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  • #31
    Re: two compressors

    Well, there's a difference between "running" two comp pedals in a chain and "using two comps in a pedal chain at the same time", so if a given artist does "have" two comps in their chain, they're not necessarily always on at the same time.


    Originally posted by gtrgrl View Post
    I had a compressor pedal once. I had no idea how to make it work right. I still don't know how they work. I can't imagine what I would do with two!
    Compression is generally mistaken for an effect like Phase, Flange, Chorus, etc and people twist knobs until they hear an instantly-noticeable difference between the On/Off, but it's not generally intended to be that prominent. It's best suited as a subtle effect. While you don't have to go far to find an example of where it is used in a not-so-subtle fashion, the ideal application for it is when only "those in the know" can spot it.
    Originally posted by Brown Note
    I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
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    • #32
      Re: two compressors

      So thanks to this thread, I rearranged my rack and put one of my Alesis 3630s in it (I know, not exactly booteek tubey goodness).

      Since the unit can act as two separate compressors, I ran through various configurations. First, I used just one side of it in the loop of my line mixer (through which everything must pass on the way to the MOTU interface). While the difference between in and out is noticeable, I'm not getting the "hard squash with slow inflate" one normally associates with the effect. This is a good thing since my preamps (Digitech 1101, ADA MP-1, Digitech 21 Legend) have their own Compressor "pedal-type" thing going on (with the MP-1, V1 handles all the compression, while the others are set up more like a pedal chain).

      I played around with the various features of the 3630 - Hard/Soft Knee and Peak/RMS combos - and left it set for Soft Knee and RMS.
      The controls on the unit are
      Threshold (-40 - +20)
      Ratio (1:1 - infinity)
      Attack (0.1ms - 200ms)
      Release (50ms - 3s)
      Output (-20 - +20, I keep it about 0)

      I started out with a Threshold of -25, Ratio of about 2:1, Attack 0.1, Release 50ms. This didn't have a prominent effect, even though the NR meter was lit about halfway. Since I run a fairly screwed-up EQ curve in my rack gear (lots of bass and piercing highs, which sounds great through headphones or for bedroom volume), when I turn up the volume through my monitors, my palm mutes get a bit farty and the highs are even more annoying. With the 3630 set as above, the palm mutes weren't farting and the highs weren't piercing, so that was good.

      Next, I decided to see if I could run one side of the unit into the other, and used Twilight O's example settings from his previous post.

      This did give a noticeable effect, but remember, I'm also running compressors in the preamps that are set for a noticeable effect (pushing the gain/dirt sounds). I did have to tweak the ratio and threshold settings on both sides, as well as set one for Hard Knee and the other for Soft Knee (can't recall the exact settings for the knobs though).

      It did introduce a fair amount of noise, though, as TO said it would. Still, it's only there in the quiet parts, and the unit does have a noise gate.

      How I've got it set now, however, is the line mixer's FX Loop going in side A and the line mixer's Main out going into side B, and the output of side B going into the MOTU interface.

      Side A (mixer loop) is set for:
      Thresh -25
      Ratio 3:1
      AT 25ms
      Rel 150ms
      Out 0
      Peak
      Hard Knee

      Side B (main out) is set for
      Thresh -20
      Ratio 3:1
      AT 5ms
      Rel 50ms
      Out +3
      Peak
      Soft Knee

      This is keeping my palm mutes and single Gs (3rd fret, 6th string) from pegging the meter on the MOTU, as well as keeping the average volume between various gain sounds (Marshall to Mesa) even, and keeping those even with my clean tones (which run from JC120 to Twin to ridiculously bright and jangly).

      Previously, I would have had to tweak a few things whenever I switched tones to control the spikes.

      As I said, I'm sure there are a million better units out there, but I like what I'm getting from the 3630.

      Gonna play around with it a bit more, maybe run one out of my Switcblade8 so it's before all my preamps, then loop them back through the other side before going into the mixer.
      Originally posted by Brown Note
      I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
      My Blog

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      • #33
        Re: two compressors

        ^ Brave soul! Actually trying something instead of reading about it and playing armchair quarterback ... unreal!
        Interesting read.
        Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
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        • #34
          Re: two compressors

          Thanks. Dunno if it's sound logic or adventurer's luck, but what I'm running now is working for me, for now

          I need a bigger rack, though, and more cables
          Originally posted by Brown Note
          I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
          My Blog

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: two compressors

            Originally posted by DrNewcenstein View Post
            Thanks. Dunno if it's sound logic or adventurer's luck, but what I'm running now is working for me, for now

            I need a bigger rack, though, and more cables
            When I made the switch not too long ago from mixing in the box to mixing in analogue and using outboard gear ... I was staggered by the amount of cables required to mix just 5 busses from my interface!
            Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 03-21-2014, 06:38 PM.
            Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
            My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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            • #36
              Re: two compressors

              I hear ya. Once I got my rack built some years ago I just left it all plugged in and forgot how many cables it took. Rearranging stuff yesterday meant unplugging a few things just to move it, as well as switching out units. I still don't have it all wired up, but so far I've used up an 8-channel insert snake, 2 patch cables, 5 short guitar cables, a pair of RCA-to-1/4" from the mixer to the interface, 2 10-outlet power strips, and half of an 8-outlet strip.

