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Where do I put the compressor?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ejm customs, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. ejm customs

    ejm customs

    Apr 27, 2006
    I'm looking into getting a decent compressor. I'm thinking the Keeley? Anybody? My concerns are with putting the compressor inline. My amp has a tube front end and I would like to be able to hit the tubes once in a while and wonder if the copressor will lop off any signal. Do inline compressors work well in the effects loop on the amp, post input and EQ stages? Can you still get all of the tube dynamics with the compressor inline? I have an active custom and a MM stingray that I want to tighten up and level off with out the horrible limiter/cheap compressor artifacts.
  2. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
  3. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Or,:ninja: they both lead to the same post ?
  4. First, the purpose of a compressor is to limit the dynamic range of the signal. If you want to have the ability to drive your amp with more signal, on demand, then use something like a MXR micro-amp as the last device in the signal chain.

    Where to put your compressor is all about what you want it to do. Do you want to limit the dynamics coming into your effects, coming out of your effects, or between the pre and power sections of your head? You would use the compressor up front in your effects chain, or at the end of your effects chain, or in a post-pre effects loop, respectively.
  5. seventhson

    seventhson Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    correct me if i'm wrong, but you would never put it in front of an envelope filter which requires the dynamic range of the signal to work correctly. is that right? seems like you (at least I) would always want it at the end of the filter chain to smooth out the dynamic range after all the filter effects have been processed. But before time based effects like delay/reverb which you want to produce a decaying signal.

    although it occurs to me that some people might want it at the front of the signal chain to make it sound like they always had an even attack on their bass. i think i recall reading some members putting it in front of their dirt pedal. this would make it very subtle imo.
  6. Puru


    Mar 13, 2006
    Alachua, Florida
  7. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    I put my compressor last in the effects chain. So it handles/smoothes the overdrive and synth sounds
  8. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    my chain:
    tu2->dynacomp->sansamp pbddi->e.h. pog->tech 21 xxlb->e.h. bass micro synth->eh bassballs->phase 90->smart gate->dd3

    i was just playing around with my little old dynacomp pedal... i tried it at the beginning of the chain, then at the end (before the gate and delay).
    i found that compression at the beginning yielded a far superior sound, even going into the filter and phaser. i found that the dynacomp actually took away from the sound of the bassballs and the phase 90 when it came after... it seemed to lessen the dynamic range of these machines, the "bowwwwnnnnggg" and "whoosh." (mind, i used the same very light compression in both places.) the dynacomp after everything, for me, takes away from all the juiciness and noize coming before it. so it's found its way back to its home at the start of the chain. :)
    now, i'll never stop trying new things... i haven't, for instance, tried compression in the effects loop yet... but for now, all is cool.
  9. never say never.

    I have no problems with judicious compression before envelope effects, provided it's a REAL compressor with attack, release, threshold, ratio and output level controls.
  10. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    well, excuse me! a "REAL" compressor!!:rolleyes:

  11. ejm customs

    ejm customs

    Apr 27, 2006
    well, thanks for the info. i guess what i'm looking for is all of the sound dynamics of the tube pre with a nice even volume level to the power section. i'm sort of a purist when it comes to tone. what i was looking for was the musicman through a mesa boogie 4x10 sound, so that is what i bought. the big block has OD and the only other stomper i use is a boss chorus. i guess i'll read some of those articles suggested and see what gives. thanks again
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    If you are OK with only overdriving the preamp and not the power section, then you'll want a line-level (typically but not exclusively rackmount) compressor; insert it in line between the preamp and power section. That will work really well for what it sounds like you want.
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Usually 2nd in my chain, right after my EHX Doctor Q. It's an envelope filter so I ideally want the attack to be detected by it. However, it does move around from time to time, sometimes before distortion, sometimes after.

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