Compression isn’t the sexiest effect to talk about, but it’s a must-have (or should-have) for many a bassist. A good compressor will even out dynamics and bring life to tone for veteran players—not just lipstick a less-than-awesome right hand technique. Japan’s Providence has recently jumped into the bass compression game and loaned us their Bass Boot Comp for a look.
Visually similar to the company’s 3-knob Velvet Comp, the Bass Boot Comp is a 5-knob affair that brings controls for mix and threshold in addition to the level, sustain, and attack also found on the Velvet. The mix dial is especially nice since it gives a player the power to blend the compressed sound with the native signal. This provides a broader spectrum of tones and is a feature not always found on other compression pedals.
The Bass Boot Comp did what it’s supposed to do well. Rolling the attack almost all the way off, dialing the sustain to 10 o’clock, and the threshold to 2 o’clock, the pedal worked as a limiter—ideal for slappers and heavy picking. I got to a smoothly compressed and even fingerstyle tone by cranking the sustain, inching the threshold to 3 o’clock, and moving the attack to 11 o’clock. Speaking of sustain, it’ll do so for days with the dial in the upper region.
Providence pedals tend to fall on the pricey side of the spectrum, but what you get in return here is a solid compressor that brings a bit more control to the table than some others in its class.
Test Gear: 1975 Epiphone Scroll, Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, TC Electronic RS410 cab