#1
I just bought a used analog man bi-comprossor. Before this, I had an extremely clean and quiet signal chain. All Mogami cables. Even my Carl Martin Plexitone-Tone which screams if I don't have my hands on the strings, gives no unwanted noise when I'm playing.

But now, with the bi-comp on, I'm getting lots of bad noise while playing. Some of it is my own fault. My pick touching the pick up cover. My hands shifting over strings I'm not playing. The sound of my pick touching muted strings. Ect ect. Yes I know. I should just have better technique but these things have never been audible before. The comp is taking these quiet sounds and amping them up.

So my question. Will a noise gate before the comp fix this? Do noise gates have negative affects on tone?
#2
The noise gate would just cut noise when you're not playing. They can have negative effects on your tone and sustain if you don't set them right.

If you're having issues with bad technique being amplified, you need to fix your technique. However if you're having a lot of cycle hum and EMI, a noise gate will help. But if you have to set the gate to a high enough level, you'll cut a lot of sustain (because the pedal will try to keep the noise out, which becomes more prevalent with long notes) and you'll probably loose the point of the comp in the first place.

Also try setting your comp to a lower compression level. And embrace some of the nuances that make up a guitar's sound c:
Last edited by Will Lane at Mar 28, 2015,
#3
Taking quiet sounds and amping them up is what a compressor does by definition. If this is your primary issue with the pedal then you should probably buy something else. Different amounts of compression (and different types of compressor) will 'squish' the louder sounds and offer less amplification of the quieter ones, but primarily the function of a compressor is to do exactly what you're complaining about.

Putting a noise gate after the compressor will clean up the hiss but it will not remove mistakes that your playing is introducing. It will also clamp some of the notes, and depending on your settings and the quality of the gate this can mess with your tone. You're essentially trying to undo what the compressor is designed to do, so don't expect it to work perfectly. I would not call it a good solution to your problem.
#5
Thanks. That helps. I think practicing with the comp will help me iron out some of these kinks cause I'll hear them.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the muted note noise, like in a C9 chord when you have to mute the D string. The comp is making that muted note too loud. Anyway to fix that besides changing the compression level?
#6
Mute it better?

There's only so many variables here. You either make the initial sound quieter or you tell the compressor not to make it so loud.

Practicing with the compressor will probably clear things up quicker than you think. It's easy to hear those unwanted sounds very prominently when you first get a compressor, especially since a lot of people get their first one and crank the ratio way up to get that heavy sustain and squish. You'll probably find that after a few weeks you don't need as much compression as you first thought, and that your playing is a bit cleaner in response.
#8
Quote by Playsabadguitar
I just bought a used analog man bi-comprossor. Before this, I had an extremely clean and quiet signal chain. All Mogami cables. Even my Carl Martin Plexitone-Tone which screams if I don't have my hands on the strings, gives no unwanted noise when I'm playing.

But now, with the bi-comp on, I'm getting lots of bad noise while playing. Some of it is my own fault. My pick touching the pick up cover. My hands shifting over strings I'm not playing. The sound of my pick touching muted strings. Ect ect. Yes I know. I should just have better technique but these things have never been audible before. The comp is taking these quiet sounds and amping them up.

So my question. Will a noise gate before the comp fix this? Do noise gates have negative affects on tone?


That sounds like a grounding issue with your guitar.
#9
Quote by CodeMonk
That sounds like a grounding issue with your guitar.


Hmmm. I had not thought of that. It never seemed weird to me that I would feedback with a semi hollow body guitar and a super high gain pedal if my hands aren't on the guitar. It sounds awesome when I play it. Good controlled feedback when I want it and a great saturated overdrive.

Could it be a grounding issue? Could that also be why the compressor is so noisy. I've never had technique issues with noise before. I play a high out put, semi hollow, and lots of overdrive sometimes and I've always been able to control it and get pristine sound.

You or someone else suggested I'm using more compression than I need. I just got the thing today, so I was cranking the settings. I got the compressor because I play a set up designed for big, full, loose, expressive tone. Most of the time I like it, but I wanted the comp for when I occasionally want a smoother tone.
#10
Quote by Playsabadguitar
Hmmm. I had not thought of that. It never seemed weird to me that I would feedback with a semi hollow body guitar and a super high gain pedal if my hands aren't on the guitar. It sounds awesome when I play it. Good controlled feedback when I want it and a great saturated overdrive.

