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Stompbox Compressor Advice


sonofabill

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After reading the column on compression in this month's BP, I think I want to add a compression stompbox to my pedalboard. The main purpose I see for this right now is because after being a fingerstyle player primarily for 15 years, I am ready to start easing into a small amount of slapping and popping in my band's live show. I've been uncomfortable with this for years because I never really got it down smooth, but I think that if I get a good compressor, the volume fluctuation (or potential harshness) could be minimized to the point that I can at least get comfortable with doing this live.

 

Does anyone have any good or bad experiences with these, or recommendations for similar situations? Thanks!

 

Greg

"We'll learn ALL from EVERYONE"
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The thing about slapping and popping is that you WANT those aspects to jump out. Too much compression will take that away.

 

My basic approach to compression is to not to use it as an effect. Put a teeny bit on to smooth out the level and that's it. Otherwise you lose too much punch.

 

 

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Thats a good call. I'm one of those people who just never seemed to have the coordination to get the slap and pop down, but I found the perfect song in our repetoire to add it just to lift the guitar solo, where its not too rough. But I know that first time I attempt it live I'm probably going to drop the ball! We'll see!
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The thing about slapping and popping is that you WANT those aspects to jump out. Too much compression will take that away.

 

 

But some compression can enhance slap/pop playing.

 

sonofabill, the article in BP I found interesting. The question for you may be to use info from that article and other sources about what settings for compression for bass seem to help enhance slap/pop tone in live (and recorded) mix in conjunction w/ what parameters different pedals give you control over to figure out if there might be a pedal option that would be useful to you.

 

That said, you might first want to go without compression for a bit longer and let your ears decide if you might want to add it. Can you borrow compressors from friends to test out?

 

Peace.

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As this topic has been covered before, and quite recently, I would suggest a forum search. You will find a very detailed discussion of compressors, expanders, and the like.

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Thanks Willie... I'm going to try to find someone whom I can borrow a bass pedal compressor from, just asked my facebook friends for now! :) We'll see.... I dont know too many bass players.... Not about to spend a few hundred bucks on one before I know if it'll work well for me (and someone told me the Boss ones are awful).
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Thanks for the tip as well Mark! I have a Sans Amp as well (and forgive the fact that I'm pretty amateur with this stuff), but is there any knob setting which you think could emulate compression somehow on the Sans Amp bass driver?
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Thanks for posting the thread sonofsbill. It came along at a good time, since I've been researching comp. pedals lately.

And thanks to jeremyc for the tip too. There was a Digitech Compressor used on eBay tonight for cheap and I decided I'd snag it.

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I think that slapping you want a limiter more than a compressor. A compressor means more volume all the time, while a limiter means peaks aligned.

Slapping is percussive, so I guess you do not want to raise the volume of ghost notes and general noise. This should translate to hard compression over a high treshold, right?

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
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I've been asking that question too Michele. I bought that Main Squeeze last night mainly on Mr. C's recommendation. If it turns out that it's not right for me at least it was cheap enough to re-sell on eBay without losing any money.

Ya gotta start somewhere.

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www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This one's only $69.95. It'll do the job.

 

digitech compressor

 

I have one of those laying around the house I got it cheap from a friend. It works ok but there are better ones out there. Digitech does make one for bass that looks interresting and it's the same price.

 

http://www.guitarcenter.com/DigiTech-XBS-Bass-Squeeze-Compressor-Pedal-101911808-i1124371.gc

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Boss CS3 guitar comp works great for bass as well ....comp is a wonderful thing as long as you don't over do it ...i run comp at all times on my bass ...attack full and sustain at about 9 to 10 oclock ...i might push the sustain a bit up to slap ...the CS3 is really just a limiter ..the more you turn the sustain up the more you lower the threshlod and put more signal in to be compressed ...i think the ratio is fixed at infinity like a limiter would be because that's what you get when you run the sustain at 2 -3 oclock +...
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I guess no one's interested in searching out the recent thread. :-)

 

Look no further than the Diamond Bass Compressor.

 

The revised Demeter model is also a contender.

 

I'm not going to repeat that lengthy series of posts and discussions by saying why. Use the forum search feature on a couple of mentioned models, giving it a full year just to be safe, and avoiding terms that might come up in too many contexts, and you'll find one of the most complete and educational discussions of compressors you could ever hope to find.

Eugenio Upright, 60th Anniversary P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico SS Bari, EXL1,

Select Strat, 70th Anniversary Esquire, LP 57, Eastman T486, T64, Ibanez PM2, Hammond XK4, Moog Voyager

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This one's only $69.95. It'll do the job.

 

digitech compressor

 

You have experience with this one? I have a guitar that has been though three Digitech MulitEffects Pedals in two years. I know if other guitars that have has simialr issues with the Digitec MulitEffects. I know that this is apples and oranges, but it makes me wary of the quality of the product.

 

I own a Boss LMB. Never been on the pedal board.

 

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This one's only $69.95. It'll do the job.

 

digitech compressor

 

You have experience with this one? I have a guitar that has been though three Digitech MulitEffects Pedals in two years. I know if other guitars that have has simialr issues with the Digitec MulitEffects. I know that this is apples and oranges, but it makes me wary of the quality of the product.

 

I own a Boss LMB. Never been on the pedal board.

 

I had a Digitech BP200 that had serious issues. Very wary of them myself.

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I have the Digitech Bass Squeeze compressor. Min's the X series, which predates the XBS series. It works fine and the dual band feature is nice....you can compress the highs and lows separately.

I've never had a problem with it.

 

However, I've had problems with every multi-effects unit I've ever used. Changing settings during a show is almost impossible. There is always extraneous noise. Some combinations of effects are impossible. A single pedal such as distortion or envelope filter always works better than the equivalent feature on the multi-effect. At one point, I realized that I had 10 different chorus patches so I could get the one I wanted for a particular song. Then I bought one chorus pedal and I just kneel down and change the depth or speed slightly. Several times (on power outages) all my patches got dumped and I'd have to spend another hour or two reprogramming them all. A pox on muliteffects, just buy pedals.

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My concerns weren't regarding use (a whole 'nother issue). Mine was reliability. There's an optical sensor in the pedal of the thing that seems to have a life span of 6 to 9 months.

 

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I have the Digitech Bass Squeeze compressor. Min's the X series, which predates the XBS series. It works fine and the dual band feature is nice....you can compress the highs and lows separately.

I've never had a problem with it.

 

However, I've had problems with every multi-effects unit I've ever used. Changing settings during a show is almost impossible. There is always extraneous noise. Some combinations of effects are impossible. A single pedal such as distortion or envelope filter always works better than the equivalent feature on the multi-effect. At one point, I realized that I had 10 different chorus patches so I could get the one I wanted for a particular song. Then I bought one chorus pedal and I just kneel down and change the depth or speed slightly. Several times (on power outages) all my patches got dumped and I'd have to spend another hour or two reprogramming them all. A pox on muliteffects, just buy pedals.

 

I agree completely with your assessment of multi-effects. They are very limited compared to individual pedals and have their own quirks, but that BP200 had some definite quality issues. I sent it back to the factory for warranty service and when I got it back it worked okay for a couple months and then started having the exact same issues, I just got rid of it after that. I have had several multi-effects over the years and I never had problems with any them except the Digitech, even ones that were much cheaper.

 

Currently I have a Boss ME-50B and a POD, I have thought about individual pedals but I very rarely use effects and when I do the Boss or POD have worked fine. Still a nice small pedal board with a compressor, overdrive and octaver would be nice... :cool:

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