Author Topic: Compression?  (Read 14575 times)

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Offline FeinMusic

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Compression?
« on: August 08, 2009, 11:31:20 am »
How do you guys feel about it?  I'm looking for that extra sustain but most pedals reem way over the top with the dynamic squashing.  Call me old fashioned but I like the gratification of beating the tar out of my strings and hearing the pick attack.  Anyone care to share their experiences?  Perhaps someone can suggest a more subtle compression pedal or an alterative pedal for sustain.  Also does anyone have experience using limiter pedals?  Thank you!
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Offline mi2tom

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2009, 03:36:13 pm »
I hate it to the max, compressor gives you sustain but takes away your picking dynamics. And I can't live without picking dynamics. I heard some people  says it helps your picking technique though.

Offline CityofBlindingLights

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2009, 05:06:57 pm »
How do you guys feel about it?  I'm looking for that extra sustain but most pedals reem way over the top with the dynamic squashing.  Call me old fashioned but I like the gratification of beating the tar out of my strings and hearing the pick attack.  Anyone care to share their experiences?  Perhaps someone can suggest a more subtle compression pedal or an alterative pedal for sustain.  Also does anyone have experience using limiter pedals?  Thank you!

I'm actually not a big fan of compression, I'm with you there.

Offline kareemb0

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2009, 08:01:01 pm »
Most pedal compressors are terrible, that's the problem.

There's only one compact pedal compressor that I bet you will ALL love.

It's the Carl Martin Compressor. It does magic for cleans.
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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2009, 08:19:25 pm »
Compressors really kill pick dynamics. However, if you want to increase your sustain there are other ways to do it. It just depends on the type of guitar you're using. If it's a hard tail les paul, the only thing you can do is upgrade the hardware to lighter and more resonant parts. If your guitar has a trem you can always install a larger brass block or something like an esp arming adjuster. Adding more springs also helps the tone as you're transferring more energy to the body.

Lowering your pickups a bit also helps as it cuts back on the magnetic pull, but if you already have an airbucker or something with low magnet pull to begin with then it doesn't matter.
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Offline FeinMusic

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2009, 08:42:29 pm »
It's mainly the dirty I'm concerned with.  I could use an extra gain stage for when I really want more sustain
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Offline Analog_Kid

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2009, 03:18:42 am »
I'm gonna throw-in here in a very opposite direction. I'm assuming that most of what the convo is referencing is compression pedals, such as the good ol' MXR Dynacomp. That's a great pedal for added sustain, and is a god-send for Metal players looking for extremely tight rhythm tone. Absolutely! However, let's take a more studio-oriented approach to dynamic compression, as opposed to saturation compression, for a moment.

Most pedal compressors are designed around saturation. What a saturation-oriented compressor does is gives that added sustain and fluid, creamy tone to a guitar sound,(especially useful for hot humbucking pickups). As stated by other posters, it also robs the overall sound of pick dynamics; which are crucial to many player's style. The reason being that, in many ways, it over-compensates for dynamics in favor of this type of tone. Especially if cranked-up to where you can really hear its' effect on the tone of an amp/guitar signal.

The true point of a compressor, in the dynamic sense, is to make everything level - regardless of frequency. In other words, for guitar purposes: The higher notes from the unwound strings are equally balanced, in output, from the lower wound strings. A dynamics compressor sets a volume ceiling, across the board, for all frequencies. In many ways, this is a type of compression that should be in the chain but NOT be heard,(anyone who has experienced volume drop-offs due to over-compressing the signal knows what I mean here). This is the type of compression I use in my rig via a dbx 266XL.

For my part, I designed my rig around my direct line,(guitar to rig to direct boxes - in stereo - to the house) acoustic guitar work many years ago. It has proven useful in my electric guitar sound as well but entirely because it was designed around dynamics instead of saturation,(creating an interesting hybrid rig that can truly enhance the guitar tone, overall, instead of being for any particular style or guitar type). I run the 266XL at a 2:1 compression ratio, with attack and release at about half-way. I DO NOT use the soft knee feature, as that very much tends to bleed over into the pick-attack-killing area as described previously.

In other words, I use my compressor very much the way it would be used in recording. I really wish more players would explore this style of compression, as opposed to using it to over-saturate their tone. It would take a lot of the "mystery" of compression out of the way for many folks. The key with compression, in my mind, is that it should make a difference in overall level without being heard.

Offline alfaromeo90

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2009, 09:28:11 pm »
compression can work really well in certain settings.  Compression is used very well by guitarists such as Jimmy Page and David Gilmour, and both sound as expressive as anyone.   If you've got a lot of instruments to cut thru, or one or two big bandwidth hogs (e.g. another distorted guitarist) then compression has all positives.  In my opinion it's important to use it subtly and well. 

I used to like the old Boss cs-2 foot pedal compressor - haven't used it in many years.

http://www.proguitarshop.com/index.php?CategoryID=40  - lots of options!

I'm on the lookout for a 2nd hand Rockman mini rack compressor.


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Offline JAMESDP100

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2009, 10:01:19 pm »
Heres a good way to increase the sustain of your signal: just switch on an over drive pedal like
a tube screamer set the drive all the way up the tone to your preferences and the output low and
that will give you a nice lead tone with plenty of sustain. Just make sure its an over drive
and not a distortion.
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Offline FeinMusic

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 09:31:36 am »
I think I'm going with that little green Guyatone pedal.  One of my mentors recommended it as the most transparent thing he's ever played and I hope to prove it right.  I've got a stock TS9DX going too.  From what I can tell the thing doesn't even need to be modded
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Offline mi2tom

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2009, 02:57:19 am »
Natural tube crank compression is the best. Try playing a fulltube amp in full blast and you'll get natural tube compression just like how steve vai like it ;)

Offline FeinMusic

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2009, 02:16:20 pm »
If I had the venue to crank I would.  Or the love of attenuators
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Offline mi2tom

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2009, 01:24:56 am »
The problem is always the venue, attenuators often change the tone a bit actually but it works :)

Offline alfaromeo90

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2009, 04:24:13 am »
caref ul of the decibels of power tube overload.  You make the sound guy's task very difficult.  If you're playing outdoor venue with 80,000 capacity then no problem. :)
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Offline devastone

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Re: Compression?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2009, 05:37:35 pm »
A dynamics compressor sets a volume ceiling, across the board, for all frequencies.

Technically that is called "limiting", but yes, that is the most transparent way to use a compressor. 

I don't use a compressor, but I can't say that all compression is bad (although overused on many of today's recordings).  It's like anything else, moderation is the key. 

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