Compressor Placement

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by michinho, Nov 25, 2013.


  1. michinho

    michinho Supporting Member

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    Would you say that a compressor is best before an octave or after? Have been reading different things. Wondered what you guys do?
  2. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

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    I have had good luck running everything into the compressor. My compressor is last and goes into my amp.
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Sub'd. This is a hard & fast rule for those running fairly complex pedal boards but with a rackmount compressor in the amp's FX loop.

    Riis
  4. michinho

    michinho Supporting Member

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    I've been hearing conflicting things... some people swear on having it first before everything... others swear on having it last in the chain. I guess it's down to personal preference. If someone could explain the effect and benefits of both that would be cool... maybe I just need to know the ins and outs of it all, like what difference it will make running a compressor after octave and dirt etc and vice versa...
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  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

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    Guess it depends on the comp. I've had luck running some Ross types after any overdrive, but prefer to have it before the 'bell and whistle' types, like a BDDI or VTBass.
  7. michinho

    michinho Supporting Member

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    It's a Diamond bass Comp
  8. ga_edwards

    ga_edwards

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    IMO, it's not so much the type or brand of comp unit, it's more the type of compression itself and how you want it to react or influence other effects.

    If you're using it for peak limiting, then I would say put it last, but if compression is part of your tone, put it earlier in the signal path.

    Most effects are interactive with each other. If your compression is last and you change your eq, that's going to affect the compression. Likewise, overdrive and distortion can behave very differently before and after compression.

    If you know what you're trying to achieve with your compressor, we can better advise where to place it.

    BTW, I find that octave effects often track better with compression before them.
  9. Swift713

    Swift713

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    Why don't you try it both ways and let us know? Maybe running the comp first would help the octave track better, or maybe the other way around would tighten up the octave. It really depends on a lot of variables, how you play, how you use the comp, how the octaver behaves, etc.
  10. michinho

    michinho Supporting Member

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    The Diamond is used mainly to help shape my tone
  11. BFunk

    BFunk Gold Supporting Member

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  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS * Supporting Member

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    Somewhere in the middle :)

    My compressor is bassically after the envelope filter but before overdrives, to get full dynamics into the filter and tame it a bit, and to avoid amplifying noise from the dirt pedals.
  13. michinho

    michinho Supporting Member

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    I know its down to opinion, but do most of you find running comps before dirt works best? Especially in my case where mine isn't used for mainly peak limiting reasons.
  14. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

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    My diamond compressor made my fuzz and od (B7K) sound muted and took the edge off the attack. So I now run it after the dirt and before everything else. I may move it later in the chain.

    There's no rules for this, especially since you are using it for tone shaping. Try it in various places and let us know which sounds best to you.
  15. bkbirge

    bkbirge Supporting Member

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    Mine isn't last, nor is it first. It isn't even always on. The only placement "rule" I follow is to make sure my quacky filter effect is before the compressor. Also, if you have fuzz/od, those effects are compression/limiting already by themselves so you may not need a separate compressor if you have those on all the time.
  16. Swift713

    Swift713

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    I haven't been using a comp much these days but I used to run od>filter>comp. I didn't often use the od and complete at the same time unless the filter was on, but the comp wasn't so extreme that it squashed the od much.
  17. BFunk

    BFunk Gold Supporting Member

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    The problem I have with running comp in line with dirt is that you end up having to either switch comp off every time you switch on dirt, (the pedal dance), or you set up your comp to work with dirt on and dirt off, which means you have to compromise your comp settings.
  18. michinho

    michinho Supporting Member

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    Hmmmm, is it that bad though? lots of people run a comp at the start of their chain and have dirt in there after? :confused:
  19. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

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    My comp was always on when it was in front of my VT.
  20. BFunk

    BFunk Gold Supporting Member

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    No, not bad at all. Just pointing out an observation. There are lots of ways to do this. Each one has its pluses and minuses.

  21. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS * Supporting Member

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    Depends a bit on how much you compress as well. I have a quite mild compression so it doesn't affect the overdrive pedals all that much, there is still dynamics left even after the compressor.

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