Compress the bass? Why?

Johnny Digital

i can wirte inglich
Hi,



Just something that has bugged me some time is why to compress the bass?


Arent ADSR envs enough? I find no real improvement to the bass when compressed... i can get it to sound louder by turning the volume up, or even cut some hum with a gate, eq, de-esser...


what am i doing wrong?


At most i would use compressor to make sure both the kick and the bass are at the same DBs, sending both to a group and then compressing them...


BUT.... WHY TO COMPRESS?



thanks


joao
 

jamez_23

Blah
Basically just to make the lower freq's in the bass punchier ....... dont want things flapping around down there ......

I'm sure someone will post someting more constructive !! I just dont have the words at the mo - sorry !!

Good luck ...... :Smile3:
 

Rorymonster

Jaberwookie
Depends, there's no reason that you should compress the bass if you don't want to. I find bass compression hugely different between live bass and synth bass.

Basically live bass always sounds better compressed (IMO), you get better punch, better sustain, whatever you want (you can use the comp to give you the flex that ADSR would give you on a synth).
On Synth bass lines I agree with you, you should be able to get the sound that you want using ADSR and other parametres. In this instance it is more likely that you would want to compress the bass line with the kicks so as to get the blend right, or to make them "sit" together as some would say.

But to answer your question, you're not doing anything wrong by not wanting to compress your bass lines. Whatever sounds right to you. I tend to put a little of PSPs Mix Saturator's compression on all my basses just to warm them up a bit - those Valve and Tape settings do the trick.

Hope this helps.
 

Johnny Digital

i can wirte inglich
It's not a fact that i dont want to compress, just didn't find any usefullness in it... :sad:

...still i'm going to try that PSP plug... thanks for the tip


compressing live bass sounds is usefull to get things sounding right: more sustain, more consistent volume since a bass player wont play all notes at the same volume so in theory a compressor might help... NOT that i've done it, but i think it woks...


jamez_23:
Basically just to make the lower freq's in the bass punchier ....... dont want things flapping around down there

Make them louder? or quieter?



Thanks,

João
 
M

makdaddy

Guest
I never use comp on the kick n bass, but i always have it setup like this in logic......

mono kick (L) going out to Bus 16
mono bass (R) going out to Bus 16

Bus 16 has a waves L2 on it, here i set the parameters so i can hear the signal just about pumping, then back off a little!
 

jamez_23

Blah
@ imak ....... yeah but then we sometimes run the .wav through a mult band compressor to tame the bottom end / add punch no >?

Johnny Digital said:
jamez_23:
Basically just to make the lower freq's in the bass punchier ....... dont want things flapping around down there

Make them louder? or quieter?

Quieter ........ once the compression is applied it makes things quieter, it "squashes" the lower freq's so they are punchier. So difficult to explain this ! ( for me !! ). You then turn the fader ( or output on compressor ) up to compensate. Ending up with the same sound but with less flap on the lower freq's. Keeps things under control in the lower freq's ........ Usually use this technique at the final stage using multi band compression .....
 
M

makdaddy

Guest
nah james, the last 3 tracks have just been just eq and limiting, the old MBand seemed to be squishing the life out of the mixes :Sad:
 

Johnny Digital

i can wirte inglich
jamez_23 said:
Quieter ........ once the compression is applied it makes things quieter, it "squashes" the lower freq's so they are punchier. So difficult to explain this ! ( for me !! ). You then turn the fader ( or output on compressor ) up to compensate. Ending up with the same sound but with less flap on the lower freq's. Keeps things under control in the lower freq's ........ Usually use this technique at the final stage using multi band compression .....

:drinking:

ok... i'll try this... i'm no expert at multi-band.. but i'll try to make this work...

maybe two bands? leaving the high part untoched and the lows compressed...

maybe from 75hz to 130 is the freqs i want to compress (C, i think... )


[[[[]]]]


joao
 

jamez_23

Blah
yeah - that kinda thing ....... you wanna compress the lowest band when using multi compression ..... you should be able to set the frequencie range for each band ....

