Compressor, do I need one?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by vanr, May 26, 2019.

  1. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    That looks like an amazing mix of features but from a graphic design standpoint it's a bit of a nightmare. Do they really need to ring six knobs on a regular size pedal with those bars and use like five different fonts to label it?
     
  2. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    This video was just posted today. Imagine that.
     
  3. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

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    Perhaps and I just happen to have a spare EQ sitting on the shelf.
     
  4. richey88

    richey88 Friend of Leo's

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    Wow! Interested what this can do......rather pricey, is it worth it? Please report!
     
  5. die Fliege

    die Fliege TDPRI Member

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    “Compressors are bad, kill dynamics, etc.”. There, I said it. ;) But seriously, I bought a Keeley Compressor Plus about a year ago, and I rarely play without it. It enriches my dynamics, adds sustain, and does wonderful things when combined with overdrive (before or after).
     
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  6. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I like mine at low volumes
     
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  7. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    Set badly, a compressor can do just that. Set properly, a player can drop down to a whisper, or punch through loudly. It really only affects the transients. Set well, it can fatten things up nicely.
     
  8. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    QUOTE="RetroTeleRod, post: 9112418, member: 91699"]I own four compressors that I don't use. Instead I like a overdrive pedal set as a booster to color my "clean' tone. The Barber Gain Changer does an excellent job on my main board for this. On my travel board the Timmy does the same duty.[/QUOTE]

    I try compressors and then don't like them. The latest one is the the Xotic SP Compressor. It is the best one I have ever tried but even at low blend setting it seems to rob the dynamics too much for me. The nice thing about this one is that you can mix out 100% of the compression and then it's just a clean boost -- blend in just a small amount of compression if you like. It's very simple and easy to dial in. I like it very much but I'm not sure it's staying. All agree, set too high a compressor is a tone destroyer.


    I use a Earthquake Devices Tonejob four knob eq for a solo boost. I cut the highs and lows and boost the mids a bit with a slight volume push. Solo jumps out. As for the Timmy OD, the magic is the eq section plus you can add a little dirt.

    This is the most important in my experience -- a "clean" tone sounds rich and full through a tube amp in it's sweet spot. The slightly maxed out tubes add compression as well as harmonic content. This is true for amp modeling as well -- the gain needs to be set just before breakup to get a decent clean tone. I am a big believer in attenuators but some believe they rob tone as well. I like the Dr. Z Brake-Lite.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  9. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    I have started to like using one with a low gain overdrive for playing quietly.

    Better feel, low volume.
     
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  10. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    No one “needs” a compressor. Unless they need a compressed tone.

    If you need one “always on” so you can barely tell it’s there, consider what’s wrong with your chain, tone, technique or ears.

    Have someone record from the crowd to be sure anything’s “wrong” from the perspective that matters, and work from there to solve the root issue.
     
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  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I've read two of your posts, and you just joined yesterday. Kind of rude. Lots of very famous pros use compressors and lots of very famous pros remove the strat volume knob. Even if they don't, there is nothing wrong with experimentation and diversity (it might even be a good thing!).
    Perhaps it's time to open up your mind to the idea that there are all kinds of ways to play this instrument....
     
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  12. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    I would have saved myself a lot of $$ and frustration if I had listened to people who said learn to really play and use your equipment first. Then worry about adding/changing gear.

    Does the title "Compressor, do I need one?" actually mean: please tell me I need one and how much to spend? I took it as an actual question and gave my answer. That's all.
     
  13. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    @TelePunkJCM,

    If I know intimately how to set my compressor to get the sound that I like, please don't tell me that there's something "wrong with (my) chain, tone, technique or ears.":rolleyes:

    This is generally a pretty friendly place. Stick around and enjoy it. Contribute when you feel like it, too. Just remember that you have no idea if the person you are addressing is a raw beginner, or a master at the craft.;)

    I am neither, by the way. Played 51 years so far, but the more I learn, the more I learn I need to learn.o_O
     
  14. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    @65 Champ Amp
    Perhaps I made the mistake of reading the original post: Clean tone is weak in the mix compared to Dirty tone. A compressor is not the fix for that IMO and IME. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  15. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    THAT is insecurity.


