Compressor advice.

Augie

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HAlp! I need some advice regarding a good compressor to run in my rig for live use. I have had some issues with my effects chain causing some peaks (fuzz, phaser, dist and wah on at once=peak limiter in FOH on a LOT), and basically having to reign in my dynamics to avoid quite stuff dissapearing and it peaking when i beat the crap out of my strings. So i need a compressor. What is the best way to go in terms of qualit/vaue/ease of use?

My rig is Sure digital wireless on my board, then effects, then a Markbass ta503. I think the comp would go either at the end of my effects chain if its a stomp box, or possibly in the effects loop if its a rack unit. Looking at the dbx 166xl for that.

What is the advantage of rack versus stomp box? will i want to turn the thing on and off like other effects or just leave it on as a limiter/light compression the whole time in my rack?

Opinions please......and GO!
 

Nachobassman

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I use a compressor for the same reason: Crazy peaks from phase, chorus or Bassballs (envelope filter). My solution: Demeter Opto-Compulator. Very easy to use, and very clean -almost not colouring to your sound- compression.

BTW, Laszlo (Mr. Demeter) has one, too.
 

DiMarco

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That white MXR one is pretty neutral too from what I have heard.
Very popular pedal.
 
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Trace-comp.jpg


Best there is, but good luck finding one...
 

DiMarco

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Trace-comp.jpg


Best there is, but good luck finding one...

And if you do find one, make sure the original power adapter is included.
I have this comp built in my amp. It is by no means transparent but sounds really good.
 
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Mine doesn't work atm , could be the power adapter aswell.. :(
 

zomnius

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I have a vintage tube black finger compressor. But i do'nt use it much.
 

DiMarco

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The Trace Elliot comp requires an 18v psu, center pin negative.
Is also supposed to run 75h on two 9v batteries so you could try that.
 

Florin

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My experience?
Rack compressor tend to be better than stomp, probably the source has a role too.
My choice was Symetrix 501, for a smooth almost unaudible compression, yet very effective in the mix. I don't believe in hard compression BTW.
I am using now a Distressor, and will never look back.
 

DiMarco

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Flo is right. A unit carrying both compressor and limiter is probably better for the situation you described anyway so you get to have full control of stuff.
 

Augie

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Cheers for the info and links guys. I think I probably buy and flip a couple second hand ones to try them out. I can get a dbx easily here, and someone on the forum is selling an MXR ;) so that might be the start of it. With rack gear is there any issues with just setting up an always on comp? That appears to be the only downside of a rack unit, the lack of/annoying wiring of a switch.
 

Florin

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I don't see any reason to switch it off :)
 

DiMarco

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DBX 160 is not uncommon among bassists. If your compressor/limiter is transparent you will probably want it always on, it only kicks in when needed anyway.
 

tomb68

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The MarkBass compressore is very nice, can be set as a limiter. One of the few stomp box compressors that features rack style full featured controls. Compares very favorably to high end rack stuff.
 

DiMarco

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12v powersupply tho... No problem if you keep it near the amp instead of on your board.
I sold mine only because I switched to Trace SMX amps that have the dualband built in.
Might have to get myself a comp soon as my new (Mesa) amp has none. We'll see.
 

Augie

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Cheeers guys, I found a couple local gumtree adds with dbx160s for sale, at about 150 bucks they are cheaper than the compresorre used!

I'll just need a bigger rack case if I like em. Too busy with gigs at the mo but I'll post reviews when I start playing with stuff. If I can get a good always on sound it will be easier I think, I tap dance enough with effects, and it will be nice to a good plug and play tone in a rack.
 
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Man, there was a website that this guy (who must have too much time on his hands) made that was dedicated to reviewing every single bass compressor on the market. Nothing else, just bass compressors. It was a really useful resource and I now have no idea where it is or what it's called.

Great post.

For what it's worth, I use an EBS MultiComp and it's very good. Maybe not the best ever but it's definitely really good. I've also got a Boss Limiter/Enhancer (never use the 'enhance' feature, it just adds noise) which is also quite handy for certain things - like if I've got a ton of effects going on at the same time.
 
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