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Purpose of a compressor

1674 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  sh333
I understand what a compressor does.. but I'm a little confused as to when youre suppose to use one..

Can anyone help me out?
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flashPUNK said:
I understand what a compressor does.. but I'm a little confused as to when youre suppose to use one..

Can anyone help me out?
Well, I'm one of those left-wing anti-compressionist types. I don't like how it kills your dynamic range. As you know, it just squeezes everything up to whatever ceiling you set it at. Kills the funk.

I have in the past used a compressor/sustainer in a country band to get a steel guitar sound. I think it's more useful in recording, or used sparingly, just enough to take the gnarly edges off. But then, season to taste.:D
"Kills the funk."


For what it's worth
I agree with the previous two posters about compressors...however depending on your band and your playing style they can be useful. In live situations it can help to give a more steady sound/level to your sound and seeing as how i dont wanna always rely on the soundguy to get the best sound for my band compressors can be helpful.

However i prefer not to use them as the best songs/bands have a good sense of dynamics and compressors completely eliminate that
Compressors can be useful for slide work to add some sustain.

Like any effect, it's best used sparingly.

For some clean rhythm sounds it can add some spank, but again, not all the time and not too strong.
This what I found on compresssors:

Compressors even out signals by reducing the volume of the loudest sounds to better match the volume of quietersounds.

You can use subtle compression to make your playing sound more even, or drastic compression for dramatically increased sustain and a very consistent level.

I would like to hear more detail on this. I have a virtual compressor in my Line 6 GuitarPort. I'm fooling with it get the feel for how a compressor works. With rythmn, I find it does give a bit more snap and a nice even sound but I haven't figured out the sustain thing yet.

Opinion on the Keeley Compressor seems very good. Any others?
The Keeley Compressor is one of the best.

General Comment:
If you play with gain most people like the compression whether they know it or not. In most cases the more you push your tube amps the more compressed it gets.

If you are playing in the just dirty range you probably want the dynamics. I assume most of the people above are in this range.

Yeah, all tube amps add some compression when they are pushed. The trick to using compression is to use it very subtley, so that you can hardly tell that it's on.
Compression gets a bad rap because people tend to not understand how to use it properly. Overuse of compression is not that useful unless you are going for that supersquashed sound.

Almost every pro player and most Semi-pro players I deal with have at least one compressor in their rig. To me that says something. Many favour the Keeley and it is a great pedal. The Diamond Compressor is also amazing. It is actually a Opto-compressor in a pedal. It is very useful even for high gain sounds.

Compression is not just for the chicken pickers :wave:
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