FDP Forum / Compressors: Do you use one and if so what sort ?/ 14 messages in thread.

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Contributing Member


Aug 18th, 2017 04:28 PM        

Being new to the world of Bass amplification I was wondering if the use of a compressor to even out string reponse was common ?<br /> <br /> Why do you use one ?<br /> <br /> <br /> Do you use a pedal or another sort ?



Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Aug 18th, 2017 05:22 PM        

I use the onboard amp compressor and set it to help balance the low frequency not to be boomy, while keeping most volume even. <br /> So, when I set it I use it sparingly with fast attack and just a hair over fast on the release, thus, evening out the overall sound. <br /> If your amp has this feature, try it out and determine what works best for you and your playing style. I'm not a real bassist and between using a pick or finger style, I find that I get good even sound at all volume settings.

Danny Nader


You should have been there!
Aug 18th, 2017 05:28 PM        

Presonus Blue Max. It's discontinued, but is a nice piece. Lots of others out there for similar dollars. These can be found used. W/ a little digging, NOS should / could be found.<br /> <br /> Danny


Contributing Member


"toxic masculinity personified"
Aug 18th, 2017 07:36 PM        

MXR M87. I use it to help even things out, as I am relatively new to playing bass (still learning, refining technique) after years of guitar playing. I like the visual aid provided by the little lights.<br /> <br /> It's a subtle thing, as effects go.


Contributing Member

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Aug 18th, 2017 09:13 PM        

I don't use compression. I'm pretty even-handed as a result of some years of home recording without access to a compressor and having to keep an eye on the meters.<br /> <br /> I play in a pop/rock band, an 18pc big band and at church. My playing style doesn't seem to lend itself to anything other than very light compression. I want a good attack and I do a lot of left hand muting, so a lot of notes attack and don't last very long. I WANT a lot of dynamic variation, which I start loosing with compression.<br /> <br /> I mostly play p-basses with flatwound strings and sometimes a G&L L2500 with DR Low-rider strings, which aren't excessively bright. My basses are set up with an eye toward a good string to string balance.<br /> <br /> All this said, I do not slap, except for an accent note here and there. If I were a big slapper, a compressor would be kicked in for that. I don't have a discrete compressor pedal. For the pop/rock band, I use a Boss ME-50b multi-effect board with about 5 different compressor emulations into a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 (no onboard compressor. The compressor settings don't get much use. I also have a couple of Ampeg PF amps and a couple of Carvin amps that have onboard compressors. I generally don't use any compression when using those amps.



Do'in the 5 string thing!
Aug 21st, 2017 11:38 AM        

+ 1 on the MXR M-87. It's a really nice unit in a small footprint. I have this one on my "small" pedalboard, and it gets about 90% of my use, including at home for practice. as mentioned above, the LED meter that provides visual feedback is a nice plus. <br /> <br /> I also have a Markbass Compressore pedal. This is a tube compressor and is really nice as well. Drawback is the large footprint and 18 volt power requirement. This one is on my "large" pedalboard. <br /> <br /> I use a compressor for a practical reason - I have peripheral neuropathy in both hands. My lack of touch sensitivity in my right hand makes having an even attack a real challenge. The compressor helps to even things out for me. Both of these units do a good job with this. I can recommend them both.

martin p.

Westbury NY

I am never unintentionally rude
Aug 24th, 2017 09:28 PM        

I use a MXR Dyna-Comp, I also have a Boss CS-3, that works very well.


New York City

Aug 30th, 2017 11:12 AM        

I don't use one. Some back line amps I play through at gigs have built in compressors and I always turn them off. I play mostly country, blues, and R&B and I often like to use the dynamics of the bass as part of an arrangement. <br /> <br /> For other styles, especially for modern sounds like slap, I think the compressor is a useful tool.


Contributing Member


Sep 2nd, 2017 05:46 PM        

Thanks for the responses<br /> <br /> :)

Neil Bell

The first 100 songs

are the hardest to write
Sep 3rd, 2017 04:56 PM        

I quite like optical compressors for live bass: the Aphex Punch Factory is reasonable but nothing 'polishes like a great channel strip' like my Diamond Compressor. Compares favorably to a $3k LA2A I rented for a studio session. As others have said - just a little goes a long way. Hope this helps (I'm going to try the Dyna-Comp for a special squishy effect.)

Steve Dallman

Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Sep 12th, 2017 06:21 AM        

I used a Dyna Comp in the late 70's and throughout the 80's, so much so, I built one into the headless Explorer bass I built from 1980 on. <br /> <br /> When I got into 5 string, it oversquashed the low B so it was time to find another. I used a DOD bass compressor on and off for years. <br /> <br /> When I switched from a GK1001RB to my current amp, an Ampeg PF-500, I no longer needed it. I LOVE the compressor on the amp. <br /> <br /> For other amps I have a Nano Ammoon compressor that has become my current favorite pedal.


Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 19th, 2017 09:26 AM        

I've never used one. I read these kinds of threats of bassist talking about them to figure out what they are supposed to acomplish.<br /> <br /> I set up my basses to have a very even relief and volume across the strings, the strings I use have a very even dynamic across the set. The rest is controled by my attack, hand muting and pots. I've had people ask me what compressor I use, some time in the late 80s I started wondering if it was a common device for bass players. <br /> <br /> I like the ability to have a lot of dynamics at the instrument with various attacks and finger styles, anything that would get in the way of that, I wouldn't be happy with. I'm still not exactly sure what they do.<br /> <br /> My old SWR Studio 220 had a frequency shapping circuit that was occasionally usefull in clubs with bad acoustics. Mostly the controls are all set at 0. It's used as a rehersal amp now but I recal making slight adjustments to it to even out the dynamics of the bass. From time to time.


Contributing Member


Oct 21st, 2017 09:18 AM        

A tip that works pretty slick: If your bass compressor seems to be taking away some definition from your notes, slow down the attack time while using a moderate release time. <br /> <br /> This gives the leading edge of your notes a little more punch and snap.

L. Nedmundo


Nov 28th, 2017 03:50 PM        

I've used compression for some high-volume gigs, so I could push my amp harder while keeping the transients in check. The more even response is nice too. I almost never slap, but would use it then as well.<br /> <br /> I haven't used compression on stage in a long time, but I was very happy with the Aphex Punch Factory.

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