Compressor pedals and riding the volume knob

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by 56_Special, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    I'd like to incorporate a compressor pedal into my rig but I ride the guitars volume knob. Presumably if the volume coming from the guitar is attenuated by the volume knob, it doesn't exceed the pedal's threshold and nothing happens. What is the best approach to this problem?
     
  2. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Riding the volume to control your amp's distortion, pedal distortion or overall volume level?

    For amp overdrive, it makes it more difficult unless putting the comp an the effect loop works for you (if you have one, I don't). On the other hand, I use a comp into a dirty amp for stuff that switches between open chords and picking and I find I have enough (though clearly diminished) control over the breakup.

    For pedal distortion, put the pedal before the compressor.

    For volume, it will definitely diminish your control. One thing you can do is use a volume pedal, a transparent boost and control it with your foot (like the Micro Amp, using the rubber knob cover) or put a kickdisk on the compressors volume knob.
     
  3. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Thanks for your comments! I use my guitar volume knob both to control amp overdrive and volume.
     
  4. jocfan1

    jocfan1 Member

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    As Heady said, your control is definitely diminished. How much depends on how much squeeze you're using. Personally I use a relatively light amount (just enough to even my OD tone out when I switch between strumming & picking), and I can still get a nice roll-off of drive/volume, I just have to roll the knob back a bit farther. If you're really squashing your sound, then you're not going to get much from your knob. That's where a good volume pedal after the compressor comes in really handy.
     
  5. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    I should also say that I only really want compression on my clean sounds, so I'm happy to switch it off when I roll the know up to get the amp to overdrive. I suppose, increasing the sensitivity knob on the compressor to compensate could work.
     
  6. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    go guitar-fuzzface-compressor. that way you get all the vol rolloff thing going on with the compressor engaged and the fuzz played "clean" but when it's time to get dirty, you roll up and bam, the compressor isn't choking the fuzz. need a bit more dynamic control once you're at full fuzz? click the compressor off. done!
     
  7. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    So you roll down your volume knob for cleans, but keep the amp set for overdrive?

    In that case, set the compressor below unity volume so engaging it has the same effect as rolling your guitar volume knob back, while also adding compression.
     

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