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Compressor for a guitarist that doesn't like compression?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by BertV, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 2, 2016
    Arlington, Texas
    A lot of that snap is in the right hand, not the compressor. Spend more time with the SP, and fool around with the attack and release dip switches.
     
    MilwMark likes this.

  2. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Holic

    589
    Oct 15, 2013
    East Texas
    This is good advice. When it comes to compression, there's no teacher like experimenting with quality tools.

    Edit to say: There may be other compressors besides the Empress that will be good to work with. I've used them on digital mixing desks. For me, having full-features (controls for attack, release, threshold, ratio, knee, and makeup gain) and some sort of level or compressor meter to give me realtime feedback have helped the most.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
    Obsessed likes this.

  3. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    It's the Mooer Yellow Comp. It's a good copy and I actually own a Diamond too.
     
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  4. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    You can't have everything.

    The folks who are heavily compressed to make things pop are giving up dynamics when they compress like that. When they want dynamics they reduce or turn off compression.

    Or if it is recorded music, the compression may be coming after the guitar chain.

    But it took me a long time to understand, overt pedal compression is an effect. It squashes dynamics, regardless of what others told me to the contrary. If you want the overt pedal compression effect, that is the price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
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  5. BertV

    BertV TDPRI Member

    88
    Dec 16, 2013
    Austin TX
    Lots of good info here. I was also thinking maybe the SP isn't in the most optimal spot on my board.

    My chain is: guitar->wah->fuzz->distortion->overdrive->comp->boost->tuner->chorus->phaser->delay
     
    ukepicker likes this.

  6. rze99

    rze99 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    Get one that lets you set to "not there" and then tweak onwards. The wampler ego comp is expensive but is good for this. Blend is essential.
     

  7. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    900
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    The new one may be better, I had the one that had "grit" on it for all of one day. I hated it, noisey and the attack was fixed and forced a bloom on the ringing out notes. Hard squeeze then a bloom. Horrendous, high noise floor, too.

    I've moved on to the MXR Super comp, yet if I had it to do again, I'd either get a xotic sp or wampler ego.
     

  8. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    A lot of interest I see on this subject. I was like the OP for a long time. I used compressors for recording but could never get them to behave like I wanted live on stage. When I kicked them in they were always to loud or not loud enough. Too squashed or not squashed enough.

    Now I use them a lot. Sometimes on stage you have to tweak them as your playing. No matter how you tweak them in advance by yourself, when the band starts playing everything changes somewhat. Kind of embarrassing and noticeable when your seen bending over twisting knobs but sometimes I do it right in the middle of a solo. Drop a few notes, tweak and fall back in. Sometimes no tweaking required and just go with it. Once you figure out your favorite compressor sounds on your preferred pedals, you know what your after and just have to tweak it in every playing situation until you get there. Platefire
     
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  9. bacongrease

    bacongrease Tele-Meister

    420
    Mar 27, 2013
    Markbass makes a tube compressor. TOOBSS
     

  10. blille

    blille Tele-Holic

    Optical is a great bet, the CP101 Is actually marketed like that. I've been using it for years and I've tried my fair share of compression. Diamond has also many fans.

    Rothwell Love squeeze is also worth checking.
     
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  11. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Once you understand the functions and what they actually do, the "magic and pixie dust" happens, but you then know why.

    I got into compression, because my best friend, guitar mentor, degreed sound engineer, 35 years of gigging and multiple EPs released musician, mailed me three of his top compressor pedals and told me to learn all about them. It really took me two years to understand it all, but now I know exactly when to apply the different aspects of compression. It really is an education in itself and I am convinced that it should be the most expensive pedal on your board. A "blend" knob is fantastic to have for quick adjustments.
     
    MA6200 likes this.

  12. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Holic

    662
    Jun 13, 2016
    New England

    Right...just tweak the comp to be efficient but not overly noticeable.
     

  13. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    The Cali76 is considered the gold standard of compression pedals, but it is very expensive. Might be worth it for recording, but then you have all sorts of compression possibilities in software and rack mount hardware too.

    Once I knew what I wanted, I didn't buy an Empress. I purchased a VFE White Horse for it's "gain" knob, but the pedal is very complex and not for the novice compressor user IMO.
     

  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    After decades of hating compressors, but also expecting the right dynamics from the whole rig, I've come to the conclusion that players who like compressors do not fully understand players who hate compressors.

    That said, there is a learning curve to any piece of gear.
    But compressors are really not that complicated to dial in, the knobs do fairly easy to understand things. If there are sounds we like in there, we will probably find them.
    If we can't find them, it might just be the wrong compressor.

    I'm one pf those players who hates compressors and tried lots of them, and when I brought home a Philosophers (Tone) Bass compressor just to try it out, I left it on for weeks.

    When I finally took it off the board it was because I felt the polish it afforded my sound was making me lazy with my dynamics. I was forgetting what each string needed for pick dynamics to sound right.
    This is playing Esquires with a very unforgiving high E tone.
    All my minor problems went away and I still had adequately expressive dynamics.

    Using it just for certain parts would probably work, and it may go back on the board, because it makes me sound better, or sound the same with less effort.
    The sustain was a nice bonus too, and in fact there is so much on tap there is little temptation to crank it up too high.
    Above noon or so the notes just keep getting louder.
     
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  15. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    900
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma

    It depends on what you want. If you are using the comp as a boost and want more dynamics from your od pedals you are golden. I might put it before distortion as it will raise the noise floor. If you want the funky squished thing put it neAr the front of the chain. I like it after fuzz in this application so it can knock the hard edges off.

    Distortion into OD, never thought of it. Oh no, I don't want to rearrange my board again.
     

  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    I didn't mean to imply that it's wrong to suggest spending time learning to dial in compression, but I suspect that many of us got better results when we finally spent that time trying to dial in a compressor we actually like.
    Or even a compressor we don't hate.

    And partly from following other players experience finding, dialing in, and then moving on to a more specifically chosen comp, maybe one with more controls. Thing with that is I got encouragement to keep trying different comps, but didn't buy a comp I liked based on specific brand suggestions.
    The Philosophers Bass was $49 and returnable. Total GC accident.

    Like ODs, just because it's "good" doesn't mean there's a sound in it that we have a use for.
     

  17. Jules78

    Jules78 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    378
    Dec 12, 2016
    Northern VA
    Effecttrode pc-2a is supposed to be good for what you are looking for. Expensive though. Gurus optivalve too. Also expensive.
     

  18. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

    Same here as far as tweaking especially when I change instruments.

    So I got one of these to set my compressor on.
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MST1000

    Holds picks,capo, and other stuff too.
     

  19. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    MI
    It might be helpful to think of it as similar to salting food.

    For many dishes, a little salt, properly used, can enhance flavor and accentuate the dish. If the food is over-salted, it can be inedible.

    Some dishes taste best with a little salt, some taste best when seasoned aggressively, and some are best with no salt at all.
     
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