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Beedster

Best compressor for slap (I know......)

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On 23/01/2020 at 11:59, Beedster said:

Hey folks

I never thought I'd see the day.......

Anyway, I've never really used slap live, but we're moving into Chili Pepper territory and I think I'm going to have to take both my technique and tone shaping a little more seriously. I don't use any FX live, and never have, so I'm a little wary of getting into such a GAS inducing thing, but the main difference between the slap tone I produce at home at relatively low volumes and the tone I produce in a live situation is the significant inconsistency in volume levels in the latter. Certainly technique is a big factor, certainly the fact that the bass is also sitting in a mix with the rest of the band who are also at times a bit up and down in volume is a factor, but I'd like to at try some compression, if only to see if it makes life easier, and/or until I get my technique a little better.  I'd prefer a rack unit to be honest, there's enough stuff on the floor without me adding to it. I'd be happy to listen to any other thoughts on FX for slap (please don't waste your time commenting on technique, I'm  along way off where I want to be but am working on it, or EQ, which I'm on top of).

Cheers

Chris

 

I liked the EBS multicomp a lot for slap-rich stuff. It does colour your sound a bit, but it's not a bad sound and it's a really easy to adjust pedal.

 

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Why the Becos dual comp in particular?

One of my favourite bands with monstrous slapination is The Infectious Grooves. Trujillo used two compressors in the studio, one for highs, one for lows.

This is the only dual band compressor I've ever heard of with decent metering on both channels.

I reviewed Al's single channel Becos a while back, it's absolutely superb.

 

This is like that on steroids for slap. The absolute dogs bollox...

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Posted (edited)

There was a trace SMX dual compression pedal n Facebook before for £50. Nearly bought it for the sake of it.

edit - it’s gone

 

BD5075AB-ABA2-4704-9B45-005A8D703C9C.jpeg

Edited by AndyTravis

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, 51m0n said:

Why the Becos dual comp in particular?

One of my favourite bands with monstrous slapination is The Infectious Grooves. Trujillo used two compressors in the studio, one for highs, one for lows.

This is the only dual band compressor I've ever heard of with decent metering on both channels.

I reviewed Al's single channel Becos a while back, it's absolutely superb.

This is like that on steroids for slap. The absolute dogs bollox...

That makes complete sense in the context of slap.

If you want something at the budget end, get a Zoom B1-4 multifx (or the B1X-4 with expression pedal for a little more fun). This has a dedicated DualComp effect which allows for separate compression of low and high frequencies. You can obviously do a whole lot more besides compression with the Zoom B1-4.

No metering, but if we guesstimate a cost of circa £0.50 for each of the 60 effects on the B1-4 (and the balance of monies for the hardware) you can't really complain!

Edited by Al Krow

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9 hours ago, 51m0n said:

Why the Becos dual comp in particular?

One of my favourite bands with monstrous slapination is The Infectious Grooves. Trujillo used two compressors in the studio, one for highs, one for lows.

This is the only dual band compressor I've ever heard of with decent metering on both channels.

I reviewed Al's single channel Becos a while back, it's absolutely superb.

 

This is like that on steroids for slap. The absolute dogs bollox...

 

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Paging Vail Johnson!

Seriously though, a rack compressor could work for you, if it's just going to be always on and not used as an effect. A DBX266 new is 99 quid from various places, lesser known brands can be picked up second-hand (I have a Phonic 2-channel which I picked up for £35). The advantage is that you get really decent metering and all the controls you need to fully shape the sound. The disadvantage is that you have to know what you are doing.

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Posted (edited)

Folks 

Many thanks for the above, a useful thread for the forum as well as for me I suspect.

Quick update; I took the advice of a few posted and went for dbx, specifically the 160xt.

Does it make a difference you ask? Hell yes! My slap playing sounds tight, and whilst my pop has always been pretty competent, what used to be a very inconsistent slap is now not only more consistent note-to-note, but also is far more balanced volume wise with the pop (I guess none of this is exactly news however, it's what compression does after all). It might be an artefact that I will want to lose as my slap technique develops, but the compression adds a discrete but quite reassuring kick drum-like oomph, a percussive edge that - whilst I'm practicing solo at least - is really rather pleasing on the ear. I'm going to use my Beat Buddy in practice from now to ensure that I'm not getting a little bit too much oomph.

