Do You Need A Compressor?

Chmason85

Country Gent
May 1, 2018
1,207
Philadelphia
You can still play quietly and loudly with a compressor. It just eliminates too quiet or too loud. They’re not a boost. They’re not an overdrive. Do you need one? No. But they can be handy.
I actually used mine almost only as a boost before I had a clean boost, but mine also has a gain and tone setting so it kind of did the trick. It’s for sale unless I can figure out a setting I like with filtertrons.
 

Jim Krause

Electromatic
May 2, 2022
92
Lawrence, Kansas
Do I need a compressor? Sometimes I do, yes. My Rickenbacker 360/12 just sounds kind of thuddy without one. The Gretsch, on the other hand, I find I can get along without it. A compressor does make touch harmonics stand out a little more.
 

deeperblue

Electromatic
Jun 5, 2021
8
Tokyo
Yes. Compressor is the first thing on my pedal board after the tuner.
MXR studio on the recording board, and the Animal Pedal on a smaller board. Alsp Ampex OptoComp on the bass board. Animal Pedal is the best.

Then in the studio, preamp > EQ > compressor. I prefer 1176 for guitars, and sometimes Distressor.

If anyone wants to hear the power of compression, send me some a home recording and I'm happy to run it through an analog compressor.
 

hooligangorilla

Electromatic
Jan 14, 2022
14
Canada
Discovering compressor pedals 10 years ago was probably the single greatest thing to ever happen to my tone. Adds polish and sustain, like having a tiny studio engineer at work on my pedalboard.

But I need to qualify that by saying I play a lot in the clean and edge-of-breakup zone, especially with single coils into Fender-style “pedal platform” amps. And I go for very transparent compressors that add sustain but don’t squish dynamics. Diamond Comp and Jackson Blossom are my current comps of choice.

So, I completely get it if players using Filter’Trons and humbuckers into overdriven, naturally compressing amps have no use for a compressor. I turn the comp setting on my compressor pedals way down when using PAFs and Trons, even clean.
 

Irish-Jay

Electromatic
Silver Member
Jul 2, 2015
47
Vancouver, WA
????????????
It depends on what I’m playing, honestly. If I’m playing clean, through a tube amp (attenuator on 😄), then no. I do have a 19 pedal board though, with which I sometimes make a horrible cacophony, and the compressor serves a purpose. Normally, not so much though. 👍🏻👍🏻
 

Shadowy_Man

Synchromatic
May 18, 2020
651
Chicago
If you want clean country-style sliding 6ths to sound good, you're going to need some compression. Everyone uses compression, even if it's just coming in the form of overdrive.
 

Byron

Country Gent
Sep 4, 2009
1,262
uk
Only after I've recorded something. I just can't get along with playing with a compressor in the signal, it just seems a bit deadened. For tidying up afterwards and making me sound better, I likes it!
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
6,877
France
I just sold one of mine on FB market for $70.00 A nice 5hp 25 gal tank unit. Had three. only type of compressors I use.

Just for the fun, before I go... :oops:;)

Société d'Exploitation des Compresseurs Paul Thomé

This was a local company, in the city of Lyon-Vénissieux, France, established before WWI, IIRC. They closed their doors in 1988, eaten by the competiton... Their equipment was reputedly undestructible.



I had three too : a 1980 Dynacomp, an Ibanez CP-9, a made-in-Poland one fitted with a Dolby chip... I never bonded, nor needed that effect, to be honest. :(

OK. Now I go... 😁

A+!
 

senojnad

Synchromatic
Platinum Member
Jul 13, 2008
816
Lehigh Valley, PA
I use a Cali 76 set at very moderate levels. I agree that it builds tone. If set too high it gets annoying (IMO).
The Cali 76 and Nocturne Dyno Brain are "always" on. For me, they enhance tone -- they don't change tone.....
 
Last edited:

VintageRules

Electromatic
Mar 6, 2019
6
Ontario, Canada
I bought my first stand alone compressor three days ago, an Aphex 'Punch Factory'. Not because I "need" one, because the price was very good for what that specific compressor offers. My guitar/bass 'pedal chain' consists of a volume pedal and a tuner. Will I add the compressor to it? Maybe, maybe not. I am more interested in hearing how it works with my vocal mics through a pa and hearing how it fits in with my recording setup.
 

Bertotti

Gretschified
Jul 20, 2017
10,199
South Dakota
One thing I discovered is I can not have a compressor before my SA Spectrum it just kills its dynamics. I save the jangle box for jangle. And have foregone adding one to my regular playong
 

EarleG

Electromatic
Dec 19, 2013
55
Hendersonville TN
I use moderately at home just to change the sound but more so with band. We play in a very live room with very little sound
absorption so it helps equalize the sound balance and eliminate clashing with the drum cymbals. I actually have 4 different
compressor pedals but all basically do the same effect.
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
19,262
Petaluma
I use moderately at home just to change the sound but more so with band. We play in a very live room with very little sound
absorption so it helps equalize the sound balance and eliminate clashing with the drum cymbals. I actually have 4 different
compressor pedals but all basically do the same effect.
I'm curious which 4 and why you have them.
 

EarleG

Electromatic
Dec 19, 2013
55
Hendersonville TN
I'm curious which 4 and why you have them.
I have a Keeley 4 knob, Donner Ultimate Comp, Azor (got it to use up expiring vendor credit points) and 2 Visual Sounds Rte V2.
I used the Azor or Donner since mini sized on a small portable board that fits into a laptop computer bag. The Azor gets some noise
when the compression gets over 1/2 up but I don't need that much anyway. Actually same thing with the Keeley.
I like the Visual Sounds V2 one best but it is in a large 2 effects in one enclosure with the overdrive so don't haul it around these days.
Over the years have used the classic MXR and the Electro-Harmonix but current ones are fine.

 


Latest posts

Top