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januaryscar

Compressor vs limiter enhancer

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What's the difference between a compressor and a limiter enhancer? I am having problems in a live situation where my lower notes are booming, and my higher notes aren't very 'present' in the mix. Its pi$$ing off my bandmates coz i am having to turn up to hear my high notes and as soon as I hit a low note - BOOM i am too loud. I am using a boss compression sustainer, and my SWR bass 350 has a built in limiter. Will adding a limiter/enhancer pedal/rack mountable help my situation? Thanks in advance...

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Compressor. A limiter works in a way similar to a compressor, however, it's more of a brick-wall versus a trampoline- if you go louder than a limiter is set, it slams the levels down very hard, whereas a compressor can be set to be very organic sounding. I use distortion, so my signal is pretty compressed as it is, but when I go clean, I use a DBX 166XL.

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That shouldnt be happening in rig thats bass to comp to whatever effects to amp with limiter on. Unless perhaps amps limiter is broken or not very good. Doesnt think itd be the nature of the speakers sound. Cause SWR's bass is a bit lacking imo. So would suspect either the amps limiter isnt working or something wrong with the speaker. Comps can help even out sound so the louder & softer parts are more even volume. Limiters supposed to stop transient peaks and overload, cuting off stuff above a given level. Unless you got amps bass cranked and treble turned down a good bit? I which case readjust the eq.

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Originally posted by januaryscar

What's the difference between a compressor and a limiter enhancer? I am having problems in a live situation where my lower notes are booming, and my higher notes aren't very 'present' in the mix. Its pi$$ing off my bandmates coz i am having to turn up to hear my high notes and as soon as I hit a low note - BOOM i am too loud. I am using a boss compression sustainer, and my SWR bass 350 has a built in limiter. Will adding a limiter/enhancer pedal/rack mountable help my situation? Thanks in advance...

 

I had a problem with symptoms like yours for a couple of years when I switched from pick to finger style.

My sound used to lose all its low end character on higher strings.

I experimented with a few different compressors and stuff to no avail. I've since worked out it was actually my fingerstyle technique that was causing it. Now I've solved it I don't use a compressor live at all (not that it helped much anyway)....

 

anyway, for me it boiled down to not playing the higher strings in quite the same way - angle of attack, tense-ness of the finger and overall pressure. only subtle differences, but with big sonic results.

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Originally posted by bernard_beard



I had a problem with symptoms like yours for a couple of years when I switched from pick to finger style.

My sound used to lose all its low end character on higher strings.

I experimented with a few different compressors and stuff to no avail. I've since worked out it was actually my fingerstyle technique that was causing it. Now I've solved it I don't use a compressor live at all (not that it helped much anyway)....


anyway, for me it boiled down to not playing the higher strings in quite the same way - angle of attack, tense-ness of the finger and overall pressure. only subtle differences, but with big sonic results.

 

Well, a compressor is not going to make the tone the same across the strings....it's going to regulate VOLUME. So if you're like me, and play with a pick in a faster context, a consistent attack is really a pre-requisite in order to keep everything from sounding like mud.

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Originally posted by Reverend179



Well, a compressor is not going to make the tone the same across the strings....it's going to regulate VOLUME. So if you're like me, and play with a pick in a faster context, a consistent attack is really a pre-requisite in order to keep everything from sounding like mud.

 

I'm not saying compressors are a waste of time, and I'm not assumming his problem is the same as mine (though it could be)...

if it is, well I just wish I hadn't spent so long working that problem out for myself (about a year and a half)

 

ps what he described could be interpreted as inconsistent tone imo.

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Typically, Compressors and Limiters are used together to overcome problems like this. In a live setting, it has less to do with regulating your playing and more to do with compensating for the Room and setting the bass in the mix.

 

Question: If you eliminate the compressor and turn off the limiter, do you have the same issue?

 

Certain Compressor setting combinations will cause this exact problem. While they are used in the studio, they do not work well for a live environment. A D-Comp is notorious for big Boomy bottom and thin, weak top.

 

You should also look at these as well:

 

ggr_pic.jpg

 

Another common cause for this problem is that the low-end is being absorbed by the floor which acts as a passive radiator. This makes your Bottom end boomy. I play a small jazz club that has Wood floors and a Copper Roof. The Gramma Pad is the only way I can get a good, even and clean sound in that room.

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Have you tried messing with your EQ and rolling off some of the bottom end and adding some highs?

I used to use compression on my bass signal years ago, but I learned that all I really needed was a soft-limiter. That's what I still use. Well, that and EQ.

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Originally posted by BlackBelt

Have you tried messing with your EQ and rolling off some of the bottom end and adding some highs?

I used to use compression on my bass signal years ago, but I learned that all I really needed was a soft-limiter. That's what I still use. Well, that and EQ.

 

I agree that you should try EQ first. A good parametric will help you zero in on a frequency causing the problem, and then you can more easily eq on your preamp.

 

A decent graphic EQ can be very effective as well. The boss bass EQ pedal is actually pretty good and can be had cheap on ebay.

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I sorted my problem out, thanks guys. I boosted the midrange on my amp, eased off the bass, and turned the aural enhancer near full and the low notes were less boomy and the highs more sparkly. End result, happy me, happy band.

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