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Becos CompIQ. Anyone seen this?


dave_bass5

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6 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I'm pleading the 5th on that 😁

From the review you posted...

"There’s no real need to stray from the basics with either guitar or bass: stick to soft knee, normal side chain and fast timing and it’s just a question of tweaking the ratio and threshold to taste then playing with the gain and EQ for balance. Hiss never becomes a problem, and dialing in some gritty tape saturation can be a great way to further energise a clean tone."

I can already hear the reply with the usual excuses "creative home use"' 'personal enjoyment' , 'get to grips with in XX months' etc. etc. I get that one has to consider the value add while exercising due diligence and focus on the strategic execution but opaque management jargon aside don't be a craddock, just take it to a gig plug in. Go with the basic setting as listed above (maybe leaving the tape saturation out initially). Then step on and off through the gig and hear what it can do. If you like it leave it on, if you don't like it turn it off. I call it Blue Sky Thinking :)

I'm sure half of bass chat will support me when I say...

Do it!

Do it!

;)

 

 

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12 minutes ago, krispn said:

I'm sure half of bass chat will support me when I say...

Do it!

Do it!

;)

Whilst the other half will merrily still be gigging with their basses direct --> amp + cab (bit like yours truly) still eh? 😉

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On 13/05/2019 at 18:38, Opticaleye said:

Yeah it's great. The tilt EQ I'm finding really useful. I like it better than my Lehle Basswitch Dual comp and Markbass Compressore.

It sounds especially great with the Dual comp and Basswitch Classic boost before it. A definite improvement to the tone and I wouldn't consider not having it always on.

Any tips on what you're using for Attack and Release settings / timings? I'm thinking of simply using the Auto Fast setting and avoiding needing to think about this too much to start with(!) but I'd be really interested to know what you have settled on as your default?

With regard to the other selector switch settings, I've gone for the more 'obvious' choices of: (i) soft knee (vs hard knee => which is more suitable for limiting rather than 'musical' compression) (ii) EQ pivot set Low at 330Hz for bass (vs High / 1kHz for guitar) (iii) Side Chain Filter set Low giving a more fulsome low end.

I'm guessing you may landed on something similar for these?

Edited by Al Krow
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10 hours ago, krispn said:

"There’s no real need to stray from the basics with either guitar or bass: stick to soft knee, normal side chain and fast timing and it’s just a question of tweaking the ratio and threshold to taste then playing with the gain and EQ for balance. Hiss never becomes a problem, and dialing in some gritty tape saturation can be a great way to further energise a clean tone."

The advice from the review is a good starting point...

Our very own guru 51m0n and other's have said it depends on the player, the desired effect, the bass used and the technique you're employing on the song etc. etc. What you want the compressor to do dictates how you set it up. If you just want a basic compression...

Aim for 4:1 or more or less to taste, Slow attack, fast release and set the threshold 5-10dB's or more/less depending on how it fits in for your playing/desired compression amount. From a basic setting you could tweak the attack until the compression effect is very apparent (possibly too much by this point) so back it off until it's at a point where it's not as apparent or where you're happy with it. You could play with the release time so that the metering is returning to zero after each note or on every other note but again it depends what you want it to do or what you think you want it to do and if it's sounding how you like it. If you're using some slap techniques you may want to change things up to make it work for that style or if you're changing bass it may need tweaked again. Record a loop and use the controls in real time to hear whats happening. All part of the fun!

The actual specific settings won't be that important so use your ears and discover what its doing as a unit.

Compression is kinda personal so what works for one may not work for the other!

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Well I'm kicking off with these, although I suspect will only be of interest to other Becos Stella owners, of which there is just one other BCer as far I'm aware! :)

(1) Comp at 9 o'clock = 2:1 light touch compression 

(2) Threshold at 10 o'clock 

(3) Gain set to ensure no increase or decrease in volume when engaged (although less of an issue if this becomes always on)

(4) Auto Fast - for attack / release 

(5) Soft knee (vs hard knee => which is more suitable for limiting rather than 'musical' compression)

(6) EQ pivot set 'Low' at 330Hz for bass (vs High / 1kHz for guitar)

(7) Side Chain Filter ('SCF') set 'Low' (but not all the way to 'Deep') giving a more fulsome low end.

