How many of you guitarists use a compressor effect?

Discussion in 'Effects' started by living room rocker, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    This Katana amp recently bought has opened doors for at least a better basic understanding of tone dynamics you folks often describe. I've not been in the game long enough to truly understand some common terms like scooped mids, boosted mids, touch sensitivity, overdrive, compression, etc. The first amp introduced me to the sparkly clean Fender tone, my default favorite. However, this Katana's tone range has introduced me to some other dynamics and am really enjoying it. Starting to understand a bit what "boosted mids" mean.....this being more Marshall-like? Really liking the subtle compression effect too......seems to add more sustain to clean notes and the bass notes are way more punchy and audible. The chase for the perfect tone has begun.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    It's great when tone starts coming together. But most guitar effects, particularly overdrive, fuzz and compression are dynamics killers. Dynamics are all about the volume range you use in performance, and that is at its maximum with totally clean tone. Anything that clips or compresses gouges into that range and reduces the dynamics. Can still sound pretty good though.
     
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  3. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Active Member

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    It all comes down to the sound you want. Back when I were a wee lad, we pushed amps up until they were within an inch of croaking and added a booster and loved the sound. What was the sound? Power amp distortion and compression. These days we know better than to irradiate ourselves with all that racket so the best way to get that sound without killing your ears is to use compression. Surprise.

    Bob
     
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  4. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the chase for the perfect tone has ended. Why? Because you are never going to get there.

    Don't begin a pursuit of something you will not get. Whatever tone you have in your head, you may spend a fortune on amps, guitars, strings, pedals, pickups, bridges...and you will still not get that tone you have in your head. Whatever tone you hear on a record, same thing, spend a fortune on gear and you still won't get it.

    Believe it, I and probably everybody else here has searched for a tone we want only to fall short of it (and become flat busted broke in the process). Compressor? Yeah, I bought one of those to get that tone I heard in my head. The tone is still in my head, not coming through my amp. 200 bucks down the drain.
     
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  5. deMelo

    deMelo Well-Known Member

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    Like some said above, it's all about volume and dynamics.

    Thing is, sometimes we just can't use enough volume to create a good overdriven and compressed tone, so that's what you use the pedals for.

    I do own a compressor but to be honest i don't use it. It dulls my tone too much. I prefer to dial in the right amount of everything in the other pedals' knobs and raise the gain by stacking two different dirt pedals.
     
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  6. SGtopper

    SGtopper Member

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    I use one... Great for clean tone too...
     
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  7. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    I have one, a JOYO Dyna compressor that cost a whopping 20 bucks. I love it when playing single coils, HATE it for hums, and find it needed for when I use my EH Mel 9.
     
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  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    And in the end the audience doesn't give a toss about your tone. They can barely hear you anyway over the drummer and they are really quite a lot more interested in the contents of their pint glass.
     
  9. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Active Member

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    Ah, but there's the rub: not everyone plays bars. My main venue is the recording studio.

    Bob
     
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  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Ah, then the four guys with you can appreciate your tone.
     
  11. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    I hear you guys.....just got a little excited by exploring the new amp. Col Mustard wrote long ago the tone chase was a "death march" and I decided then and there, first and foremost, to focus on learning to play the instrument first and leave the tone chase alone. I must confess, I'm not sure now what it was I heard. I'd downloaded a Boss Liveset collection to the Katana. The Boss Liveset collection was titled "Katana Mk2 Authentic Amp Tones". One of those amp tones was called "Chrystal Clean" and its description read "sparkle clean sound with compressor"......clean is right up my alley. I assigned this tone to one of the amp's preset channels and gave it a listen. "Wow", I thought, if this is compression I need more of this good stuff. The notes rang out so spatially with the bass and high notes so loud, clean and clear and they sustained longer. After clicking over to the tone editor which shows all the effects and EQ parameters of that particular patch, it became clear there was more in the mix than just a purely clean tone and compressor. This patch had the Gain and Bass EQ set fairly high, a Roland DC-30 (whatever that is) was in the mix along with stereo delay and PAN (whatever PAN is). In other words, what I thought was simply a sparkly clean tone with just a compressor turned out to have much more added to it. I loved the tone and played it all day, but gonna have to play around and add these effects one by one I guess over a clean tone to truly understand what they do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  12. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Active Member

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    These days you'd be hard put to find a Nashville player who doesn't use one.

    Bob
     
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  13. deMelo

    deMelo Well-Known Member

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    That depends on what you’re playing and on the venue. Some bars are really dedicated to the music and the audience is quite cool. Many other musicians in the crowd.

    In such places, tone is important.
     
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  14. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    Pan is simply how much is coming out of the right speaker, and how much is coming out of the left speaker.

    Vocals you usually want dead center - same amount from both left and right speaker. Instruments is when you can get creative.

    If your guitar tone sounded different to you, pan could have something to do with it. When you pan your guitar hard right or hard left, your ear catches it more (it's more distinct because it is coming mostly out of one side of the stereo mix). A guitar solo can sound great due to many things (compression, distortion, treble boost, delay...), but one thing people fail to realize is that panning can also make a guitar solo sound great. Panning a solo one way or another makes that solo jump out and seem more alive.

    A great lesson on the use of panning is The Beatles song "Hey Bulldog." The solo really jumps out due to panning and the end of the song is a wild ride all due to panning -- there are literally two songs going on at once due to panning. Playing "Hey Bulldog" on a stereo with a balance knob where you can switch from right to left speaker is the most fun you can have with music. I've been doing it for decades and it never gets boring.
     
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  15. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Member

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    Well, technically I do use a pedal that is intended to be used as a compressor, I just don't use it as a compressor.

    I am speaking of my EHX Black Finger that is designed to be a tube driven optical compressor, but works equally well as a tube overdrive or a simple tube preamp, as you can practically dial the compression circuit out of the equation if you would wish to and overdrive the tubes in it, that by the way run at proper high 300V voltage.

    So I use mine as my sort of a lower medium gain tube overdrive.

    I don't really need any compression on my signal when I play and further more I don't like the effect either, even applied subtly to me it makes the tone of my guitar sound less natural and rich, the latter I guess what some people perceive as a more focused tone.

    I prefer my tone to be somewhat loose sounding however, loose, but rich.

    I do usually apply compression on my recordings though in the mixing and mastering process, but also here I am careful to not apply more than what is just absolutely strictly needed in order for the mix not to sound too unfocused and uneven, just enough to get a clean and clear sounding mix, and not overly compressed as what otherwise seems so popular these days by a lot of commercial producers, in order to make everything sound as loud as possible, but in the process killing all sense of nuances and dynamics.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019

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