Compressor? Why?

flatdream

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
411
It comes and go but it was part of my "foundation" tone with the Funk band I was playing with so almost always on.
It s a good tool for those funky rythms and riffs. I ended up with the Cali 76 deluxe which is warmer and cleaner (noise wise) than the previous I used (diamond, Dharma) but also a bit less "FX" and squish.
I put it in the end of the signal chain.
These days I tend to use more OD and do less clean tone funk rythm stuffs so it s mostly off.
I don t think it sound as good with overdrives as it compress more and change the color of the drive...
 

Occam

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,182
I normally hate compressors for guitar...that's mainly because I use a lot of fuzz most of the time and that naturally compresses everything. Even on cleans I don't like the lack of dynamics...I feel confident that my picking gets me where I want to be but I also use loud, tube amps at least a little dirty even when clean so that again gives me some natural compression. Lately though I'll use it when I'm doing heavily effected, "sound-scape" stuff because some of the pedals like the Infinite Jets really likes an even signal. Just playing dead clean into a clean amp feels terrible to me. I've never found a pedal that felt like the compression from a tube amp or even a good compression unit like an LA2A or 1176, they all just clamp off the transient too much but I haven't tried many. My only reason for posting is that they can be a bit shocking and I got my first compressor pedal thinking "this guy does it, it must be a pro move" and it's a feel thing, most people don't use them and don't need them.
 

Pewtershmit

Member
Messages
582
Former Compressor hater here - Diamond Comp convert.

-it helps augment the feel in a pleasing way when I'm not playing at band volume. tube amp naturally compresses when I play with the band and the nuances are lost anyway. in quiet or headphone situations you can be a lot more critial of what you are hearing.
-Gives me a volume adjuster on my P-board, if I'm using humbuckers and I switch to singles I can use the Comp to get the output and feel of the singles to match the humbuckers, but still retain the vibe. Handy if I'm plugging into something way different than normal.
-I like a real thumpy clean tone, comp really helps this.
 
Messages
579
I generally cover a pretty jangly pop style, having those transients smoothed off really helps to balance it all out. But I’d turn it off if I’m trying to play with really wide dynamics. Jazz or blues for instance.
 

weyllandin

Member
Messages
805
I play in a bluegrass-ish wedding/party band and we recently added a quality compressor pedal to each of our signal chains.. It vastly improved our live sound when going through a PA using more than one mic, as it turns a truckload of string instrument transients covered in mud into four distinguishable voices.

For some genres that play absolutely clean electric guitar, like funk and country, it's a staple. I for one never play absolutely clean electric guitar without a compressor/limiter, as the transients take off my head while the sustain is barely heard and the loudness is a bit uneven across the strings as well as between chords and single notes. Maybe I'm a bad player, but while I'm no pro guitarist, I honestly don't think so. I haven't heard a single guitarist yet who didn't sound better clean with a bit of compression. With some breakup, the compression comes through clipping, so unless we're talking clean tones, everybody uses compression in a way. Thag said, I don't really use compression after dirt, and do not like it before.
 

Coiled

Member
Messages
713
Mine is hardly noticeable the way I have it dialed but it just adds something, a rounded three dimensional sound. When I turn it off it is missed. (Almost always on). I do not like the sound of it turned up high at all, it keeps the level too even between hard and soft playing. It’s like my Diamond pedal is saying “hey buddy, you can bang on your guitar all day but we’ll keep the volume the same.”

I do turn it off for light gain blues, but it could stay on. If I had to chose one pedal only, this would be the one.
 
Messages
667
I use it for clean solos. Adds sustain, and it’s set for (hopefully) just the right amount of volume boost.
I do occasionally use it in conjunction with overdrive, if I want a lot of sustain and volume. With the tone knob rolled down I like having both on slide playing. But with the compressor and overdrive both set for volume boost, I have to be careful not to be too loud on solos.
 

Sofakingblue

Member
Messages
163
I quit using them because it seemed to dampen the effectiveness and affect of the guitar's volume knob. I moved to a lower watt amp so I can crank up the tubes to gain compression. Dialing back the guitar volume will provide more dynamics. Just my opinion.
 

