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View Full Version : How to Use Dyna Comp


MrNick
09-25-2008, 11:43 AM
We I bought a dyna comp on a whim. I play telecaster in an alt country style band. I do quite a bit of clean picked rhythm guitar through twin reverb or super reverbs. I use a maxon OD-820 for leads.

My question is, I've never been a comp user, and had never played with one until today. How do I use this thing? I know this sounds like dumb question, but what will this pedal do for me? What are some settings that you guys can recommend? Should it go before or after the OD, and should I turn it off when the OD is on?

Terry Hayes
09-25-2008, 11:48 AM
We I bought a dyna comp on a whim. I play telecaster in an alt country style band. I do quite a bit of clean picked rhythm guitar through twin reverb or super reverbs. I use a maxon OD-820 for leads.

My question is, I've never been a comp user, and had never played with one until today. How do I use this thing? I know this sounds like dumb question, but what will this pedal do for me? What are some settings that you guys can recommend? Should it go before or after the OD, and should I turn it off when the OD is on?

I have always liked the compressor before the OD but having it after also yields some useful tones.

As to settings, I usually put the sustain knob at 12 o'clock and set the output so that it is a little louder than when bypassed.

Or, you could try the classic Nashville settings and turn the sustain all the way down and the output all the way up. I think Jerry Reed used his that way.

Terry

BMF Effects
09-25-2008, 11:57 AM
Personal preference...Volume at 2 o'clock, Sensitivity at 10 o'clock.

Catoogie
09-25-2008, 12:35 PM
Personal preference...Volume at 2 o'clock, Sensitivity at 10 o'clock.

Almost everyone I see who uses a Dyna Comp has the controls set at 10 & 2 or right around there.

screamingduck
09-25-2008, 12:46 PM
Speaking of BMF Effects, I just had the opportunity to play one of Scott's modded DynaComp's and it was sweet indeed. It seemed much quieter and the squeeze factor was improved alot over the stock DynaComp. I have a MiniBiComp that I've been using for several years and am very tempted to sell it and get the BMF modded DynaComp in it's place. Damn gas (real gasoline!) prices are makinig it tough to support my normal G.A.S. needs.
In the past I used to run my compressor as a boost with the volume all the way up and sustain all the way down. However, now that I have several boosts on my board (Klon and Timmy for different shades of dirty, BMF Fat Bastard for clean and Menatone VOS for last resort) I have gone back to using my comps for compression. (Go figure!)
I usually run my Ross/Dyna comp style clone with the volume slightly above unity gain and the sustain at about 2 0' clock and it gives me such excellent squish for pedal steel and chicken pickin' type licks. I like to run my comp's before my OD pedals and when goosing my Zendrive, OCD, or FD2 it is sustain, sweet tone heaven.
I've always thought of compressors as kind of a "secret weapon'. They tend to be low key and not overtly noticeable but they can add so much to your sound it is amazing.

tjmicsak
09-25-2008, 12:56 PM
What the compressor does is even out the volume of your playing dynamics. When you play and dig in it will take the "bite" out of the initial attack, but in doing so give it a soft "punch" and pop. Nice for that poping twang of a tele. Additionally by doing all this it lends a certain character to the tone by flattening out the picking attack.
Because the compressor "cuts" the initial attack volume, it means that you have a hidden excess of volume level above what you then hear within the compresson so rather than the guitar sustain going from an initial attack and dropping of, it instead has a punch that stays level until the actual output of your guitar drops below the compressor setting. In other words your volume has a shelf at that level before beginning to drop off. This gives the guitar "sustain" because of the longer durration of the volume shelf and subsequent drop.
So there are really two uses for a compressor, both to give character and punch to the tone and attack, and also to increase sustain.
There is a third effect you get from a compressor by the limiter effect, and that is when running into an OD unit or the front end of a hot amp that is saturating, the compressor will limit how hard you initially hit this overdrive with your signal-be it the OD box or the amp. This can tend to give you a little different flavor of drive and breakup.
But if you are a player who uses the guitar volume to control the amount of dirt, the compressor will take some of that control out of your hands because the compressor output will continue to be what it is set at so "rolling off" the volume will have less effect on control.
On the same token a compressor used with a dirt pedal or amp can really enhance the sustain of the overdrive as though while you played and a note decayed there was someone turning the volume up to prolong the sustain.

BMF Effects
09-25-2008, 01:07 PM
Almost everyone I see who uses a Dyna Comp has the controls set at 10 & 2 or right around there.
For me, that's where it feels right. It's noticeably doing the compressor thing but not so much that I feel like I'm fighting with it. An enhancement more than an effect.