Thanks again for all of the advice above, great thread :) 

Edited by Beedster
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Fine choice! And if you're doing studio recordings whack some of the dbx on your acoustic instruments mic too. Solid unit!

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6 hours ago, Vaska said:

 

Damn, he makes a BB NE2 sound a lot better than I ever could 😁

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, 51m0n said:

Why the Becos dual comp in particular?

One of my favourite bands with monstrous slapination is The Infectious Grooves. Trujillo used two compressors in the studio, one for highs, one for lows.

This is the only dual band compressor I've ever heard of with decent metering on both channels.

I reviewed Al's single channel Becos a while back, it's absolutely superb.

 

This is like that on steroids for slap. The absolute dogs bollox...

Si - not sure how effective this is as a dual band comp in terms of targeting just the lows and the highs? Seems to me that the X-over delineates where the two comps kick in, but you can't centre the comps at particular frequencies?

I guess if you are mildly boosting the bass, cutting the mids and dialling up the treble for a "typical" slap EQ, then you'd be going for a mild compression for bass / mids and more of a limiter approach with the treble to even out the 'pops' and looking to set the X-over at the top end of the mid range around (say) 1.5 kHz.

Edited by Al Krow

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Posted (edited)
On 23/01/2020 at 13:00, Cuzzie said:

A question to ask yourself is, do you like to see a visual meter reading your volume spikes and thus aiding you to check technique and compression?

Does something like this exist?  I have always wanted a visual meter to read my bass' output, it would help massively when trying to standardise my pickup height and consistent string output across the board.  I know mixing desks have this feature a lot of the time but something like this in pedal format would be cool.

Edited by acidbass

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3 hours ago, acidbass said:

Does something like this exist?  I have always wanted a visual meter to read my bass' output, it would help massively when trying to standardise my pickup height and consistent string output across the board.  I know mixing desks have this feature a lot of the time but something like this in pedal format would be cool.


 

MXR M87, Darkglass Super Symmetry, Cali76 to name a few have metering

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16 hours ago, acidbass said:

Does something like this exist?  I have always wanted a visual meter to read my bass' output, it would help massively when trying to standardise my pickup height and consistent string output across the board.  I know mixing desks have this feature a lot of the time but something like this in pedal format would be cool.

Errrm, yeah, built in to all the compressors that I would call full featured is a decent meter, you cant do compression 'properly' without it IMO.

So, the full Becos range, Empress, Cali76 even the MXR IIRC. The bigger the meter (ie the more LEDs) the better...

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Si - not sure how effective this is as a dual band comp in terms of targeting just the lows and the highs? Seems to me that the X-over delineates where the two comps kick in, but you can't centre the comps at particular frequencies?

I guess if you are mildly boosting the bass, cutting the mids and dialling up the treble for a "typical" slap EQ, then you'd be going for a mild compression for bass / mids and more of a limiter approach with the treble to even out the 'pops' and looking to set the X-over at the top end of the mid range around (say) 1.5 kHz.

Not so, the crossover ranges from 70Hz to 1KHz with noon being at 150Hz on the dial marked X-over. That's the big dial offset to the left in the middle of the pedal :D

Seriously that's all you need for dual compression...

For slap I would probably look to set up the low end compressor to be a middling attack, about 4:1 ratio getting a consistent 5dB of gain reduction. As long a release as I can get whilst allowing the compressor to reset between notes. Trying to just get some solid leveling and punch.

The top end is the 'character' though so you can go a lot of ways with this, for very obvious compression then (knowing the Becos comps) I'd go for a soft knee, very very fast attack (just not distorting),  ratio of 8:1, bring the threshold down until I can really hear it grab the note hard. I'd probably have the X-over set to around 500Hz, but maybe higher.

If I didnt want to 'intrude' on dynamics feel I'd back this right off though and use technique to keep the pops even ;)

Remember you can eq after or before a compressor for different objectives, but the amp eq will be fine, if you want to remove some mids going into the compressor and have a two pick up bass, just select both pickups equally, that will lower the mids on its own...

 

Edited by 51m0n
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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, 51m0n said:

Not so, the crossover ranges from 70Hz to 1KHz with noon being at 12 O'Clock on the dial marked X-over. Thats the big dial offset to the left in the middle of the pedal :D

Seriously that's all you need for dual compression...

