Do you use a compressor?

Blue Bill

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I use a Boss CS3 for parts that need sustain, like when I'm trying to emulate a keyboard part, you can claw-pick a 3 or 4 note chord and hold it for a measure or two. For some leads it can sound cool if it's not overdone.
 

Mexitele Blues

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I keep a CS-3 on the board. It does a great hard squish for funk, as well as a good clean trebly boost for driving OD pedals. It helps with the sustain when playing Divided Sky. But it is most definitely not always on. I'd need a much more expensive comp pedal for that.
 

KC

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For Fender guitars I use a Cali76 into a cleanish AC15 style amp, fair amount of boost coming out of the comp, when I roll the guitar volume up it gets squishy but stays bright & in the mix. Rolling the volume back takes it out of the range where it's compressing a lot & gives plenty of dynamics.

I've been super-happy with this setup for both rehearsal & live shows but lately I've been trying to learn to play a Les Paul -- never had a good one before -- and this setup doesn't work at all for humbuckers. Roll the volume knob up & the guitar just disappears. It seems like a regular dirt pedal works better at keeping the dynamics right, been using a lovepedal JTM and so far that seems OK for both tight rhythm & sustains leads. We'll see.
 

lefty73

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Not recently, though up until the latest update of the HX firmware I dabbled in it. Usually just as a means to give a dirt pedal a little more front-end boost to help beef up single coils for riffage.
 

4pickupguy

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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.

^^This^^ My guitar can be weak or hyper scooped Which can come across as ’plinky’ at low volume. If my amp is at low volume the compressor is in “Arizona Sunrise” parallel mode, if it’s loud, it goes into booster only mode.
 

schenkadere

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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.

"atttack" I see what you did there. A little comp humor.

I honestly don't have any issue with attack or dynamics using a compressor. Maybe it's my picking style, idk. I'm a touch player, and I don't have any issues.

I think something like a DC really makes a SS amp sound less sterile...maybe it's just my ear and my style.

I've never stepped on a comp and said "where did my dynamics go?". Maybe a cranked DC or a cranked CS-3...something drastic, I'll notice a difference. But I don't use a super squishy comp like those can be.

If playing through a tube amp, the comp goes off once the hair gets a little thicker...especially if using a boost, which I will do.
 
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Grandy

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I have never owned a compressor. I don't even like humbuckers because the compress too much for me. I mainly play clean and I enjoy the challenge a misplaced accent offers. Occasionally I do like to squeeze the h*** out of one note with a fuzz engaged.

I've been contemplating getting a compressor for a while now and this thread has given me ideas how I might use one. I'm not sure though if it's essential enough for me to earn a place on my board, but I'm pretty sure at some point I'll get one and give it a try.
 

StompBoxRacer

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Try one that has a blend knob. That way you can blend in a little compressed signal for some fatness and sustain but not lose your dynamics.

They are closer to the $99 and above mark but there is a world of difference.
I have the Pigtronix Philosopher's Tone and love it. I don't use it all the time, but it can really help with a Strat or Tele especially if your playing live and switching between single coil guitars and humbucker guitars.
 

cyclopean

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no, because after about a dozen pedals and a clean boost what's hitting my amp is already compressed to hell.
 

boppy

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Almost always for clean stuff. I have a DOD FX80b.

Add a bit of chorus/flange and you can get those huge-sounding 80s Police and Alex Lifeson tones.
 

Obelisk

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I used to not like compression pedals much, but I am now addicted to the older Origin Effects Slide Rig. I leave it on all of the time because it makes the overall guitar tone more articulate. It has two channels, so I use the other channel for boosting. Too bad they stopped making the big box versions a few years ago though the pedalboard friendly versions sound pretty great. I am a fuzz guy and compression can do cool things when used in conjunction with fuzz pedals. A compressor pedal isn't a must for a pedalboard, but I prefer to have a Slide Rig in my signal chain:

SR_A.jpg
 

Doghouse_Riley

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Xotic SP on my main board. DOD FX 84 Milk Box on my grab n' go board. Both always on except when I'm using fuzz. Both set low; just enough to smooth things out a little and add a little sustain.
 

RetroTeleRod

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Xotic SP on my main board. DOD FX 84 Milk Box on my grab n' go board. Both always on except when I'm using fuzz. Both set low; just enough to smooth things out a little and add a little sustain.
I wish my Milk Box still worked. Great compressor.
 

Iago

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This for the last 4 years: https://1776effects.com/products/bear-hug-compressor-new-version

Just when I'm playing in an absolutely-clean-amp situation. I don't use it in combination with overdrive pedals or into overdriven amps - not needed (even though I have tried that and it doesn't sound bad at all) it's just that OD pedals and overdriven amps are already compressing (a bit or a bunch depending on the gear and settings) and you probably don't need all that much extra compression.

This comp is very transparent, easy to build (the jfet might be a problem though) and it's not squishy like crazy like a Dynacomp is (max comp setting is probably half of what a Dyna is, or less). and I set both volume and compression ration to noon on the comp. I have noticed that with some pedals (fuzz and some single-transistor drive circuits) the Bearhug makes what is after it in the signal chain brighter - probably a buffer interaction thing happening. In these cases, I have prefered to use the fuzz or OD before the compression - just something to keep in mind.
 
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TigerG

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My experience using a compressor (a 70's MXR Dynacomp) at gigs is that it's a way to get louder and still not be heard.
 

lespaul74

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I have a Maxon, but knew I really wanted a Dyna Comp. I ended up with the Deluxe Dyna Comp cuz it has the same circuit as the Script model, but added tone and blend knobs, all for $10 less than the plain Script!

Honestly I just have all four knobs at 12 o'clock and it gives me that sparkle and definition I love, no fuss. It's the kind of thing you don't even know it's on, besides everything sounds so good. Switch it off and something's missing. That something is the "Dyna Comp Magic®."

Curious how the Dyna Comp Deluxe works with humbuckers, if you have tried that combo? Hear most Dyna comps tend to be too dark w/hb's. But maybe the blend and tone controls on the Deluxe help w/that. Thanks!
 

Telecaster88

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Curious how the Dyna Comp Deluxe works with humbuckers, if you have tried that combo? Hear most Dyna comps tend to be too dark w/hb's. But maybe the blend and tone controls on the Deluxe help w/that. Thanks!

I've used the Dyna Comp on two guitars with buckers... My '72 Thinline RI with the first edition WRHB RIs, and my Epiphone ES-339, which has the Epi version of Gibson Classic '57s in it. Both of them sound great through the Dyna Comp... Sparkly, chimey. But I don't use too much overdrive or high gain settings, just straight clean 99% of the time, and usually at pretty low volume.

They added the tone knob to the Deluxe to counter the Dyna's historical tendency to darken things up, but I haven't really experienced any problems along those lines.

I've never tried it, but I think the MXR Super Comp pedal is the original Dyna Comp circuit, with an added attack knob. That's supposed to be more adaptable for use with humbuckers. (The DC Deluxe has an attack toggle switch, but not the adjustable sweep of a knob.)

Good luck!
 

LKB3rd

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I use something for compression all the time, not always a compressor. It might be an overdrive, or boost pushing my amp into compression. I also have a Keeley 2 knob that I love and use sometimes, but not lately.
 




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