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What's with everyone with a compressor??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by eric-d, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    I've never owned but I've tried these little gadgets... I can never get them to sound right.... What's a good one and what settings do you use?? What's the usual use of this thing??? This is like the only pedal I could never understand.... :NUTS
     
  2. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I've got a Maxon CP101 which is the best ever subtle comp. I mainly have it for making clean tones sustain and I crank the compression for any funk/R&B rhythm stuff I might have to do on a gig.

    Then I have a BYOC Ross clone I built. I modded it slightly for a nice even high end. I CANNOT tell the difference between this pedal and a Keeley Compressor. I mainly use it for the same reasons as the Maxon but this pedal rocks for the more "effect" type of compression. Pretty squashed and "boingy". Cool country compression too.

    Right now I have the Ross clone on my gig board.
     
  3. lcjc800

    lcjc800 Member

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    I use a Barber Tone Press, It has a parallel circuit to allow the uncompressed signal to be mixed back in to give the sound a blooming effect and all the other country sounds that are associated with compression. Both the attack and sustain can be controlled to get single note or hard rhythm work to sound uniform, enough time spent with a quality unit will get you thinking in a positive mind about it's uses,if it fits your music's style.
     
  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I can't even claim for sure that it was used in it actually, but think "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" intro...the bubbly, glassy yet full sounding leads up on the 12th fret.

    THAT is what I often use a compressor for. I can play it without, but it just adds (when set very subtley) that.

    Another use, some of my guitar can get "boomy" on rythm guitar, espectially with open chords...the compressor can be set to even that out, get rid of the boominess, and sound a little more like an acoustic guitar.

    I can also set it to squash the hell out of my playing, used as an effect.

    A compressor can also help you cut through a mix a little better, or as a slight boost for leads.
     
  5. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Sorry...when I say THAT is what I use it for, I mean that clean beautiful bubbly sound. Can also drive an OD harder.

    I played up on the 15th frets some clean small solo in a slow blues piece. This was before I got a compressor. I took the ED-1 one night and payed the same part (I could have been more "on" maybe, but really, I think it was the same about as I have played before) and suddenly the band is talking about changing the song so I played that "really beautiful sounding part" longer.

    I KNOW it was the compressor. It just gets you that little bit over the hump, to where really nice sounds get just a touch nicer.
     
  6. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    Hmmm.... I might get an Analog.Man comp and see what this is all about... :)
     
  7. Dave LaP

    Dave LaP Member

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    I am so with you Devil tone. I've been playing for many years and I can't get a damn compressor to like me. I've tried Boss, Dod and Carl Martin. Other people I know use em and sound great. It's a mystery to me.....

    I always swear off on compressors and then a few years later start questioning myself..."maybe I should try the new xyz model hmmmm..."
     
  8. Matts Tone

    Matts Tone Member

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    I think compressors come under 2 areas the optical compressors & Ross style compresses.

    Optical - more subtle compression which is based on studio stlye compression. eg, Demeter Compulator, Menatone JAC, Diamomond Compressor etc.

    Ross Style - More squashed compression when you really want to hear the compression come through. eg, Analogman CompROSSor, Keeley Compressor, Barber Tone Press.

    Good links to check out:

    http://www.muzique.com/comp.htm

    &

    http://www.prosoundcommunications.com/english/video/michael_thompson2/index.html

    I hope that helps ;)
     
  9. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    i've been using the PedalDoctor Tangerine Squeeze, which is a Orange clone, and it sounds so good. I've had alot of different comps in the last few years and most of them seem to add alot of highs, but this one doesn't do that. It has a volume and a compression knob and is quite versatile. I know PedalDoctor (don't confuse him with FxDoctor) isn't very well known around here, but he makes some great stuff. Check it out at: www.pedaldoctor.com
     
  10. gitpicker

    gitpicker Silver Supporting Member

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    I hear you Devil-Tone - I have had a few compressors, and go back and forth on whether they are worth the time and trouble. If I am playing a gig with a band that plays alot of country, I use my Analogman Juicer - it does some interesting things to my Strat, especially in the 2nd or 4tn pickup selector positions. If I play a gig that is mostly rock and blues, I leave it at home. I WANT dynamics when I play leads....
     
  11. Blues Wail

    Blues Wail Member

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    listen to the clips on www.pedalworx.com!! i use mine comp in front of the
    chain, i play a lot of funk, it is great for that, booster as well!:horse
     
  12. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks. Great info. Always wondered why I love my Compulator so much but thought the Barber pedal sounded too processed.
     
