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Compressor Pedals w/o pick thunk/clunk ?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by NoTeleBob, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    As a few others have mentioned, a Diamond style compressor won't give you that click/this. I have a Donner Ultimate Compressor, which is a copy of the Mooer. It is subtle, but very low noise.

    Anything with a blend knob should work too.
     
  2. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    You need the 4 knob comp. It must have the Attack knob. The "pick click" is because the attack on the comp isn't fast enough. The Boss CS3 is arime example, even the Allums mod kit won't get rid of it because it doesn't mod the Attack. A Blend knob doesn't get rid of it, only masks it by adding back in some dry uncompressed sound.

    My favorite with a fast enough attack is CMATMODS Deluxe Comp or Deluxe Signa Comp.
     
  3. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    there's some jumbled info in here.

    the slower the attack time of the gain compensation (the negative envelope signal that is applied to the gain amplifier), the more of the initial transient slips through. the faster the response, the quicker it can apply negative gain to the signal, squashing the transients. a fast attack doesn't mean it's for letting fast transients through, it means that the gain compensation fast enough to act upon fast transients.

    VCA compressors have slew times that are just set by RC networks, and can generally get quite fast as a result. Optos are slow because they are partially dependent on the response time of the optocoupler.

    if you want a comp with a lot of the guitar attack to be undisturbed (more "subtle"), look for an opto, which is slow. this would include the diamond/mooer yellow, bjfe/mad professor green comp, pigtronix philosopher's tone etc. hence why you will most often find "transparent" being thrown around in opto comp marketing copy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
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  4. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for all the info. I realize now that the pick attack is being elevated to the level of the signal (duh), and that's what I'm hearing. Hadn't thought about that but it's obvious. I have a bit to chew on here in regards to specific pedals.

    I'm not sure I followed all that or what you're suggesting. Are you saying that if I don't want pick attack preserved, I should go with opto as it will be too slow to catch it and bump that part of the signal? In other words, the signal is already through the compressor before it can deal with it?
     
  5. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

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    No, what's happening is you pick a note that is loud enough to cross the threshold and trigger the compressor. The compressor tried to squash the note back down below the threshold, but it takes a fraction of a second to respond to your input. That fraction of a second is the length of the "attack". Most guitar comps have a fairly slow attack, so the click gets thru before the compressor clamps down, which makes the pick attack very loud and distinctive. This exact effect is often used intentionally to bring out the snappiness of a drum.

    However, if the comp's attack is fast enough, it will catch the pick sound and compress it as well. That's why I recommended the M76, at its fastest setting it has a legendarily fast attack time. Even at its slowest setting it should be much faster than most guitar compressors.
     
  6. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    Ah, thanks... makes sense.
     
  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    68196A6A-D0F7-4BF5-BE5A-52ED93103351.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  8. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    @drmordo and @loopfinding are saying the same thing, just in different ways.
    You are saying two different things.
    The opto is too slow to compress the pick attack, so the pick attack IS preserved because the pick attack signal is already thru the circuit before the compressor can squash it.
    If you do NOT want the pick attack to come thru then you need a much faster compressor.
     
  9. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    When I think of the “thunk” or (“thwap” as I call it) it’s usually the result of a fast attack and slow release. The fast attack catches the really hot pick or drum transient and the slow release starts to eat into the rest of the signal. In the worst case, the pick/drum sounds like a snap, and the rest of the signal fades in.

    I understood something like this to be what OP means (eliminating the artifact on the pick attack).

    On a good studio style vca comp it's easy enough to dial that artifact out, but I find most standard guitar ross/dyna types don't allow for this (and perhaps are targeting that crowd that sees the comp as a special effect), which is why I recommended an opto (which tend to be a little smoother and more set and forget).
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  10. Dirty Dave

    Dirty Dave Tele-Meister

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    Analogman Juicer should squeeze all that annoyance out of your compressed sound, and leave you with plenty of nice, tasty, distilled notes.
     
  11. Telewielder

    Telewielder Tele-Meister

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    This. The CP-1X is one of the best I've ever tried. And by far the quietest, too.
     
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  12. NWinther

    NWinther Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry!! But just how much compression are you guys using??
    Sounds like you all are dialing that thing way up?!
     
  13. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    I’ve heard optical comps are good for this. Diamond or Mooer Yellow, BJF Mint Green are three that come to mind.
     
  14. Bedder18

    Bedder18 Tele-Meister

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    Compression is one of those things I take pretty seriously. I spent a lot of time trying the latest/greatest ( and all flavors ) until I finally discovered Effectrode’s LA1A. That’s if for me. Perfection. It’s now an essential part of my rig. You can dial it in any way you want, and it’s so clean with the best boost I’ve heard (or didn’t hear, I should say).
     
  15. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    I also never liked the fast clamp down sound. It just doesn't work for my style. Optical is the way to go, although I had a Joyo (scorpion graphic) that was quite subtle and was on my board for a couple of years.
     
  16. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    The cheap Joyo let you dial out the cluck?
     
  17. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    I guess maybe I'm still trying to figure this out:

    VS.

    These seem to be polar opposites... i.e. I need a fast attack (non-opto) to clamp down on the pick sound before it gets through... or the pick sound is the result of the fast attack.

    Clarify it for me one more time :)
     
  18. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i find that when the pick attack is compressed, it makes the thunkiness really in your face.

    sort of like a compressed snare, fast attack/slow release instead of being "PACK" (as the sound would decay naturally) is like "PAAAAAHHHHCK". the separation of the initial transient from the recovery of the rest of the signal makes it really apparent.

    when the pick attack has the natural transient with a slower attack, and then the sustainy afterbits rise up without too much of a dip, it sounds less "clicky," "thunky." when fast attack is trying to clamp down on the pick attack at too high of a threshold, and lets the release linger too long, you get that pumping sound that's common to a lot of guitar comps.

    if you wanted to mess around with a VCA comp, i'd second that recommendation on an 1176 studio style. it'll be much easier to properly dial this artifact out with the attack and release. if you wanted a natural sounding pick attack, i would go slow attack and then adjust the release to taste so that the quieter parts "crossfade" in smoothly. if you wanted to de-emphasize the pick attack totally, i would set the attack fast and the release as fast as you can get away with.

    most guitar vca comps aren't set up for a good range for getting rid of the thunk artifact - probably just out of convention of the usual suspects that are copied (ross, mxr, etc). a lot of optos tend to pleasantly "smear" stuff a bit, and the jankiest/simplest ones that are low ratio and heavily dependent on the vactrol response curve tend to not produce that type of artifact as much. so it's not necessarily that these types of artifacts are inherent to a type of compressor, but rather convention of what's on the market.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  19. theaterguy

    theaterguy TDPRI Member

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    Another vote for opto. If DIY is possible I recommend Cheap Comp aka Mictester's Really Cheap Compressor. Only two pots and parts something 20€ +case.
    On my pedalboard it replaced a slight hissy Mooer Orange and is always on.
     
  20. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Holic

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    That sounds like a fun excursion... I will check that out.
     
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