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Using Compressors with Acoustic Guitar

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  • Using Compressors with Acoustic Guitar

    Trying to even out the volume of notes, I was advised a compressor, anyone got experience in this area? Tips? I don't really want to spend $100, $150 the limit.

  • #2
    Re: Using Compressors with Acoustic Guitar

    Does your acoustic have an instrument output, like an Ovation? Are you playing through an amp or PA? Recording?
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    • #3
      Re: Using Compressors with Acoustic Guitar

      The only compressor I ever liked on my acoustic was one I never expected.... the Line 6 tonecore Constrictor pedal. Should easily be in your price range. I tried some very expensive compressors.... a Joe Meek Floor Q and Pigtronix Philosophers tone as an example of two in the list, and none of them did what I really needed, like you, even out the tone, until out of curiosity, I picked up a Constrictor for dirt cheap, and tried it. Its the MELLOW switch setting that does it for me on Acoustic. Level at noon and sustain at about 10 O'clock, Gate at 9.

      Now the Philosophers tone is great on Electric solid bodies and the Joe Meek worked perfect for my Bass guitar. So they all have their place.

      Just my experience, you mileage may vary.



      • #4
        Re: Using Compressors with Acoustic Guitar

        I use the blue Boss pedal...I think it's a CS-3, with my Taylor (Fishman), Martin (Fishman) and Takamine (CTB-4) acoustics and it works fine. I set it so that you hear the compressor slightly "pump" and then back it off until it sounds natural. I set the attack straight up, then the level control for unity gain.

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        • #5
          Re: Using Compressors with Acoustic Guitar

          More then price, you want one where you can set the threshold, ratio, attack and release to match your playing. For compression to do any good and still sound natural, it has to match the envelope of your playing.

          When working with cheap gear, one trick that works reasonably well for transparency is to use two compressors in series at half the settings. The reason is if you push one compressor hard, it really exposes the quality, or lack of, in the compressor. But running two in series at much more subtle settings you can still really level the signal yet not color it with the gear. I happened upon this using a $99 Alesis rack compressor and chaining one side into the other.