Compression after dirt question

blobe

Member
Messages
783
Hi gang,

We all know (or at least i guess) that in order to hear yourself the same in the mix, you'll need to crank the dirt volume a little bit , cause of compression and stuff, if you run the dirt at unity with the clean sound, you might disappear. (at least i do)

So my question to peeps running compression after dirt, how do you do it ? do you bring a boost just for this purpose ?
I like the sound of compression after dirt but.. yeah this is problematic to me
 

mrmatt1972

Member
Messages
1,532
I run compression 1st in the pedal chain and also in my loop with all my time based effects. The loop compressor is very light compression with not much attack, and a bit of boost, it compliments overdrive well. The 1st place comp is the country chicken picken squeeze machine. It sounds awful after dirt.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,825
Compressing the dirty tone is what brigs up to an audible level. Worrying about "unity gain" is not really a specific concern.
The 2 advantages are that you can more effectively use the guitar volume to vary the amount of dirt while maintaining a relatively even volume and turning off the compressor results in a good volume boost.

It becomes a bit more versatile with a volume pedal after the comp.
 

Stratobuc

Member
Messages
15,922
Compressor first - dirt after. The disadvantage of doing it reverse is that you raise the noise floor by amplifying the noise or hiss that a distortion or fuzz creates.
 

blobe

Member
Messages
783
The noise isn't my "problem" i just wonder how, let say i'm doing a solo (well i play ambient but whatever) if the compressor is the last on the gain section, there is no way you'll stick out like a sore thumb when you have to play your 15 notes
I'm still experimenting there is a cool video from those guy at gig rig . basically there is no "best" solution, but my post wasn't about placement :)

 

donfrantz

Yo! You stealin’ all the cool.
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,374
Compressing the dirty tone is what brigs up to an audible level. Worrying about "unity gain" is not really a specific concern.
The 2 advantages are that you can more effectively use the guitar volume to vary the amount of dirt while maintaining a relatively even volume and turning off the compressor results in a good volume boost.

It becomes a bit more versatile with a volume pedal after the comp.
That's what I do. For more dirt--turn up volume on guitar and turn down volume on VP.
 

dwoverdrive

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,710
The question for me isnt "how" people set up compression after dirt, but "why." It opens up a huge box of problems from noise to congested tone, to getting lost in the mix. I realize this doesnt help the OP to point this out but I would really examine what it is you like exactly about having a compression after distortion. It really limits the effectiveness of the compressor on the full frequency range of the instrument.
 

strangesounds

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
110
I run a Bearfoot PGC after my overdrives with just a touch of compression, and use judicious stacking and volume with the overdrives so that whatever functions as lead boost also boosts volume into the compressor.

That won't work with all comps though. Another option is to leave a dedicated boost after your comp.
 

blobe

Member
Messages
783
I do use the compressor after the dirt to even everything out (and yes it's ironical since i ask after how to get "more" volume) , i use my compressor as a limiter. Plus, it gives me my attack back in my dirt pedals and since i use "touch" sensitive drives i figured it would be better this way.
Plus, i love to be a pain in the ass :(
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,504
Your overdrive and distortion are pretty much compressor as is. One aspect of those devices is they change the dynamic range of your sound, they pack the sound in the headroom so to speak. But of course they have their effect side but they limit or compress. It's pretty evident if record a clean guitar and go from soft to loud you can see the meter or wave represent a larger dynamic range, but turn on your overdrive, fuzz, dist, etc...and you can play lightly or hammer the crap out of it and the meter or wave is very limited in where it goes...most of the time it's just "on" regardless of what you play.

An actual compressor has more control though and since most people use it to "control" their signal it would go in the first stage of your pedal chain...like the very first thing after a tuner. But it's completely up to you. Most people get the signal under control with the device and then add devices after it to bring it alive so to speak...but under the controlled signal.

Good example is a kik drum...compress it to control the attack, THEN EQ it to create the kick ass kik sound. Guitar is no different, vocal is no different, etc...most people use it first in any instruments chain to control the natural (or unnatural) flow of the instruments dynamic range, then use devices after it to create the sound they want.
 

mikoo69

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,473
Love comp after OD. I set it with very light compression, and so that the volume is at unity/slightest boost in volume with it on when my volume knob is on 10. Now, when I roll my volume knob back to 6-7 I still get the same kind of cleanup from my dirt pedal, but the output is more consistent/louder than it would be without the compression engaged. If I turn off the compressor, super delicate parts get a bit lost in the mix. With the comp on, I have a more consistent output and can ride my volume knob all night and play super soft and super hard without worrying about my place in the mix. I use the comp as a mix tool rather than as an effect so I make sure that at full volume it's not squashing my sound audibly; just holding it in place.
 

Black_Label

Member
Messages
4,530
I run my pedalboard compressor before dirt. I prefer to distort a compressed found than to compress a distorted sound. It just evens and smooths everything out if you don't overdo it.

I'll also usually add compression to the final mix when recording, which is obviously post distortion. This is really more to sit it in the mix rather than trying to altar the guitar's sound.
 

tubekingsley

Member
Messages
3,129
Love comp after OD. I set it with very light compression, and so that the volume is at unity/slightest boost in volume with it on when my volume knob is on 10. Now, when I roll my volume knob back to 6-7 I still get the same kind of cleanup from my dirt pedal, but the output is more consistent/louder than it would be without the compression engaged. If I turn off the compressor, super delicate parts get a bit lost in the mix. With the comp on, I have a more consistent output and can ride my volume knob all night and play super soft and super hard without worrying about my place in the mix. I use the comp as a mix tool rather than as an effect so I make sure that at full volume it's not squashing my sound audibly; just holding it in place.
Good post, I agree...
 

Nota

Member
Messages
2,904
I'm a compressor noob, but I've recently found that a *minimal* amount of compression before dirt really helps to even out my volume without killing my dynamics. I can still use my volume knob from 1-10.
 




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