screamingduck
09-27-2008, 11:58 AM
What the compressor does is even out the volume of your playing dynamics. When you play and dig in it will take the "bite" out of the initial attack, but in doing so give it a soft "punch" and pop. Nice for that poping twang of a tele. Additionally by doing all this it lends a certain character to the tone by flattening out the picking attack.
Because the compressor "cuts" the initial attack volume, it means that you have a hidden excess of volume level above what you then hear within the compresson so rather than the guitar sustain going from an initial attack and dropping of, it instead has a punch that stays level until the actual output of your guitar drops below the compressor setting. In other words your volume has a shelf at that level before beginning to drop off. This gives the guitar "sustain" because of the longer durration of the volume shelf and subsequent drop.
So there are really two uses for a compressor, both to give character and punch to the tone and attack, and also to increase sustain.
There is a third effect you get from a compressor by the limiter effect, and that is when running into an OD unit or the front end of a hot amp that is saturating, the compressor will limit how hard you initially hit this overdrive with your signal-be it the OD box or the amp. This can tend to give you a little different flavor of drive and breakup.
But if you are a player who uses the guitar volume to control the amount of dirt, the compressor will take some of that control out of your hands because the compressor output will continue to be what it is set at so "rolling off" the volume will have less effect on control.
On the same token a compressor used with a dirt pedal or amp can really enhance the sustain of the overdrive as though while you played and a note decayed there was someone turning the volume up to prolong the sustain.

Outstanding job of concisely explaining what a compressor does. It is not an effect like an OD or echo that is clearly obvious, rather generally a more subtle effect that is not so apparent unless you know what you are listening for. I listened to the Beatles "Nowhere Man" for years and only after having and using a compressor did I realize how squashed the guitar tones are on that song. Another thing to mention is how useful a compressor (generally a rack unit) is for recording acoustic guitars. Jimmy Page loved to add that effects to his acoustics and you can hear it on songs like the beautiful open tuned "Bron-Y-Aur" or however you spell it.

Ringwraith
09-28-2008, 08:06 PM
Do you guys find the Dyna comps really cut the high end??
I built a DIY "vintage" script circuit & couldn't believe how much high end I lost when engaged. Loved the smooth compression but ended up buying a Keeley for my board.
Maybe it's just the build but I heard it was the circuit & folks usually compensate by adding treble on the amp.

Sorry to hijack but I couldn't resist. ;-)

Sean

screamingduck
09-29-2008, 10:48 AM
Do you guys find the Dyna comps really cut the high end??
I built a DIY "vintage" script circuit & couldn't believe how much high end I lost when engaged. Loved the smooth compression but ended up buying a Keeley for my board.
Maybe it's just the build but I heard it was the circuit & folks usually compensate by adding treble on the amp.

Sorry to hijack but I couldn't resist. ;-)

Sean

Send that baby over to Scott at BMF Effects. Maybe he can explain to you what he is doing with his mod (contact him at www.sales@bmfeffects.com (http://www.sales@bmfeffects.com) ) but with my rig, I was getting real nice compression at a very low hiss level, which is the reason I sold my old script logo MXR DynaComp back in the early 80's (man am I getting old!).
I truly loved what my old DynaComp was doing as it provided me with a fairly clean tone that was boosted enough to cut through the mix for sweet sustaining lead lines, yet if I didn't step on it right away, it was major hiss city that sounded horrible until I could get to the peda and cut it off. Whatever he is doing, his modded DynaComp seems to address that issue and he has taken a great pedal and made it amazing.

rileykill
09-29-2008, 10:57 AM
Or, you could try the classic Nashville settings and turn the sustain all the way down and the output all the way up. I think Jerry Reed used his that way.


This is how I use a compressor for fingerpicking. Works very well.

seiko
09-29-2008, 11:32 AM
This is how I use a compressor for fingerpicking. Works very well.


Robert Quine also used one this way for a boost in the Richard Hell days. Check Adrian Belew's use of one in the 80s, however, quite different, sustain all the way, but that's part of how he got that crazy feedback at will.

JoeYello
09-29-2008, 11:36 AM
Robert Quine also used one this way for a boost in the Richard Hell days. Check Adrian Belew's use of one in the 80s, however, quite different, sustain all the way, but that's part of how he got that crazy feedback at will.

Robert Quine and Richard Hell...my favorites! I didn't know anything about Robert's setup. Thanks for that. Anything else about his setup you could tell us?

Joe

seiko
09-29-2008, 11:44 AM
Robert Quine and Richard Hell...my favorites! I didn't know anything about Robert's setup. Thanks for that. Anything else about his setup you could tell us?

Joe

There's very little info on the early stuff but seems like he typically used a black 70s strat into dynacomp and phase 90 and a 50 watt marshall half stack for the very early stuff. All bets are off for recording though, as he had a truck load of Fender amps, fuzzboxes and teles for the studio.

Sometime around 79 he added a deluxe memory man and used one ever since. The Lou Reed set up was dynacomp, MXR dist plus, memoryman and a peavey Bandit.

There's more info on his later work here:

http://www.robertquine.com/

jstone
09-29-2008, 11:58 AM
Compressors such as dyne comp in general are a multi purpose tool. Use it after a wha to even out the gain difference, before everything to remove uneven picking. After an od for even out the lead... or for about one million other purposes.
In studio one thing that I live by the only thing better than a good compressor is 2 good compressors. But be aware that overuse of compressors does not sound that cool.. :)

zachman
09-29-2008, 12:12 PM
I max my output w/ the sensitivity at 1-2 o'clock in front of the amp before dirt