@ imak - what are the frequencies we use for the lowest band ?
 

jamez_23

Blah
imak said:
nah james, the last 3 tracks have just been just eq and limiting, the old MBand seemed to be squishing the life out of the mixes :Sad:

oh

I think I should be quiet now ........ meep .....

but Johnny, have a play and you should be able to hear what the process is doing ..... set attack to about 20 ms ......

can someone who knows what they are talking about take over please :Wink3:
 
O

Ott^

Guest
Leave the multiband stuff alone. You'll ruin your tune.

I compress my bass because I want it to sound nice and smooth and even.

I like to apply radical eq settings to my bass sounds - big boosts down low and big cuts around the middle.

Trouble is, when you do this it means that some notes will become much louder and some much quieter - for obvious reasons. The way to remedy this is to stick a compressor after the EQ and set it to iron out the gain differences.

Now you can really bend your bass sound about, confident that it will stay put in the mix.


By the time anyone ever gets to hear my bass sounds they will have been compressed and re-compressed about 6 times.
 

sunder

Travel Agent
Ahhhh so........

Thanks for that enlightening explenation OTT, nice to hear it in a way that actually makes sense!

I once tried sending my bass to an analogue minitape dictaphone, then sending it back into the mix - compressed to warm fluffy fuck! They called me 'hard knee' at school ;-)
 

JPsychodelicacy

Studio Elf
Ott^ said:
By the time anyone ever gets to hear my bass sounds they will have been compressed and re-compressed about 6 times.

Does this include the Umberloid stuff, and if so how do you preserve the dynamics?

J.
 

Speakafreaka

Champagne Rouletter
Try using some gentle analog distortion/saturation/warming thingies. This compresses the signal and adds upper frequencies helping to pull it through the mix.

It is better to compress it to little rather than too much.

Get hold of Blockfish (google it) this has a really easy interface, great sound and a lovely saturator built in. It is perfect for basses and completely free.
 

Johnny Digital

i can wirte inglich
I've tryed it with PSP vintage warmer but got very far from what i expected and the VST sucks cpu like almost no other...


still i tryed to use izotope mastering stuff and found out that it does a lot to the mix, really enhancing the bass sound... possibly because of the master reverb and compression... also the EQ tips in the vst pdf really rock... as it also sucks a lot of cpu and ram i could only use half of it's modules without tering my pc apart :Sad:


to add to my disappointment i discovered a real cool track with a wonderfull bass... it's nomad- the magic sofa show... still tryng to get what's happening there...

very cool bass... maybe some analog filtering.. or reverb... phaser... who knows :confused:



one day i wont be able to put a track together but at least i'll have beautifull bass... lolol... let's hope :Smile3:



joao
 
M

makdaddy

Guest
i think you "will know" when you have the right bass sound when it sounds 1/2 decent direct from the source.

all this talk of using heavy amounts of eq / compression / saturation and harmonics amount to nothing if your original sound is shite.

Its been said before, and is very very true > "you cant polish a turd!"
 

fuzzikitten

Junior Members
Ott^ said:
Leave the multiband stuff alone. You'll ruin your tune.
...
I like to apply radical eq settings to my bass sounds - big boosts down low and big cuts around the middle.
...The way to remedy this is to stick a compressor after the EQ and set it to iron out the gain differences.

Now you can really bend your bass sound about, confident that it will stay put in the mix.

Er... wouldn't a multiband be a perfect tool for what you describe?

With a multiband like C4 I can give my lows the proper boosts (as well as a little expansion if I'm so inclined), while taking a bit off the mids with EQ and/compression to keep the whole thing from distorting. Any notes that are too loud I can target with a compressor in the multiband to keep in line. It just seems more... graceful to me to tame a loud note with a compressor that targets that frequency rather than an EQ as the compressor will only affect the loud notes and leave the rest untouched.

Granted, I usually put another compressor after the C4 just to make sure it's all nice and level...

I guess I'm just curious why you advise against the multiband.

:Smile3:
 

psyfi

Pie Fly
I believe it’s to do with phasing between the bands. Where the crossover frequencies are compressed differently from each other. Manley an issue for mastering but innless you really know what your doing, like I don't, your not going to hear the mistakes you are making. If you do really know what your at then go ahead. I wont stand in your way.
 
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