The new 100% analog BC1 Bass Compressor by Caveman Audio is not like most other bass compressor pedals.
Many bass players use the compressor as an effect, often giving it an arbitrary position in the signal chain. BC1 has a balanced line input on an XLR connector, as well as the same high-quality, transformer-balanced DI output as the acclaimed BP1 Bass Preamp pedal, which makes it capable of handling the overall output at the very end of the signal chain.
The idea behind this design is for BC1 to act as a Master Compressor that is always on – not a squashing effect that will momentarily pump up specific parts in a song. BC1 is meant to shape the overall dynamics, and at the same time maintain the integrity of bass players’ signal all the way to the amp and/or FOH.
“When compressing your entire sound, you compress much less. Therefore, you need a longer attack time than most comp pedals can provide in order to avoid killing the dynamics in your playing,” says Steen Skrydstrup, founder and CEO of Caveman Audio.
“As far as I know, no other compressor pedals on the market are able to handle the signal level required to function as a Master Compressor.
The compressor pedals we know of provide unbalanced instrument levels, but when you use the Line In on BC1, you’re in the balanced line level domain. In fact, think of it as a high-end rack compressor that you would use in the studio – but disguised as a pedal built for touring!”
BC1 offers up to 25ms before the compressor kicks in, which leaves the transients, which are often referred to as ‘definition’, intact. But if a hard-pumping compressor effect is desired, BC1 can take go all the way down to 0.1ms. The extremely wide range for Attack time almost eliminates the need for Parallel Compression, but just in case, that is also an option, which can be set on the rear panel.
Boost with the same comp
A Boost circuit is not common on compressor pedals, but since it is recommended to use it as a master compressor at the end of the signal chain, this may cause a problem. What about bass solos? Normally, a boost pedal would be used for that, but since BC1 is ideally sitting after any boost pedal, the signal coming into BC1 would be hotter, and BC1 would simply compress more.
Therefore, BC1 has both Level and Boost knobs. Level sets the primary output level, but if the Boost knob is set a bit higher, it will give add a boost when engaged – but without changing the amount of compression. If needed, it can also act the other way around decreasing the overall output with the same amount of compression.
Ultimately, BC1 Bass Compressor is the ideal companion for Caveman Audio’s BP1 Bass Preamp for a pristine signal chain from beginning to end, but it also integrates seamlessly with other preamp and pedal setups.