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stewblack

Moved My Compressor

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49 minutes ago, stewblack said:

👆

I reckon 10 Boss pedals will fit with relative comfort and no funny angles.

The biggest drawback I have found is the underground carpark is just mm too low for a Boss pedal. I use this space to park my always on pedals and power supply (and a spaghetti junction of power and patch cables).

Awesome thanks stew is yours the medium or large board I have look at sizes online but they seem very vague 

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5 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

Awesome thanks stew is yours the medium or large board I have look at sizes online but they seem very vague 

large, you can tell by the number of bars on the upper tier. 

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Lockdown has largely proved to be a time of learning for me. 

The latest subject has been the often maligned bass compressor. I have acquired a Markbass (valve) Compressore, a Behringer limiter, and a Behringer Compressor, to add to my Joyo and the various digital offerings on my multi pedals. 

The Behringers are interesting. I can dial in so much compression that the effect is clearly audible (not always the case with compressors). This in turn has allowed me to play with the controls and put in to practice all I've been learning. 

Observations: It's very easy to overload the Behringer pedals and they then clip with a percussive 'blat' noise at the start of the note. Tame this, and it actually becomes useful, if not always desirable. It lends the bass a blunt punch, not unlike a sixties soul bass. Solid and rhythmic. 

The Markbass allows me to dig deeper as it has more controls. All the reading I've done pays off here. An understanding of the interactions between settings is slowly dawning. 

The biggest revelation has been discovering a compression which is fairly strong and yet doesn't kill the openness within the sound. 

I have also found, contrary to my opening post, that the compression is actually much more useful placed before the envelope filter rather than after it. 

It enables a better defined, almost restrained funky sound which again is more rhythmic and percussive. No  a compressor does not make me a better player, but it helps me get closer to the sound I'm after. 

Think I might buy another one! 

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Posted (edited)
On 16/10/2020 at 15:37, Baloney Balderdash said:

I recently bought a TC Electronic SpetraComp, and, while I can see how it could be a really great compressor in certain contexts, after fiddling with the Toneprint editor quite a bit I went back to using the 160 Comp model of the DBX 160A compressor in my Zoom G1Xon, concluding that for my use it gave me just about the absolute perfect compression, mind on a fairly subtle compression setting (Threshold: -7 / Ratio: 2.5 / Gain: 7 / Knee: Hard / Level: 50 (which happens to be unity)).

I got mine placed towards the end of my signal chain too, before my reverb effects, which I am also using the Zoom G1Xon for, but before my EHX Black Finger, tube driven optical compressor, which is set to a really subtle compression with a quite high threshold and fairly slow attack time, really functioning more as my tube preamp stage than as an actual compressor, then followed by my EQ stage, which is taken care of by my Zoom MS-70 CDR, using 6 of the 2 band fully parametric bass equalizer models, 2 of them (as in 4 bands) used to shape a LPF that starts to cut off from just about 4kHz with a downward slope of about 9 dB/Oct, and then a Behringer BEQ700 Bass Graphic Equalizer, which is also working as a volume control, since it after that goes directly into the Effects Return, poweramp input, of my Peavey Solo Special 112, 160W solid state guitar amp, with it's build in 12" guitar speaker unit disconnected and the amp instead hooked up to a SWR Triad I 400W bass cab. 

I guess I might as well write an update too on my compressor situation.

As it turned out I dropped both the Zoom and the Black finger compressor.

The Black Finger might come back at the very end of my signal chain, as before really more so functioning as a tube preamp stage than a compressor, but after a couple of intense dialing sessions using Toneprint editor, being really nitpicky about getting it absolutely perfect I eventually settled for just using the TC Electronic SpectraComp at the very beginning of my signal chain, right after my bass.

Can't remember the exact settings I used, but by choosing just the right corossover frequencies for respectively the low, mid and high band, and blending in some parallel cleans, the mid frequency band having least cleans blended in, the low band slightly more, and the high band again slightly more than the low band, but with the high band being compressed the most (here I am thinking in terms of the compression ratio and the threshold mainly), but as said then mixed with slightly more clean signal than the other bands, and with least compression on the low band, the middle band being somewhere in between regarding amount of compression applied, I managed to make the SpectraComp do amazing things to my tone and adding a nice amount of punchy- and snappy- -ness, but while still effecting my playing dynamics minimally (I guess mainly due to the parallel clean signal being blended in), overall acting as a really nice tone enhancer, adding some snap, punch, clarity and definition and just ever so slightly smoothing out the signal, but in such a way that it is actually improving articulation, rather than killing it, which I feel otherwise is usually the most apparent danger of not applying compression carefully enough. 

All in all the SpectraComp is an absolutely amazing compression tool, with huge potentials, but in my opinion it does require of you to take the time to dial all the parameters in just the right way, using the Toneprint editor, personally at least all the pre-made templates and artist toneprints, and believe me I have literally gone through every single one of them, were absolutely useless to me, just about all of them being far to intrusive on my tone and playing dynamics for my taste, even with the physical knob of the pedal set at the minimum position.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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Fascinating stuff BB. 

I am new to the practical, nuanced application of compression. I just used to turn it on and go for it. Sounds like the toneprint is the perfect tool. 

