#1
i know a N00bish question...but what ever i looked it up didnt find it so i asked....what does a compressor do....ive been playing for years...and just dont know....

i understand the technical side of it..it compresses the singnal...that much i know...but are there and sound files to hear the difference??
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#2
from what i understand, it makes quiet signals louder and loud signals quieter, giving it a more level sound? People use them to bring out different strings/notes and make them clearer in a chord. There's probably more uses but thats the only one i really know about. I don't have one myself but I am interested in getting one.
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#3
YouTube search.

Some people say that you can't hear a difference (aside from the leveling mentioned). I say they are crazy. I find my compressor to be an essential tool in shaping my sound.
#4
when used for the first time, you won't hear much difference, probably, but it levels out the sound. it also alters the tone a bit.
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#5
You can definitely hear it's effects, I hate compressors, they kill dynamics and sound unnatural.
#6
Compressors push the wave through a limiting tube. Well they don't but it's best to think of it that way.

say this is your wave:



1. Is the unaltered sound wave.
2. Is the unaltered sound wave that the comrpessor has limited (the two lines) and the end result of the wave being squeezed between the lines.

This gives you more sustain and keeps the volume of your playing at a set level (depending on how harsh you set the compression). Some people who dislike compressors will give the reason that they take the dynamics and tonality out of your playing, which is what they're designed to do to a certain extent. They're used a lot in Jazz or Metal and used less in Blues.

Hope that helps, paint FTW.

P.S Here's a real example: The white wave is comrpessed, and the darker wave is what it was compressed from.

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#7
ok cool...but what uses does it have....
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#8
to make everything the same volume, to add a shitload of sustain, quiet taps sound loud.
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#9
I used to worship at the altar of the compressor when I was first learning as my fretting hand was weak it evened out my sound allowing weak hammerons and the like to sound out at the same level as it would if it was played cleanly. Sadly you loose the ability to add touch and dynamics to your playing as such I cannot stand the things now.
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#10
Thats what the knobs are for!

Essentially, it makes the volume consistent, but it doesn't necessarily change dynamics. Aggressively picked notes will still sound aggressive, and softly picked notes will still sound softer, if you have it set right. You can kill all dynamics, and I can see where that would be useful, but I think that sounds soulless.
#11
its a great tool if used in moderation. def. not something a guitar player needs unless he needs it for some clean country picking or maybe some heavy metal rhythm guitar.
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#12
Hmmmm intriguing, I always thought they were best used only in the clean sides of things,

Cant really see how you could tell with high gain?

Could you? been thinking about getting it for my live rig,

Recomend it? I play just about all high gain with a bit of clean in the set
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#13
Quote by al112987
You can definitely hear it's effects, I hate compressors, they kill dynamics and sound unnatural.



I agree, for the most part.
I have a great compressor (Barber Tone Press) that is great because it has a blend knob for mixing compressed/uncompressed signal to your taste, but I rarely use it. If I'm playing some cleaner stuff, I'll kick it on sometimes for the added sustain, but keep the blend on the lower side to not compromise dynamics as much. Takes a lot of experimenting to get it right. I usually play with quite a bit of gain 90% of the time, so I don't need a compressor dulling the dynamics.
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Edit: ^If I were you, I'd just go to GC & buy one (Dyna Comps are pretty decent for testing), & if you don't like it, just return it to GC. I have a feeling you'll be like me, though, & not really need it much. I keep my Tone Press because I know I may have a use for it someday.
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#14
Quote by ianguitargod
Hmmmm intriguing, I always thought they were best used only in the clean sides of things,

Cant really see how you could tell with high gain?

Could you? been thinking about getting it for my live rig,

Recomend it? I play just about all high gain with a bit of clean in the set


The reason you don't hear them on the dirty channel is because distortion/overdrive adds it's own compression naturally, that's why you get more sustain on the lead channel.
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#15
Ah touché Bartdevil,

Its all clear to me now
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#16
Quote by bartdevil_metal
Compressors push the wave through a limiting tube. Well they don't but it's best to think of it that way.

say this is your wave:



isn't that what an overdrive does :s not a compressor? i thought the compressor just boost certain frequencies to equalize your tone, not modifies the sine waves like so, you just showed how overdrives work

correct me if I'm wrong though
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#18
Quote by danyellenik
isn't that what an overdrive does :s not a compressor? i thought the compressor just boost certain frequencies to equalize your tone, not modifies the sine waves like so, you just showed how overdrives work

correct me if I'm wrong though


You're not wrong. O.Ds do that to a certain extent, but they also distort the wave. See my above post about the dirty channel.
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#19
Quote by bartdevil_metal
You're not wrong. O.Ds do that to a certain extent, but they also distort the wave. See my above post about the dirty channel.

ohh alright it's all good, that makes sense
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