Brush Up On Your Compressor Pedal Skills

What Does It Do, What Is It For, And Why Should I Get One?

It’s basically an automatic volume control that helps keep your guitar signal at a steady volume, but here is a more technical explanation:

In a nutshell, compression is used to control and shape the dynamics of a sound. It does this by grabbing the signal (fast, medium or slowly), holding the signal (short medium or long) and releasing the signal (length varies). There also is a threshold control that allows you to set the point in volume at which the compression takes place. There also is a ratio control that sets how much the compression will affect the signal using the previously mentioned variables. There also is a hard and soft button. This will help you as an overall setting on whether or not you want it to be aggressive (hard) or easy (soft). …Read More

What Does A Compressor Pedal Sound Like?

If you are using it properly, you actually shouldn’t even know that it is there! You are going for an effect that does not influence the tone and only control the dynamics.

How To Use One

When to Use A Compressor Pedal

I personally like to use it when I am breaking into a guitar lead because when it is set up properly, it helps deliver more sustain as well as help cut through everything else in the mix and really make your solos stand out.

Well, it can smooth, thicken and tighten your sound by evening out the volume differences between the notes or chord strikes. If you are less than consistent with your pick strikes, a compressor can come to your aid, delivering more constant dynamics: great for chord work or playing tight, highly rhythmic funk. Read more

Where Should I Put My Compressor Pedal In The Chain

Believe it or not, some thought should be given as to where the compressor goes in your signal chain. A good rule of thumb is to place any gain-type effects before modulation effects: i.e., compressors and overdrives before delays or flangers. Another one that’s practically set in concrete is to put the compressor before any overdrive, distortion, or fuzz pedal. This is why most guitarists place the compressor first, in order to send a stronger, better signal to the other effects. Read more

Which Compression Pedal Is The Best?

What I tend to look for in a good compressor effects pedal is something that brings the effect but doesn’t “color” or change your guitar tone – you want it to be mostly transparent. True bypass helps as well because when it is turned off, it doesn’t change your tone. … Read more

My Personal Favorite:

bossBoss CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer Pedal!

Click here to check it out!

If you want to do some more research on compressor pedals, take a look at this great compression pedal page.