I won't buy any TCE pedals though because I am saving up for the Plethora so any money spent on individual TCE pedals is money wasted. 

Obviously now Thomann is off the table I'll be saving a lot longer. UK retailers, already more expensive, can pretty much charge what they like from now on. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, stewblack said:

Fascinating stuff BB. 

I am new to the practical, nuanced application of compression. I just used to turn it on and go for it. Sounds like the toneprint is the perfect tool. 

I won't buy any TCE pedals though because I am saving up for the Plethora so any money spent on individual TCE pedals is money wasted. 

Obviously now Thomann is off the table I'll be saving a lot longer. UK retailers, already more expensive, can pretty much charge what they like from now on. 

Sounds like a good plan.

Unfortunately very unlike Johnson's...

My condolences. 

And yeah, I only started to read up on and understand compression better fairly recently my self, still not exactly an expert, but with a good deal of trial and error, dialing in and carefully listening to what it changes and then re-adjusting according to that I still succeeded to get an end result I am really satisfied with.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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You probably worked this out a long time ago, but just in case anyone else is as dim as me - when setting up these tests use a looper, record a good 20 - 30 seconds up and down strings and fretboard. 

I literally only started doing it this way yesterday 🤦🏼‍♂️

No more play, stop, reach over bass, fiddle with pedal, play, stop, reach over bass, fiddle with pedal repeat. 

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8 hours ago, stewblack said:

You probably worked this out a long time ago, but just in case anyone else is as dim as me - when setting up these tests use a looper, record a good 20 - 30 seconds up and down strings and fretboard. 

I literally only started doing it this way yesterday 🤦🏼‍♂️

No more play, stop, reach over bass, fiddle with pedal, play, stop, reach over bass, fiddle with pedal repeat. 

I'm a bit more dim than you.  I'm just starting to experiment with my compressor as I'm probably about to buy another and I want to get a better understanding of how they affect my tone and how I can tweak them.  The tip about using a looper might be obvious to some bright sparks out there but I'm as thick as pigsh*t.  

Loopers can be great learning tools, I should use mine more.

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49 minutes ago, BillyBass said:

I'm as thick as pigsh*t.

When pig5hit wants to describe someone who is thick it says as thick as Stew Black 

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Posted (edited)

For me the comp is nearly like a leveler. If I want to make my sound pretty flat dynamically, I will put it in the beginning of the pedal board. Then the effects will get (dynamically) flatter sound and I can not control the behaviour of the effects so much. When the comp is in the end, I have more control over the effects through my playing. An envelope filter is one good example here. But it is also true, that when my hands do not follow my brain, things get more complicated.

Another thing is that comps tend to be different with different basses. That's why I have few. Basses. And compressors.

At first sight the t c electronic SpectraComp may be misleading, because it has only one knob and still is so powerful. But if you are ready to step on a thin ice, please follow me and try a Hypergravity. You can do the same as with Spectra, but have also three extra pots to adjust the parameters. And yes, the Spectra's adjustments including presets are published. They offer good templates that you can tweak to your own preferences. Love it - but it takes quite some time to adjust and master the details. You must have the Toneprint app.

Edited by itu
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7 hours ago, itu said:

At first sight the t c electronic SpectraComp may be misleading, because it has only one knob and still is so powerful. But if you are ready to step on a thin ice, please follow me and try a Hypergravity. You can do the same as with Spectra, but have also three extra pots to adjust the parameters. And yes, the Spectra's adjustments including presets are published. They offer good templates that you can tweak to your own preferences. Love it - but it takes quite some time to adjust and master the details. You must have the Toneprint app.

A couple of weeks ago I updated the firmware on my Hypergravity and the knob lag it just awful now. It can take about 1/4 of a second for changes to take effect.  :(

 

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1 hour ago, bartelby said:

..and the knob lag it just awful now. It can take about 1/4 of a second for changes to take effect.  :(

Agree, that is probably the worst "feature" of the unit. I have adjusted the knobs so, that I can turn the knobs to certain values between songs. Helps a lot, because then I know what the settings will be - after a while.

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12 minutes ago, itu said:

Agree, that is probably the worst "feature" of the unit. I have adjusted the knobs so, that I can turn the knobs to certain values between songs. Helps a lot, because then I know what the settings will be - after a while.

When I updated the firmware it was the first time I've had to change things on the pedal for well over a year. I think I need to rejig the settings in the editor. Shame the new version of the editor is poor too...

 

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Well. I've been at it again. This time I'm playing with a compressor at the start of the chain and a limiter at the end. 

The limiter isn't terribly good, one of the few Behringer stomps I've ever had an issue with. I have the Boss version on the way, so hopefully I'll get better results. 

I was working on a song with a plectrum and it's a bit of a head banger so I was really digging in, hitting open strings simultaneously with their fretted equivalents. There's one break featuring a line of single notes higher up the fretboard, which was very weedy. The comp at the start, limiter at the end really did help keep the whole thing more together. Once again it only really seems to notice when playing with a track. 

Anyway it's fun learning to use  these things properly. Let's face it I've llareggub else to do! 

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On 14/10/2020 at 19:00, stewblack said:

So we watch A/B videos and wonder if the £200 box the guy just stomped on does anything other than ignite an LED.

^^ Me

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