why a compressor??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by sahertian, May 18, 2011.

  1. sahertian

    sahertian Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    tried a compressor yesterday (mr squishy by toadworks),

    I don't know what the real deal is with this type of effect. It's makes subtle diffs, but is it useable on a loud stage??
  2. crxshdxmmy

    crxshdxmmy Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    I think of a compressor like a bottleneck — something that takes all your signal and forces into a specific range, while adding sustain and balance to your playing. Obviously, there are several different varieties of compressor that treat your signal differently, but I use an optical compressor (Diamond) that's remarkably transparent to do just that.... balance things out and add sustain to my playing. It's good at doing that quite subtly, or rather dramatically depending on how you set it. It also offers EQ functionality that's handy for adding a bit of "sparkle" to my clean sounds or rounding off some of the high end when switching guitars quickly and can be used as either a gain or volume boost as well.

    All in all, quite useful for me. For everyone? Probably not.
  3. eternally found

    eternally found Member

    May 26, 2008
    Lawrence, KS
    I had a Diamond Comp for a while too. Crash hit it right on the head (going to have to remember that bottleneck explanation myself). For me, it made such a little difference, I couldn't justify keeping it. I did want that extra sustain, and much like crash, wanted some sparkle, but I found I could do the same thing using my amp and a clean boost a bit differently (minus the large amount of sustain you can get with a compressor). It's not for everybody, something so subtle didn't end up doing it for me. You may check out something like a Keeley Comp, or to get really colorful, a Dyna Comp, or just stick with what you're doing :D It's definitely an effect, just have to learn how to use it, if you even really need it.

    DGDGBD Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    Some use it as a subtle "always on" integral part of their tone, and/or to help even out the dynamics of rhythm changes, riffs, and solos. Other use it as a lead boost for extra sustain. And of course there is the classic country "tele through a squishy compressor" tone which evens out the dynamics while chicken pickin'.
  5. RockManDan

    RockManDan Member

    Apr 5, 2010
    Durham, NC
    a compressor is a usefull tool if you know how to play into it. Guitars tend to have different tones the harder to pick, esp single coils. When you play into a comp, the volume is levelled out more, so the subtlties of your picking come out more. It allows you to be very expressive while still fitting into the mix and poking out just right. A lot of people who say they dont like compression are just lying. A cranked amp is really all about compression and sustain and attack. Ideally you can use a compressor to make an amp that is quiet behave more like an amp that is loud.
  6. SyKrash

    SyKrash Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    Los Angeles
    For me it helps basically even out the volume of parts that would otherwise have varying degrees of volume.

    Works wonders when you're trying to pick/arpeggiate notes/chords, use your fingers in conjunction with a pick or to add parts that need the sustain.
  7. duderanimous

    duderanimous Monsterpiece Fuzz - Fuzz Master Extraordinaire Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2009
    St. Charles, MO
    try playing a song like Steely Dan's "FM" without a compressor... just not the same
  8. RCM78

    RCM78 Member

    Dec 28, 2003
    Where in the signal chain does a compressor work best?
    I would think in the loop, but I've never used one...
  9. Triangle

    Triangle Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    Lawrence KS
    They basically make it easier to play. Its the same reason people love tubescreamers. Add compression and sustain and playing guitar gets twice as easy.
  10. Aaron Mayo

    Aaron Mayo Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    MA, USA
    This is where they shine! So many ways to use a comp, here are three:

    Clean guitar part that needs to stand out (i.e. as a clean boost/enhancer)
    "Always on" for evening levels
    As a "sustainer"
  11. ES330

    ES330 Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    I like compressors as 'always on' for cleans
  12. gill

    gill Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    I've been thinking of trying one again to "enhance" my clean tone especially with my tele, but I wonder if there's other pedal options that will do this. I heard a (Kirk Fletcher) youtube clip of an EP Booster -that might be worth a shot...
  13. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    I'll use compression for the clean county thing or for putting extra grease on higher gain lead tones, otherwise I like to be 100% in control of my own dynamics. If I dig in hard I want it to sound that way. If I play soft I want it to sound that way.
  14. zul

    zul Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    It's just degrees of compression. Pedal can add the difference between soft and loud amp. In situations where my amp is turned up loud I tend to not need the pedal addendum. When I have to turn down the amp I can similate the tube compression by adding a slight bit from a pedal. I have done a ton of gigs with and without. I also have a ton of board mixes from tours that reveal that wasn't lot of differences in dynamics in my playing between those gigs; but I sure sit in the mix a lot better on the ones where I used a little pedal comp, with a lot of my playing subtleties revealed rather than masked.

    Moreover, the amps that have absolutely floored me always felt great due to it's compression qualities and how it projects different shadings as it reacts to ones playing. At gig levels. Turn it down too much and all of that juicy goodness is tamed. A pedal can compesate, but so can a smaller amp. Player decides which option to take but both approaches share very similar goals.

    Further, not many people realize the actual feel of playing into a rig that has no inherent compression built in. Wise to add a pinch of salt accordingly.
  15. JoeyHarley

    JoeyHarley Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    It completely depends on how you're going to be using it. As as always on you might want it first so your f/x and amp see it, or you might want it last in order to tame some of your f/x. You can get oodles of sustain by feeding it into an OD, or you can put it after one to even out the volume between soft picking (for cleaner notes) and hard (for the od'ed notes) without having to switch things on and off, like trey from phish does.

    for me, a compressor's always been one of those effects where it gets used not because i think "i need some compression", but more from thinking about needing to do something to the sound and then coming upon compression as the answer.

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