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Overdrive pedal before compressor pedal or after

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Anish Nair, Jun 24, 2014.


  1. low riders, i was once told by a sound engineer at a live show to use overdrive before the compressor than afterwards. Then i had a conversation with a veteran who said it's good to use the compressor before the overdrive pedal
    Iam playing a ESP B335 bass
    I am using a Hardwire CM-2 Tube overdrive
    and EBS Multi comp for compression

    the style of music is prog rock/metal
     
  2. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I use a comp before dirt. Otherwise it's possible the compressor can make the dirt sound like a completely different pedal.

    This is a perfect example of trying it for yourself and doing whichever you think sounds better.
     
  3. +1
    A lot depends on what the goal of each pedal is for you.
     
    mbelue likes this.
  4. http://www.ovnilab.com/articles/chain.shtml

    Check out the link, and just about everything else on the site. Bongomania (TB username of the site's author) has many useful things to say about compression.

    Having tried it before and after myself, I've come to very much prefer before. After isn't totally useless as it can help to avoid any associated volume spikes, but as well as reducing playing dynamic too much for my liking, it seemed to reduce the character of the distortion. I do tend to leave the compressor on even when I have distortion/overdrive, though.

    I agree it's good to try things out for yourself, but if that's all you do it can be easy to labour under problems you don't realise you have. I know I've certainly fixed obvious problems with my gear that I just sort of went with my gut/ears about how to use.
     
    Anish Nair likes this.
  5. what compressor pedal and dirt are you using?
     
  6. gully_jones

    gully_jones Stone cold groovy man Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2012
    Mississippi
    Is the compressor even necessary with a dirt pedal.
     
    cnltb, AaronVonRock and Anish Nair like this.
  7. i must try bypassing the compressor when overdrive is activated. Even the link posted by Wolfgang explains the same
     
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    A lot of them. I have a ton of dirt pedals.
    For comps I usually have an Empress or PWNZOR on my board but I have a few more.
     
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I personally always run compressors last. I don't want any of my dirt pedals to receive an already compressed signal, I like them to work off the dynamics.
     
    blip, jj4001 and rtav like this.
  10. thats awesome, i am experimenting to churn out a dean bearndini (Chevelle) tone from my bass. Cant afford a rackmount yet . What upgradations should i make pedalwise ?
     
  11. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    EQ>Comp>Everything else
     
    nolezmaj and Anish Nair like this.
  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I like the compressor before dirt. The reason for this is to even out the levels just a little bit so the drive is more equal between the strings. I usually set the drive to just barely break up and because the D and G strings have less output than the B, E and A strings I otherwise get a mostly clean sound on the thinner strings while there is audible breakup on the thicker strings. I set the compressor on a quite mild setting anyway so there is still plenty of dynamics. It does not change the sound much but the drive pedals as well as the filter pedal respond more evenly across the strings. This is mainly for mild overdrives and for the envelope filter; my fuzz is set on more drive and then the compressor isn't really necessary.
     
  13. this tip has worked like a charm. Thank you Redmoses
     
    hollowman and RedMoses like this.
  14. i could see the dirt pedal also has a bit of compression on it's signals, now the tone sounds awesome with the compressor bypassed.
     
  15. do you keep both the compressor and the dirt pedals on?
     
  16. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    The compressor goes at the end of the chain for me, but YMMV.
     
  17. the link was very helpful thank you
     
  18. mistergoats

    mistergoats

    Jun 24, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I've always ran compressor first, boost/gain/fuzz/dirt/noisiness after, with the exception of the not-oft used distortion built into most D.I.s as the D.I. generally occupies the last spot in the chain.

    Experiment and find out what works for you.

    Additionally, never listen to a sound guy.
     
    hollowman likes this.
  19. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    My compressor is always on, the overdrive and other pedals come on only for some songs, or even parts of a song, when I want something other than a plain bass sound.
     
    mistergoats likes this.

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