Robert Keeley is well known for his collection of high quality guitar effects as well as his pro grade compression units. The Bassist Compressor is the next logical step in his compressor series and it does sound amazing. Based on the highly sought after THAT Corp. 4320 this has been designed to match any other pro grade compressor for bass in a small stompbox.
Simple To Set Up, Diverse In Sound.
With just three controls this compressor is extremely easy to get set up and running out of the box. Looking at the front you have your standard compression controls with compression(ratio), threshold, and gain. Out of the box Keeley recommend setting it up so that your compression control is set up with a 4:1 ratio. This may sound quite squashed on somew bases but it gives you a great starting point that you can adjust from there.
The Nerdy Stuff
So this is where the compressor nerds start to get a bit excited. Using real VCA or Voltage Controlled Amplifiers as well as an on board true-RMS detector the accuracy is incredible and the sound is very transparent. This really does not drastically alter your tone apart from compressing it like it should.
The reason behind using Voltage Controlled Amplifiers goes even deeper than that though. While other compressors based off of older chipsets can sounds great they lack that studio grade definition and control which bassists need to get their tone. Think of this as a pro rack mount compressor at your feet.
Here's what Keeley say about the Bassist Compressor
The Keeley Bassist Compressor, first introduced at the 2014 NAMM show, is expected to be released late October 2014! Yes, just a few weeks away!
The Keeley Bassist Compressor provides true high-fidelity compression and limiting. Be heard and felt using performance compression by Keeley Engineering.
The Bassist Compressor is built around the exotic and extremely high fidelity THAT Corp. 4320. Think of it as very affordable studio-grade compressor in stomp box format! It uses high performance Voltage Controlled Amplifiers, on board true-RMS detector, and ultra high performance op-amps to bring you the very best quality. VCA compressors give you precise control. Therefore they are directly suited to bass guitars. The Keeley Bassist Compressor is both musical and very transparent. Where our older compressors were based on the CA3080 or the LM13700 and are perfect for single coil guitars, the new Keeley Bassist Compressor has no problems with active pre-amps and line level input signals! Not only can the Keeley Bassist handle astonishingly large signals, it has an incredible bandwidth of over 20 KHz and incredibly low noise. No detail in your bass guitar's tone will be lost. The Keeley Bassist will be a sound investment in your tone, you now have rack-mount quality at your feet.
Compression and Threshold
When bass players use the Keeley Bassist Compressor they will be greeted with a sound that is more easily amplified and heard. Using the effect as a limiting amplifier saves your speakers from clipping and distortion. Set the Threshold to look for peaks in your signal and limit distortion from your amplifier or damage to your speakers. Simply watch the Threshold Indicator light to see what type of playing you want to limit, it's that easy! Next set the Compression Ratio Control to determine how much squash you want when the signal is above Threshold. Set Compression all of the way down for no (1:1) compression and use the Gain control as a boost! Set Compression all of the way up for an above-Threshold hard-knee limiter.
A typical soft compressor setting would be 2:1 above threshold. A good starting ratio for the Compression control may be 4:1 as it generally sounds good with bass guitar. A ratio of 5:1 or 6:1 will sound great for slap or funk-style playing. For synth-bass try 10:1 Compression.
- Voltage Input: 9.6V
- Current Draw: 15mA
- Input Impedance 1 Meg ohm
- Output Impedance: 100 ohm
- Output Voltage Gain: +30dB Boost
- Bandwidth > 20kHz
- Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.1%
- Noise: -95dBV
- Threshold Indicator: Dual LED