When should you use a compressor pedal?

Compressor pedals are typically used to enhance the sound of a clean guitar for a couple of reasons. First, notes played with a clean guitar tone often lack sustain and begin to decay quickly after the string is plucked. Compression extends the life of the note by raising the volume as it decays.

Should you compress distorted guitars?

You don’t need to compress distorted guitars, no. And it’s not because “distortion already causes compression”, that doesn’t matter, that doesn’t mean compression isn’t useful on distorted guitars. It depends on what you like, and what the song is calling for. Try compression, and if it sounds good, use it.

How do you adjust the threshold on a compressor?

Try starting with a moderate to medium ratio of between 2:1 and 5:1. Set your attack time to a medium-fast setting and your release time to a medium setting. Now gradually raise the threshold until you’re getting somewhere around 5 dB of gain reduction. Then set your output gain to compensate for the 5 dB attenuation.

Do I really need a compressor pedal?

When playing staccato chords, a compressor is ideal for getting that classic “squishy” funk guitar tone. … A compressor on a bass guitar is also great for extra sustain when playing those long, even whole notes at slower tempos. A compressor can also act as a clean boost, to drive the front of your amp harder.

What does attack do on a compressor pedal?

Here are some of the more common dials you might find on a compressor effect pedal: Attack. This controls what the compressor does to your input signal. If you want to hear the hard pluck of your pick strokes, turn the Attack knob up.

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Should I put a compressor on every track?

No, I don’t use compressors on every track. … If the dynamic range is being too high, or if a sound is being hard to hear because of other sounds drowning it, you may need a compressor. It’s never wrong to use a compressor, but there must be a reason for it.

What is compressor attack?


The attack and release settings essentially control the reaction speed of a compressor. … Think of the attack setting as the reaction time of the compressor. It controls how long it takes for the compressor to kick in after a signal exceeds the threshold.

What does the ratio do on a compressor?

The compression ratio determines how much gain reduction the compressor applies when the signal passes a threshold level. For example, a ratio of 4:1 means that for every 4 dB the signal rises above the threshold, the compressor will increase the output by 1 dB.

How do you compress a rhythm guitar?

If you want to use a little compression to bring the guitar forward and give it some punch, try these settings:

  1. Threshold: –1dB.
  2. Ratio: 2:1–3:1.
  3. Attack: 25–30 ms.
  4. Release: About 200 ms.
  5. Gain: Adjust so that the output level matches the input level. You don’t need much added gain.

Should you EQ or compress first?

Each position, EQ pre (before) or EQ post (after) compression produces a distinctly different sound, a different tonal quality and coloration. As a rule, using EQ in front of your compressor produces a warmer, rounder tone, while using EQ after your compressor produces a cleaner, clearer sound.

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How many compressors do you need for vocals?

Two compressors for Vocals? Sure, why not? There are actually a couple of ways to use multiple compressors when recording or mixing vocals. The idea is to use a faster compressor to control peaks and a slower compressor to more gently control the dynamics of the performance.

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