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Any other effect diehards have a change of heart?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by lefty73, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Jan 19, 2011
    03842
    This "diehard" compressor user has been comp-free for two weeks and... I'm utterly shocked that I don't miss it.

    Anyone else have a similar experience - with any effects of course, not just compression? If so, what was your moment of clarity? Have you gone back?

    For me, it started years ago with a Boss CS-3, then a MXR DynaComp, then a Joemeek floorQ, then a TC Electronic HyperGravity (oh, that Spectra mode with a Tele plugged in!). Studio-grade software plugins that model units from Urei and Avalon. I love compression. Or, at least, I thought I did.

    A forum member here recently posted a link to session ace Tim Pierce demo'ing the Boss CP-1X, and since it was a video featuring compression and Tim's playing, I clicked almost immediately.

    I preferred the non-compressed riffs and tones so much more.

    "That can't be right," I told myself. So I challenged myself to go two weeks without using a compressor, which save for a few situations, has been an "always on" pedal for me over the last 10-plus years. Clearly the comp would squeeze out a victory (yeah... I'll show myself out ;)).

    Nope. Maybe in specific situations I'd use it, but after two weeks of not using it for any jams or gigs - and in its place getting wider dynamic range, and more pick/finger control - I can't see where I'd need it.

    On the flip side, I now have an open spot for another pedal, which is never a bad thing. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018

  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I don’t use any pedal effects, and I particularly loathe compression.
    So, Bravo, sir!
     
    pondcaster likes this.

  3. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 6, 2010
    Twangsylvania
    Compression from a pedal is a crutch. You just got better at guitar and finally noticed.
     

  4. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    No compressor on my board at the moment. I've been enjoying getting my "clean" tone from a VS Open Road.
     
    bluesholyman likes this.

  5. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    Well I think you'll come back to compressors after a while. They are just great guitar tools. What I do is I use two.
    1st one is line is set lite as not to destroy your dynamics and the other is for pure squash tone.

    With me I play in church and it's a matter
    of getting the feel and sound at a lower volume. Being able to play louder you end up getting natural tube compression or tube simulation type comp.

    I've always said, bottom line is give me a good delay and a tube amp and I can survive but since I'm not limited to that the compressors will stay until I have a new revelation I guess! Platefire
     
    Obsessed and RetroTeleRod like this.

  6. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

    Jun 19, 2009
    Nashville TN
    If you're playing a tube amp with dirt or boost pedals, some compression is going to be unavoidable. The trick, for me, has always been getting a useful range of dynamics rather than an evened out sound.
     
    RetroTeleRod and lefty73 like this.

  7. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    I don't use a compressor because I don't need it for what I play.

    Although I suppose if I played bluegrass type stuff or a 12 string, I would definitely at least try one.
     

  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Holic

    Age:
    68
    996
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    Different for me. I went through a phase where stopped using my Keeley 4 knob compressor. I had been using it mostly with my Gretsch to even the balance between strings. I had been using it with my Strat with VN pickups to improve clarity. I wasn't really getting what I wanted. One day recently I had my Telecaster with N4 pickups plugged in. The Telecaster N4 sound is much richer than my Gretsch Anniversary. The compressor didn't seem to be doing much. Almost on a whim, I turned off the reverb in my Mesa Boogie amp and immediately had the clarity I'd been looking for. I must have been using reverb out of habit without thinking much about it. I plugged my other guitars in through the compressor with the reverb off and found the clarity that had been eluding me. The compressor improves the sound of all of them. It's hard to put my finger on how, but they just sound better with it than without it, but they all sound much better without reverb. One of my guitar resolutions this year was to spend more time with my acoustics. None are amplified and I've gotten used to a pure guitar sound without effects. I think of the compressor as tone shaping, not really as an effect.
     
    JayFreddy and lefty73 like this.

  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I was a diehard compressor user when I was playing through an Egnater Rebel 20 - when I switched to an AC15C1 I realized I didn't need the compresor, but I think it's because the AC15C1 has less headroom than the Egnater and naturally compresses anyway.
     
    Iago, codamedia and RetroTeleRod like this.

  10. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Jan 19, 2011
    03842
    I'm sorry, sir. You are making sense and issuing compliments. I must now ask you to leave the internet.

