I'm using always compressor or my guitar seems dead lol

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
To me, compressor is like when you’re driving at dusk. You can see everything. It’s still light. Then you turn the headlights on. That difference is compression.

Interesting how everyone is different.
It's the exact opposite for me :D

Tube amps/pedals already have a lot of natural compression. The more gain you add the more you get.
One of the reasons I don't like any youtube video tones is they are all compressed to within an inch of their lives.
Seems many people have got used to youtube as somehow "normal".

So when more compression is added via a pedal it's like being blinded to me - can't hear the natural guitar tone for the over processed compression :eek::D

PS - I also have a Question for you guys reliant on compressors.
Are you using modelling amps, solid state amps or modellers ?
 
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Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,332
Petaluma
Interesting how everyone is different.
It's the exact opposite for me :D

Tube amps/pedals already have a lot of natural compression. The more gain you add the more you get.
One of the reasons I don't like any youtube video tones is they are all compressed to within an inch of their lives.
Seems many people have got used to youtube as somehow "normal".

So when more compression is added via a pedal it's like being blinded to me - can't hear the natural guitar tone for the over processed compression :eek::D

PS - I also have a Question for you guys reliant on compressors.
Are you using modelling amps, solid state amps or modellers ?
There's a different between "using" and "reliant on".;) For me, non master Tube amp.
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
6,948
Atlanta
Interesting how everyone is different.
It's the exact opposite for me :D

Tube amps/pedals already have a lot of natural compression. The more gain you add the more you get.

But that's only one function of a compressor. Tube amps don't have a feedback loop that lifts the decaying note which creates sustain.

So when more compression is added via a pedal it's like being blinded to me - can't hear the natural guitar tone for the over processed compression :eek::D

Only if you don't set it right. But also, they're not all created equal - there are a number of compressors that will add sparkle and sustain without removing dynamics. There are also a number that will give a great dynamic to your notes.

PS - I also have a Question for you guys reliant on compressors.
Are you using modelling amps, solid state amps or modellers ?

No, all tube hand built Fender variants. But reliant? Nah, I just like what it does.

And keep in mind, the compression pedal you're not using isn't the same as the compression pedal I am using.
 

Shadowy_Man

Synchromatic
May 18, 2020
509
Chicago
I have an Orange Squeezer style comp. Even at maximum compression it doesn't get rid of dynamics. If I pick softer the note is softer coming out of the amp, but of course the dynamic range is narrowed.

If you use a Dynacomp at maximum compression, that will kill all your dynamics for sure. But most people don't use them that way. I do like some clean country twang, so compression is a no brainer, but I use it even for jazzy stuff too.
 
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Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,219
Tucson
Contrary with me. I never use a compressor because it feels not dynamic enough/dead.

A lot of it is just not having your guitar/amp dialed in correctly. Some of it is also in today's over compressed sounding recordings a lot of people have just gotten used to that sound and hearing your guitar without the effect(s) just isn't what you like.

I do tons of guitar tracking and some mixing and that's been my business for many years. Any time I take on some home recorded project as a favor it's usually either compressed to heck or recorded with samples/VIs and guitar modelers, where people will add all kinds of nonsense and the same stuff everyone else is adding at home.

Ask yourself:

1- Do you like your sound

If so, chances are you're just going for a more processed type of sound. Nothing wrong with that. Most of today's blooze daddies/rockabilly cats are just hair metal guys who don't fit into spandex anymore so they've moved on to a more suitable trend. That's why companies make wide flat necks and guitars that cater to these type of people. Look at a USA Strat from 1990 vs 1996 and you'll see this firsthand. These type of players love processed guitar sounds, it’s just more “socially acceptable” on forums to post pictures of 10+ pedals on a board vs a GSP-21 or MP-1. If that’s what you’re into fo for it.

2- Do you not like your sound

If you don't like your sound maybe spend some time trying to figure out what you don't like about it. A compressor will generally add noise and can change the timbre of your sound. Maybe take your pedals out of the mix and see what your guitar and amp really sound like. Play with your amp's knobs and see how that works. Maybe work on pickup height and try to get things as close as you can before you start messing with things.

I have a compressor pedal but when I use it I do so for a couple reasons.

1- To push an amp into overdrive while smoothing it out a little
2- For the audible effect of hearing that sound (like on a hybrid picking thing or something)

When I mix songs I use compression here and there but generally I'm do my best not to hear it as an effect.

No I never use compressor pedals - I've tried them and don't like them.
I sometimes might use a little with a DAW on recordings for clean tones only.

Using a compressor has the following disadvantages imo
- takes variety and dynamics out of your playing by making the volume always the same.
- many can add an unpleasant hard clip to start of notes.
- adds another pedal to your signal chain - adding cable length and more to go wrong.
- added cost and weight.

If you think not using a compressor makes your rigs sound dead I think you've become over reliant on them and need 12 months of weaning off them. Your playing will improve if you do :D
I’ve tried compressors and limiters, but never liked the sound. The Ross compressor from the late ‘70s may have been more to my liking.

