New to compressors

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by cwilcoxson, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. cwilcoxson

    cwilcoxson Member

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    Hey guys,

    I just got a Dynacomp (I know it's not the best comp out there), but I admit I have no idea how to really use it. I'm not really a lead player, more rhythm. My original stuff sounds like a combo of Radiohead/Coldplay, Switchfoot/Foo Fighters, and John Mayer/Maroon 5.

    I like the idea of using this pedal only when I do solos, but since I don't solo often, it seems like a waste of board space. However, some professional playing friends of mine swear by having a comp on all the time. While I like the sustain I get, I don't really care for the sound I get while playing parts of my songs, which mix picking and strumming.

    How do you guys use a compressor pedal? Where do you put it in your chain? Do leave it on all the time or just for certain songs or parts of songs?

    Thanks for the advice...
    CJ
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  2. 12guitdown

    12guitdown Member

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    For me I leave it on all the time if I'm using single coils. for that "leave it on" setting try rolling the comp back to a subtle position, maybe 9 or 10(not sure of the dyna), then set the volume just a hair above unity. A little comp can go a long way.

    I also place mine after wah, before dist.

    Fwiw, I had a dyna clone and found it too dark for HBer's but YMMV.
     
  3. Hugo Da Rosa

    Hugo Da Rosa Silver Supporting Member

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    I leave my compression on all the time because it adds a smoothness to my tone that I feel kind of make or breaks it from other band's sounds. I don't really use that much compression, but enough where it smooths out some of the chordal work and rounds out the pick action. Some people like to use compression as a way to increase sustain (if your compression pedal has a sustain knob) and others like it for the squashed tone. It really sings when you are doing solos.

    IMO, I think compressions should always be one of the first things in your chain, after all the other necessities such as a tuner or a buffer if necessary. You get a really smooth sound when the compression is before the overdrive and it hits the front end of it. If it sits after your overdrive, you get a much more squashed overdrive, thus limiting the looseness of the gain.
     
  4. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    I use it in parts that mix picking and strumming. But only when playing loud and clean. That's where I think compressors are most useful; keeping volumes even when playing chords and single notes loudly in band settings.

    I put the compressor first after the guitar and only use it when I need it.

    And compressors don't increase sustain, they only give the impression of increasing sustain.
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    When I use one, I do usually have it on. The thing about compressors are they are not "sexy" effecty effects when set correctly (at least, how I like to set em). They are one of those effects where you play and play...and think "what is this compressor doing on", turn it off, and hear loss in the sound.

    When recording electric guitar, I usually set the compressor fast on attack, and slow on release.

    If you don't like the picking AND strumming, but like the strumming, just turn it off when you pick and back on again. If it is happening too quickly (i.e. mostly strumming, rythm, with very quick small fills) then Lessen the compression! A compressor can be barely working, but pefectly set.

    For rythm, what it is also doing, it is evening up the discrepencies between string signal strengths...like if you hit each string one-by-one with the same force some strings will be louder, this will even it out which is very nice for rythm.

    I don't know that they used it, but the only way I could get a guitar to sound like the intro solo on "Shine on you crazy Diamond" for one example would be with compressor. It can give that wonderful bubbly clean sound when set right.

    I think of a compressor as a very alert, dedicated, focused soundman working my fader so it always sounds it's best.
     
  6. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    My compressor always stays on too ....
    However I usually put it after my wah .... (though I've been reconsidering that lately...)
     
  7. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    Why not use two?
     
  8. highfive!

    highfive! Member

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    I have a vintage script logo dyna, and I don't leave it on. I use it for solo boost/sustain, to level out picking parts, as a color effect for squashy/funky parts, when I use my pog to mimic a twelve string, etc. It's off more than on. I place it after my phaser/seek wah to even out level changes, but before dirt, regular wah, and everything else. I like my wah after dirt, so that's where my chain differs from most. I also sometimes use a Demeter Compulator with single coils, which, in that case I always leave on.
     
  9. bobotwt

    bobotwt Member

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    Chris,

    Josh Gleaves here. The dyna isnt the best for a leave-on comp IMO. what type of guitars are you playing? I have some you can try out sometime.

    Josh
     
  10. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    I did a youtube idiots guide to goosing/stacking last week, there's a section in there on compression with just a tele with a compressor maxed out to show how squishing the tone can really help with things like pinched harmonics when drive is added:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsgY9uyL_38

    I think in that one section I was using slight break up on the amp.
     
  11. H_V_C

    H_V_C Member

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    I use a PGC always on. (on my smaller board I have a Tone Press, still always on)
    Invaluable too that I have only discovered in the past few months. I'll never be without one again.
    I use mine after wah, octavia, univibe, then before everything else. I am very, very happy with this placement.
     

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