    Thanks, art. It's been an interesting few weeks of guitar playing, that's for sure. A whole new world.
     
    gtrguru, davidchagrin, 6BQ5 and 3 others like this.

  11. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Jan 19, 2011
    03842
    After now two-plus weeks of at-home practice, and a few jams at gig-worthy volume levels, I'm not so sure. The biggest revelation for me was the more natural interaction with pick, or fingers, or both, with the strings. I thought I was getting that with the HyperGravity but it's clear as day to my ears that I wasn't. @artdecade believes it's a result of me getting better and the comp covering that up a bit, and I think there's some truth to that.

    I've been really focused on improving my playing accuracy versus expanding my playing acrobatics, especially over the last few years. Improving playing economy (maybe a better word is "efficiency"?) has been a big focus for me too, in order to avoid repetitive stress injuries to my hands or wrists.

    I can see a compressor being really useful for squashy situations, like a Police cover, or any really intense chicken-pickin' exercises. But given my experience recently, I'd try those first without the comp, and probably be pretty darn happy with the results.

    A good thing is that if I am ever in a situation that I do need compression then I know I've got plenty of options available.
     

  12. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Jan 19, 2011
    03842
    "Loathe". That's a good, strong word. Tell us how you really feel, eh? :)
     
    brookdalebill likes this.

  13. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Ironically, I’ve never found a comp that I enjoyed playing through. Then when I was playing around with the presets on the HX effects, there was one with a comp on there and I really liked it. I incorporated into my user patch and haven’t looked back.
     

  14. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Jan 19, 2011
    03842
    Oh reverb... how I love/hate thee. Love it as a studio tool, never was able to get down with it in a live situation.

    Perfect example of what I was asking about - you used an effect, even subtly, for a long time, and then it's gone and - whoa. You're in a whole new place. Yet, it's the same. The end has become a beginning. ;)
     
    JL_LI likes this.

  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    I've gone the other way. I didn't use one for years. I had the grey Ross comp and sold it. But now I have one on each board. I don't use much, though. Just enough to take the peaks down and smooth things out a little. My old Dyna-Comp works especially well with a ZenDrive into a Vox AC-15. I'm considering a Hyper-Gravity.
     
    4pickupguy and codamedia like this.

  16. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    44
    Jan 19, 2011
    03842
    And as far as I know we're still waiting on your video and written reviews of the Helix HX... ;)
     
    Danjabellza and codamedia like this.

  17. teleforumnoob

    teleforumnoob Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    61
    May 25, 2010
    North Alabama
    All I ever had was a Dyna Comp and I never used it except occasionally as a Preamp before I got any light OD pedals. Never liked the way it colored the tone and light compression was hard to get right with it.
    I recently got a Diamond Jr and I really like it. Easy to get a transparent light compression.
    Sure you loose some dynamics, but that’s the idea. It controls my excitement induced large volume spikes so I don’t have to be so careful. Idk I may miss the dynamics and toss it off the board eventually but for now I’m enjoying it.
     

  18. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    About 30 years ago I turned off reverb when I came to realize every room I play in has it naturally built in. The only time I ever turn reverb on is when I am practicing quietly at home and want a little depth added. I never use it live on stage, and trust the sound tech to add what is needed for each room. He can always add some, but he can't take it away if I feed him too much.

    Caveat: If I was covering Dick Dale, I'd likely turn up the reverb, or at least ask the tech to make sure there was judicious amounts added for that song.

    As for compressor, it's part of what I do! I don't use it for effect, and most players are surprised to see I even have one because they don't hear it. It's more about feel than it is about sound. I always feel like I am plugged into a nice amp sitting comfortably in it's sweet spot, regardless of what amp I am plugged into, or how loud it is.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018

  19. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Accurate! My next day off is this coming Thursday... that’s likely when it’ll happen.
     

  20. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 6, 2010
    Twangsylvania
    Dick Dale and surf bands need reverb.
    Everyone else just needs the room. And, sometimes a wee bit of delay if the room is particularly dead.
    No one needs shimmer-edge-modulated-tapped-3.14-organic-haunting-verb-delays.
     
    basher and Minimalist518 like this.

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