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Old 11-21-2012, 05:00 AM   #1
Tremolo Bum
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Need Sustain - More Gain (OD) or Compressor?

Hey guys,

I have a show coming up this Saturday and I am having a hard time getting some of the massive sustain I'm going to need for leads on a few songs. We're doing a couple Christmas shows between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For an example of what I will be playing see this video, it's a live version of one of the songs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYD...feature=related


My Rig:

Jackson DK2M Dinky (2 Seymour Duncan Humbuckers)
Peavey 6505+ 120 watts w/ 212 cab
All Pedals in FX loop: Chorus -->ISP Decimator --> Carbon Copy delay


I tend to get a lot of sustain when I practice using processors w/ headphones, but have a harder time with my live rig. The cab will be on stage and it will be pretty loud so that should help. I am planning to purchase an OD sometime anyway, but I'm wondering if a compressor would do the trick better for sustain.

Thanks

-Edit- Yes, the peavey has a ton of gain, that's why I wondered if a compressor might be a better choice.

Last edited by Tremolo Bum : 11-21-2012 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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A good OD pedal obviously serves more than one function, in most cases for metal it is used as a clean boost which tightens up the gain, as well as adding a bit of compression.

Easiest way is to play a compressor and OD at a shop and to find out what works best for you.
For me it would rather be an OD pedal, I have a Fulltone OCD and it does the trick.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
tubetime86
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Have you been playing at stage volumes at home? At a good volume you should get some interaction between the amp and the strings, which will result in greater sustain.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:29 PM   #4
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One issue might be if you have the Decimator set too high. You want to slowly turn the knob while it's on until it JUST cuts the ambient noise from your amp, then turn it down a hair. Also, you should make sure it's on your loop, unless you're using it to cut extra feedback. If that's the case, you should just turn it off when you want the sustain. In fact, that might be a good idea either way.

As for which pedal to use, liek Charlie4 said, you'll need to decide that on your own.

One more tip: get a couple of Milk Crates and set your 2x12 on those at the gig. Then, if you can't get the sustain you want, you can walk over and get right up to your amp and let it feed back for the sustain. In addition, it'll project the sound more towards the level where your guitar is, and puts it closer to your ears for better monitoring on-stage. If Cath comes in here, that's exactly what he'll tell you. In addtion, he'll probably go on some rant about Gary Moore and whatnot

Really, though, Cathbard is gonna have the best advice on getting ultimate sustain.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
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The real problem, is that you don't have the ultimate vibrato.

(The technique, not the pedal)
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:29 PM   #6
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yeah try an od

good vibrato will help, too, as DBD said.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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What you could do, is add more mass to the headstock. Cover it in plastic or something (with tuner holes) and then duct tape a sock filled with lead shot to it.

Win.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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I had all my effects off for this test including the Decimator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubetime86
Have you been playing at stage volumes at home? At a good volume you should get some interaction between the amp and the strings, which will result in greater sustain.


I put in some earplugs and cranked it up pretty darn loud today. I was able to get plenty of feedback, but not a whole lot of sustain. The notes will die out after after 2 or 3 seconds and then it will just feedback. I am shooting to have the actual note ring out a bit longer.

Using a RP100 with headphones I can get sustain and easier playability all day, which is why I'm wondering if a compressor might make the difference. I've never played through one before and there's a dyna comp on craigslist for 45 bucks I might pick up.

As for technique, I'm no scrub, but obviously I can always improve. At this point I would like to think that my technique is not so bad that it is my limiting factor, but I suppose it's always a possibility.

Last edited by Tremolo Bum : 11-21-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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when you need epic sustain, go stand next to your amp.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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and a compressor will give you all the sustain you want, but at the expense of introducing a whole lot of white noise. not good.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:47 PM   #11
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EHX Freeze.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tremolo Bum
I put in some earplugs and cranked it up pretty darn loud today. I was able to get plenty of feedback, but not a whole lot of sustain. The notes will die out after after 2 or 3 seconds and then it will just feedback. I am shooting to have the actual note ring out a bit longer.


Sometimes it's all about your position and angle relative to the speaker cab. In some spots, you'll get feedback while in others you'll get more sustain of the fundamental. In some positions, you can actually kill sustain.

It may be worth playing with your gain and EQ settings, volume, and position relative to the cab to get a feel for how you can affect what's going on.

And mids will be your friend here in a big way.

Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blktiger0
One issue might be if you have the Decimator set too high.


+1, that was my first though. You should have no sustain issues with a cranked tube stack, unless your guitar is a completely dead piece of wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tas38
EHX Freeze.


+1. This is a really cool pedal. Very unnatural though, might be a pain in the ass to be turning on and off every 5 seconds.



A compressor could work, especially since you're running a noise gate (mandatory). When I had one, I used it more to get an even level everywhere rather than to add sustain though, I didn't notice a whole lot of improvement there. I had a Rocktron Reaction Compressor though, no experience with anything else.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:26 AM   #14
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Another thought if we're talking pedals would be the EHX Cathedral Reverb (bear with me here) which has a neat function that will let you infinitely sustain on note, chord, etc. by holding down one of the footswitches. It'll basically tie you to that pedal when you want your sustain, but it will hold it out for as long as your heart desires.

I don't know how natural it sounds live or anything, as I don't own one, I've only seen about a billion reviews. It's certainly a thought.

I tubescreamer-style pedal might work for you, since it adds mids, compression, and boost. It's no for sure. Like Craig said, position has a lot to do with this, which is why I recommended milk crates, to get your speakers pushing the air at the level where your guitar will be.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:23 AM   #15
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That cathedral feature sounds pretty much like the freeze. If you wanted a reverb too, that would be a cool choice. I do agree though, it may be unnatural feeling.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:37 AM   #16
Tremolo Bum
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Unfortunately for this next show the amps are going to be behind drum shields because everyone else (including the sound guy) complains about too much stage noise from the guitars.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:43 AM   #17
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I can't understand why you wouldn't get tons of sustain with that rig, should be great. Maybe time for new tubes?
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:55 AM   #18
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What happened to the anarchist spirit of rock & roll?
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CECamps
What happened to the anarchist spirit of rock & roll?


+infinity

Tell them to go **** off.

You're playing ****ing Rock N Roll, not bluegrass. If there's a drum sheild in front of your amp, you might as well kiss that fantastic sustain idea goodbye. You basically have to make a choice here: piss of the venue by having some testicular fortitude or keep things kosher and let your sound make a sacrifice.

I know what my choice would be, but I'm also kinda an asshole when it comes to ****ing with my sound.
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