Do you use a compressor?

dsouza

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2014
Posts
88
Location
Toronto, Ontario CAN
To all you guys with pedalboards do you believe a compressor is a must? I see a lot of people performing with a straight delay and ts808 w/o a compressor and it sounds great.

When would/wouldn’t you want to use one?
 

skradlee

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Posts
281
Location
tempe
I used to think compression pedals weren't for me, (owned the CS-3 for a while) but then I got the Keeley 4 knob Compressor+ and it is seriously my favorite pedal I've ever owned. It can be a great clean boost, it pushes drive pedals to the sweet spot, and it makes chicken-pickin and fast single note runs really pop. The blend knob on the Keeley is what makes it more usable than most other comps I've tried. It's my "always on" pedal and I don't see that changing any time soon!
 

JL_LI

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 20, 2017
Posts
8,844
Age
72
Location
Long Island, NY
A Keeley 4 knob compressor is my only pedal. It's not something I use all the time. It can even the level between strings, something very helpful for fingerstyle where the thumb rubs across the wound strings and the unwound strings are mostly plucked, making them louder. The compressor also adds a little depth to the sound of single coil pickups. To me, I'm using the pedal for modulation, not as an effect, with one exception. There is one jazz piece where I use the compressor for a little squish in a short intro lick and again for the outro. The sound I get is a little like the squish bassists use a compressor for but not nearly as extreme. That, in addition to the slight thickening of my tone turns my Strat into a perfect jazz guitar.
 

WireLine

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 23, 2003
Posts
1,642
Age
65
Location
Midland TX
Love them...stays on 90% with single coils, 70% with buckers. Fav pedal is my Keeley Comp +, but it’s been inactive since receiving a Helix HX.

For the the key is balance btwn attack and threshold. Done right there’s no squash, just fattening up
 

MilwMark

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Posts
13,160
Location
near Arnold's
I have had a love-hate history with them. Swore off them for a long time.

I'm a "standard" guitar player but in my current busiest band I could "hear" slide parts on some songs. I'm finding a compressor pedal with the level raised just a bit over unity, and a bit of squish, very useful for making slide ring out on a guitar setup for non-slide playing, in a band mix.
 

Axegrinder77

Tele-Afflicted
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Posts
1,847
Location
Springtown
When playing solo I find the compressor makes my sound a little muddy. But as soon as I try turning it off in a band setting, it immediately goes back on. It just seems to keep everything tight in the mix. It also makes me sound more "pro." I have an xotic sp comp, keep it on low with the blend around 2 o'clock. It's not a "fun" effect, but can definitely improve your sound.
 

jimash

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Posts
2,673
Location
NJ
I like a compressor. I've been using one since the original orange squeezer was new.
I was using a Keeley but it was too transparent ( That's a joke, actually I don't like the controls). I got a Moollon. It's more squishy.
Truth be told I need it less with the CPR than I used to with bigger amps, but I still like it.
 

Ironwolf

Doctor of Teleocity
Gold Supporter
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Posts
10,575
Age
66
Location
Boise, Idaho
I use the MXR Studio Compressor as an (almost) always on pedal. I play high headroom amps and they seldom get pushed into natural compression. Besides, you can't bring the funk without one.
 

Geoff738

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 11, 2007
Posts
8,573
Age
57
Location
Toronto
It’s standard kit for country pickers. And David Gilmour.

I own a lot of studio compressors and use them often. On vocals, bass, drums, acoustic guitars. And sometimes on electric.

I do have a compressor pedal but it’s pretty crappy, and never gets used basically.

Cheers,
Geoff
 

57fenderstrat

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Posts
817
Age
31
Location
Binghamton NY
It’s not a must but it’s nice once you kind of bond with one. It’s good for slide playing, finger picking with clean tone, funky stuff, country stuff, just clean tone in general. If you are running your amp hot you are already getting some tube compression however, if you are trying to make your amp feel and respond like it does when it’s loud at lower volumes it can help. If you have one with a blend control you can use it as a solo boost or overdrive because you can goose the amp with the volume and blend in alittle compression. Good overdrive is normally volume and compression anyway so the pedal is almost like overdrive without the extra harmonics and sludge. You can use it as a sweetener or more like an “effect” like the police with max compression. I wouldn’t feel the need to use one with a small amp but if I had an amp with endless clean headroom I would probably want a compressor pedal.
 




Top