Compressor as quasi-trigger for bass?

Mastiff

Senior Member
It seems like a compressor could be used to collapse the dynamic range of the bass drum and give it more of a trigger effect. Is it possible? When I try to make the compressor settings in Studio One very aggressive, it has the effect of making the bass too quiet. This makes sense since the knee is so much lower, but it seems like there should be a way to move the whole curve up (but I can't find it). It's like instead of making loud stuff quiet, I want to make quiet stuff loud. What am I missing?
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
You’re missing: gain.

if you compress a signal and reduce its output by 9dB, it will be quieter. The “gain” parameter increases the output a specific amount that you specify or, using “auto”, increases to about the same level as before compression.

To get a trigger-type sound you will also need to EQ the signal to sculpt the sound.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Here's what the compressor looks like:

1611111597903.png

As it gets flatter, the knee moves down. I tried messing with the "input gain" but it didn't seem to have the desired effect. Does that seem like the one to adjust? I did have it on auto originally, like the picture.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I am not familiar with that particular compressor, but I think you need to boost the makeup gain.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Wouldn’t a noise gate be more appropriate for that task? You just want enough signal to go through to trigger the electronic sample, right? So the noise gate would be more effective at that.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
It seems like a compressor could be used to collapse the dynamic range of the bass drum and give it more of a trigger effect. Is it possible? When I try to make the compressor settings in Studio One very aggressive, it has the effect of making the bass too quiet. This makes sense since the knee is so much lower, but it seems like there should be a way to move the whole curve up (but I can't find it). It's like instead of making loud stuff quiet, I want to make quiet stuff loud. What am I missing?
Couple of thoughts. Compression specifically “makes loud stuff quiet”, that is basically the definition. The reason it sounds like it does the reverse is because of a gain stage (amplification) that comes after the compression. After mashing the dynamics, turn up the volume, and everything (including quieter stuff) gets equally louder.

But none of this will make a bass drum more like a triggered sound. A gate (or an expander, which is similar) will do that.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I tried messing with the "input gain" but it didn't seem to have the desired effect.
Input gain should be 0.0 if it’s a decent signal.
The Makeup gain is what is increased to bring the signal level up after compression.

edit: please post a link to an example of the sound you’re after.
 
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rebonn

Senior Member
Like you said, You need to figure out how to raise the threshold. It's compressing way to much.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
But none of this will make a bass drum more like a triggered sound. A gate (or an expander, which is similar) will do that.
I may have spoken beyond my expertise having never used a trigger. But what I'm looking for is to get the bass loudness/volume to be closer to the same even though my dynamics vary. I'm working on my technique too, but the situation is that the song has a double bass section and since I'm going faster, I'm not hitting as hard. I'd like the bass sound to sound comparable to the slow, single pedal sections.

My understanding is that most guys that do super fast metal "cheat" with a trigger to get robust sounding kicks when going fast... Full disclosure: I'm novice at double bass and shouldn't necessarily need this crutch, but I'm seeing what the software can do for me.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
Oh okay, yeah that is a fine use of compression, and in that case there’s almost no such thing as compressing “too much”. If the output is quiet, you just need to turn up the make-up gain (a volume boost post compression). That’s normal.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
But what I'm looking for is to get the bass loudness/volume to be closer to the same even though my dynamics vary.
Some other solutions for this:


 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
You’ll need a stronger ratio, more like 5 or 7 to one.
Lower the threshold so the compression happens a bit on medium volume notes.
Shorten the attack to 2 or 3 ms, and experiment to see how the initial click of the note sounds.
Shorten the release a lot - your current setting means fast notes will not be processed properly.
Add makeup gain of 6-10 db to bring the final level back up.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
My understanding is that most guys that do super fast metal "cheat" with a trigger to get robust sounding kicks when going fast... Full disclosure: I'm novice at double bass and shouldn't necessarily need this crutch, but I'm seeing what the software can do for me.
Triggers aren't "cheating." All they do is "trigger" a sound module to play a sound based on what the sensor picks up. If you play sloppy and trigger, everyone will know you're off.
Yes, they can make quiet hits loud. But like you said the faster you play the softer you will be able to hit due to the way the human body is built. They don't add extra notes you aren't playing, because that would only cause a nightmare of a performance.

Maybe look up a gate trigger? When the gate closes it triggers a sample to play. You should be able to find a plug-in somewhere.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Triggers aren't "cheating." All they do is "trigger" a sound module to play a sound based on what the sensor picks up. If you play sloppy and trigger, everyone will know you're off.
Yes, they can make quiet hits loud. But like you said the faster you play the softer you will be able to hit due to the way the human body is built. They don't add extra notes you aren't playing, because that would only cause a nightmare of a performance.
Didn't mean to offend. I put cheat in quotes for a reason. It's cheating in the sense that you can be sloppy in dynamics and get a pass. For timing, just hit the button and align everything to the grid. ;)
 
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