So, you’re a bassist ready to take compression into your own hands and plunk down some cash for a pedal. But you don’t want to spend a ton and need something really easy to use, because compression is complicated voodoo, right? Not with Electro-Harmonix’s new Bass Preacher. It’s a simple yet effective affair that’ll help you tame your dynamics with tight tone, yet set you back less than a hundred bucks.
The Bass Preacher is a compact box that houses an unfussy control set of a volume knob, a sustain knob for the amount of compression, and a 3-way attack switch to adjust how quickly the pedal engages the compression. Easy, right?
I don’t have a need or taste for super squashing, but it’s there by setting the attack to fast and pushing the sustain dial to its upper range. For those slapping the bass, you might find your comfort zone somewhere in the fast-attack area, but a medium attack with the sustain at its higher settings will yield a sound with more natural character. Playing with a pick, I found a solid set-it-and-forget-it tone using the medium attack setting with the sustain control set to about 11 o’clock. My dynamics were kept in check, my high end stayed intact, and I had just the right level of note peaks getting through. Easy to use and easy on the wallet, the Bass Preacher’s sermon is worth checking out.
Test gear: Fender Precision, Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, TC Electronic RS410 cabRecorded with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into an iMac running Garageband.
Fender American P. Pedal settings: volume at 1 o’clock, sustain at 11 o’clock, attack at medium setting. Pedal is disengaged for first half of clip, then engaged for the remainder.