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Do I need a compressor? Update - I've got one!


ossyrocks

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3 hours ago, Osiris said:

 

The Aguilar TLC is a very transparent compressor, which isn't a bad thing if that's what you're looking for. However, if you're looking for a compressor that adds some punch, character or tonal magic to your sound it's definitely one to avoid. If you're looking for those qualities the Cali is the obvious choice. But there's plenty of options available depending on the style of compression that the player wants. 

Actually I've found the TLC is quite transparent until you get to the more extreme settings. It does a great 'crush the sh*t out of it' 80s style tone when it's cranked up.

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2 hours ago, Bunion said:

Buy a spectra comp one knob compressor to start with.
They sound great and secondhand are great value for the quality.

They appear regularly on the market place.

Run through a few of the settings and see where your at, many people stick with them though.

There’s some really good presets in the App and they take seconds to change.

The other bonus is they have a tiny footprint for the pedal board.

if you love what it does you can look at more expensive all singing and dancing models and get your money back on the spectra comp if you decide to sell.

 

 

 

 

42973E4D-5D36-484D-9D85-37F832E1B48E.jpeg

The 'Captain East' toneprint is great. A tri band comp that tightens things up nicely and makes the bass nice and punchy without being squished. They're so cheap I've got 3, one for each bass with different settings to suit.

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On 12/05/2022 at 10:01, ossyrocks said:

Who uses one? What does it do for you? What might it do for me?

 

And.... what do you make of the ones in this round up? https://www.guitarworld.com/features/best-bass-compressor-pedals

 

If you really want to get familiar with the breadth and depth of compressor-dom, then I'd personally lay out the cash of the new Atlas compressor.

It has pretty much everything you'd want in a pedal comp, with many different types of comp represented and lots of parameters to tweak.

And because of this, I'd spend a good, long time digesting what it can do. Again, if you really, really want to dig in, spend the time to learn.

I crossed that bridge long ago, but if I hadn't and were in your shoes today, this is what I'd do.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, jimfist said:

 

If you really want to get familiar with the breadth and depth of compressor-dom, then I'd personally lay out the cash of the new Atlas compressor.

It has pretty much everything you'd want in a pedal comp, with many different types of comp represented and lots of parameters to tweak.

And because of this, I'd spend a good, long time digesting what it can do. Again, if you really, really want to dig in, spend the time to learn.

I crossed that bridge long ago, but if I hadn't and were in your shoes today, this is what I'd do.

 

 

Never tried it, and not questioning if it's good or bad... But is it just me or the selling arguments are based on how well they "tuned" the presets for bass? If you have a good compressor you'll have the hability to find out your own settings according to your instrument, your playing style and what you need it to do. 

 

 

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Do you need a compressor? In a word, no. Will you like what it does to your sound? possibly yes.

I got sucked into the ovnilab review site a few years ago, and made a few purchases to scratch the itch of trying some for myself.

Just playing at home at the moment, they all "lift" the sound in a pleasant way, and depending on the pedal, will impart a more effected tonal character or not. So, consider if you want that, or a cleaner/clinical action.

If you want clean with good metering and control over pretty much everything, I would recommend the Empress (non-bass specific) compressor.

If you want similar but getting a "warmer" slightly more effected tone, the FEA Optifet sounds great, but the metering is not so good.

The Origin Cali76 TX sounds broadly like the FEA, but more vintage tone (especially running at 18v, which is when the transformer starts operating and the tonal magic starts).

Lastly, the Diamond bass comp and Durham Electronics Sex Drive. Both fewer controls, both sound great and easy to dial in a great tone. The Sex Drive can get a bit hairy, in a very pleasant way, and sounds great. The Diamond similarly good, but would maybe work better if you're more of a slapper, or just wanted a cleaner tone.

Lastly, it's i think it's difficult, and futile to an extent, to try and describe this kind of thing. You have your own ears, so take the above with a pinch of salt, and try some for yourself 😁

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17 minutes ago, Gwilym said:

Do you need a compressor? In a word, no. Will you like what it does to your sound? possibly yes.

I got sucked into the ovnilab review site a few years ago, and made a few purchases to scratch the itch of trying some for myself.

Just playing at home at the moment, they all "lift" the sound in a pleasant way, and depending on the pedal, will impart a more effected tonal character or not. So, consider if you want that, or a cleaner/clinical action.

If you want clean with good metering and control over pretty much everything, I would recommend the Empress (non-bass specific) compressor.

If you want similar but getting a "warmer" slightly more effected tone, the FEA Optifet sounds great, but the metering is not so good.

The Origin Cali76 TX sounds broadly like the FEA, but more vintage tone (especially running at 18v, which is when the transformer starts operating and the tonal magic starts).

