Copyright © 2020, how these various components of a compressor works, Songwriting Ideas For Beginners in Music Production, The Blumlein Mic Technique Explained – Stereo Recording 101. The bulk of a volume spike comes at the beginning, or attack, of a note. If you can really hear it or it makes a pumping/breathing sound, you need to experiment some more. And that’s essentially the whole principle of compressing bass. The very best compressors are often referred to as “transparent”, which means that they affect the signal in the desired manner without adding any distortion or altering the original sound significantly. In the context of a mix, the bass may often be difficult to hear, to the point of being practically inaudible. It’s very subtle. Honest Gear Suggestions for Home Studio Owners and Music Producers. With independent attack and release controls, you can adjust your compression settings very precisely. A short release time makes for a real squashed sound. I do this on every single bass I … Back in the days of analog tape recording, compressors were typically used to ‘shoehorn’ a dynamic audio signal into a relatively narrow range. Can be noisy at high settings . Pros . If you wanted the sound of your plucking or pick attack to come through more, you could increase the attack time to let it pass through. The higher the ratio, the more the signal is compressed. On some audio compressors you may see the terms hard-knee and soft-knee. When peaks are reduced, the entire bass part can be boosted in the mix without adding distortion. This bass compressor provides you with the ability to individually set each of the settings needed for perfect punchy bass. This is one of the most common applications of compression in a mixdown scenario, and it can be remarkably effective. The ratio range covers 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, and 20:1, which is extremely broad for a pedal. The M87 prides itself on transparency, and never losing tonal character. You might adjust it from 0 (engages immediately) to a few milliseconds (waits 2 to 10 ms). Cons. You can read more about how these various components of a compressor works here. But once you get the basic principles under your belt, you’ll find that bass compression is actually a fairly simple concept. Features and Benefits. Compression is also a great way to increase the apparent volume level of a bass without introducing distortion or causing clipping, as well as adding more “punch” and “smack” to it. Compression attack refers to when the compression effect is engaged after the signal crosses the threshold. With the “hard knee” setting, signals are compressed immediately after they cross the threshold. When peaks are reduced, the entire bass part can be boosted in the mix without adding distortion. report violation, StudyBass is a registered trademark of Leading Tone Media, LLC. The MXR Bass Compressor pretty much follows the ‘classic’ compressor control parameters. Has an impressive attack made for bass and high-output active pickup; Usually runs silently; Minimal tone loss because of true bypass; Fair-priced . A little goes a long way. You get dedicated ATTACK and RELEASE controls, and for the RATIO setting there is a 4-way toggle knob that allows you to select between RATIO settings of 4:1, 8:1, 12:1 and 20:1. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Simply boosting the entire signal (by applying gain or pushing up the fader) would result in the transient peaks (typically the louder, initial attack of the bass notes) to clip the audio circuitry. So in this article we endeavor to make make bass compression, in the context of mixing and recording, simple. Some basic models do away with certain features entirely, while others seemingly pack in every feature that has ever been devised. Or maybe I could utilize the EQ on my bass. In this scenario, compression can make the bass seem more present, without actually making it louder. What I'd really like to experiment with is using the "clean boost" setting on my Multiwave Bass Distortion to change the EQ for slapping--cut some high mids, and get rid of all that string noise. This specifies how soon the compression effect will cease after the signal dips below the threshold. Try adjusting the threshold from there. It depends on if you only want really loud notes compressed or most everything compressed. If you click on one of these links to purchase a product or service that we recommend, we will be compensated it. Any signal lower than the threshold will be unaffected. With a ratio of 6:1 for example, an input signal that goes over the threshold by 6dB will increase the output level by 1dB. is a participant in a variety of affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates and Loopmasters Affiliate Program. At first you might wonder if it’s even on and working! Some basic models do away with certain features entirely, while others seemingly pack in every feature that has ever been devised. Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher Compression release refers to how long the compressor is engaged after the signal exceeds the threshold. By utilizing various compression techniques, the bass track can be ‘massaged’ into its desired niche without any perceivable loss in volume or character, which might occur if equalization or level control was employed instead. The tonal requirements of different genres have also resulted in the ‘codification’ of certain techniques in the interest of creating genre-specific signature sounds. Remember, compression is a subtle effect. Don't over-compress. Runs on 12V DC power while other effect pedals run on 9V. This helps make the bass pop out against the background of the mix, making it more audible and “in your face” without throwing any of the other elements out of balance. Let’s take a closer look at the different features of the Markbass Compressore Tube Bass compressor pedal. ECC 81 Tube Compressor. Oftentimes, the bass is compressed along with the drums (via side-chain or parallel compression method), resulting in a solid rhythmic foundation upon which the rest of the track can be built. While these are iconic sounds, compressor pedals can be set up in a variety of ways, making them suprisingly versatile; from subtle to over the top. Compressors usually have an adjustable threshold setting. The knee setting specifies the manner by which the incoming signal is compressed. Take rock music for example. Either or both of these elements could occupy some of the bass’ inherent frequencies, resulting in a weak, poorly-defined, or even inaudible bass track (see Metallica’s “And Justice For All” album.). Cons. This means that some the links on our site are affiliate links. Over the years, the characteristic ‘pumping’ and ‘heaving’ sound of a guitar, bass, or drums being heavily compressed has become something of a stylistic and creative signature, and it is a great way to add energy to the mix. An ∞:1 (infinity to 1) means for any signal above the threshold sent to the compressor only 1dB comes out. One of the most sought-after qualities of a bass compressor is transparency. In most cases, audio engineers and producers want the dynamic limiting and signal boosting qualities of a compressor, without having the circuitry impart any kind of coloration to the tone (artifacts). Serial compression is just using multiple compressors with low gain reduction on the same instrument. By boosting only the softer part of the signal and attenuating the peaks, a compressor can make a bass track seem louder than it actually is. (You can read about some effective techniques from ProAudiFiles blog). It's necessary to listen to the part and adjust the compression settings to obtain the sound you want. That means for every 3 dB you send to the compressor beyond the threshold only 1 dB comes out. Any signal passing through the compressor which is louder than the threshold setting will be compressed. Depending on the creative goal or artistic vision, the bass may be made more prominent in the mix or it may be eased back into more of a ‘support’ role. The compression ratio selects the amount of compression to apply on signals above the threshold. Most bass players use a 2:1 up to 5:1 compression ratio.