#1
Curious what your guys' opinions are on having a compressor in the pedalboard when it's going into a PA/soundboard with a rack compressor. My rig is mic'd into a decent PA with a professional soundperson, but I'm not sure how much, if any, compression is being applied specifically to my channel. Assuming they do run compression on my signal, would it even matter to have compression in my rig? Does it make a difference whether it's mic or DI? It's important that my tone and dynamics blend effectively, so I can't have a raw sounding signal coming through the mains.

If a compressor is necessary on my end, what's a good transparent one? I'd probably default to the Keeley stompbox compressor just on reputation, but I'm not very familiar at all with compressors. Is the fancier Keeley Pro compressor something that would be appropriate in a pedalboard? I had an MXR Dyna Comp years ago and it had a really obvious "rubber band" quality to it, which I disliked.

My gig is pop, disco/funk, and a little classic rock. It's most clean rhythm playing, leads with some light overdrive, and only a couple of tunes with real distortion. It'd be nice not to have to rely on a clean boost pedal that messes with the saturation/tone of my overdrive, if that's a realistic expectation.
#2
cdgraves I would leave compression in the sense of "not poking out too much in a mix" to the sound tech. They will have a better view of the overall mix than you. However, using compression to enhance your overall tone is useful, especially if you're playing pop and funk. The really smooth, even-volume, articulate lines are caused by a good player and some keenly used compression.

If you wanted a 1 and done compressor, probably never to need one again, you could look into the Wampler Ego Compressor fullsize, or the mini version. I hear good things about the Cali-76 Compressor as well. I personally use a Mooer Yellow Comp, which is based on the Diamond Compressor, which is worth looking into as well. I have it on for subtle squish and a bit of EQ, but it can do hard compression sounds fairly well.
Last edited by Will Lane at Dec 27, 2016,
#3
Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter or Carl Martin Opto Compressor. The opto is very transparent and more musical on guitar IMO.
Aphex also did a great compressor, sadly discontinued but worth checking out used:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Aphex/Punch-Factory-Optical-Compressor-1273887987164.gc
#4
I find the compressor as the most important pedal in my signal path. I look at it not only as a compressor, but also as my first gain pedal that boosts the signal into any overdrive following it. I find the MXR Dyna comp really nice. The way it alters the attack sounds great with single coils into a Fender amp.

I also have the Fender Micro comp which is quite transparent compared to the Dyna comp. I believe that it is related to the Yellow comp, an it is cheaper.

A few months back I played the new MXR Studio comp and it is a beast. The best compressor I have ever played if you are not looking for the Dyna comp squashed sound. A lot of controls over the compression very similar to a studio rack unit and it features metering LED to allow you to monitor the compression.
#5
The dyna comp is somewhat of a standard for a really squashed disco/funk sound. It has it's tone, you either like it or you don't.

For more transparent compression I prefer optical compression on guitar. This is probably not what your sound guy is using on guitar [but who knows]. At the moment I use the mooer yellow comp, which is optical and based off the fantastic diamond compressor.

Whether you let the sound guy control compression or you do it is somewhat of a personal preference as to how much control you want over your own sound. Some people just want to play, others want total control over their sound.

I generally use a compressor before my preamp, which has a bit of a different tone and feel compared to compressing a signal in the loop, which has a bit of a different tone/feel to compressing the mic'ed signal.

It sounds like an optical compressor might fit your needs imo.
RIP Gooze

cats
#6
I'll put forward the Keeley C4 and the Wampler Ego, as well as the Dimaond Compressor.

Out of the three I have the Keeley and it's great, but really like the blend control and usability of the Ego (and it now has a mini varient so that's a + for all important pedalboard space)
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