BC1 is not like the standard bass compressor pedal. Not by a longshot!
Most bass players use the compressor as an effect. Placed between the instrument and the amplifier. We like the idea of using a compressor as an always-on Master Compressor – at the end of the signal chain. A compressor that tames and gently shapes the overall dynamics, giving you a pristine bass tone that makes you sound better, sit better in the mix and simply makes playing more fun!
BC1 is a 100% analog Master Compressor that makes the output from your strings more even and brings out all of the small nuances in your playing. As far as we 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. 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! That is (part of) what makes BC1 unique!
Balanced LINE IN is one of the things that sets BC1 apart from the rest of the compressor pedals out there. It is more like having a studio rack compressor than a stompbox comp at your disposal.
Therefore, you really get to benefit from coupling the BC1 with a BP1 or BP1 Compact, running all of your other pedals through the BP1 / BP1 Compact send/return loop, and then use a short XLR mic cable to connect the DI OUT of the preamp pedal to the Line In on BC1. This way, your Caveman pedals will keep your sound at its finest from beginning to end of your signal chain.
If you don’t use a preamp with a balanced DI out, you can of course use the Instrument input and patch in BC1 the traditional way. In fact, if you use it that way, you should still place it at the end of the signal chain, as BC1 has the same pristine, transformer-balanced DI Out as the BP1 pedals, which is what you want to send to the Front of House engineer
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.
Caveman Audio wants the compressor to help you to sit better in the mix by making the output from each string more even. They don’t want it to kill your dynamic playing.
BC1 offers up to 25ms before the compressor kicks in, which leaves the precious transients of your tone intact. Those transients are often referred to as ‘definition’, and you don’t want to lose that! That said, you can easily go below 25ms, and if you want to create a hard-pumping compressor effect, BC1 can take you all the way down to 0.1ms.
In fact, the extremely slow Attack time almost eliminates the need for Parallel Compression, but just in case, they have added that option as well. Simply set the PAR/SERIES switch on the rear panel to your preference.
Since Caveman Audio recommends placing the BC1 as the last pedal in your signal chain, using it as a master compressor, that very flexible range of Attack time will surely come in very handy.
A BOOST circuit is not common on compressor pedals, but then again, the BC1 is a different beast! Caveman Audio recommends using the BC1 as a master compressor at the end of your signal chain, which might have left you with problem...What about them bass solos? You’d probably kick in a boost pedal for that, but since the BC1 is sitting after a boost pedal, the signal coming into the BC1 would be hotter, and the BC1 would simply compress more.
That is why Caveman Audio has both LEVEL and BOOST knobs. Use LEVEL to set the overall output level, but if you set the BOOST knob a bit higher, it will give you a boost when you kick it in – but without changing the amount of compression!
If you prefer, you could also set the BOOST lower, which would simply mean that when you kick in the BOOST, the output level would decrease instead of getting louder.