Compressors

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Steven Lafferty, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Steven Lafferty

    Steven Lafferty New Member

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    I have always been a single coil person, in the form of Tele's and Strat's, until I got my new PRS SE Custom 24. I have always been use to running a Compressor the majority of the time. But, seems that when I am playing my SE that my Compressor seems to really thin out the tone and give it too much of a "Boink" tone. Is it just the way with Humbuckers go with Compressors? Or, do I just have things set wrong?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
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  2. Tony M.

    Tony M. New Member

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    Humbuckers have a completely different
    attack/sustain/decay/release than single coils.
    Adjust the controls on the compressor.
    There is no right or wrong with this,
    just play around until it sounds good to you.
     
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  3. Steven Lafferty

    Steven Lafferty New Member

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    Thanks so much
     
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  4. gush

    gush I'm not a new member!!!!

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    I’ve never liked compressors and only recently bought one. I only bought it because I’m chasing after cleaner tones and want more sustain without added noise.

    I’m still not convinced I’m getting any good out of it or using it correctly.
     
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  5. Johnny Rigs

    Johnny Rigs Have you tried restarting?

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    My thinking is that since compressors “squash” the peaks of the input, with single coils that tends to be be a fair amount of high frequencies. So it can sound a bit thicker or fatter as the levels of those frequencies are cut down. Humbuckers already sound sound fatter by nature, so they would require a different amount of compression.

    I like the Cali76 because it can mix in compression. But I don’t use it often. Generally just when I’m going for that Holdsworth/Landau LA rack sound.
     
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  6. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    You need one of these! Dry Bell Unit 67


     
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  7. AZGiant

    AZGiant New Member

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    When all else fails Keely Compressors !
     
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  8. gush

    gush I'm not a new member!!!!

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    Yes sir!! I've looked at that one. It seems to be a good unit but I've never been a compressor guy so spending that much on a comp pedal might be a waste, for me at least.

    I bought one used but I can't remember the name at the moment. It has a mix feature like yours so dry signal can be mixed in.

    I'm such a fickle SOB I'm probably convincing myself I don't like it!
     
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  9. Shreve

    Shreve Katzenjammer Kid

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    I’m sure you’ll get a bunch of advice, but I’ve had my Barber Tone Press for years, and it’s on way more time than off. Don’t feel it squishes anything, despite the name, and the blend knob is key. Plenty of choices for sure.
     
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  10. gush

    gush I'm not a new member!!!!

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    Barber tone press is what I have.
     
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  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Steve, here’s info about compression that you might want to consider:

    You probably know that compression is designed to act like an automatic volume control to even out a signal’s peaks. You may also know that the faster the attack of the compressor, the more it grabs the beginning of the note and gives you the “boink” sound.

    A humbucker delivers a hotter signal to the pedals or amps down the line. So in an attempt to control that note, at the same settings as for your single coil guitars, the compressor is going to grab onto it in an attempt to control the volume.

    But the interesting thing is that a humbucker is less “peaky” than a single coil pickup. The dynamic range is different. It tends to be more even than a single coil. So you if you need the compressor at all, you certainly don’t need the compressor to grab the note as quickly as with a single coil, and you don’t need to crush it as hard to control the peaks and valleys of the volume.

    You want the compressor to be less “grabby” with Humbucker, for the most part (though I suppose some folks want the boink tone, I dunno).

    So you have two choices: leave the compressor set where you usually like it and turn down the guitar’s volume control, or set the compressor for a higher threshold (the volume level where the compressor “grabs” the note), a slower attack, and a lower compression ratio.

    I only use a compressor with humbuckers when I want to do funky chording. Other than that, I leave it off.

    You don’t really need it with most humbucker guitars unless you’re running very clean with a lot of volume and are having trouble with evenness, say, strumming the notes in a chord.
     
  12. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    I almost posted this, but decided to keep reading before I posted, so thanks for saving me the trouble. Most good comps will need (or you’ll want) to be adjusted when you switch from single coils to HBs. I’ve noticed I have to adjust mine when I go from PAF style to really hot HBs as well..
     
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  13. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Just turn it off with humbucker.

    I also find much better results with a 50/50 mix of dry vs compressed. If your compressor allows for that.
     
  14. WeFixFlats

    WeFixFlats Respect The Clave

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    Lightly using a Keeley Compressor Plus in the humbucker mode into the front end of my Petaluma at very low volume levels for sustain...it works great for me...
     
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  15. Steven Lafferty

    Steven Lafferty New Member

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    Thanks so much. I think you hit it right on the head.
    I think the best way to do is just to leave Compressor off.
     
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  16. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    LOL, I love comps.. when using single coils. Can’t take them off the board. When using humbuckers, I can still use it but unless I’m playing a lot of cleans, I don’t use it much. Many times, I’ll go so long without SCs that the comp will stay off the board for months.
     
  17. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    +1 on the Tone Press. Blend knob makes all the difference.
    I agree it might be worth having a comp to use just for singlecoils.
     
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  18. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Incidentally, as others have noted, a control that allows you to blend dry and compressed signal is pretty common now on lots of compressor pedals.

    Blending compressed and dry signals actually started in recording studios, where an aux send would send the Input channel’s signal to a compressor, and the return would bring it back to a separate fader; engineers would blend the compressed and dry signals of the two channels, and it was referred to as New York or parallel compression. It was used less to control the signal amplitude in the traditional way, and more to get a fatter sound.

    I’ve got a 100 Watt Mesa Lone Star that I always run as a clean amp, and there are times I’ll use a Suhr compressor with humbuckers, in parallel compression mode with the blend control. I’ll set a very low compression ratio, high threshold, and slow attack, just to even out the amplitude peaks.

    The amp has a ton of headroom; while most tube amps add compression to a signal on their own, a clean amp running with 100 Watt headroom sometimes benefits from having the peaks just slightly leveled by a compressor, even with humbuckers. But it’s unusual that I need to do that.

    I don’t get into much funk style material.
     
    #19 LSchefman, Oct 24, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  19. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    I think when used appropriately and judiciously a good compressor can make cleans a little cleaner for players like me who aren't guitar virtuosos. If I hit the sweet spot it can be a nice subtle improvement, too much and everything sounds like a radio in a tin can inside a box :)
     
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