Live, or around the house, I never use one. I’ve been known to all ply light compression to a recorded guitar track, but I try to keep it so subtle that it’s not really noticeable.
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
6,948
Atlanta
I’ve tried compressors and limiters, but never liked the sound. The Ross compressor from the late ‘70s may have been more to my liking.

Live, or around the house, I never use one. I’ve been known to all ply light compression to a recorded guitar track, but I try to keep it so subtle that it’s not really noticeable.

As it turns out, they have been brought back and apparently in all their glory. But if you don’t like compressors for they typical reasons, the Ross is the very one you probably don’t want.
 

calebaaron666

Friend of Fred
Aug 15, 2018
6,647
Auburn, Maine
I’ve never used a compressor pedal with a guitar, but I can relate to pedal dependence. I tend to always need/want some kind of preamp/boost or drive pedal before hitting the amp or else my stuff sounds dead. I used to use a tube screamer set to clean. Now I’m a slave to my Nocturne Brain.
 

Back in Black

Country Gent
Jun 22, 2020
1,235
Ontario Canada
Lol i don't know if this is a issue but no matter what rig i compose I always use a compressor with it. Otherwise the guitar feels like dead.
I think i'm used to the sound of a guitar thats 'sound easier".
I must say i'm using it whith a kemper so digital stuff .

I think paul pigat uses a compressor as well .
So u guys use also compressors in your rig?

Sam,

Not dead, just your own personal tone preference.

I very much like ''compressor'' tone as well, especially on 12 string Rickenbackers.

To me there is really only one compressor pedal, and that's the ''JangleBox''

I have a very early, first generation model, it may not be switched on all the time, but it's always cabled in.

Best,

BIB.

DSCF1325.JPG IMG_0225.JPG
 

PHCorrigan

Gretschie
Aug 30, 2019
126
Lake Oswego, Oregon
100 % of the time. Just enough. Just to where the whole tone gets BIGger, but not to where it’s squashing or killing dynamics.

That's what I do. I did find that I have to use a noise reducer and run the compressor through the noise reducer's effects loop, but the noise reducer is set to the absolute minimum settings.

BTW, I'm not worried about killing the "natural sound" of my electric guitar. Electric guitars do not have a natural sound!
 
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ElectraNomad

Electromatic
Jul 11, 2021
14
USA
I'm in the camp of a) it depends on your style/genre and b) does your amp compress at some sweet spot.

Dynamics.... a compressor will make it more difficult to use actual playing style dynamics as it will try to equalize the lower volumes... but it's a good option to be able to switch in and out as needed.
 

ElectraNomad

Electromatic
Jul 11, 2021
14
USA
That's what I do. I did find that I have to use a noise reducer and run the compressor through the noise reducer's effects loop, but the noise reducer is set to the absolute minimum settings.

BTW, I'm not worried about killing the "natural sound" of my electric guitar. Electric guitars do not have a natural sound!

Disagree. My center block with P90 pickups has a distinct natural sound unless I put it in maximum overdrive, it comes through even with pedals.
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
6,948
Atlanta
That's what I do. I did find that I have to use a noise reducer and run the compressor through the noise reducer's effects loop, but the noise reducer is set to the absolute minimum settings.

BTW, I'm not worried about killing the "natural sound" of my electric guitar. Electric guitars do not have a natural sound!

Which compressor? I have one that adds noise, but the other two don't add noise although if you have noise coming into them, as they lift the decay, the noise increases. That's basically inevitable.
 

stevo

Friend of Fred
May 1, 2012
6,948
Atlanta
I'm in the camp of a) it depends on your style/genre and b) does your amp compress at some sweet spot.

Dynamics.... a compressor will make it more difficult to use actual playing style dynamics as it will try to equalize the lower volumes... but it's a good option to be able to switch in and out as needed.

But Amps only fulfill part of the function that a compressor pedal or rack unit does. And what the amp does is of course all some want.

As to dynamics, that's only partially true. Not all are created equal nor do they all set out to do the same thing. Some add sparkle and dynamics rather than take it away.
 

PHCorrigan

Gretschie
Aug 30, 2019
126
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Which compressor? I have one that adds noise, but the other two don't add noise although if you have noise coming into them, as they lift the decay, the noise increases. That's basically inevitable.
It's a Behringer CS400, which is pretty much the same electronically as the Boss CS-3. I was getting a slight hiss, which the NS300 noise reducer, with settings at zero, eliminated.
 

PHCorrigan

Gretschie
Aug 30, 2019
126
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Disagree. My center block with P90 pickups has a distinct natural sound unless I put it in maximum overdrive, it comes through even with pedals.
IMO, the only "natural sound" you can get from an electric guitar is the sound you get unplugged. Guitar amps color the sound. It will sound different through a Fender amp than it will through a Vox amp. Which one is the "natural" sound?
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
528
new orleans
oh my no. i try one every ten years or so, but even great ones sound terrible when i play through them. they certainly work for lots of players who’s sound i do like, but never for me.
 

mister rain

Synchromatic
Apr 23, 2020
528
new orleans
One of the reasons I don't like any youtube video tones is they are all compressed to within an inch of their lives.
Seems many people have got used to youtube as somehow "normal".
radio compression, same problem. i remember buying vinyl of stuff i’d heard on the radio and wondering why it sounded different.
 


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