Lastly, the Diamond bass comp and Durham Electronics Sex Drive. Both fewer controls, both sound great and easy to dial in a great tone. The Sex Drive can get a bit hairy, in a very pleasant way, and sounds great. The Diamond similarly good, but would maybe work better if you're more of a slapper, or just wanted a cleaner tone.

Lastly, it's i think it's difficult, and futile to an extent, to try and describe this kind of thing. You have your own ears, so take the above with a pinch of salt, and try some for yourself 😁

That’s the first time someone ever wondered if I “was a slapper”🤣
 

I’m not in any way interested in slapping, I’m much more into old school fingerstyle blues, soul and funk.

 

Some of your suggestions I have never heard of, I’ll do some research, thanks for the info.

 

Rob

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You are interested in a comp, go to these pages: 

 

www.ovnilab.com

 

Then if you really want to buy one, learn how they work. S.O.S. (Sound on sound) has few good articles.

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On 12/05/2022 at 15:01, ossyrocks said:

What does it do for you? What might it do for me?

 

No idea. So far I've not felt the need to use any pedals.

 

An amp I recently bought had built in compression, but after a few weeks experimenting I stopped using it. I preferred the natural sound of my basses.

 

 

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22 hours ago, A.G.E.N.T.E. said:

Never tried it, and not questioning if it's good or bad... But is it just me or the selling arguments are based on how well they "tuned" the presets for bass? If you have a good compressor you'll have the hability to find out your own settings according to your instrument, your playing style and what you need it to do. 

 

 

 

No disagreement from me there, and I've found that even with compressors designed or tuned for bass, they may subjectively only "work well" when tweaked and tweaked again.

Compression is an evasive beast, sometimes far too subtle (when well-applied) for many to justify using it.

My suggestion regarding the SA Atlas is based on a couple of things: Source Audio = high quality gear; it has a lot of flexibility = broad range of compression types.

It's also not terribly expensive. It may lack in the visual feedback category, as it doesn't have a full meter bridge. But otherwise a feature-packed, quality comp pedal.

Of course, there are a gazillion options. I just felt flexibility might be a good thing....assuming one is dedicated to spending the time on the process.

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For me, a compressor is dynamic eq and as such works better (for me that is). When I find a compressor that works for my style of playing and the specific bass (and consequently I have a different compressor for each bass I use live... all 5 of them!), I don't need to use eq. As the comp 're-acts' to my playing dynamics, I prefer this to just using straight eq.

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I love my Digitech Bass Squeeze. Got it cheap, I like the split low/high bands and the way it compresses and enhances the tone at the same time. Do I care that Ovnilabs slated it? .... nah couldn't care less. It does what I want it to. ☺️

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There are some good Robert Kelley videos online explaining compression in great detail. 
I never used one until recently. Just makes it sound so much better. Wouldn’t be without it now.
if you’ve got the money get the Cali 76, if you don’t grab a s/h spectracomp for about £50. I managed to pick up a lovely Seymour Duncan studio compressor really cheaply. They are great too.
Good luck.  

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Posted (edited)
On 13/05/2022 at 19:05, Vin Venal said:

Also my compressor had like 4 knobs, which is too many for a bassist to handle imo 😅.

 

Four knobs? That's making me feel anxious just thinking about it...

 

When I had a board with individual stomp boxes, I had a dedicated compression pedal (an Aphex Punch Factory.) It sounded fine. As did my bass without the compression pedal turned on, so it went in the Great Rushbo FX Purge of 2015.  The only time I use compression  now (as part of a patch on my elderly but amazing Zoom B3) is on the one tune of the set which I slap. I think it makes a difference in smoothing out my less-than-amazing slappage. Or maybe its just a placebo...

 

In short, try one and see if it works for you. As a wise man once said, "ask 100 bassists for advice and you'll get 150 opinions."

Edited by rushbo
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  • ossyrocks changed the title to Do I need a compressor? Update - I've got one!

Thanks for all the input on this topic chaps.

 

I saw a used Markbass Compressore for sale at a reasonable price, so I snagged that to see what it was like.

 

I'm still tweaking the settings. The first time I used it at home (in haste to try it), I hadn't done any research into how to set it properly, and was a bit disappointed. But, I've done my homework now and I'm finding it really useful. Even at relatively low settings, ie not effecting the signal much at all, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the tone and feel, which I'm liking a lot.

 

Now I'm trying to find the optimum settings for me personally, which has a lot do do with tweaking the settings to match my own picking dynamic. It does require some adjustment when swapping basses, as my vintage P has a LOT more output than my modern Roadworn Jazz.

 

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has/had this compressor what your experience is/was and what settings you ended up using.

 

Cheers,

Rob

 

 

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21 hours ago, ossyrocks said:

Thanks for all the input on this topic chaps.

