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ninjaaron

Why do people complain about compressors killing dynamics?

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I started using a compressor lately to get more even dynamics. I play in Church with another guitar, piano, bass, drums, and four or five singers, so I find it better to stay at the same level. Sound guy also likes it, obviously. I have a volume pedal and a clean boost in case I choose to go up or down in volume, but I don't want any  surprises. Not as fun to play, but much more practical in a large group.

Anyway, the other guitarist is kinda a character, but he's a good, experienced player who has great tone (Which is good, since he's spent a ship load of money to get it). I was talking to him about using more compression, and he's like "yeah, compression can be really nice, but it can also squash your dynamics if you're not careful."

And I was like "yeah, that's kind of the point of a dynamic compressor" and he was like "No, it's not."

He didn't bother to tell me what the point was, however. This is not the first time I've heard people complain about this. It seems really stupid to me. A compressor that doesn't kill your dynamics is a clean boost or an EQ or something.

Am I on crazy pills, or is everyone else an idiot?

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BEFORE YOU GET A COMPRESSOR PEDAL - MYTHS & MISCONCEPTIONS [ Edited ]

Having built nearly 1,000 of the one that started the craze the last decade, I thought I'd share some insight with my fellow gearheads.  Sure, I'll get flamed (Tom, where you at?), but it's worth it to get some proper information out there.  Here we go:

1. A compressor will make my tone better - False.  A good compressor shouldn't affect your guitar or amp tone at all.

2. It's an integral part of the 'Nashville' sound - False.  Again, a compressor offers no tone-shaping qualities.  To identify it with a particular sound is part of the hype surrounding them.  A compressor squashes frequencies, top & bottom, especially if it is not a subtle compressor (think studio-grade rackmount).

3. It will add sustain - True.  A decent amount of sustain can certainly be accomplished with a good compressor.....and a good OD, reverb, chorus, delay and tube amp.

--

Any player worth their salt will most certainly tell you that good tone is in the fingers.  A compressor is not an effects pedal.  It's borrowed from the rack units that are used when a studio engineer is compressing songs before mixing them down.  Can it help even your volume?  Yes.  Compressors are best for sloppy players or players that mis-fret often....beginners.  Most players who've acquired some experience have pretty good muscle control in their fingers, which renders a compressor virtually useless.  There's nothing wrong with jamming one, just digest the right information before you plunk down 200-300 dollars for a unit if you really don't need it (i.e., a cat who plays with one on all the time).  If you want to use it as a lead boost in front of your od, do it.  They can work pretty good for that.

--

Let the flames begin! ;)

 

Cheers!

 

http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Effects-Pedals-Multi-Effects-and/Before-you-get-a-compressor-pedal-myths-amp-misconceptions/m-p/35866201/highlight/true#M4069589

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Not sure sure about all that with compressors being useless for experienced players, but I guess it's already been argued to death in the original thread, so no point in throwing in my two cents, except to say that there are conceivably situations where an experienced player with full control of their faculties might want to hit the strings with variable levels of force (or hit more or fewer strings) without causing a fluctuation in volume.

But that doesn't really answer the question. Is it really reasonable for people to complain about loosing dynamics when they use a compressor?

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Anyway, the other guitarist ...(Which is good, since he's spent a ship load of money to get it). ... "yeah, compression can be really nice, but it can also squash your dynamics if you're not careful."

And I was like "yeah, that's kind of the point of a
dynamic compressor
" and he was like "No, it's not."

He didn't bother to tell me what the point was, however. 


 

well I think your problem is quite obviously the type of person(s) you are talking about this with.  Especally over the last 10 years it seems "spending" a lot on gear correlates to this type of exchange^

 

 

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