Soz - I was referring to the equivalent X-over range on the cheapo 50 pence Zoom effect, which goes from a less useful low of 300hz and then up to 1.5kHz

Would you set the X-over at the top end of the freq range for the reasons set out in my post? [EDIT - I see you've now kindly covered this in your edit!]

Edited by Al Krow

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Soz - I was referring to the equivalent X-over range on the cheapo 50 pence Zoom effect, which goes from a less useful low of 300hz and then up to 1.5kHz

Would you set the X-over at the top end of the freq range for the reasons set out in my post? [EDIT - I see you've now kindly covered this in your edit!]

At 300Hz a crossover would be above the highest note on the bass, so you wouldn’t benefit much from it since on the highs you will only process harmonics. Ideally, a crossover point should separate at least the lowest string’s frequencies. If you can go even lower a bit, it should be better. But the lower you get, the more isolated the lowest note will be, and you may want to balance the processing of lows and highs, so it will sound rather even on the whole neck. In practice, the playing style and musical content will tell you where to set the crossover. And because of band’s separate gains, you can actually eq the output of a dualband compressor. A sort of dynamic eq, that is - a virtue in itself.

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2 hours ago, Vaska said:

At 300Hz a crossover would be above the highest note on the bass, so you wouldn’t benefit much from it since on the highs you will only process harmonics. Ideally, a crossover point should separate at least the lowest string’s frequencies. If you can go even lower a bit, it should be better. But the lower you get, the more isolated the lowest note will be, and you may want to balance the processing of lows and highs, so it will sound rather even on the whole neck. In practice, the playing style and musical content will tell you where to set the crossover. And because of band’s separate gains, you can actually eq the output of a dualband compressor. A sort of dynamic eq, that is - a virtue in itself.

A slapped/popped bass note has a huge amount of info above 300Hz, most bass rigs output more harmonic content rather than the fundamental frequency of the note played. Certainly on the lowest 5 frets of the B, E and A string.

The entire point of the dual compression is to control the 'meat' of the signal with the low compression separately from the info in the transient spikes and harmonic content. The top end can be set for a faster attack to catch the transient if desired, without stomping on the low end.

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On 02/03/2020 at 15:02, Al Krow said:

Damn, he makes a BB NE2 sound a lot better than I ever could 😁

And makes me want to buy one now (well, not really, but yeah, if i could).

I have to say how much im enjoying my Beocs, and mainly for the visual feedback from the meter. Ive had Comps before with meters but never really understood them. This one seems to make getting the effect i want so much easier. I could well be looking at moving up one notch soon and get the Stella 😉 

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On 02/03/2020 at 08:52, pete.young said:

Paging Vail Johnson!

Has anyone stood VJ down!? We could be faced with mullet-powered 'slappered-da-bass' on top of coronavirus.

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On 03/03/2020 at 15:30, 51m0n said:

A slapped/popped bass note has a huge amount of info above 300Hz, most bass rigs output more harmonic content rather than the fundamental frequency of the note played. Certainly on the lowest 5 frets of the B, E and A string.

The entire point of the dual compression is to control the 'meat' of the signal with the low compression separately from the info in the transient spikes and harmonic content. The top end can be set for a faster attack to catch the transient if desired, without stomping on the low end.

The resultant tone on my "slap patch" (which is essentially a tailored EQ) on my cheap-as-chips Zoom multifx is definitely impacted by the addition of a dual band compressor effect in the patch. 

In layman's terms the sound is noticeably crisper / less muffled on both the slap and pop.

Is this what you would expect or could it simply arise from the fact that this is a digital effects patch and not necessarily particularly transparent? 

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8 hours ago, Al Krow said:

The resultant tone on my "slap patch" (which is essentially a tailored EQ) on my cheap-as-chips Zoom multifx is definitely impacted by the addition of a dual band compressor effect in the patch. 

In layman's terms the sound is noticeably crisper / less muffled on both the slap and pop.

Is this what you would expect or could it simply arise from the fact that this is a digital effects patch and not necessarily particularly transparent? 

 

Can you post a clip to see what you mean? With/without the effect.

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Posted (edited)

I have been subjected to some nasty compression by engineers who do not know what they are doing. Thus, I hate compressors. 

I love the TC Spectracomp so much that I have one patched in in my residency gig and leave permanently on. I have another on my FX board. I kind of feel guilty about getting that consistency using tech and not through technique. 

Edited by owen

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Posted (edited)

Tech-nique - knowing how get what you need form your gear!

Edited by krispn

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