no I’m pretty much all Fender. 

I am indeed in a band, gigging regularly and I currently find myself approaching that time of the year when I start thinking about buying a compressor pedal again... 

Lol! Which ones have you been through over the years?

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Just now, Al Krow said:

Lol! Which ones have you been through over the years?

Boss, EHX, Buddha, MXR. 

The only one I haven’t tried is the TC Spectracomp which I consistently hear good things about.

I wish you could rent pedals for say a week, to see if you get on with them in a real world environment. I always feel like I’m buying blind and some of them are too expensive to just take a chance on. I wouldn’t buy a bass or an amp without trying it first, it’s a pity you can’t with pedals.

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