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Compression is it a crutch?


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I guess its just me but if i was going to go with something that would hide my sloppyness id rather play clean then with a saturated lead tone.

 

man I have to say this is completely the opposite for me. Clean shows every little nuance and distortion and delay are just like a blanket of noise that covers up a lot of that stuff. That said I use a lot of dirt and delay... :lol:

 

 

I'm not sure but I think delay is the work of the devil too.

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What's all this poo pooing about compression?

 

I highly doubt that there is a single guitar track on albums/cd's recorded in the last 40 years that doesn't have compression all over the guitars. That's right, the guitarists and tracks that you aspire to sound like!

 

Sure, you might like or not like a few compression pedals but once you step into the recording world there are few engineers and sound techs that don't apply the quality compression to some degree on just about every track.

 

What that means to you as a guitarist with a compressor on your pedal board is just a matter of learning how to hear what it is that the "big time " engineers are doing with the effect.

 

Seriously, guitars and compression are the life blood of any great guitar track.

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What's all this poo pooing about compression?


I highly doubt that there is a single guitar track on albums/cd's recorded in the last 40 years that doesn't have compression all over the guitars. That's right, the guitarists and tracks that you aspire to sound like!


Sure, you might like or not like a few compression pedals but once you step into the recording world there are few engineers and sound techs that don't apply the quality compression to some degree on just about every track.


What that means to you as a guitarist with a compressor on your pedal board is just a matter of learning how to hear what it is that the "big time " engineers are doing with the effect.


Seriously, guitars and compression are the life blood of any great guitar track.

 

Who says we want to sound like the album versions?

 

Live playing FTW.

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Who says we want to sound like the album versions?


Live playing FTW.

 

Umm Ok, think about the best live shows that you have ever witnessed.

 

If you don't think that the engineers are compressing virtually every channel on the mixing board to some degree you can bet your ass that they wished that they had a compressor for each channel.

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Many of you are using compression and don't know it. A cranked tube amp ah.sweet compression. alnico speaker pushed , compression. chicken pickin? compression needed. Recording? compression is needed to keep from clipping and help you get a hotter signal to tape or CD.

there is nothing worse sounding than digital distortion when recording digital. Comps keep the peaks down depending where you set the threshold level. Compression is one of the greatest tools ever made. Radio and TV? you hear it working 24/7 used wrong? you'll get more noise and artifacts like pumping etc.

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Many of you are using compression and don't know it. A cranked tube amp ah.sweet compression. alnico speaker pushed , compression. chicken pickin? compression needed. Recording? compression is needed to keep from clipping and help you get a hotter signal to tape or CD.

there is nothing worse sounding than digital distortion when recording digital. Comps keep the peaks down depending where you set the threshold level. Compression is one of the greatest tool ever made. Radio and TV? you hear it working 24/7 used wrong? you'll get more noise and artifacts like pumping etc.

 

Mr. Bluesmann,

How right you are, on this one.

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I think distortion and fuzz are crutches for most of the guitarists on this forum. I love compression on a clean electric tone, and it has nothing to do with any inadequacies in my playing. It's the way I like a guitar to sound.

+1 a good compressor can bring out the nuances of your playing. I only use a comp w/ clean tones and it definitely adds some sheen/sustain- I'm not into huge squash though. I agree that a lot of people simply don't understand/know how to use it correctly.

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+1 a good compressor can bring out the nuances of your playing. I only use a comp w/ clean tones and it definitely adds some sheen/sustain- I'm not into huge squash though. I agree that a lot of people simply don't understand/know how to use it correctly.

 

I'm about the same. The compression knob on my Keeley comp doesn't go above 9 o'clock. It's not something that really stands out, but when it's not there it's obvious.

 

The frequcies get tweaked a bit, adds a bit of sparkle, it helps with picking, and for some reason it makes delay sound better to my ears. In the last couple years my picking has actually gotten a great deal softer.

 

My guitar sound is mostly clean, though. I don't like a lot of gain, except for short bursts. And I've also kicked the non-compression friendly dirt boxes off my board.

 

If I ever go through another high gain phase, I'll probably use compression a lot less.

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Its not a crutch if you don't use it as one.


I think it's just about the least understood effect out there.

 

I agree- I don't think most guitarists are smart enough to understand compression. On that note- compression is as much a tone shaping tool as anything, really slamming a tele or strat with compression gives you a springy/twangy tone you don't really get with out it.

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I don't use compression for "smoothing out" my playing too often, except with fingerpicking or mellow backing rhythms.


I mostly use it a more of an "effect" rather than a "limiter". Kind of similar to a clean boost that adds sustain and attack, but in a good way.

.

 

Yeah same situation for me. It really only adds noise and sustain for me, but doesn't really smooth anything out.

 

As for dirt, is it wrong that I just love a lot of it and a lot feedback?

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I've never been into compressors. I can't stand having my signal get altered at all. I want to hear the character of the guitar and my actual pick attack. Having a compressor just wouldn't work for me.

 

I could definitely see how it could mess up your playing though. Just like using heaps of distortion could.

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I've never been into compressors. I can't stand having my signal get altered at all. I want to hear the character of the guitar and my actual pick attack. Having a compressor just wouldn't work for me.


I could definitely see how it could mess up your playing though. Just like using heaps of distortion could.

 

You obviously haven't played or heard the right compressor then because none of my guitar's character or pick attack is altered or lost with the comp I use.

 

I find it laughable that all of you guys who say you don't like compression use high gain dirt boxes. If you don't think you're using compression already, you need to pass the pipe.

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And another thing, back when my band had another guitarist in it I tried not using compression for a while. He was mostly a high gain player. My guitar was a lot harder to hear in the mix with it off.

 

The next practice I turned it back on, hey presto! There I was again.

 

It's not a crutch any more than overdrive boxes are a crutch.

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Compression is very helpful for lower volume work, because it helps the guitar respond to touch in a similar way that cranking your amp does. Ad your volume and amps natural compression increase, so compressors become less necessary to prevent the sound feeling dry and empty.

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I use it more for the tone it gives rather than its qualities.

 

Everyone looks for a "transparent" compressor but I love the squishy sound I get out of my Dyna Comp.

 

Dyna Comp + TS + Holy Grail + Neck/Mid combo in a Start is absolutely brilliant.

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