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Re: stupid compression pedal question..
Thanks to everyone for the excellent information and advice on using a
compression pedal with guitar. I'm no effects newbie but I've never
actually used a compression pedal before to play "normal" guitar :)
For those that wanted to knwo and to possilby help others in the same
situation here's what I ended up doing:
My goal was to even out the overall levels. I almost always have an
overdrive or distorion somewhere early in the pedal chain and then that
feeds either a wah or an envelope filter. When I put on the envelope
filter there is a drastic reduction in overall volume and some serious
peaks with certain settings so I wanted to get somethig to "tame" that but
still allow the overall volume and tone to get through.
I had an old Ibanez soundtank pedal as well as the UE400 and UE303B
multieffects units from the TS9 series days but the soundtank just didn't
have much oomf and the other ones had a bit more hiss than I was hoping
(and in the case of the UE400 only a "sustain" and "Output level" control.
After reading a ton of reviews and talking to some people I decided to
give the DOD Milkbox a try. this is a very low end pedal ($40 new) I know
but I figured I really don't know enough or play enough to warrent a
Keeley/Ross thing or some boutique pedal at this point and I want to
experiment form the ground up.
It took a few hours tonight but I think I've got what I was seraching for
and the Milkbox does a surprisingly good job after all. I'm running a
chorus first (Boss CE3) in a Keeley Ibanex TS9DX(my favorite oveerdrive
bar none) and then have a wah (right now a roland PW10, that may
change) and old DOD FX25 envelope filter. The Milkbox compressior is last
in the chain which then feeds the amp.
What ending up making it all work was turning up the attack to about 75%
and adding *just* a bit (maybe 25%) of compression. I matched my clean and
distortion levels so there isn't a huge jump in volume there and then
adjusted the overal level I wanted with the compressor (about 65%). This
got me all the tone from the TS9DX but a stable overall volume with or
without the wah/filter stuff. I did noticed if I turned down the attack to
50% or less the compressor just sucked the sparkle from the distortion or
chorus and the overall sound was very dull and dead. Similarly if I turned
the compression or volume up too much it introduced distortion or hiss
respectively and made things quite annoying.
All in all the cheapass Dod Milkbox did a great job of leaving what i
wanted, boosting what I needed, and not adding too much of what I didn't
like. I know compression in general is a very subjective and qualitative
thing but I certainly DO hear a difference using it and it makes
everything overall "work" better. YMMV.
Again thanks for all the advice. I'm looking forward to trying this rig
out live soon and will try it with a more radical setup (fuzz, EH
microsynth, fraky modulation pedals) soon to see if it holds up for
experimental as well as vanilla stuff.
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