 

I saw a used Markbass Compressore for sale at a reasonable price, so I snagged that to see what it was like.

 

I'm still tweaking the settings. The first time I used it at home (in haste to try it), I hadn't done any research into how to set it properly, and was a bit disappointed. But, I've done my homework now and I'm finding it really useful. Even at relatively low settings, ie not effecting the signal much at all, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the tone and feel, which I'm liking a lot.

 

Now I'm trying to find the optimum settings for me personally, which has a lot do do with tweaking the settings to match my own picking dynamic. It does require some adjustment when swapping basses, as my vintage P has a LOT more output than my modern Roadworn Jazz.

 

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has/had this compressor what your experience is/was and what settings you ended up using.

 

Cheers,

Rob

 

 

 

I had one and thought it was up there with the best of the ones I've owned (including FEA and Cali 76), I forget the exact settings but I preferred it to be set as quite subtle. The only reason I sold it was to compress 🙄 the size of my pedal board/power supply. 

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1 hour ago, SumOne said:

 

I had one and thought it was up there with the best of the ones I've owned (including FEA and Cali 76), I forget the exact settings but I preferred it to be set as quite subtle. The only reason I sold it was to compress 🙄 the size of my pedal board/power supply. 

That’s good to know, cheers.

 

I am looking to put this on a board, but power supplies for this are tricky. The only one I’ve seen which might work is the 1 Spot CS6, but with a current doubler cable. If you have any other ideas, please let me know!

 

Rob

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29 minutes ago, ossyrocks said:

That’s good to know, cheers.

 

I am looking to put this on a board, but power supplies for this are tricky. The only one I’ve seen which might work is the 1 Spot CS6, but with a current doubler cable. If you have any other ideas, please let me know!

 

Rob

 

I used mine placed on top of my Amp rather than on a pedalboard so I just used it's individual power supply, when I was lugging around an Amp/Cab and power outlet it wasn't much hassle having the individual plug and with the pedal itself being a bit bigger than some others. I started playing in more situations without my Amp though so wanted everything to be compact on a pedalboard powered from one power brick which is when I sold it.

 

I think the problem you might have with the CS6 is that it'll do 12v but is only 200mA per output - so you can use two outputs with a current doubler to get 12v 400mA but according to the Markbass website it needs 600mA (http://www.markbass.it/product-detail/compressore/), perhaps it'll work with less though, if it does then the Strymon Zuma might also work as it has a single 12v 500mA output.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I've been using Compression for quite some time now & I've owned three or four of them... The Cali 76 compact bass is without doubt the Finest of the Bunch!! 

Fat' Clean' Punchy' Uncoloured sound... they take a "Hot Minute" to get to grips with... But for myself it is then an "Always on Peddle"  Expensive yes.. But you get just what you pay for. 

( & place it @ the beginning of your pedal board for its maximum benefit) 

Edited by paulo m
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2 hours ago, SumOne said:

 

I used mine placed on top of my Amp rather than on a pedalboard so I just used it's individual power supply, when I was lugging around an Amp/Cab and power outlet it wasn't much hassle having the individual plug and with the pedal itself being a bit bigger than some others. I started playing in more situations without my Amp though so wanted everything to be compact on a pedalboard powered from one power brick which is when I sold it.

 

I think the problem you might have with the CS6 is that it'll do 12v but is only 200mA per output - so you can use two outputs with a current doubler to get 12v 400mA but according to the Markbass website it needs 600mA (http://www.markbass.it/product-detail/compressore/), perhaps it'll work with less though, if it does then the Strymon Zuma might also work as it has a single 12v 500mA output.

 

 

 

 

Apparently, because of the way the CS6 works, it will deliver more current than stated from each outlet so long as you don’t exceed the overall output of the supply itself. Truetone  themselves have told me to try this, but they cannot guarantee it will work before I buy one. 

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On 21/05/2022 at 12:27, Gwilym said:

If you want clean with good metering and control over pretty much everything, I would recommend the Empress (non-bass specific) compressor.

why the non-bass specific one?

is there a good reason or is that just the one you have experience with.

interested as I was close to getting the bass one.

👍

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1 hour ago, GremlinAndy said:

why the non-bass specific one?

is there a good reason or is that just the one you have experience with.

interested as I was close to getting the bass one.

👍

Just because it's the one I have. (The bass specific version didn't exist at the time I got mine).

Not sure if there are any differences with the bass specific version w.r.t. the metering. 

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4 hours ago, Gwilym said:

Just because it's the one I have. (The bass specific version didn't exist at the time I got mine).

Not sure if there are any differences with the bass specific version w.r.t. the metering. 

Awesome.   Thanks for clarifying!   I reckon I’ll get one ordered just as soon as another purchase arrives.  (I don’t like having 2 valuable items in the system at a time.   I guess it’s a quirky foible)

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