              Of course the PC is mixed in there, so there's USB cables and such, but I still have 2 mic cables to run, and MIDI cables.

              Thinking I might try my hand at using the outboard gear for mixing as well, since the interface (MOTU AudioExpress) has Line Outs.

              But for that I need even more cables
              Originally posted by Brown Note
              I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
              My Blog

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: two compressors

                Meanwhile, in knuckle dragging guitarist land…


                I get TWO different compressors set for different settings , such as one for squash, and another for sustain

                I get one at the beginning, and one at the end of the chain - although I have never felt the need for it

                Global live compression at a mixer, yep….

                For recording? Not my bag. I have enough trouble with garage band. But - once we hit "the board…I could see all kinds of compression in a mix.

                I still do not get two compressors "on" in a pre-amp signal chain whereby one lets attack through, and the other is set to squash. The squasher will squash (although I understand using two to get to the level of squash carefully - I'd generally say use a better more controllable compressor with a ratio setting / hard-soft knee switch, that is adjustable, etc…)

                But the PARALLEL compression with different attack setting still makes NO sense to me. And I believe people do this.
                Originally posted by Bad City
                He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                • #38
                  Re: two compressors

                  Parallel compression is different.

                  Parallel (or 'New York') compression is when you
                  - mult the signal and keep one uneffected and retain the full dynamics whilst
                  - the mult is set to 100% wet/effected and run with a very high ratio/low threshold (typically 12:1 or greater and a threshold of -30 dB or lower)
                  - Then the mult is raised in level until you can just feel its effect. This provides a base sound that keeps signal from getting lost but still has the dynamics of an uncompressed signal.
                  Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                  My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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                  • #39
                    Re: two compressors

                    That guy using three compressors is actually a drummer! No real guitar player would make such a mistake. hehehehe
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                    • #40
                      Re: two compressors

                      Ace - what's going on with the first compressor is not so much killing the attack as it is taming the peaks (not squashing) and helping the dips not dip so low. This way, the 2nd compressor has a useable signal range to work with, WITHOUT being "heard" as if it was a Flanger or Chorus or Distortion. You want it to be there without screaming "HERE'S THE COMPRESSOR!!". Unless, of course, that's the effect you WANT, say for Jazz or somesuch.

                      Think of it in terms of your household water supply; it's pre-treated at the water company so you're not getting straight seawater or bilgewater, wherever your source is (main input signal going into the "pre-treat" compressor). After that, you attach a Brita or some other filter to your household taps (the 2nd compressor) so you're getting what you believe to be the best water (signal) you can.

                      While your store-bought water filtration device (1st comp) could process a glass of seawater (main input signal) alone, it's going to do that one glass and then need repair, replacement, or a nice funeral (it's going to sound like an effect).

                      Try running more than one compressor, with neither one set so that's it's overly hearable. I think then you'll "get it".

                      It's new territory for me, as well. I never had a pedal back when I had pedals, I just ran an SD-1 set for boost (Vol up, Drive down) to slam an MXR Dist+, and really had no need of a compressor. My first rack unit - GSP21 Legend - had a compressor "pedal" in front of the drive "pedal", with no option to change it to a boost pedal. So, I set the compressor to boost the drive "pedal" and got essentially the same effect as I did before. Even for cleans, those same Comp settings would yield a distinct driven tone. Sounded like ass, but....

                      Even when I got my 1101, I didn't bother with the comp other than to set it for "Jazz mode". I set up dirt "pedals" in front of "amps" and let it go.

                      Back when I had a band, I had 4 Alesis 3630s in a rack - 2 for the drums, 2 for the vocals. We used them mostly for peak limiting and dip-boosting. That was 1998 IIRC. Haven't used them again until reading this thread, and Twilight's advice is spot-on.

                      Then of course there's always Jimmy Page's use of multi-compression, particularly with the drums for When The Levee Breaks. It wasn't just the big huge kick in the hallway by itself.
                      Originally posted by Brown Note
                      I'm soooooo jealous about the WR-1. It's the perfect guitar; fantastic to play, balances well even when seated and *great* reach for the upper frets. The sound is bright tight and very articulate. In summary it could only be more awesome if it had b00bs and was on fire!
                      My Blog

                      Comment

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