So I used a pedal which I loved. when I played notes at quieter or louder volumes they would all come out equally. I get confused between all the gates and compressions etc.

I'm not talking about a boost or volume increase.
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Unless its electronic drums.

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Good ol Compressor. Gates shut down unwanted noise and or feedback.
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You want a compressor. What it does is sets a limit of how loud notes can be, and will bring all quieter notes up to that same level as well.

A noise gate will get rid of unwanted noise, such as ground hum.
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