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

    31 vote(s)
    33.0%
  2. Don’t waste your money

    10 vote(s)
    10.6%
  3. You suck , why compress it.

    3 vote(s)
    3.2%
  4. You’re underestimating what this pedal can do for you.

    50 vote(s)
    53.2%
  1. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Strat-Talk Member

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    Well. there are some interesting answers here. IF, you overdrive the front-end of an amp, it is because you can (when one attempts to turn the volume up past the voltage allowed by the preamp circuitry operating voltages for clean operation within spec those devices, tubes or transistor (opamp) must begin to "clip", a state made possible by the designer of that amp). Look at a hi-end stereo amp and the ratio of those voltages are kept within component spec to produce a pristine, clean uncompressed sound. This is simple compression. Simple compression can be described as pushing a big signal into a smaller "pipe", the tops and bottoms get flattened out. Early guitar compression was also desirable for the natural distortion of that process. The little EH LPB-1 had close to 10-to-1 ratio of signal boost to shove down the throat of whatever amp we wanted to "fatten up"; that is a LOT of signal. The audible effect of compression depends on the amount, if we go medium there are two overall differences imposed on the original signal, the fatter signal feeds itself back, thus sustain, and "limiting", a degree to which tones sent out the speakers tend to be a similar level. So, it can depend a lot on what the individual artist wants, and there are compression devices that offer control of many parts of that effect. When I have run a compressor, many times it is because I will be playing in a power-trio and the limiting properties work for me by keeping the individual note playing, riff or leads, nearly the same as when playing chords, thus little or no drop-out in the overall sound. The sustain is always useful. All of that said, most distortion devices mimic compression taken over the top, but well controlled.
     
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  2. Maplelover

    Maplelover Strat-Talk Member

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    Me too. And a Telecaster...just something in 50 years of playing.....
     
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  3. Ironwolf

    Ironwolf Strat-O-Master Gold Supporting Member

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    I play either clean or with a very light crunch from a low gain drive. I use a compressor as an almost always on pedal.
     
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  4. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    this. so much...this.

    Playing acoustically, I learned control with my hands. Louder - harder, quieter - softer. I've never seen a cello compression pedal. It was a natural extension for me to adopt similar technique with a flat pick. From attack through what part of the pick I employed...

    Much the same way a good vocalist will use (live) microphone dynamics to their advantage; turning slightly off axis to limit "input" and getting close to enhance bottom end response sort of thing. None of which is needed, or wanted in a studio (there's an engineer for that).

    My earlier comment sort of bothered me (where I said I couldn't tell a difference between when the fellow I was playing with was using)...

    in that, that is the whole point isn't?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  5. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    i havent read any of the replies.....im giving you my experience with one.
    i had never used one before 2019, then the singer for the band i was in put a red mxr compressor on my board, and so i tried to use it.
    i never could tell much of a difference. the biggest thing i could tell was that it was noisy and i hated it, so i quit using it. also, it seemed to take away from the dynamics of playing.
     
  6. Stratman84

    Stratman84 Strat-Talker

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    Same reasons and guitar board setup for me. Boss CP-1X on my main, Dyna Comp on my grab and go. I also use the Boss BC-1X on my main board for bass. Once you find the sound, you’ll notice when it’s gone.
     
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  7. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    1. Its like dirt but for clean tones
    2. CS2 into a Rat with a touch of delay... its like being the first one out on a virgin groomed ski piste
    3. You need to figure out how it works with your amp and all the other stuff in the signal path, they are all different
    4. In a large band, its less likely to work and can even sink your sound
    5. The audience cannot tell the difference
     
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  8. CeltRocka

    CeltRocka Senior Stratmaster

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    I think you're right - straight into a mixing desk , some compression added after
     
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  9. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    Appreciate your advice on this .
     
  10. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

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    All good points. And #5 is true of so many things we obsess over...
     
  11. nadzab

    nadzab Play Don't Worry Silver Member

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    That's surprising, but hey, I use a lot of putty where better carpenters can just make more precise cuts.
     
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  12. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Strat-Talker

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    I was hoping someone would explain MK's early strat sound. It was his sound and technique that hooked me on strats.
     
  13. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Strat-Talker

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    #5 modified: They may not be able to tell, but, they can tell if it sounds like crap.
     
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  14. bigjimmy

    bigjimmy Strat-Talk Member

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    I have a blues junior nos that was too bright and ice-picky. I read somewhere that a compressor could balance out the sound and calm down the excessive brightness of the amp. I bought an inexpensive Joyo compressor a while ago and it did allow me to dial in a better sound. Since then I have put it a different speaker (CannRex) and am considering taking the compressor off the board as if doesn't seem to improve sound and I leave it off most of the time. Other than that I am pretty ignorant about compressors in general and am enjoying reading what others are contributing here.
     
  15. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    If you play loud and clean, a compressor can even up volume differences between playing single notes and chords.

    They're cheap enough, so just buy one and see what it can do.
     
  16. PRSWILL

    PRSWILL Strat-Talk Member

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    If you play live a lot like i do, LESS is WAY WAY more. something always goes wrong and the more knobs on the floor the chances that something will get "adjusted" is compounded by orders of knob magnitude. I don't find any advantage to having a compressor in the "live" chain- it's just a problem waiting to happen when the gain gets cranked/ or lowered, and the feedback starts. if you know how to use your amp, compressors are something of an option- if you're playing a lot of super clean jazz at low/mid volumes, i can see having one. if you're using distortion pedals they are already smashing the signal so more compression is not better and you're chances of losing headroom, and good tone are super high.
    Now, Studio- different story- I have 7 outboard compressors to choose from and more virtual depending on the tone and project.

    I think most people equate compression to sustain- and there's truth in that- but look to your gain stages first. If you HAVE to have one, be gentle.
     
  17. Voxman

    Voxman Strat-Talk Member

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    I have a Wampler Ego (full size) and it's always on. I run it before dirt.
    I get a better balanced sound (not a tone change) and yet I can keep dynamics and the variations of using the volume knob on the guitar without drastic volume changes.
    This is crucial playing live.
    I use a lot of different degrees of dirt from completely clean to fuzz.
    The Blend knob on the Ego is why I can leave it on all the time
     
  18. funkysoul

    funkysoul Strat-Talker

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    if i wasnt play funk would not have one