Bass Guitars and Compressors


Bass players need to realize the value and use of a compressor on their sound when playing in studios as well as live. Being an experienced bassist myself, I would like to shed some light on this topic. You must understand that the bass compressor is easily the most often used effect used by bassists. It’s also one of the most uncool or let's say, un-glamourous when compared to bass to distortion, chorus, etc. If you have a weak ear, you won't be able to tell the difference whether it's on or off. However, it actually does a lot to the bass sound as well as the tone.

What is Compression?

Compression squeezes, or like the word itself, compresses the dynamic range of a signal. A compressor will reduce (limit) the volume of loud notes which allow the overall volume or level to be boosted.

The Compressor is a Dynamic Effect

Compressors fall into the family of dynamic effects. In music, dynamics refer to how loud or soft a sound is. Dynamic effects alter how loud or quiet a signal is.

Compressor is used extensively on vocals.

An excellent example of compression is when you hear a singer singing a quiet passage followed by a loud passage. How is it that you can hear the whisper quiet passage, but the loud one doesn’t distort and blow out your eardrums?  This is exactly what the compressor does for a bass guitar. Compression can give your bass sound a smooth and glassy tone. You can get a punchier sound but most importantly, it cuts out loud parts. It can really balance out very dynamic playing styles like slap bass.

A bass compressor is a must-have effect for bassists, regardless of the style you play. I highly recommend getting a compressor both for live playing and home recording.

A very affordable and effective bass compressor is the Digitech Bass Squeeze. You may check this product at your nearest Furtados Store.

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