TL;DR

Member
Messages
1,316
I don’t like compression before distortion for the type of stuff I now normally play, as I like to straddle the breakup line with my right hand, and the compressor introduces a “sameness” that I’ve worked hard to eliminate. That being said, I always have “post production” compression going in recordings, as it “professionalizes” the sound. I never ran a compressor in the loop at gigs, (I used to get my main tone without pedals :eek::eek::eek::eek:, but when I was working, I had not learned about the necessity of “always on” pedals from TGP) but the sound guy certainly used it. A compressor is great for “guitar hero” stuff. You don’t hit the note perfect, it still sounds perfect. It’s also awesome for dialing in a “always there” great tone (comfortably numb). If I were to return to gigging (not gonna happen) I’d put my compressor after my Wah, 808, TWE-1, and ethos, but before my time based or (if I was gonna use them) modulation effects.
 
Messages
2,295
I have two. The Xotic SP and the DOD ($45 just had to.)

I avoid using them on a routine basis because it’s uncool and not dynamic mojo BRO.

I use it here and there for the times I’m so bummed about my clean playing and how crappy I sound, I’ll kick it in to bring things together a little bit. Try to give myself a little confidence boost or perhaps just a different feel under me fingers.

I’ve always had major issues with subtlety when it comes to playing on the clean channel with lots of headroom, so I try to challenge myself in that respect, without the compressor. I have always played metal so my technique is poor

Edit: I didn’t notice the “live” part. Bedroom shredder here, disregard
Low volume is exactly where the compressor shines. I loud distorted amp has a lot of compression. The pedal makes up for this at low volume.

Use your compressor proudly!
 

Highway Man

Member
Messages
378
I use the LA-2A compressor model in the HX Effects on low compression as a totally clean, ‘personal fader’ style boost.

I don’t really like the squishy style compression even when I’m playing country.
 

Oinkus

Member
Messages
4,553
I use a comp at the start of my chain to focus the signal to make my other pedals sound better. Pretty dependent on your setup and if it will help you. It can't be on when I use the vibe or if I put a fuzz in the chain sometimes. Lots of ways to use it and make improvements to your sound. Really depends on you and your rig but in a live mix it gives you a little more control if you are using a lot of volume.
 

guitarplayer

Member
Messages
558
I just bought a Strymon Compadre because I've never owned a compression pedal and wanted to see what I was missing. A few folks posted they use it for country chicken pickin and never for blues. I play mostly bluesy stuff which might explain why so far I haven't bonded with the pedal. The compression effect is very subtle but one thing I've noticed is when it's on I miss the guitar's harmonics. It seems to suck the harmonics and tone. As this is supposed to be a very good compression pedal, I suspect that would be the case with any compression pedal. So far, I'm not digging it but it may be either because my playing needs to advance more or that my playing style is not compatible with a compression pedal.
 

Sam Xavier

Member
Messages
5,304
I use one now and again for a couple of my songs. I have the guitar volume rolled back to almost clean, with a BF-2 added. The compressor in front gives the notes a nice percussive attack.
 

The Comedian

Member
Messages
49
I think the need for compression largely depends on playing style. If you play Texas blues, I'd stay away from it. Any Chili Peppers rendition benefits from compression though - 'Can't Stop' - 'Under the Bridge' are all heavily compressed. Funk and country and sustain on rock solos, that's what I use it for.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,067
I totally get why compression for an overall recording mix mastering, etc. But I've tried really nice compressors probably 3-4 times in all kinds of playing situations live (subtly not squashed) and absolutely hate the effect. It's like something taking over the dynamics of your guitar feel. For example, if you're playing clean with dynamics (soft-loud) and you purposely want to accent/punch a note - the compressor squashes the dynamic/punch. I also felt the compressor EQ's your sound subtly and removes some of the highs. I like controlling dynamics with playing pressure. My guitars & amps sustain plenty so don't need them for that either. I'm saying this knowing other players use them and sound great. They just really distract me when playing.
 

Amp_Addicted

Member
Messages
534
I use my 2 channel SlideRig all of the time. It just makes my guitar sound more euphonic. Compressor pedals aren't for everybody. Once I found one I loved, it became integral. They can be used for boosting your signal & sustaining leads. I use my SlideRig as a boost pedal. It also helps my fuzz pedals seem more articulate. They aren't just for jangly tones, funk or country.
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,863
Live on a regular basis? Yes

Why? Well, its a really good tool for multiple applications. For one in a dense band mix a compressor is a must for clean sounds. Another great app is adding sustain to OD pedals with little or no additional clipping. They're also great boosts.
 




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