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Compressor recommendations


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They're both quite different, the MXR being super clean and the Markbass imparting a bit of old school tube tone.

Judging by your avatar, Funk Stax Lightning Band sounds like the Markbass might be a better fit!

They're reassuringly expensive, but the Origin Effects compressors are considered some of the best available. Their compact version has an adjustable filter on the side chain so that it doesn't react to the low end as much, which is a great feature. Their bigger boxes have great visual metering and some have transformers in to add a bit of vintage flavour.

I've had a few and settled on what happened to be the cheapest, the TC Spectracomp. It only has one knob, but a ton of downloadable presets and an editor app with tons of settings to tweak. Main reason I like it, is multiband compression, which is surprisingly not that common amongst bass compressors. Once my ears became accustomed to it, I found it hard to go back to single band compression. Particularly if you have an aggressive playing style, as the comp can be set to be faster reacting and more limiting to the high end, but with a totally different response on the lows to make them pop.

I also have an Effectrode PC-2A, which is a tube-equipped comp rather like the Markbass. I actually prefer this for playing fretless or vintage P-Bass & flats type stuff.

Edited by dannybuoy
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@dannybuoy has wise words. It is reasonable to make a choice according to music. I would like to add, that the comp is a bit (too much) like a OD/fuzz/dist as the bass has an effect on its behaviour. I have a comp for hi-Z (so called "passive") bass (Daring Audio - Phat Beam) and another for a lo-Z bass (tce Hypergravity). (The latter is a three band comp and it takes time to tweak it to user's preferences.)

At the moment an interesting newcomer is from East Europe. I suggest you to read this:


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  • 2 months later...
On 16/10/2019 at 10:52, fretmeister said:

I am really loving my ThorpyFX Fat General.


I actually sold a Cali 76 because of it.

Been looking at these compressors, I’ve always used a Cali 76 but in the market for a new one. Why did you go for the Fat General?

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I use the trace elliot smx dual band compressor....18 volt high headroom and sounds the dogs danglies...eg, doesn't squash the life out of the tone......unfortunately not made anymore so you would have to find a used example. 

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