What position is your compressor in your pedal chain?

Guy Incognito

Senior Stratmaster
May 14, 2019
Here and now
Personally, I run mine like Hanson mentioned above... right after the tuner, before OD. It really is preference, so try a couple positions, and do what sounds good to you. This (older) video from Wampler Pedals has a pretty good explanation of the differences you will see with regard to before or after OD / Distortion:

I gotta say the only time the compressor after the OD didn't sound like complete trash is when he mostly blended it right out of the signal.

I'll be sticking with mine in front.


Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 7, 2021
Thank you everyone! I played around a bit with it in both before & after. I wasn't very fond of the "after" so I put it back in the before spot. Basically going with this order: tuner, wah, compressor, overdrive, modulation. Fun to get everyones ideas and play around with these things!

Pamela xxx

Jun 23, 2022
Don't have a 'pedal chain' per se, but I always play with guitar (or bass) into my Boss CS-3 (compressor/sustainer) into the amp. I have on occasion used in conjunction with a JoJo American overdrive pedal placed after the compressor. I can't play without that CS-3 pedal, as it just doesn't 'feel' the same... some say I can't play with it either! ;)


You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
I have one at the beginning and one at the end of my signal chain. Or I did, anyway. I replaced the first compressor with an OD pedal because I was out of 9v plugs from my power supply. So I took out a compressor and replaced it with a new OD pedal since I had 2 hooked up.(Don't pay attention to the fact that I have like 8 or 9 OD pedals hooked up currently LMFAO 🤣. Since my pedals don't go anywhere, I just hook them all up so I don't have to swap anything out when I want to use it. I just step on the switch lol. Currently at 22 pedals on my "pedalfloor" - see the 'Show us your pedalboard' thread for an explanation of "pedalfloor" 🤣🤣)

The first was an inexpensive optical compressor with only a couple of knobs and the 2nd is a Keeley 4 knob compressor clone. It's the same as whatever his standard compressor is, only with all the knobs on the outside instead of 2 exterior knobs and 2 trim pots inside like it was originally available with.

I set it up this way after reading about using multiple compressors together for some reason I can't recall currently. I want to say they were using a Compressor/Limiter for one of the 2 compressors, though. Which I don't have. I need to see if I can find that info again.
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Senior Stratmaster
Nov 19, 2021
My compressor is right at the front. At the very very front. Cumbersome hulk grip string strangler fingers


Most Honored Senior Member
Feb 16, 2012
After. I don't use heavy distortion, and use it after a Page, which is Very low gain, that it nice. I don't usually use it with my other OD pedals. But I would normally run it after. I've also run it before. Both a valid and a little different.

I've also run wah before and after OD. Very different how they work, and both did what I wanted at that point.

Play with it and see what works for you at this time, don't worry about what someone wrote on the internet.

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
Sante Fe, NM
I only use compression during recording. It comes after any pedals and is inserted into the channel. I also use it on mixdown.


Jun 6, 2020
Wild Rose Country
I use compression mostly for one thing; to get sustain and harmonic squeal in a lead/solo tone. For that I place it before whatever OD/Dist effect I'm using at the time for my lead boost. I set it up so the compression and gain come in together in one loop. When used in combination with a time based effect like a subtle chorus or an even more subtle phaser or flanger it provides easier access to pinch harmonics and held notes that sustain until they blossom into a controllable feedback squeal.

I have tried compression after a gain stage and it seems pointless to me. I have not found much use for compression in a low gain tone. In low to medium gain situations I would much rather have full control over my dynamics using my hands but for soaring, whistling solo/lead tones compression is a must in my universe. The one exception is if I'm going for a country style tone or a Mark Knopfler sort of thing and in that case I'll use a little bit of compression in combination with a small amount of slap-back delay. In that case I'm not adding any gain stages so the question of before or after is moot.