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Explain compressors

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  • #31
    Re: Explain compressors

    Yeah, I'm a plate guy myself. But it doesn't give that massive, desolate soundscape you get with a cranked hall setting. Only works on cleaner stuff, though.
    Originally posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    I find that a short reverb works well for gain settings for the most part. You can even use longer reverb trails as long as you keep the mix low otherwise it overwhelms the primary tone.
    On clean it works a bit different. You can use larger, bigger reverb sounds for more ambiance and space.
    For solos, I like a small splash of reverb with some delay for ambiance.
    I typically like a plate style reverb over a Hall or spring for gain sounds, but Hall on clean is great.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    1973 Aria 551
    1984 Larrivee RS-4 w/ EMG SA/SA/89
    1989 Charvel 750 XL w/ DMZ Tone Zone & Air Norton
    1990's noname crap-o-caster plywood P/J Bass
    1991 Heartfield Elan III w/ DMZ mystery pups
    1995 Aria Pro II TA-65
    2001 Gibson Les Paul Gothic w/ PG-1 & SH-8

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    • #32
      Re: Explain compressors

      Originally posted by Coma View Post
      Yeah, I'm a plate guy myself. But it doesn't give that massive, desolate soundscape you get with a cranked hall setting. Only works on cleaner stuff, though.
      I recently bought a Duncan Silver Lake reverb. One of the great features is has is the ability to set it to ďduck out of the wayĒ depending on your pick attack. I have it set so the harder I pick the less reverb comes through, then when you pick lighter or stop picking the reverb blooms and becomes more audible.
      Iím still learning how to best get the sounds Iím looking for.
      Iíve got it setup with my switcher to be midi controllable. As of right now I only have 2 sounds I need.
      One for gain and a bigger Hall verbfor cleans.
      Also, Iíve got the Duncan Andromeda delay....both are great pedals.

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      • #33
        Re: Explain compressors

        Originally posted by Aceman View Post
        A good comp preserves your tone without coloring it.
        That's just, like, your opinion, man.
        Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
        My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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        • #34
          Re: Explain compressors

          Originally posted by ArtieToo View Post
          Compression is kinda like reverb. If you can hear it, you're using too much. Subtlety is your friend.
          Agree to disagree on this one.
          Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
          My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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          • #35
            Re: Explain compressors

            Originally posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
            That's just, like, your opinion, man.
            Yeah some comps are specifically used for their coloring... 1176 etc

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            • #36
              Re: Explain compressors

              Originally posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
              Agree to disagree on this one.
              +1

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              • #37
                Re: Explain compressors

                Originally posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
                That's just, like, your opinion, man.
                Hey man - I played in a band in the 80's doing 80's tunes. Don't get me wrong. I Hit the Dyna Comp hard and often!

                *Love the Lebowski!
                Originally posted by Bad City
                He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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                • #38
                  Re: Explain compressors

                  Many people say that a compressor boosts the quiet part of playing and many have also said that a compressor really does not boost the quiet part of playing. Here is my understanding. Correct me if I am wrong. I want to understand if a compressor is going to increase the sustain before I drop $99 on a Boss CS-3. I dont care about the tone. I am a beginner and to my ears good tone or bad tone does not make a difference. I just want longer sustain as the kind of music I play needs a longer sustain. I have to play a lot of successive notes with a single strike and hence I need a longer sustain.

                  A compressor reduces the louder part of playing by reducing the level higher than the threshold. The quieter parts are untouched if the compressor gain is untouched. Now that the louder parts have been reduced, obviously the sound level is going to be lower than that without the compressor. Now if you did not change the make up gain on the compressor, the quieter part will not change. Right so far?

                  If you increase the make up gain on the compressor, then everything gets louder which is perceived as longer sustain. There is still a relative difference between the quieter and louder parts, of course.You adjust the attack, gain etc such that everything seems to be playing at the same level and this again gives the perception of longer sustain. In other words, the relative difference in loudness between the quieter and louder parts has reduced and the overall gain has increased. Right?

                  The gain on the amp will also increase the quieter part but it also increases the louder part and so the relative difference between the quieter and louder parts gives a perception of low sustain.

                  I dont understand how a compressor can give that long sustain people are talking about. If the string has died , there is nothing much anything can do to incease the gain unless you put somethng like a Sustaniac to prevent the string from dying. A guitar with a Sustanic is like $800 (Schecter Sun Valley). I doubt a $99 Boss CS-3 can beat a Sustaniac. No?

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                  • #39
                    Re: Explain compressors

                    If I put a compressor before a noise gate, will it stop the unnatural cutoff of sustained notes that noise gates tend to have when used at higher settings?

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                    • #40
                      Re: Explain compressors

                      Originally posted by '59 View Post
                      If I put a compressor before a noise gate, will it stop the unnatural cutoff of sustained notes that noise gates tend to have when used at higher settings?
                      No, it will happen at the same threshold, it will just happen later.

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                      • #41
                        Re: Explain compressors

                        Originally posted by mupi View Post
                        Many people say that a compressor boosts the quiet part of playing and many have also said that a compressor really does not boost the quiet part of playing.
                        It does the latter, not the former. I made it bold so you can see the correct portion.

                        Here is my understanding. Correct me if I am wrong. I want to understand if a compressor is going to increase the sustain before I drop $99 on a Boss CS-3. I dont care about the tone. I am a beginner and to my ears good tone or bad tone does not make a difference. I just want longer sustain as the kind of music I play needs a longer sustain. I have to play a lot of successive notes with a single strike and hence I need a longer sustain.

