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Compression - Where to use and budget compressor suggestions

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  • Compression - Where to use and budget compressor suggestions

    Hi all

    I'm an acoustic guitar/vocals guy getting ready to gig...  on my demo recordings I'm finding compression a very useful tool and want to look at using this in my live setup. I alternate between fingerstyle and strummed guitar.... but anyways....

    Desk is an A&H Zed10FX and guitar has a dual source UST + Mic system going direct into the desks Hi-Z input. Sing into a Sennheiser E835 and might use a cajon with contact piezo pickup.

    I can get a guitar-specific compressor pedal, put it in my signal chain before the board....   but a lot of these colour the sound, and it would only work for guitar.....  I'm wondering if it's more beneficial to have a compressor in my aux send, because it can be used for vocals, second guitar (if a duo happens down the track), etc.....     

    For a relative novice, which would be the better option? And looking at budget options, what would you suggest? (suggestions in either category welcome)

    I don't want over-the-top compression but enough that you'd know if it was turned off, and it needs to be transparent and not alter overall tone... I am not a brand snob at all....

    Especially interested to hear what others use for acoustic




  • #2

    For what you are using it for I suggest going with a tube model; I have several but see the ART VLA II as the best bang for the buck. Not sure what your budget is but you can get a new one for anout $275 if you shop around, used ones are not a lot cheaper as the usually go in the $200-225 range. It gives you two channels and multiple input options.

    Did I mention the new forum sucks?


    • Tomm Williams
      Tomm Williams commented
      Editing a comment

      Just a word of caution going from studio to live with compression. It can also cause feedback issues especially if sent into the monitors so tread lightly.

    • michaelBT
      michaelBT commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks guys for the suggestions

      Prices here in Australia are a bit higher that the US and the secondhand market much smaller, which makes it a bit tough...... so even more 'budget' (thinking alto, behringer) stuff needs to be considered.

      If, as onelife suggests, compression is best placed in series and I presume near the start of the signal chain, this makes me lean towards an acoustic guitar-specific model...  since this is the live sound section, I may take this question over the acoustic guitar section....  but will still keep checking this thread for other low-cost suggestions (under $200 would be good)