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Old Horse Murphy

Question for Markbass owners-VPF and VLE and the need for a Compressor

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I've long been a user of compressors and have recently purchased an EBS Multicomp.

When I played by P Bass through the Shuttle 6, I could really hear what a Compressor added to my sound. However, I now play a Stingray 5 through a Markbass LMK and have one channel set with the VPF filter set (for old school bass sound) and the other with the VLE for soloing and a more modern sound.

I'm not sure whether it's because the Filters colour the sound so much, but I can't hear much change to the sound when I use a Compressor or not.

Would the filters make that much difference and if so, do they reduce the need for using a Compressor and does anyone have a clue what I'm on about? :)

If so, does anyone want to buy a mint condition EBS Multicomp? :rolleyes:

Edited by Old Horse Murphy

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But do you actually experience this even when the filters are off?

If so, it may be that the LMK is somewhat compressed by nature and eliminates your need for a compressor, although in my experience, Markbass' heads are quite responsive dynamically-wise.

Or maybe the filters enhance low frequency and reduce transient response (or whatever) so that your tone seems somewhat more even?

Edited by Boneless

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[quote name='Boneless' post='545787' date='Jul 20 2009, 10:12 PM']But do you actually experience this even when the filters are off?

If so, it may be that the LMK is somewhat compressed by nature and eliminates your need for a compressor, although in my experience, Markbass' heads are quite responsive dynamically-wise.

Or maybe the filters enhance low frequency and reduce transient response (or whatever) so that your tone seems somewhat more even?[/quote]

To be honest, I don't really like the sound of the Ray running through the LMK without any of the filters as I find it a bit harsh so I've not tried it without the Filters.

I guess because both Filters cut frequencies, it evens out the tone a bit.

Hmmm, I think the Compressor may be a bit surplus to my requirements

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I've got a LMK and I tried it with a Boss Limiter (probably not a good comparison to your EBS) using a P bass and I couldn't hear much happening.

I agree about the sound of the Stingray too, It needs the filters.

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I am continually wondering this also. I run my SA450 with the first filter (the old school one) up a knacker and the other one I dont have on at all. I do run my bass through my Boss ME50 and have the natural compressor on, but to be I dont think it makes the slightest bit of difference. I like playing around with the first filter because I think I can get more of a P sound out of Jazz when I need to. The second filter doesn't do anything for me personally.

Infact if I didn't like my wah so much I think I could easily play "unprotected" I do like to slip into a bit of octave, distortion and delay on rare occassions, just to get that Hawkwind thing going.

Have a bump for a great compressor. :)

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I sold my Multicomp as it wasn't making an real appreciable difference with my P basses unless I cranked it so the sound was super squashed.

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Compressors are for ladies. The careful use of fingers on the bass guitar for controling dynamics has an effect that is far superior.
Only kidding, I used a compressor for a while but found it took more away from my tone than it gave.

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I have a stingray5 an EBS multicomp and LMKII the same as you do i dont use the multicompressor any more.. I think stingray has very tone variety if u use the switcher to the neck and you add a bit of bass the preamp is kicking in and the sound makes sense. Dynamics are the best for any instrument i use multicomp only when i need to play something that is flat and dosent needs dynamics..

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I use my multicomp to even out the vol diffs btwn low and high strings with my SR4 (well documented) - used on multiband setting it works really well. Also keeps any "enthusiastic" chord playing in check lol

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I don't like compressors for live use, as they just seem to squash all the dynamics. I've settled on a Boss LMB-3 set very low to keep my fingerstyle and slap volumes equal.

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Hey Nick,

Markbass amps have a built in limiter to prevent square waves/distortion. Supposedly it works comparing the input signal with the output signal, if it is not the same it means distortion is happening and the limiter kicks in.

Try playing at a much lower volume and see if the EBS compressor makes a difference then. If it does then the built in amp limiter is preventing your compressor from doing its job at your usual volume. Maybe you need more than 250 watts.

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I used to use a BBE Optop stomp with my SA450 and it did add something "nice" to my tone but these days i dont bother with it unless its a really quiet gig.
I also use the filters (in fact more than i do the EQ) and find they do make a big difference, depending on how they are set. I tend to have the VLE on about 9-10 o'clock to get rid of the top end and the VPF on about 9 o'clock to help tame my Schroeder 1212L mid boost. With this setting i found that while the BBE did make a slight difference it was less than with the filters off, especially the VPF. Colud be that because the VPF is taking out the mids thats where more of the different could be heard. Just a guess.

As Fraktal says, there is a limiter on the output stage but i think you would need to be playing quite hard for that to make a difference. I find mine kicks in after mid way on the master but it also depends on the EQ and input gain.

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My compounder makes a HUGE difference to my sa450 depending on the settings.

I usually set it as trasparent as possible, all I want is a little help to even out the difference between slap and fingerstyle when I get too enthusiastic with the slap side.

I have an ongoing battle to 'tame the beast within' when I use my thumb :) , it sounds so much better when I stay in control tonally, but its so much fun to let riiiippppp whe I get into it.

The one thing I have found that helps is to turn up the amp so far that I darent lay into it. Or set up the comp properly.....

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