Many people ask themselves why do they need a bass compressor and if they do. If you have been playing your bass for some time you know that you need to tighten the bottom end to make it sound better.
A loose, fluffy lower frequency makes your instrument stay back in the mix and prevents it from being part of the rhythm backbone of music. The ultimate solution is to add a compressor to the mix.
The TC Electronic SprectraComp is the result of putting all the legacy and leverage of years of creating high-end studio compressors in a tiny, well-made stompbox. All small pedals by this brand are very well built and deliver high-quality sounds.
This compressor is no exception to that rule. I really love the size that can fit any crowded pedalboard (like mine). I also liked the fact that it is blue with a red led and a white mark on the knob; the contrast makes it perfectly visible in dark stages.
The iconic compressors like the Dyna Comp and such always feature at least two knobs to compensate for the volume loss when you close the compressor gate too much (the SpectraComp increases volume up to noon and then decreases it).
In this case, there is only one knob and absolutely no way to fight the volume loss. Before scratching your head and think what were the engineers at TC thinking power on the computer and look for the Tone Print.
Once you open up the editor and the presets made by famous players you´ll find the virtually unlimited options that this little box can have.
To transfer the sounds to the pedal just use the TonePrint app on your phone and place it against the pickups of your instrument. No, it´s not magic, it´s high tech.
The pedal is true bypass and, to my ears, it doesn´t color the sound when powered off and plugged in.
The pedal itself only has one knob but the true magic happens in the editor. From it, you can fine-tune the compression based on many parameters or download presets by famous players.
I have mixed feelings with this approach because having one Tone Print at the time, your pedal is a one-trick pony and on the other hand, most compressors are a “set it and forget it” kind of pedal that rarely goes off during a set.
In my opinion, it is a good approach for what the pedal does in a live situation.
Just like every other pedal in the line of TC Electronic, the sound quality is superb. The studio-quality algorithm that is the heart and soul of this pedal has been perfectly tuned for bass and that is something you can hear and feel. Yes, it cuts some of the dynamics but the bottom-end of your sound is hugely benefited.
You can check this video by Jonathan Hischke creating his Tone Print. Happy playing!