If you're trying to tame a bass do you generally want a fast or slow attack/release on the compressor?

Ott responded on 03/30/2013

That very much depends upon the style of bass and which aspect of it which you are trying to tame.

If it is the fast peaks - the transients - you want to control then you need a fast-ish attack and release. If it is the average level you need a slower setting on each.

With compression it is vitally important you know the difference between peak and average [sometimes referred to as RMS] level. Very few compressors deal adequately with both aspects simultaneously which is why I like to use two or three connected in series.

The order in which you connect them is crucial too and varies for each sound. Sometimes you'll want to tame the peaks first to prevent the slower RMS compressor 'pumping' and sometimes you'll want the 'pumping' effect to give your bass more life and animation.

You need enough to provide solidity and density but not so much you squeeze the all life and dynamics out.

So many permutations, so little time...

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