Could it be a grounding issue? Could that also be why the compressor is so noisy. I've never had technique issues with noise before. I play a high out put, semi hollow, and lots of overdrive sometimes and I've always been able to control it and get pristine sound.

You or someone else suggested I'm using more compression than I need. I just got the thing today, so I was cranking the settings. I got the compressor because I play a set up designed for big, full, loose, expressive tone. Most of the time I like it, but I wanted the comp for when I occasionally want a smoother tone.


screams if I don't have my hands on the strings, gives no unwanted noise when I'm playing.

Yeah, sounds like maybe your strings aren't grounded properly.
Sounds like your hands are providing the ground in this case.
There is usually a wire connected to the bridge or tailpiece that grounds it.
And if thats the case, any pedals that increase gain (gain in the generic sense being either dirt levels or volume levels), can increase that noise. Compressors included.

And no one can tell you you are using to much compression.
Thats a personal preference.
Unless you are describing a certain sound you are trying to achieve that you need help or advice achieving.
Yeah its fun to max out all the settings to see what a pedal is capable of
But to find YOUR ideal setting, set everything at noon and go from there.

And hollow body guitars have a tendency to feedback a lot easier than solid body guitars.

Now, the noise you are getting, is it a really a scream, like feedback, or is it kind of like a low pitched hum or buzzing sound?
Does the noise level change if you move away from your amp?
Either to the side or behind it?
Try standing behind and/or facing away from your amp and see if that changes anything.

Now, I could be totally wrong about that.
But if you touch your strings, and the noise stops, and if its not a feedback sound, a grounding issue is usually the most likely cause.

But now, with the bi-comp on, I'm getting lots of bad noise while playing. Some of it is my own fault. My pick touching the pick up cover. My hands shifting over strings I'm not playing. The sound of my pick touching muted strings. Ect ect. Yes I know. I should just have better technique but these things have never been audible before. The comp is taking these quiet sounds and amping them up.

Try turning the "ATK" (Attack) knob down.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Mar 28, 2015,
#11
Hey. Thanks a lot. This is real helpful. I'll crank up the amp tomorrow morning and try your suggestions. Appreciate the help.
#12
Ok. So I went over to my rehersal space and hooked it up to my real amp. The noise is not a problem with me. The pots are noisy and there was some crackling static when it was on but I was not playing. I know comps are noisy by design but this seems like it has some issues.
#13
i think some could be techniqe. some could be that you may not have gotten what you need. maybe you needed something else.

let me ask you this, why did you think you needed a compressor?

also, noise reducers as will says cut sustain while they cut noise, so its a trade-off.

also maybe you would do better with a different compressor.
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#14
Compressors are like EQ pedals in they can be your best friend or worse enemy. If you set the compressor to high trying to get a lot of sustain it will constantly be looking for any sound, even unwanted noises. The compressor is the hardest component to master but when used correctly they are one of the best things you can own. I see that the Analog Man Bi-Compressor is actually two different compressor modals in one pedal and on the Analog Man site he mentions that it is not a good idea to use both at the same time.

"The two compressors are not usually used at the same time, but you can if you want extra amounts of compression, squashing, and volume! I use them both to get feedback in certain passages."

Are you possibly engaging both at the same time? That would be feeding a compressor into a compressor. I have never done that but I can imagine the chaos it would cause.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 30, 2015,
#15
I got the compressor cause I usually use a very high output signal. Humbuckers in a semi hollow. Pickups raised as high as they can go without detuning. (As I type that I'm wondering if it's part of the problem) I do this cause I like fullness over single not clarity most of the time. I play in a 3 piece, so I need full sounds, and that is the tone I generally like.

I got a compressor for two reasons. Occasionally I want a smoother sound that than my usually preferred big, loose, saturated notes. And secondly, I use a Carl Martin Plexitone for high gain overdrive and a TS808 for moderate gain. Usually the TS is set to a rhythm guitar level for crunchy chords and rhythm parts. And I use the Carl Martin for lead. The Carl Martin very distorted so I wanted a second option for lead. So my thought was use one of the comp channels to boost the TS to a lead level. That I have been able to do with the analog man. The first reason (smoother tone) has been harder to dial in.

Like I said in a later post, the issues around noise while I am
Playing was only a problem on my home practice amp. With my real amp the overall tone was good but the POTs were noisy and there was some crackling static that had nothing to do with my playing cause it was happening when I wasn't playing. Hoping some simple cleaning will do the trick.

Lots of good feedback guys. Thanks a lot.