Your favorite compressor and experiences

VonBonfire

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I bought a Keeley 4 knob compressor plug for use at the occasional low volume club/dinner where the club is worthwhile enough for me to refrain from pinning patrons against the back wall using the Twin. I'm putting together a two pedal compressor/OD board for those dB challenged times so I can still sound my best.

Put the pedal to use last night by itself, no OD, and it went pretty well. My only complaint is that the Keeley blend knob starts at 50% blend and goes up from there and at times sounds kinda chicken-picken squashed level compressed. Wondering if maybe a more expensive or adjustable compressor would give me the sustain I'm after without sounding overly compressed at moments the way the keeley does. I feel like it could do the job if the blend knob was full range. A little more subtlety would be nice. Lemme know your thoughts and experiences. Thanks!
 

Les H

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I like just an ordinary MXR Dyna Comp.

But I play country and I like the "chicken-picken squash". It allows me to thrash my guitar without the sound getting out of control. So it works for me at low volume gigs without having to intentionally remember to lighten my pick attack. Kinda like when a drummer has to use Hot Rod sticks so they can still flail their arms about to get their feel without being too loud.
 

8bitlooper

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My amps have such great natural sag/compression, I don’t use a pedal much - but when I do need one, I really like the Mirage from FX Engineering. Got turned on to them from a Jon Leventhal interview.


It doesn’t do the super squishy thing though. Just a really nice smooth amp-like compression.

You might like the Cali76 for your needs though:

 

bluesholyman

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I am not a huge compressor guy, except to get a sound like Vince Gill when needed. I currently am trying a Maxon CS9Pro+ and the DoD Cowpressor (milk box.) I like the led on the Maxon that shows when compression is kicking in. They both sound similar with the Maxon having the edge over the DoD - its preference, really.
 

funkysoul

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I use the very nice but not much loved EBS Multycomp GE.i'm using it only clean and only when i'm playing funk.otherwise not much use.but i like it how it fattens and rounds my sound in Tube Sim setting.my tele and strat really are shinning
 

mjcyates

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I recently purchased the new Keeley mini compressor and I like it better than the Keeley Compressor Plus. To my ears it does what you are looking for and with fewer controls.
 

VonBonfire

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Perhaps an optical comp is what you’re seeking.
What will an optical compressor do for me as compared to the Keeley I'm using? I listened to the demo you provided but I'm new to using compressors at all so I don't really grasp the difference of "optical" and how it will interact with my rig differently than what I got.

I recently purchased the new Keeley mini compressor and I like it better than the Keeley Compressor Plus. To my ears it does what you are looking for and with fewer controls.
It says it provides a blend the same way the keeley comp plus does but which knob is controlling that parameter?
 

mjcyates

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It is handled internally in the circuitry, there is no knob to control it. Very much simplified but gives the kind of results that you seem to be looking for, at least to my ears.
 

RetroTeleRod

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What will an optical compressor do for me as compared to the Keeley I'm using? I listened to the demo you provided but I'm new to using compressors at all so I don't really grasp the difference of "optical" and how it will interact with my rig differently than what I got.


It says it provides a blend the same way the keeley comp plus does but which knob is controlling that parameter?
Here’s a link that gives good descriptions of the various types of compressors. http://www.ovnilab.com/articles/comptypes.shtml
 

RetroTeleRod

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Good link. After reading the descriptions it does sound like optical or maybe even a tube may be what I'm after. Thanks for the input!
You’re welcome. I think of an optical like the Diamond Compressor as a tone sweetener that adds sustain without sounding too much like a compressor, at least at moderate settings.
 

Hoodster

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Boss CP1X was definitely the best I had ever heard until I got the TC Plethora and I am experiencing their Hypergravity compressor. I’m just scratching the surface so far but there is a Pete Thorn algorithm called “Pete’s tone enhancer” that is pretty damn magical.
 

4pickupguy

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The common practice with parallel compression (particularly New York style compression) is to radically smash the wet side and blend it with the dry side to taste. I notice that if you adjust just a little attack time back in to the wet side it takes the ‘transient kill’ sound out of it. There needs to be enough attack time to let your pick attack through both sides or it still ‘feels’ overly compressed. Don’t know if this is happening in your case but I found it when I got my Cali 76’.
 

VonBonfire

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The common practice with parallel compression (particularly New York style compression) is to radically smash the wet side and blend it with the dry side to taste. I notice that if you adjust just a little attack time back in to the wet side it takes the ‘transient kill’ sound out of it. There needs to be enough attack time to let your pick attack through both sides or it still ‘feels’ overly compressed. Don’t know if this is happening in your case but I found it when I got my Cali 76’.
Interesting and thank you for the tech support. I'm not sure if I am able to adjust that parameter, attack time, on my Keeley as essentially is has a sustain knob and I'm not sure what parameter that is controlling. Other controls are volume, tone, blend, and a mini toggle for single coil or humbuckers. Granted it was my first rodeo live with a compressor so I may just need to play with the settings some more. I was completely dissatisfied when I demo'ed it solo at home prior to the gig but IME none of that matters until you are live with a band.
 

4pickupguy

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Interesting and thank you for the tech support. I'm not sure if I am able to adjust that parameter, attack time, on my Keeley as essentially is has a sustain knob and I'm not sure what parameter that is controlling. Other controls are volume, tone, blend, and a mini toggle for single coil or humbuckers. Granted it was my first rodeo live with a compressor so I may just need to play with the settings some more. I was completely dissatisfied when I demo'ed it solo at home prior to the gig but IME none of that matters until you are live with a band.
Well ‘sustain‘ is going to be an aromatic blend of multiple parameters, possibly Attack, Threshold, Ratio and Release all optimized for a guitar pedal. Try backing off the sustain knob until you can hear your pick attack and then blend that to taste. It would worth exploring before sinking money into another compressor. Compressor is very easily over used. I thought you had to hear it working when I first got mine.
 
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VonBonfire

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Well ‘sustain‘ is going to be an aromatic blend of multiple parameters, possibly Attack, Threshold, Ratio and Release all optimized for a guitar pedal. Try backing off the sustain knob until you can hear your pick attack and then blend that to taste. It would worth exploring before sinking money into another compressor. Compressor is very easily over used. I thought you had to hear it working when I first got mine.
Got it and will do. I just wanted sustain at lower volume but it seemed like the blend knob just didn't reduce the squash enough, it was still audible compression. I may need to reduce "sustain" and blend and just add a bit more guitar volume. It will be a while before I have another low volume gig but I will definitely work with it some more. Dollars, or lack thereof, make that mandatory right now. Thanks again!
 




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