Why would I want a compression pedal ?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Stratafied, Feb 22, 2021.

Why would I need a compression pedal?

  1. Because it will enhance your sound

    30 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Don’t waste your money

    10 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. You suck , why compress it.

    3 vote(s)
    3.3%
  4. You’re underestimating what this pedal can do for you.

    47 vote(s)
    52.2%
  1. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,383
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I dunno why you'd want one. I always figure we need 2 or more.

    :thumb:
     
    Wayne Adams and nadzab like this.
  2. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    4,601
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    New England
    I can't add much to what's already been said - it's hard to describe, but it seems to to liven up the overall tone, and used judiciously, really makes the sound "pop" (I think I'm just repeating what others have said). And of course there is the "evening-out" effect, which is great for rhythm work, especially funk (see Nile, above).

    Folks have mentioned Gilmour, but compression is also an essential part of Knopfler's signature sound, especially on first couple albums.

    I have a Dyna Comp and a Boss CP-1X on different boards, and they both get a lot of use. The Boss is on my main board, and it's pretty much always on.
     
    SalvorHardin, Stratman84 and Caedarn like this.
  3. HazyPurple

    HazyPurple Strat-O-Master Silver Member

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    680
    Joined:
    May 5, 2020
    Location:
    UK
    If your singing is really bad, use one.
     
  4. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    840
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Here are some things to do with one.

     
  5. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,779
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Area 51
    I read in an interview that Mark Knopfler uses a compressor for his vocals - not that his vocals suck, but to bring up the levels when he kind of mutters/whispers his lines.

    I had trouble gelling with compression until I stopped trying to use it on my dirt sounds - now I only use it on my cleans, and with a blend knob so I don't lose my dynamics - I basically set it to give my clean sound the same fullness and sustain as my overdriven sounds - just no dirt.
     
    Stratoman10, JP68 and HazyPurple like this.
  6. MrJLR

    MrJLR Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2021
    Location:
    Chino California
    Strat, tuner, Wha-Wha, Overdrive and done for me!
    But compression will add sustain....

    Jeff
     
  7. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    65
    Messages:
    877
    Joined:
    May 20, 2020
    Location:
    Athens Ga
    A guitar pedal compressor such as a dynacomp is similar but different than compression used in a recording on a track and have different purposes. Compression in a recording is to balance the lowest level signal with the highest level signal where a guitar pedal compressor is to create sustain.
     
    SalvorHardin likes this.
  8. cglasford

    cglasford Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2020
    Location:
    St Paul Minnesota
    I was very compressor adverse for a long time. I tried many of them. I thought they were all noisy and really didn't give me the tone I wanted or was expecting. Then one of my good friends and mentors told me he used one, the Keeley Compressor Plus and he sounds amazing so I was like WTF I need to do this. It took a little tweaking and playing with it but no I pretty much have this pedal on all the time. I play an SG with '61 pick ups through a fender style amp and it just makes my tone so much better and it adds a good amount of sustain. I play a lot of slide and now I love it. Some people won't play with out reverb but I don't think I will play with out my Keeley. The Keeley is the first i've used with a blend knob and IMHO that is a must have on a compression pedal otherwise I feel they squish your tone too much. This is pretty much how I have it set up, I might have turned the blend a little closer to 9. My guitar is between 3-5 on the volume and I use my volume as kind of a boost and when I turn it up closer to 8/9 it adds some dirt to my tone.
    [​IMG]
     
    DMTstrat00 likes this.
  9. Chaplin

    Chaplin Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    If you're mainly a bedroom player or mainly play with lots of distortion then you don't really "need" one. If you play clean and record a lot and/or play with a loud amp, or want to give added sustain to your semi distorted leads then you need one (as a note decays the compression will keep it a higher volume for longer). Ever play clean on a super loud / high headroom amp, cranked? Hit one note too hard and it kills the vibe. Hit notes too soft and it diminishes the performance. A good compression pedal will tame the 'too louds' and bring up the 'too softs,' so you don't have to play with the perfect amount of feel 100% of the time. It's one less thing to worry about. It also changes the tone slightly for the better but, there are some guys out there that wouldn't notice the difference. Don't crank it too much though. You can really sterilize your performance. You want to hear picking dynamics, you want to hear it get slightly louder when you play harder. PS: I use the original Keeley 2 knob. In lime green
     
    SalvorHardin and stratnutz like this.
  10. chas3rd

    chas3rd Strat-Talk Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Great motto!!!!!
     
  11. chas3rd

    chas3rd Strat-Talk Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Check out the Bondi Effects 2026 compressor and don’t look back!!
     
  12. SlideGuy123

    SlideGuy123 New Member!

    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Depends on what you need. Since I fingerpick the lap steel, I use it for balancing out string volume. Without compression, it's really hard to control string to string volume (much easier to do this on acoustic instruments, for me, anyway). I do get some added sustain, but I have plenty of that anyway, so this is really about balance.

    I had a Ross-style comp that pumped too much, so if I was sustaining a note, it would fade and then get louder again. Now I use a Mad Professor Forest Green set to sustain, and it doesn't affect my attack, just helps notes come through distinctly. I still have plenty of dynamics. And it's much quieter than the Ross clone.

    We also use a little comp (at the board) for my banjo - it really helps with feedback and overall keeping up with the electric instruments and drums.
     
    rolandson likes this.
  13. Wrighty

    Wrighty Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    66
    Messages:
    8,253
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    I asked the same question 18 months ago. My teacher told me ‘you’ll never know ‘til you’ve got one’. I bought one, he was right!
     
    nadzab and hogrider16 like this.
  14. Uncle Fiesta

    Uncle Fiesta Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,897
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Gainsborough, ENGLAND
    What Chaplin said - it helps a guitar sit better in the mix by removing the peaks and troughs, thus evening out the volume.

    Listen to the Nowhere Man solo; without compression you'd lose the little harmonic at the end.
     
    Chaplin and nadzab like this.
  15. Wayne Adams

    Wayne Adams Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I use a compressor most of the time, BUT - most of the time, it's very subtle.
     
    nadzab likes this.
  16. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,630
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    You've shown, quite well, the point we reach at the end of most discussions about compressor pedals.

    Guitarist A: I can't tell if it's working.
    Guitarist B: It's awesome!
     
  17. Rockdog55

    Rockdog55 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    347
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Location:
    Australia
    I just about always have a compressor or a boost pedal on. Either using my amps onboard adjustable boost or a EHX Soul Food as a boost with gain right down & volume up or my Xotic SP compressor. The compressor I like best out of the ones I have owned is a cheapy Moen Uni-Comp really versatile with low noise & the bias knob is useful with different pickups, the only bummer is it takes up a bit of space on my pedalboard.
     
  18. Esg877

    Esg877 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Location:
    Brazil
    The golden age of knowledge is upon us:



    Personally, I pretty much gave up on pedals a while ago. I keep an OD and a looper, but mostly I use my computer or a multi-effects modeler with great satisfaction and ease, not to mention great economy of space and money. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
    Baelzebub likes this.
  19. Zak99b5

    Zak99b5 Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    The Wampler Ego is a fantastic compressor because you can blend the compressed (even) signal with the dry (nuanced dynamics). I usually just turn it on and leave it on all the time. If you wanted that dynacomp sound you can turn the knob all the way to just the compressed signal.

    I was thinking about building the Engineer’s Thumb pedal which seems like the compressor I wanted, but the Wampler works great.
     
    Voxman likes this.
  20. Chmason85

    Chmason85 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    226
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Location:
    Ardmore, PA
    Nile seems like the exact type that would use a compressor but from what I understand he does not, he’s just really good.