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Neil Cummins

1176-Style Compressors and Bass Transients

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Hi Forum,

                      This one may fall between the lines as it probably applies to any DAW,and accompanied by a pre-emptive cap-touch towards experienced mix and sound engineers.

Several YouTube tutorials on bass guitar compression recommend serial compression to treat different aspects of the bass transient shape.I note that in some of these,the use of an 1176-style compressor first in the signal chain is suggested,followed by a second compressor with different attack/release characteristics.

Given the famously fast attack times(20 to 800 microsecond range)of this compressor and its many plugin versions,is this approach recommended for bass guitar,where the initial transient shape may be less aggressive than,for example,a percussive instrument such as snare drum?

I have an open mind on this,so comments are welcome.

Thanks,

Neil Cummins

Warrington

UK

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a lot of folks like the 1176 for the distortion effect on bass, and tweaking the threshold will let you adjust the transient slope to some degree. i prefer a CA-2  type and RBass 🙂

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1176s are often used on bass, either going in on recording or shaping afterwards.  The 1176 can add an edge of distortion to the sound, just a a little that helps push the sound forward.  An 1176 is almost like a switch it can be so fast, so just a small knob change can have a large effect in that small sliver of sound.

 

the other standby is the la2a kind of compressor.  Or use both together.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply both.@Alan...yes,this is the most common configuration I've seen being used ie an 1176-style with the fast attack profile first in the chain,followed by the LA-2A style to smooth.

Being entirely self-taught,bass is one aspect I struggle to get consistent in mixes,not so much against the kick drum but occasions where I tend to lose it underneath rhythm guitar or synths.I've not tried this combination before in a piece of work,I have the T-Racks5 versions of both so may give this a try.

Regards,

Neil.

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The length of one full cycle for the lowest note on a bass is 24 ms. Attack times less than that will therefore alter the waveform itself at that frequency, causing distortion. In the microsecond range you probably won't even notice it because that's such a tiny percentage of the cycle, but at around 3 ms and above it'll become more and more noticeable as you lengthen the attack time. You'll also need a short release to get the maximum impact.

 

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