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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.17.17 @ 02:50 PM
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    Alright tone-heads, here's the question:

    I'd like to add sustain to my sound, but I don't want to change my tone.....and in particular, my attack.

    I like the "rangey" vibe my amp/guitar combination have, and I don't want to change that.

    My tone is a *smidge* loose, but not a whole lot....it's fairly warm-yet-tight.

    The most basic way I can increase my sustain is to turn up the gain, but I'm quite particular about the amount of distortion I use.....I don't like changing my settings one iota.

    So to re-state the question: Can a compressor pedal (not rack) help me *ONLY* increase the volume of my guitar *AFTER* a note has started to decay, without altering my picking style, or making my tone sound "even" and compressed??

    BTW, I'm talking about leads here, not rythm.

    Maybe one other option would be to stomp on the compressor while playing leads ......part of the problem is that my amp's settings are built around the rthym sound, irregardless of lead tone.

    I really, REALLY don't want to increase my gain.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you guys may have.

  2. #2
    Eruption TheMightyCopenHalenII's Avatar
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    07.16.12 @ 10:56 PM
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    I'm sure it's quite possible to achieve this. Granted I'm limited to experience with compressors on a couple of old Digitech processors.

    In my experience, and as you noted, the amount of gain in your tone is going to affect how much compression you desire. To use a compressor as as a sustain pedal for leads, I'm sure you could do that.

    It wouldn't hurt to start with Boss, MXR, etc. And I'm sure the quality of a pedal which is purpose specific, as apposed to a multieffects, is going to far outperform a multieffects compressor. I'm not sure if you want sustain or volume, or a balance of both.

    But I'm sure your major beef is will it affect your pick attack. Man, you sound like a dude that has some years under his belt, so I don't really think it's going to take away anything you already have established. It may change subtly, but if it does it will probably gradual, but I personally don't believe that a compressor will one day cause you to say "OH NO! My attack is altered forever!" As far as even and compressed, well it is a compressor, but I'm sure you already know man, that everyone and their brother could try and sell you a compressor. I would just say try a one or a few and you be the judge.
    FUCK THE DUMB SHIT!!!!

  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Since I'm not using humbuckers at the moment I can only give you my take on a compressor with single coils.
    I use a dyna comp with my strat pretty regularly for both rhythm and lead, and although it does help your sustain it also does sound compressed somewhat. I don't know of any way to get around that. I use it more as a volume control but also to drive my overdrive pedal a bit harder if that makes any sense.
    It won't add to your gain but it does affect your attack. If I play softly it comes out that way, but if I pick hard which is usually the case, it does lessen the attack, so I tend to shut it off for more agressive tunes and keep the volume on the pedal set so when it cuts in the volume won't change.
    I also find that the comp., even with the same settings sounds quite different when used in a marshall or fender amp.
    If you're using an overdrive pedal you've usually got to put the compressor first in the chain, other wise it's too noisy and seems to eliminate the overdrive.
    I've been hearing about Keeley compressors and have heard that they are more transparent and can be used after the effect but haven't been able to find one to test out.
    I've read posts in here from others that have used them so if they want to step in and give their opinions of the Keeley I'd be interested in hearing about them as well.

  4. #4
    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Most compressors will change your sound,especially the bottom end. It just depends on which one you get. I've tried 2 and both drained my bottom end bigtime.

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Rick S's Avatar
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    06.23.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    whats a good way to set your comp? i have an old ibanez comp pedal but it didnt come with an owners guide.
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  6. #6
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Unfortunately, there's not really a good way Rick.
    It's not like an overdrive.
    It depends on your amp setting and pickups, as well as how much sustain you want without compressing the sound too much.
    Since all pedals have their own characteristics, it's one effect you have to really play with to get your sound just where you like it.

  7. #7
    On Fire
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Majestic what amp are you using? What's your situation with volume? Can you play it balls out or do you have to keep it under control? I'm asking because maybe an attenuator like a Hotplate or Weber Mass would help by allowing you to push the amp a little harder to get more natural compression from the power tubes. Either way just about anything you add to the chain is gonna color the tone and or attack. You just have to find something that you can get your setup to jive with you know.

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.17.17 @ 02:50 PM
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    I'm playing through a little Crate Vintage Club Combo (in my apartment)....no effects loop. I cannot crank the volume, not even close.

    I may just pick up a compressor, and stomp on it for leads.

    Part of the issue is that I don't play with a band....when you're jamming by yourself, and using low gain (well....compared to today's players)you can really hear how the signal drops off after striking and then trying to sustain notes.

    I'd like to get a new amp altogether, which obviously is the more expensive option. I may buy a (combo)Marshall DSL 201 or 401....haven't decided which yet.

  9. #9
    Eruption rolsguitars's Avatar
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    01.22.09 @ 09:08 AM
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    Originally posted by Majestic:
    I'm playing through a little Crate Vintage Club Combo (in my apartment)....no effects loop. I cannot crank the volume, not even close.

    I may just pick up a compressor, and stomp on it for leads.

    Part of the issue is that I don't play with a band....when you're jamming by yourself, and using low gain (well....compared to today's players)you can really hear how the signal drops off after striking and then trying to sustain notes.

    I'd like to get a new amp altogether, which obviously is the more expensive option. I may buy a (combo)Marshall DSL 201 or 401....haven't decided which yet.
    ok stupid question but your not running a noise gate or hush are you ?
    Rol.

  10. #10
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    01.05.12 @ 05:46 PM
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    Duder, is your Crate amp a Tube or Solid State amp? If its a tube amp, you drive the shit out of the amp by busting balls out gain and volume. I mean all the way to ten. You get the tubes completely saturated that way. You gotta run a voltage attenuator with it that way. Guess who made the attenuator popular? Mr. Van Halen.

    If you do that, you don't need a compressor. If you are running a solid state amp, buy a compressor. Better yet, go buy one of them modulating things like a POD or Behringer V-Amp. Then you get it all. Flanger, Delay, Compressor, Tube Gain, Overdrive, Reverb, Auto Wah, Phaser, Chorus, anything you can think of. Plus they model classic amps like a Vox AC-30 and the old Marshall JCMs, old Ampegs, HiWatts, they are generally pretty sweet.
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