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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

[How] Should I think about a compressor...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, May 26, 2017.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Holic

    737
    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    I am wanting to do some chicken pickin' stuff and have it sound more like what I typically hear - the DynaComp seems to be the box that makes this sound the way it does.

    Here is my dilemma: I run my amp into the edge of breakup, so my V1 is beginning to breakup/saturate and this seems to be the sweet spot for this amp, its where sustain really takes off, dynamics are alive and it just sounds good.

    Should I even bother with a compressor? I suppose I can roll the volume back to go clean then use the compressor, but that will inevitably push V1 back into breakup (at least I think it will.)

    I am questioning whether clean chicken pickin is really suitable for this particular amp, or am I just not thinking about this correctly and a compressor would be fine dialed in correctly...

    Thoughts/suggestions appreciated about how [to or not] approach this...
     

  2. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    If you only want the compressor for the clean chicken pickin try setting the dyna (since you mentioned it) sens to 9:00 and volume to 3:00. This should produce a unity output, but will squash the transient peaks that would normally push the amp to breakup. You will get some agressive chicken pickin squash, but the comp will prevent the amp from heading into breakup as you dig in... it will just squash more.

    That's a starting point, you will need to adjust the sens/volume to taste.

    Turn the comp on for the country stuff, turn it off when you want more grit. Keep in mind, an amp at the point of breakup is "compression" in it's own way.
     
    RevBillyG, TeleTex82 and RetroTeleRod like this.

  3. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    Your thinking of compressors to one dimensionally. They can take lower vol sounds and lift them up in volume but when set correctly they can also limit the max volume on output.

    Take a Keeley GC-2, put it in limiter mode, set threshold right and your amp will never get pushed into od no matter how hard you attack the strings. When your fretboard attack is below that vol threshold you set, won't even know the thing is on, all it's doing is limiting how loud you can get when needed.
     

  4. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    After having my compressor off the board for a few days, I'm ready to surrender to the squash once more. My clean tone just isn't as "magical" without it. Must be the unicorn transistors and fairy dust ICs in the Diamond Compressor. Sadly this means that another pedal must be exiled from Retro's magical forest. Delay we will all miss thee! (However the RV-6 has a delay mode so I can rawk that for a little slapback.)
     

  5. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'd start by backing off the amp gain so you can get a feel for what the compressor does, then see if it works at breakup volumes or not.
     
    RetroTeleRod likes this.

  6. Staggerlee666

    Staggerlee666 Tele-Meister

    141
    Jul 24, 2014
    MPLS
    In a lot of ways a compressor is like an overdrive for your clean sounds. It provides sustain and compression without having to crank your amp. That's why country guys use them - they want to play clean but still maintain the feeling of saturation and sustain that hey cannot get without going into overdrive territory
     
    TakkOne, Modman68 and RetroTeleRod like this.

  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    You really answered the question yourself. Looks like you could use some clean headroom to get the clean chicken pickin' sound using a compressor.
     
    RetroTeleRod likes this.

  8. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    If you guys are serious about picking a chicken you really need to scald them first so the feathers will come out easier. Just sayin'.
     

  9. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Holic

    737
    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    Any thoughts on a used Empress compressor (blue, red logo) for $150? It seems like I am going to spend about that to get a decent compressor and the reviews seem good for this box.
     
    mc84 likes this.

  10. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA

  11. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    The bang for your buck award goes to the Mooer Yellow Comp! (59 bucks new at GC.) I own both the Yellow Comp and the Diamond. The Yellow is almost as good as the 200+ dollar Diamond, IMO. The Diamond is a little quieter and more transparent, but at a significantly higher investment. The Mooer is on my traveling board as we speak.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    4pickupguy and bluesholyman like this.

  12. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Holic

    712
    Dec 22, 2010
    Atlanta
    To me, these days, there's no reason to buy a compressor that doesn't have a blend control that blends your compressed and noncompressed signals together. It really changes the game. Especially with optical compressors.
     

  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    If you are going to look at a new compressors everyone will chime in with their favorite model ( like I'm about to). They are very much a personal taste thing, like OD pedals. I believe this is due to their profound effect on 'attack' and 'feel ' they have on ones guitar/amp. You made mention of the Dyna comp and other are suggesting you may want to consider a comp with a blend function. You can get both and much more with a TC Electronics Hyper Gravity compressor. They are inexpensive and very versatile. Good comp hunting!

     
    RetroTeleRod likes this.

  14. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    I dig the color!
     
    4pickupguy likes this.

  15. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 26, 2003
    Augusta, Maine
    E.g. a Barber Tone Press.
     

  16. Modman68

    Modman68 Tele-Holic

    514
    Mar 27, 2011
    La mesa
    This was so elegantly put, I just wanted to underline it.
     
    bluesholyman and RetroTeleRod like this.

  17. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Holic

    737
    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    The reviews on this are great, but at $130, I don't know that I would call it in-expensive. For new, compared to a Diamond, Empress, or other $200+ pedal, it is a good option.
     

  18. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Holic

    737
    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    The GC near me does not carry Mooer, or much of a selection...
     

  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    That seems a good deal. I haven't tried one, just missed getting one a few months ago. But... IMO you have too much versatility at your disposal, unless you already have a fair idea how to use it. Unless you want to spend all your time messing with the compressor...

    Each compressor is a bit (or a lot) different, even though the idea is the same. I've owned a few, and I use a super-cheap Boss CS-3 for country. Does just what I want it to, for THAT sound. You can pick them up used for $50, and if you want to try other stuff, they're like cash, they'll sell quickly. Or they're so cheap, you might just keep it anyway, just in case.

    I don't think the CS-3 would be good for the soaring sustainy sounds, or the Knopfler/Strat breathy sounds, but for chicken pickin, it works great.


    If you want to chicken pick, skip the gain. Lots and lots of clean headroom. Tele, compressor, maybe a small touch of slapback or echo. Done.

    Once you get that down, try adding some gain, if you wish.
     
    TakkOne likes this.

  20. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Oct 24, 2012
    Oklahoma, USA
    There's always GC online bluesholyman. ;)
     
    GuitarJonz likes this.

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