Compression settings

hi I am a female vocalist in a duo we use the L1 model 2 Bose and tonematch I have my compression set on vocal at compression 1 db gain 5 or 6 can anyone explain if this is the best setting ? I have read a few comments that when setting the threshold this goes from the right to left and to make sure the indicator is only 3 bars from the right and db gain 5 am I doing this right as I wonder if it's affecting the volume and is this the best setting ? 

Any help would be appreciated thank you 

Original Post

Hi Lucrecia,

Welcome to the forum!

I have a couple of questions for you as I would like to understand your perspective on why you are using compression for your vocals so I may be in a better position to assist you  (I'm not questioning your choice of using compression,  I would like to understand the reason you are using it for your setup):

  • What type of music do you perform?
  • Are there one or two vocals in your duo?
  • What musical instrument(s) (backing tracks) do you have for your duo?
  • Are you experiencing any challenges with your vocals which led you to using a compressor, perhaps as it pertains to your L1 setup?


In general, I rarely use compression for vocals, especially with an L1 setup as I find that it is often not necessary and, when used incorrectly, compression can lead to problems with feedback and/or a loss of dynamic range. My most recent use of compression with a multiple L1 setup was last year for a cello; the cellist would alternate between using her bow and plucking the strings, the compressor allowed her maintain a relatively consistent level between the two playing styles.

I know that the compression presets in the T1 are an excellent starting point that can work well with little or no tweaking.

I look forward to hearing back from you and to understanding what you are trying to achieve,


Hi mark 

thank you for your reply . We are and acoustic duo I sing with an SM58 beta wireless mic which I love I also play the bodhran which I mic up . We play anything from fleet wood Mac to Bon jovi ( acoustic licence of course ) backing tracks we use a loop pedal . I have never had any problem with my vocals but to be honest I suppose as compression is an option I am trying it out however a few people have said bypass it . I am using it sparingly but don't really notice much difference if I bypass or have this option on . I just didn't want to put too much on so really interested to know what settings other people may have tried or have set on the T1

to be honest I have used traditional set up PA speakers for years so may have too many options on the T1 so I am using them just for the sake of it ? 

Thank you again Lucrecia 

Hi Lucrecia,

The main purpose of a compressor is to level out the sound; this is needed for a singer with bad mic technique where the microphone is hand held and the performer keeps moving the mic away from his/her mouth in every possible direction and distance as if they were using the mic as a weight to exercise their arm muscles! With a microphone held on a mic stand the performer keeps turning his head away from the mic or keeps moving and dancing away from the mic...  Trust me, this happens way too often. 

With proper mic technique a vocalist mostly stays on the mic and pulls away from it as needed when reaching a crescendo in loud passages of a song. With the L1 system you get to really hear how your voice is amplified and you get to monitor how you are controlling your voice; I really appreciate being in the sound field of an L1 while I'm singing and having the ability to acoustically mix my voice with my guitar (or with my duo partner's voice when performing with my duo). 

Some vocalists use a tube compressor for their voice mostly for the tube sound qualities and sometimes for the crunch it adds to the vocal but this is very rare and not worth the expense unless you're rolling in money and already own too much swamp land!!  The T1 does not have a tube compressor and doesn't need one. 

Not using a compressor totally frees a vocalist who is using an L1 system to use the complete dynamic range available (a compressor inherently limits the dynamic range). Many members of this community have commented over the years on how much they have been able to improve their vocal performance by simply using the L1; many comments predate the arrival of the T1.

I highly recommend not using the compressor option for your vocals.  I would instead take time tweak the zEQ to get the tone of your voice to shine through. I would also experiment with the different reverb options and possibly add a bit of delay. Of course, reverb and delay should be used very sparingly as too much reverb can cause problems with feedback. Most often the room provides sufficient amounts of natural reverb, especially with an L1. 

The bottom line is that compression will not bring a noticeable benefit to your voice, especially when proper mic technique will empower you in ways  that a compressor can't!

I hope this is helpful,


Hi mark 

thank you for your reply this really has helped . I tweeked the EQ last night and am much happier with the sound . I am playing tonight so will try with no compression �� I feel I have good mic technique , so will give it a go . I think to be honest I have tried to use every option on the boss just because it's there . I have learned much about sound and settings since having the T1 but do not pretend to understand the technicality of it all and am certainly not a music producer by any stretch of the imagination 

Thank you again for your valuable suggestions 

regards Lucrecia 

Hi Lucrecia,

It's great that you are taking the time to explore the T1 to discover what it can do for you! The ToneMatch presets are a great starting point for EQ settings. It's even better when your microphone (or instrument) has a preset specifically for it. 

Here's a link to the L1® Unofficial Performers Guide - Microphone Technique article in the Wiki in case you hadn't seen it yet.

There's a lot of great information in the Wiki and in these Forums, as well as many members here who are extremely helpful.

Keep having fun!


Hi mark

Thank you again for advice and the link . Just to let you know I turned off the compression on vocals last night at the gig and as I had also change the EQ it sounded awsome so pleased with the result . I also changed the width which I had been rather reluctant to do the change altogether is brilliant thank you again . I am sure I will keep reading and learning finding it fascinating especially when it works with the overall sound and performance 

regards Lucrecia 

That's great to hear Lucrecia!

I'm glad that things are going well for you and thank you for the update; it's alway a pleasure to hear when a fellow musician is getting great results!

Remember to save your current settings in a scene. This way, when you experiment with different settings in your T1 you can always recall these settings.

Enjoy the journey,


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