#1
I imagine the thread has been made before but because I have specific wants/needs, I kind of wanted more tailored responses. I'm still not 100% on the difference between the two so:

Boost = Takes the signal, boosts volume/gain (in general) and can add colour to the overall tone

Compressor = Smooths over the peaks and lows of the signal, creating a more controlled, wider, fatter sound

I'm not sure how correct the above is, but what I want is a creamy smooth clean tone that sparkles and when paired with OD/Dist for it be fuller and fatter. I would also use one of these pedals as a volume boost. From what I've seen the boost probably isn't what I'm after as I imagine just rolling back on volume/tone can achieve that same kind of bluesy gain (at least on my guitar/amp combination)?

The amp is a Blackstar Artist 30. The band i'm currently is pop/rock, but I'm also a metal player. This is to be used live and in studio work.
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#2
Quote by Anthony1991
Boost = Takes the signal, boosts volume/gain (in general) and can add colour to the overall tone

Compressor = Smooths over the peaks and lows of the signal, creating a more controlled, wider, fatter sound
This is, simplistically, correct.
A boost raises the signal's volume and a compressor reduces the dynamics (the difference in volume between the loudest and quietest sound you can produce).
If you wanna know more about dynamic range compressors, wikipedia is a friend of yours.
Quote by Anthony1991
what I want is a creamy smooth clean tone that sparkles and when paired with OD/Dist for it be fuller and fatter.
Vaguely said every guitarist ever.
I mean, you didn't describe anything concrete, so it would help us helping you to have some sound examples or a more in depth, detailed description of what you're imagining.
Quote by Anthony1991
I would also use one of these pedals as a volume boost. From what I've seen the boost probably isn't what I'm after as I imagine just rolling back on volume/tone can achieve that same kind of bluesy gain (at least on my guitar/amp combination)?
Rolling back the volume knob would give you a lower volume output and (usually) remove some high end from your sound, I don't understand how that could give you "gain".
If you're thinking about a darker sounding distortion then yes, rolling back the gain or tone knob would help.
A boost is usually a clean boost so if you're thinking mildly distorted stuff and/or a significant change in your sound you might wanna look into overdrives, say the bad monkey blue pedal I don't remember the name of.
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#3
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This is, simplistically, correct.
Vaguely said every guitarist ever. I mean, you didn't describe anything concrete, so it would help us helping you to have some sound examples or a more in depth, detailed description of what you're imagining.


Indeed. When I say creamy I mean tone rich, assuming the amp is let's say 12 across the board. I can't really do much better than that, if it's no help you can disregard and I'll make a decision based off pedal sound in person.

Rolling back the volume knob would give you a lower volume output and (usually) remove some high end from your sound, I don't understand how that could give you "gain".
If you're thinking about a darker sounding distortion then yes, rolling back the gain or tone knob would help.


By this I mean that my current OD is very cutting, rolling back volume and tone creates that bluesy gain sound - hence why I was thinking a boost pedal might not be the best option, as it's something I don't need on top of what I can already achieve.

A boost is usually a clean boost so if you're thinking mildly distorted stuff and/or a significant change in your sound you might wanna look into overdrives, say the bad monkey blue pedal I don't remember the name of.


I'm fine for ODs and Dists, what I'm looking for is something that offers increased/lengthy sustain, volume boost, and a boost in tone. If a compressor can provide that - which is my real question I suppose - that i'll probably get that.
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#4
Quote by Anthony1991
I'm fine for ODs and Dists, what I'm looking for is something that offers increased/lengthy sustain, volume boost, and a boost in tone. If a compressor can provide that - which is my real question I suppose - that i'll probably get that.
Paired with "sparkles" in your OP, I would think you want a light overdrive, and I think Klone at that. However, how you set up your amp for this is important. It has to already be prone to sparkling and break-up, and then the Klone boosts that.

For a more distorted tone, I would just switch to a lead channel or a channel set up with more gain and allow the Klone to boost that as well.
Last edited by Will Lane at Jan 21, 2016,
#5
I think you should go with a compressor, but try to get one that will aloow you to compress certain frequencies. This way you could get that sparkle by taming the low and boosting with the compressors gain control. You'll certainly get more sustain with a compressor too.
Bear in mind though that compressors are pretty subtle effects (on a guitar pedal at least) so you won't see a seismic change in your tone.
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Last edited by .QOTSA. at Jan 21, 2016,
#6
a boost doesn't really work the same way as the guitar volume. you're sort of coming at it from the opposite angle, if that makes sense. if you use your guitar volume, you need to set the amp for the maximum amount of distortion you need, and then use your guitar's volume knob to regulate that- i.e. you'll have your guitar volume at less than full most of the time. Some players are ok with that, some aren't (as luca said, if you don't have a treble bleed circuit on your volume knob you'll lose highs when rolling it back, and if you do you might find it's too thin-sounding when rolled back). the other big difference is that a boost will let you increase the amount of distortion the amp has, which the guitar volume knob won't let you do. so if your amp doesn't have enough distortion, you can use a boost (or overdrive pedal set up to boost i.e. drive low volume high on the pedal) to increase the amount of distortion, sustain, harmonics etc. you're getting. it also means you can set the amp a little lower so it'll clean up better if you do want to roll back the guitar volume control. It just gives you more options on the fly.

a compressor will minimise the dynamic range- that's buzzword for "makes quieter notes louder and louder notes quieter". in a way that'll make things sound smoother but i'm not certain it's what you want or need. though if you're in a guitar shop it's definitely worth a try.

how close does your current od sound to a tubescreamer? tubescreamers don't have a mass of volume boost on tap but i'm guessing that might be the thing (it's ages since i've tried an os2 and can't remember how close it is). or maybe a hardwire tube overdrive to get a bit more volume boost and bigger range of tone than a bog standard tubescreamer.
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#7
Either will work creating a fatter sound- a boost his the amp harder, compressing the signal more. So either one will get there. I use a Pickup Booster for cleaner sounds, and for single coil guitars, and I use the Vise Grip for sustainy solo boosts. A compressor might be more versatile, but really, either would do it.
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#9
I've bought a boost that has a function for 'fat' and 'sparkle', creating on the fly EQ boosts alongside volume and sustain.
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#11
When I was on the fence about whether to get a boost or a compressor, I borrowed a Xotic RC Booster from a co-worker. All in all, it was a great pedal. Not a whole ton of (useable, imo) gain on tap, but a decent amount of volume and with that came some clarity. Great low gain ones and can clean up very well to add some top end "sparkle". Roll back the tone knobs to get a "creamy" tone, if your definition of creamy is the same as mine.

I realized that I was getting a similar function out of my Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, and opted for a compressor, as I was looking for something to help my clean-tone tapping "pop" a little more (I was really into Minus the Bear at the time). Grabbed myself a MXR Custom Comp and haven't looked back.

What's your budget? You might be able to buy both and have both if you go used.
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