(8) 60 wet / 40 dry

(9) Saturation and dry level - currently off / min [I should maybe boost the clean dry level a touch]

That may change over time and with experience! 

PS - Becos Comp.jpg

Edited by Al Krow
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22 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Got my hands on a Stella this morning. I guess that folk who know me will be aware that I'm a bit (ok a lot!) of a skeptic when it comes to compressors, although I did quite like the 'devil's one knob' Spectracomp as I could finally hear a compressor doing something useful / positive to my sound.

The Stella is clearly quite a step up from the Spectracomp in its feature set (and a corresponding hike in price). I've a got a fair learning curve to get up to speed with this comp, but my 'day 1' impressions of the Stella are very positive. Subtle but positive impact on tone is immediately there to hear and in line with expectations of a VCA compressor which are supposedly fast and relatively transparent; really good metering and multi-faceted control including wet / dry mix and side chain filter both of which should aid in preserving a fulsome low end.

Already had a BC buddy wanting first dibs on this pedal when I move it on - but I've got a sneaky suspicion I may have finally found "my" comp so it could be a while before he gets his hands permanently on it! :) 

I give it two weeks 🤣

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What I would say in passing though, is that:

  • the additional level of control (particularly attack / release and side chain filter) on the Stella does seem to add quite a bit over the Becos Mini and I'm really glad I went for this fully featured version;
  • two big thumbs up from opticaleye (in particular) and less importantly from a numpty compressor user like me, but who is already sensing that this is the best comp he's managed to get his hands on (and I've been through a fair few, as you know krispn!) 

... will hopefully be an encouragement to others to check this rather excellent piece of kit out.

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23 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Got my hands on a Stella this morning. I guess that folk who know me will be aware that I'm a bit (ok a lot!) of a skeptic when it comes to compressors, although I did quite like the 'devil's one knob' Spectracomp as I could finally hear a compressor doing something useful / positive to my sound.

The Stella is clearly quite a step up from the Spectracomp in its feature set (and a corresponding hike in price). I've a got a fair learning curve to get up to speed with this comp, but my 'day 1' impressions of the Stella are very positive. Subtle but positive impact on tone is immediately there to hear and in line with expectations of a VCA compressor which are supposedly fast and relatively transparent; really good metering and multi-faceted control including wet / dry mix and side chain filter both of which should aid in preserving a fulsome low end.

Already had a BC buddy wanting first dibs on this pedal when I move it on - but I've got a sneaky suspicion I may have finally found "my" comp so it could be a while before he gets his hands permanently on it! :) 

 

If you're thinking of doing a demo... I'd love to hear the tape saturation simulation ;)

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, mcnach said:

If you're thinking of doing a demo... I'd love to hear the tape saturation simulation ;)

Let's see if we can get @Opticaleye back on the case! He's posted some decent clips already and is using tape saturation as part of his sound!

I suspect I'm much more likely to be using a full on dirt rather than something subtle like tape saturation. I'll give it try out, of course, but I'm guessing it's effect is going to be akin to having a 'touch of dirt' on a preamp such as the DG M900 which, tbf, I'm coming round to! :) 

Edited by Al Krow
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43 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Let's see if we can get @Opticaleye back on the case! He's posted some decent clips already and is using tape saturation as part of his sound!

 

Not sure when I'd be able to get round to it atm. Just moved home to the York area and haven't touched a bass for weeks. I will be sorting out my "home studio" eventually but at the moment I'm desperately unpacking boxes.

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Just had a little play with the tape saturation ('TS') and stumbled across a useful additional volume control over any 'dry' signal. For folk who are not familiar with the detail;

- TS affects the dry (uncompressed) signal only;

- the pedal allows you to blend dry and wet (compressed) signals to taste;

- the vol control for the tape saturation also provides an independent volume control for the dry signal (i.e. works whether the tape saturation is set at nil or on full); 

- can add a nice underlying bit of 'dirt' to provide additional harmonic complexity if desired. Or set to fully dry and TS to max and it's effectively a dirt pedal. 

A cool feature.

Edited by Al Krow
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19 hours ago, 51m0n said:

Depends on what you want to achieve. That and where your threshold is set. Even at 2:1 you can generate an easy 9dB of gain reduction....