    "If you need one “always on” so you can barely tell it’s there, consider what’s wrong with your chain, tone, technique or ears."

    THAT is projection. And naive.

    "Have someone record from the crowd to be sure anything’s “wrong” from the perspective that matters, and work from there to solve the root issue."

    THAT is good advice.


    Reading the original post was not a mistake on your part. Skipping three pages of replies to inject your own was.
     
  16. TelePunkJCM

    TelePunkJCM Tele-Meister

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    You mean the three pages where no one asked the OP what amp? Or what guitar? Or what musical context? Or what goes into the dirty sound? Or any of the other things that could cause this discrepancy that OP perceives?

    I hope you sort it out @vanr. Of course you haven’t been back since the OP so who knows.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  17. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    You had better try one out (a compressor) because this thread is full of comments ranging from utter nonsense to spot on. A good compressor, set right, in a signal chain that is also set right will work great for elevating your presence in the band mix -- far better than going full nimrod and boosting volume only -- but set wrong, it has the negative effects many describe here. In all genres of music, guitars are compressed for exactly the reasons you cite. In everyday use, must users can't resist extreme compression settings, and that's why the effect gets a bad name.
     
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  18. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been here looking. I use the clean channel of one of my 4 amps (2 Hughes and Kettner 20s or 2 Blackstar 20s one at a time) and a Caline English Man distortion for my dirty sounds, level is set so when the box is on it is the same volume as the clean sound. But when I switch the Distortion box off my sound just falls off. The volume seems the same, but all the ummph is gone. Perhaps I should nix the distortion box and go back to using the amps clean channel for clean and the dirty channel for dirty.

    1. Too many different guitars to list here LPs, Teles, various semi-hollows
    2. Hughes & Kettner Edition Tube 20 or Blackstar HT20
    3. Classic Rock (ZZ Top to Dobie Gray)
    4. 2 Caline English Man Distortion Box on my board (1 set for a "dirty clean" rhythm) one for classic rock type gain

    I have tried and had some success today at rehearsal by when I go to clean I also kick in my Boss GE-7 EQ. That helps quite a bit. But that EQ is in the loop. I have another EQ I may add to the board in front of the amp.
    I hope this works because I'd rather spend the next money on an acoustic simulator pedal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    You may not need a compressor. But I do. :lol: (To get the tone I like from playing clean at low volumes!) The only effect, besides a little reverb, that I use, generally. And I play a clean, crisp tone - the compressor enhances that beautifully.

    If I was pushing a tube amp and fairly stout volumes, I probably wouldn't need a compressor to get the tone I like. A lot has to do with your playing style and the volumes that you play at.

    In truth, compressors have a variety of effects. What I like most from mine is the tone that it gives me - it's kind of hard to describe, but it adds just a bit of an edge - not distortion or overdrive. And some extra dimension, it seems.

    Another aspect that I enjoy with compression is the sustain. Overall, I always play with some compression because I like the sound and tones I get with it, pure and simple.

    As mentioned above, you can also use a compressor as a boost, if you want to drive your amp a little harder. I find a compressor to be a very valuable tone modifier.

    What I can recommend is that you try some and see how you like them. The effect can be subtle, but very nice!

    Have no fears nor worries about compressors. They don't kill your ability to create dynamics and they don't make you a bad player, they simply provide sonic qualities that a LOT of people enjoy very much. If you like it - do it! If you don't like it - don't do it. Pretty simple, really.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Cool looking compressor! Looks like you have a lot of great control. How's the noise? (Probably a lot quieter than a DynaComp). I'd like to try one of those sometime.
     
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