  13. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    Compressors reduce dynamic range which increases the average volume of whatever you run through it by squashing the loudest sounds and amplifying the quiet ones. You can also use a compressor to mess with the attack of a given signal and either smooth it out or exaggerate it.

    Typically pedal comps are used for several purposes.
    1. Even out spiky dynamics. Great for acoustic guitar, clean electric (i.e. country style) gtr and slide which tend to produce very uneven sounds depending on how hard you pick or whether you're picking or strumming. Good compressors not only even the sound out but can add a shimmering effect (because all the low level harmonics are brought to the front) that you really can't get any other way. If you squash too much it can sound unnatural which is where a parallel comp like the Tone press comes in. You mix uneffected signal with the squashed signal and you get the natural tone combined with the desirable effects of compression.

    2. Add sustain. Great for solos and slide guitar. The amount of sustain can be controlled using the release knob if the pedal has one.

    3. Add snappy attack. Great for country guitar picking. It helps to have a comp with a variable attack knob so you can dial in the amount of snap.

    4. As a solo boost. Most comps come with an output level knob with quite a bit boost.

    Also keep in mind that comps tend to dull your tone when using excessive compression.
     
  14. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I really like my Analogman CompROSSor and ToneFactor Squeeze Factor... they are very different sounding. The Analogman is a smooth and even sounding compressor, has a slight color (only when engaged)... The Squeeze Factor is all the way up all the time and you blend in the compressed signal with the dry signal, it gets almost a "krang" type sound, like Knopfler's Dire Straits and solo guitar sound... Can be very dynamic, even though they accomplish it by matching the levels of your notes (decreasing dynamics)... I'd at least check out an Orange Squeezer clone of some sort...
    Actually, a compressor doesn't have to destroy your dynamics. Each of my compressors has a different way of dealing with this. The Analogman Ross clone has an attack delay ("attack") control that delays the compression effect of each new note until after the attack has come through. Thus, your playing can be heard uncompressed for the attack, and then compressed. The Squeeze Factor only has two knobs, one for level and one for blend. If I had the blend control set at noon, then the output of the pedal is 50% compressed and 50% uncompressed, your dynamics should still be present in the final result if they were worth preserving in the first place (I just got the Squeeze Factor, I like the blend knob with it on between halfway and full up... I guess there's useful tones within the range of this control. I'm sure you could also use it as a boost.
     
  15. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I use the Diamond Comp which, as someone pointed out, is a transparent, subtle comp. What it does is it evens out my dynamics without it being readily audible (and I only play with it with the compression knob at 9:00). However, shut that baby off and I sound about 80 times more unprofessional. It's not that I play sloppily, I don't, but it's what you get used to with the comp on or off.

    +1 to all the comments about leads as well. Heavy compression can make your clean guitar tone respond almost like a heavily distorted tone, where all your fills come through just as clearly as your strumming. Less compression will help do this as well.

    I love my Diamond comp. Studio compression in a box, check it out
     
  16. dividedsky

    dividedsky Supporting Member

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    Make sure you try out an Orange compressor as well. I have owned or extensively played Keeley, Ross, Barber, DynaComp, etc. but have kept an Orange comp the longest. Basically there are 2 flavors of compression: Ross & Orange. I would recommend picking up an Analogman Bi-Comp (you can get a mini version with no wait) so you can have both of them right there to try out.
     
  17. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I've only owned an old Boss CS-2 and a reissue DynaComp - wound up hating both. Just killed all my dynamics. So they aren't orange squeezer variants then? Maybe that's what I need to check out...
     
  18. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    RonSound makes an excellent repo of the Danelectro Orange Squeezer - they dubbed it the Squeeze-O-Matic: http://www.ronsound.com/
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Even good studio compressors can be tricky to get sounding good, and I've been using them in the studio for 20 years...

    I find guitar pedal compressors pretty awful sounding devices, for the most part; they tend to bring up the noise level, and on most you can't adjust the threshold and the release. There are other ways to get a signal to sustain.

    However, they are useful for certain purposes, in some cases essential. If you can borrow a decent studio compressor, and experiment with it, you'll get a better idea of what to do with a pedal version, and what to listen for when you go shopping.

    Just a thought.
     
  20. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I wouldn't be without one, and leave it on almost all the time. Great and accurate commentary here. I keep it set low, and use it to gain the 'eveness' that many spoke of. A must for any rythym work, and the added sustain for lead is another benefit. To appreciate its benefits, play a while with one on, then click it off. You'll turn it right back on. I use a Keeley and think it's great, but I never understood the differences in types until this thread. Now I'm tempted to try the optical Demeter, as I only like the most moderate of settings anyway. AC
     

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