                        A compressor reduces the louder part of playing by reducing the level higher than the threshold.
                        Correct.

                        The quieter parts are untouched if the compressor gain is untouched.
                        Correct.

                        Now that the louder parts have been reduced, obviously the sound level is going to be lower than that without the compressor. Now if you did not change the make up gain on the compressor, the quieter part will not change. Right so far?
                        Correct.

                        If you increase the make up gain on the compressor, then everything gets louder which is perceived as longer sustain.
                        Incorrect. You are confusing a compressor with an expander.
                        Threshold is the point at which the compressor starts pulling down peaks.
                        Ratio is how aggressive that pulldown is.
                        Knee is how quickly the compressor starts to act after the initial transient. This is used in conjunction with the Attack and Release.

                        Not every compressor has discrete control over all of these. Many stomp box compressors have a knob labeled 'sustain'. This knob combines ratio, threshold, and output gain at the same time with a preset knee, attack, and release time. It is not louder than the original signal unless you are applied more make up gain than gain reduction; this is considered an improper way to use a compressor because pumping artefacts will be easily heard this way.

                        Make Up Gain is used to return the signal back to it's original level after you have pulled it down with the VCA.

                        There is still a relative difference between the quieter and louder parts, of course.
                        Incorrect. Depends on how high a ratio you set in relation to the threshold.

                        You adjust the attack, gain etc such that everything seems to be playing at the same level and this again gives the perception of longer sustain. In other words, the relative difference in loudness between the quieter and louder parts has reduced and the overall gain has increased. Right?
                        Incorrect. The overall gain is decreased because your dynamic range has decreased. The only setting that affects gain is the output gain of the compressor. What your ears are perceiving as loudness is due to the Haas Effect.

                        The gain on the amp will also increase the quieter part but it also increases the louder part and so the relative difference between the quieter and louder parts gives a perception of low sustain.
                        No clue what you mean by this, but if I am understanding you correctly, this is also Incorrect.

                        I dont understand how a compressor can give that long sustain people are talking about.
                        Because, as stated above, if you squash the signal enough it becomes very easy to increase the output gain of the entire signal, which will give increased sustain; you are not turning up just the hardest/loudest parts of the frequency spectrum.

                        If the string has died , there is nothing much anything can do to incease the gain unless you put somethng like a Sustaniac to prevent the string from dying.
                        Two thoughts:
                        A - see the note above re: output gain
                        B - a guitar sustains much longer than you think

                        A guitar with a Sustanic is like $800 (Schecter Sun Valley). I doubt a $99 Boss CS-3 can beat a Sustaniac. No?
                        No; you are talking about two totally different technologies. An Ebow or Fernandez Sustainer excites the string so that it is constantly vibrating. This is totally different from compression, which is a psychoacoustic effect.

                        Hope this helps!
                        Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 10-10-2018, 05:22 AM.
                        Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                        My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Explain compressors

                          So basically to increase the sustain using a compressor, I have to reduce the louder part a lot so that it comes down to the level of the quieter part and then increase the make up gain to boost the entire signal. Correct?

                          If for example the note starts to fade after say 4secs without a compressor, then by using a compressor what kind of increase in sustain can I get. Like another 2 secs or another 4secs? In other words what is the delta increase in sustain for any guitar with a compressor?

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                          • #43
                            Re: Explain compressors

                            Originally posted by mupi View Post
                            So basically to increase the sustain using a compressor, I have to reduce the louder part a lot so that it comes down to the level of the quieter part and then increase the make up gain to boost the entire signal. Correct?
                            Correct. It is MUCH easier to do when you have a compressor with a display so you can see the actual levels you are working with, or a VU meter for the signal you are tying to affect/effect. Doing it by ear is difficult in the extreme for several reasons I won't go into here.

                            If for example the note starts to fade after say 4secs without a compressor, then by using a compressor what kind of increase in sustain can I get. Like another 2 secs or another 4secs? In other words what is the delta increase in sustain for any guitar with a compressor?
                            Impossible to predict but with enough squish you can definitely get your guitar to essentially go straight into harmonic feedback which will sustain infinitely.
                            Last edited by TwilightOdyssey; 10-10-2018, 09:10 PM.
                            Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
                            My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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                            • #44
                              Re: Explain compressors

                              I presume the Boss CS-3 is a good start for a beginner. My only goal is to increase the sustain as I want to see what is the longest phrase I can play with a single strike of a string. If I break the phrase for a second or third strike, it will not sound right. I dont care much about tone now. I am doing solo on a single string. No chords. I am trying to avoid spending $800 to get a guitar with a Sustaniac if a $99 Boss CS-3 can get me just enough sustain to play a long note/phrase.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Explain compressors

                                Originally posted by mupi View Post
                                I presume the Boss CS-3 is a good start for a beginner. My only goal is to increase the sustain as I want to see what is the longest phrase I can play with a single strike of a string. If I break the phrase for a second or third strike, it will not sound right. I dont care much about tone now. I am doing solo on a single string. No chords. I am trying to avoid spending $800 to get a guitar with a Sustaniac if a $99 Boss CS-3 can get me just enough sustain to play a long note/phrase.
                                If you're planning to play legato on a single string, an E-bow will probably work better than a CS-3.
                                Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                                And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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