Compression Ideas

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bilbal, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    I am looking to incorporate a compressor into my rack rig. I have used a Keeley that I really liked for clean tones but had some difficulty dialing it in with my dirtier tones. I feel pretty confident that I would have been able to dial it in for the dirtier tones had I a little more time with it.

    I don't know if I want to continue with rack pieces or grab another Keeley and put it on a shelf. Is there a difference between the Keeley compression and say...a dbx unit or is compression, compression? One other question is should I run the compressor in line (first) with my Triaxis or should I simply run it in the Tri' effects loop? What units work best?

    The compressor on in my Lexicon preocessor is a dbx and it seems to be pretty good. However, the Lexi can only run 2 effects at a time and I use it for delay and reverb. That said, I obviously need a dedicated compression unit.

    Thanks for the help,
    Bill
     
  2. cacibi

    cacibi Member

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    Not familiar with rack units so much - but the Maxon CP9 Pro+ is a very high quality unit, with dbx noise reduction and more standard compressor controls - including an LED which indicates when the compressor is kicking in.

    I think the general signal chain thinking is first in the chain - but I would experiment in your situation as putting it in the fx loop of your preamp may help solve problems you were having with the Keeley.
     
  3. benjisaynomore

    benjisaynomore Member

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    Barber Tone Press...can do the keeley thing...and with the blend knob can be adjusted to compress less/more etc.
     
  4. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    A. There's a huge difference between the Keeley (derived from the MXR/Ross circuit) and modern optical or "soft knee," studio-quality compressors.

    B. How you choose to use a comp depends on what you need from it. Talking about the differences between studio peak limiting, studio compression and the typical guitar pedal effect is something like talking about the differences between tape saturation, overdriven tubes and a Big Muff. Do you want a better "seat" in a full band mix, preamping without treble spikes or "chicken pickin'" squeeze? Put it another way: what is it about your guitar signal and/or the sound of the Tri you're trying to "fix" with the comp?
     
  5. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    I would answer that this way: I want my cleans not to spike and for it to be more uniform, at the same time I want to tighten up my lead tone. Does that make sense?
     
  6. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    Sure. I would say that you're looking for something with high threshold and low noise, and that's not coming from the typical compression pedal (and even the higher headroom optical circuits like the Diamond and Menatone pedals aren't really designed to sound good in a loop or after a tube preamp). You might want to check out the FRM Audio "Really Nice Compressor" (RNC), it's a half-rack unit which requires wall-wart power, but if you've got a decent power supply in your rack already it's the best deal in a transparent, pro-quality limiter I've found.
     
  7. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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  8. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    Correct. A real pro-quality tool, not a toy. If that doesn't do it, you don't really want a compressor in/after the Tri.
     
  9. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    Thanks man!! I appreciate your help very much!!!

    :D
     
  10. 8nthatK

    8nthatK Supporting Member

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    Agreed. The RNC is top notch for what you're looking for, I really dig mine.

    For pedals I've found the Analogman stuff much better then the Keeley. The top end stays open on the Analogman compROSSor while the Keeley sounds dull and congested IMO.
    But I'm a Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer man myself, which isn't as transparent. But I love what they add, I'm an addict for 'em, lol. Lucky for me Analogman makes the Juicer which nails that sound.

    Best of luck with the RNC, it's a great unit.
     
  11. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    So basically the RNC is a stay on type, set and forget it compressor?

    That is exactly what I'm looking for. Basically the way my rig is set up is I have all my set-'em and forget-'em pieces in my rack and anything else that I would need to turn on and off is at my feet. Though my rack is capable, I don't choose to do any midi switching other than changing preamp voices on the Triaxis. I play in a Dead cover band and I never really know what sounds I am going to need at what time. So my rack has the Triaxis and 2:90 which change together through the Simul-Class switching by use of a basic up, down, bank midi channel changer. My eq curve, reverb, delay (300-400ms echo basically), enhancer, wah (auto), wah pedal, and compressor (once I get the RNC) will be set and not require changing aside from minor tweaks on the fly depending on the room dynamics.

    Sounds good to me. I recently went back to a rack rig because I realized the Triaxis was the most sensible unit for me. It has tons of tone and is super versatile. I would like to grab a couple combos and a heads to have also but I'm gonna have to wait on them 'cause I'm broke.
     
  12. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    Pretty much, though I haven't gigged one- I've used it as a recording tool. As I mentioned earlier, it's in your interest to have a power conditioner b/c any line noise you're getting at the gig is likely to be picked up by the wall wart.

    As far as the Dead cover gig goes, I'd be interested to know about the speakers you're using with the 2:90. Also, have you tried the Foxrox Octron? It's got the '77-> MuTron octave sounds and it tracks better than the original. Not cheap, but it's the best of its type I've heard and they do turn up used around here.
     
  13. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    I am using a Marshall 2x12 stereo cab with 75s. I didn't care for the cab at first. I was very impatient and it seemed very rigid for quite some time. I didn't have any extra cash for a new cabinet so I waited it out. Now that it is broken in, I am completely stoked with how the Marshall sounds. I am actually the Bobby guy in this band. I am looking for a good wah but it needs to have the reverse drive to compliment the Mutron sounds. Bobby liked to use the reverse and I have a decent one going with my old Boss T-Wah it's just not a very pronounced "wah" or "haw" as it is. I have been looking for awhile now and the coolest one I have found is the Jacques Trinity but like you suggested the FoxRox, I am open to other suggestions. My buddy that does the Jer' part has such a killer wah from his EH pedal. I want to compliment that accordingly but I cannot find anything that has me sold on it yet. I'm gonna check into the FoxRox pedal right now - thanks!!!!

    bilbal

    ps: Will my Furman do the trick for power conditioning concerns? It's the M-SERIES one with lights.
     
  14. bilbal

    bilbal Member

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    Just checked out the FoxRox pedal. I thought you were talking about an envelope filter/wah pedal sorry. That pedal is cool for octave work. I guess the name should have clued me in - it's take me awhile to catch on but I do eventually arrive - LOL!!!!! That pedal could come handy for some of the spacey stuff. I'm sure it would be a killer tool for Garcia stuff too.

    Hey thanks for your help - I appreciate it. Got any suggestions for the reverse wah thing by chance?
     
  15. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd imagine so, assuming it's in good shape.

    As far as the reverse-wah goes: the Maxon AF-9 has a "Drive Up/Down" switch on it which changes the attack envelope, I think that's what you're looking for (wasn't Weir using the Ibanez version in the late 70s? or was he a MuTron guy, too?). Haven't tried the Jacques, but he's generally a pretty approachable guy and you could probably get a response if you dropped him an email.

    Interesting that you've gone with the C75s, they're generally known to be the most "scooped" of the higher-powered Celestions. Glad it's working out for you.
     

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