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Have any of you guys who used to heavily use a compressor decide you no longer needed it?

Overdriver18

Member
Messages
978
Have any of you guys who used to heavily use a compressor decide you no longer needed it or wanted it? Short of an entire genre change - like moving from country to metal or something like that. Is compression one of those things where once it clicks, it never un-clicks?
 

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,373
I got hooked on using a compressor for a while. After a few years I discovered that my right hand technique was getting really inaccurate/lazy, so I took the compressor of the board for a while. It felt really awkward at first, but I adapted rather quickly and have now been compressor free for nearly a year on my main board.

Just yesterday, I thought I would try out a compressor again in rehearsal, and I found it completely unnecessary. Same gig, same songs, but I've grown to love a less compressed sound.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,091
I was once a self described compressor addict. Big Fan of Trey Anastasio's tone with drive -> comp.
I let it go when I did a bunch of downsizing. Even currently play country without a compressor.

An optical comp (currently a Diamond) is a great addition to a simple signal chain for acoustic.
 

Overdriver18

Member
Messages
978
I got hooked on using a compressor for a while. After a few years I discovered that my right hand technique was getting really inaccurate/lazy, so I took the compressor of the board for a while. It felt really awkward at first, but I adapted rather quickly and have now been compressor free for nearly a year on my main board.

Just yesterday, I thought I would try out a compressor again in rehearsal, and I found it completely unnecessary. Same gig, same songs, but I've grown to love a less compressed sound.
Is there anywhere specifically that I can read about improving my right hand technique? It was not something i really learned about when I took lessons as a kid, and I'm starting to think that I'm leaning hard on my compressor for EQ and attack changes rather than anything else.
 

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,373
Is there anywhere specifically that I can read about improving my right hand technique? It was not something i really learned about when I took lessons as a kid, and I'm starting to think that I'm leaning hard on my compressor for EQ and attack changes rather than anything else.
Honestly, I don't know about things to read - maybe someone else can give some advice here. I simply could here and feel that I had lost a certain amount of consistency and control by virtue of getting a bit lazy.
 

yacht_rocker

Member
Messages
622
Compression for me is used for low volume work. As I play louder, it not needed. Most outside gigs, I don't need compressors. Low volume tube amps, like a Fender pro jr, does not need a compressor since it saturates early. Hope this helps.
This is exactly how I find myself using my Xotic SP. At this point I'm wondering if I'd better off with a clean boost.
 

jjasleby

Member
Messages
135
I still have my compressor in my board, but I use it pretty much exclusively for recording. I will always love the sound of compressed tone, but I found I was in much greater control of my playing and could be much more expressive with the compressor off. I don't think the compressor is going to teach you bad technique, but turning it off improved my playing by changing the way I interacted with the sound of my guitar and amp.
 

-Empire

Member
Messages
5,975
Been back and forth with compressors for years. I like to have some sustain but zero attack squash (unless the song calls for it), so I turn one on when playing single coils, with medium compression settings, long attack & release times, and blended about 75% dry. Doesn't affect pick attack, but helps my tele feel like it sustains "correctly" i.e. like an LP ;).
 

Rumblemeister

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
453
Light compression is almost always on for me. It does even things out and makes my ODs crunchier and my leads sing more. Compressor du jour is Mad Professor Green Forest. I don't like the dynamics it imparts when playing clean however so I am considering just a boost and see how I fare.
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,041
Depends on the amp, volume, and situation in general. I have one and sometimes I use it and sometimes I don't. It's not something I rely on in any capacity.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
Yep, gave up compression a long time ago. I found it noisy, which I lived with. But once I got a guitar wireless setup, and actually heard what it sounded like in the back of the room at the gig, it went away immediately. Mushy out there. I loved it right in front of the amp. SO maybe the poster above who said it's for low volume/studio work etc is right.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
well said...i sure don't like the sound from my amp with compression alone out front...but mic'd up through a good pa, it's fat and punchy.

only problem is i've grown used to hearing fat and punchy onstage and hate to run w/o :(
I hear you. It took a while to get used to not having it on there.
 

OverdriveLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,490
I used a comp for like 10 years straight. Never left my board. It was an original grey Ross. used it after drives for sustain and to level out volume. Also loved the way it picked up all the subtle picking stuff when clean.

I now no longer use it at all. I think it does make the overall clean tone more full, but i found that with a very good guitar, I get plenty of sustain, and with a great amp, I can get all the subtle dynamics with solid picking hand technique. Mainly my attack got strong enough to achieve the natural chirp I liked that the comp gave, and with the right amp settings and correctly stacking ODs, the comp just adds noise on solos.
 

tonewoody

Member
Messages
1,682
Pretty much any guitar tracks recorded in the last 40-50 years have passed through a compressor at some point.
Why? Because it made it sound better.
 

wyldesigns

Member
Messages
826
I havean always on compresaor, but with very subtle settings, also basically emulating the feel of an amp pushed really hard
 

Overdriver18

Member
Messages
978
Compression for me is used for low volume work. As I play louder, it not needed. Most outside gigs, I don't need compressors. Low volume tube amps, like a Fender pro jr, does not need a compressor since it saturates early. Hope this helps.
When you do use a compressor, do you just slap it at the end of your chain to simulate tube character similar to how it would normally react? Or do you place it somewhere else?
 






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