Thanks - your earlier comment about 2:1 comp ratio being generally too low for bass seems to have either disappeared from the thread, or was never there in the first place! I'll go back and amend the update to my earlier post about what settings I have this on.

Edited by Al Krow
Your not you're! lol!
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19 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks - you're earlier comment about 2:1 comp ratio being generally too low for bass seems to have either disappeared from the thread, or was never there in the first place! I'll go back and amend the update to my earlier post about what settings I have this on.

I very much doubt that I have ever suggested 2:1 is too low for bass!

When I wrote my 'compression setup 101' post I am pretty sure I mentioned you can get something groovy happening way lower than that (I have gone as low as 1.5:1 for live and just about 3dB of gain reduction on a heavy hit note, but crucially always some GR even on the very lightest note, but never on the transient of that note, or the subsequent one). Non-sound engineers don't get compression like non-photographers don't get the exposure triangle (manual mode), because the variables all interact and they are not really obvious in how they do that.

A compressor has a ratio and a threshold and the actual input gain, and it is the way these three interact that define the total gain reduction. With a threshold set at X if the input level exceeds X then the compressor will cut down the loudness increase by the ratio. It sounds so simple, but its got 3 variables, and one of those changes all the time (input level). If you get a single note into the compressor the non engineer thinks "I played that note at volume X", but the compressor is measuring that volume all the time throughout the note duration (well an RMS interpolation of the volume over a short (ms) time, but I digress). It sees a transient peak, the subsequent dip to the main note, the (very short on a bass) sustain phase and then the (very long) release phase of the envelope of the note. The way the volume changes through each part of this makes a difference to when the threshold gets crossed on the way down (turning the compression off). It may be that you cross X twice on the transient, or cross X on the transient, and then again just after the sustain phase, or not until a second or two later. The threshold is what determines this.

Couple this with the added fun of manual attack and release controls, which determine how long after the crossing of the threshold level X as the level rises (attack) and falls (release) that the compressor actually kicks in (attack) and turns off (release) and it starts to become obvious as to why this is complex, but its really not until you intuitively understand that all compressor circuits achieve that compressor activated/deactivated state as a curve rather than a switch (even the fastest are not binary in their behaviour, except some digital limiters) which is what makes them sound different that you can start to make use of a compressor as a tonal tool rather than just some kind of extremely heavy handed fix for peculiarities in your playing.

 

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Thanks fella.

Was going to ask you whether the fact that I seem to be marginally preferring a hard knee to a soft knee is just 'in my head' or whether there is actually a good basis for this - maybe something as simple as it being a more clear cut impact, particularly at the low compression ratios I'm using?

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I asked Simon if 2:1 was a bit low. You’ll see my post back up there. I was simply suggesting that a higher ratio might be more beneficial based on an audio clip I’d heard. I was gonna expand on that and suggest with the audio and video recording set up you used you could do a live A/B and have a listen next time you play that same venue and engage the compressor for the track and judge if it evens things out etc but you’re maybe not really that bothered. Be useful as a way to measure performance and if the pedal is useful for you in its intended application. Hard to beat a real world test. 

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Ah funny - bit Chinese whispers! Reading your post quickly on the my phone the other day, I'd read your comment along the lines of "5imon said 2:1 was a bit low", rather than being a query; at which point it became gospel truth. Lol!

Becos Stella is gonna be home board only for me for a while matey, while I get up to speed on it. Believe me, if I can't learn to hear nuances of bass tone from compression when it's just me, there is no way on God's earth I'm going to be able to hear any pedal board compression differences in a full band mix with ear plugs in. But that particular long held viewpoint from me, is not news!

But 5imon was right when he was enthusing about the Stella as a great comp to learn on (plus his immediately preceding post back in April). At least I listened to him, for once, on that! And I've got 3 weeks...:) 

On 02/04/2019 at 20:30, 51m0n said:

The Stella, as a learning aid, since it is ridiculously full featured...

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A lot of BC’er enjoy having the ability to record a performance and then listen back at home especially when using new gear as it makes it easier to hear a particular pedal or effect in context but I don’t suffer from a a near pathological aversion to gigging my kit 😀😀

 

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