Do you use a compressor?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by dsouza, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. seanmarshall9

    seanmarshall9 TDPRI Member

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    Since I started using my DynaComp 4 years ago, it has become part of my sound. I have had a tough time using single coils without a compressor. I like how it thickens the signal and give it the midrange fatness I like from Fender style amps. When I switch to Humbucker, it tends to muddy the clarity of my tone, so I turn it off. That's just my sound though. Do you.
     
  2. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    They don't all work equally well with humbuckers for sure.
     
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  3. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Afflicted

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    Over generalization... If you want to play loud and clean, you will probably want/need a compressor.

    As to the, "Oh compression is for people with bad technique," folks. That is an asinine statement. Brent Mason, Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, I have seen Eric Johnson use a Dyna Comp on the Fender amp side of his rig, Sonny Landreth, David Gilmour... the list goes on and on.
     
  4. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I like the assortment of compressors I have on my GT-100. Sometimes I use two in a single patch, one before the amp sim, and another one after. It achieves the sound of playing loud and clean without an amp.
     
  5. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

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    A compressor works best when you want that sound of an amp dimed, but at lower volumes. Some have more controls than others and work differently(ie optical) An amp will always compress naturally as you crank it. Playing live IMO negates the need of a compressor as you are cranking it.
     
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  6. Les H

    Les H Tele-Holic

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    We have an old Behringer Autocomp MDX 1000. It's rack mount in between the mixer and the power amp among other things like an Eq and a Sonic Maximizer.

    Our lead singer got it when his local school was auctioning off their old stage PA gear after they got a new system. I think he paid $5 for it. It's a very transparent comp, outside of leveling things out you really wouldn't know it's on but it does smooth things out.

    He had it lying around for a while and I had no intentions of ever using it initially but one day I threw it in the rack at a practice and liked it so much I wouldn't take it out now.
     
  7. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not really. Used to be an 'Always on' person and now I rarely use them at all. I like having the dynamics. A good amp can already coax the sustain, and a good player can control their volume/attack/dynamics to where a comp is rarely needed. The only time I'd consider using one is for like funk rhythms and a 'clean' solo here and there.

    My rack rig has a de-esser which is a bandpass comp, but it's set really subtle and is just meant to tame peakier highs.

    I have several good comps and pretty much use none of them.
    -Dyna comp
    -Philosopher's tone
    -EHX tube blackfinger
    -Lexicon MX200

    Vocals should be comp'd. Guitars, the compression adds up quickly, IME.
    I've found many modern recorded guitar sounds are SUPER compressed.
    Like compressed tube rectified, cathode biased, AC30, into a Warden comp, into an OD, with compressed sounding PAF's, then compression plug-in on the mix down.

    They dial in the tones well, but the guitars just sound flat because there's no dynamics. Everything is sitting in the same place. I've heard multitracked distorted guitars completely 'choke out' in a mix because there was so much compression, it sounded smaller and weaker than the cleans because the tracks were so clamped down with compression.
     
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  8. Clive Hugh

    Clive Hugh Tele-Afflicted

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    Yep, all the time, have done for about 40 years.
     
  9. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    I use the Keely 4 knob...sounds great
     
  10. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it depends a lot on what you play and your intent with using compression. There are instances where it is more of an effect, no different than a flanger/chorus/etc., to achieve a particular sound. In that instance, it's "necessary" to achieve the sound you're targeting. That may be for style, cover, or other reasons. If all you're looking for is a little more sustain and a subtle compression then that can be a positive side effect of more natural overdrive (e.g., from a tube amp) or gain from another pedal (e.g., your TS808) and a dedicated effects pedal may not be warranted.

    In addition, some of the compressors on the market today can be very subtle, allow you to blend more dry signal in, and so on to great "just sound better" effect. For a long time, I just had a Keeley 4-knob that I used as an effect in instances where it was required. This past summer, I switched to a Cali76 and I am finding increasingly more times that I am stepping on that box to get a little "more" of something I want whether that is a nice boost, a little more sustain, evening out some peaks, etc. without being an audible, identifiable effect.
     
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  11. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, I run the parallel multi-band compression toneprint called Arizona Sunrise on a TC Hyper Gravity.
     
  12. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Sometimes. I have an intense dislike for exaggerated attack (many guitars) and quick decay (smaller number, but still plenty) so I manage that in several ways (pickup height, avoiding too-hot PUs, smart amp settings, etc.). I used to rely on really light compression, on all the time, for this (not that awful squish, or the flat dull sustain thing) but with modern pedals and amps find less and less need for it. My optical compressor is still on my board, but I hardly ever use it anymore except when I'm imitating a familiar part that has heavy compression!
     
  13. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

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    Agreed. I play through a Reeves Custom 50 with a 2x12, and use an EQD Warden. The combination really tightens up the tone when playing at more manageable volume levels. If I were to play a large venue, I wouldn't blend it in as much, if at all. I have not yet had the opportunity to really open this thing up though. The Reeves being modeled on the classic Hiwatt DR503 has mountains of headroom, so getting it to breakup naturally would blow out the windows. Sure would be fun tho!:)
     
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  14. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    That would be loud !! :twisted:
    I like compressors for those purposes. They kind of get a bad reputation for being dynamics killers and stuff but the intro of Shine on You Crazy Diamond sounds good to me ! Compressors are like the thing I don’t always use but I sure like to have one around for when I do need it because they can solve a lot of problems, especially if I was gigging or something and was forced to use an amp I didn’t really know. If I could only bring one pedal I would probably pick the compressor because it can be used to tame an amp, liven an amp, or boost an amp.
     
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  15. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I always used compression very rarely, and ... noticeably. Then I got the Empress, set it to the 'transparent' setting documented in their literature, and have hardly touched it, and definitely have not turned it off, in four years.
     
  16. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    I use one, always on. Bass or guitar.

    The Keeley GC-2 is awesome. (I use the Bassist version as well)

     
  17. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Tele-Meister

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    a fellow unafraid to share his thoughts and feeling and in doing so I am completely baffled and battered my fragile mind, leaving me in a pit of darkness and confusion.
     
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  18. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a Boss BD-2 on my Princeton cause it needs it. I have an inbuilt Compressor on the lead channel
    in my Katana.
     
  19. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    Compressors are the most misunderstood tool in the grab bag.
    • There are many tones you cannot do without a compressor.
    • There are many tones you can destroy with an improperly set compressor.
    • Compressor can be an effect... eg: funk, snappy country, etc... Used like this you hear the effect doing it's job.
    • Compressor can be a tool... Used like this it often isn't even noticed, but it provides a huge impact on the refinement of the tone.
    Then there is what most people don't realize....
    • If you play with overdrive, you are already compressing
    • If you play with distortion, you are compressing even more
    • If you play a tube amp that is turned up, you are likely compressing
    • If you hit the front end of your tube amp with a heavy boost, you are compressing
    • etc...
    So...... many people do not need compressors simply because they are already compressing their signal in one way or another. What is interesting to me is when those same people insist they don't use compression.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  20. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I hope this does not come across as an attack. That's not my intent. I'm genuinely curious and want to learn/bridge a gap.

    If you are using a comp pedal set not subtly, it is subtracting liveliness.

    It might be mimicking a cranked tube amp (sort of) but it is mimicking the compression (dynamic reduction) in that case.

    Yet I consistently see people say this and want to understand what they mean.
     
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