As headroom runs out, the signal clips, which is what generates that well-loved driven sound. When it turns yellow, gain reduction is up to 27dB, with a maximum of 38dB. If you like the sound, you’re in luck. The genre started out in the MXR Dyna Comp area of things (it appears on this list), which is a transistor compressor. Above all it’s a box that demands and rewards both experimentation and time investment. A compressor pedal can perform a variety of jobs depending on where you place it in your guitar signal chain and what style of compressor you choose. Everything they make is well-considered and balances function with ease of use. When metering both, the yellow lights in the middle display the crossover between the two. Optical. You should be able to scoop up a used copy for around $85 on Reverb. But that, in many ways, is its understated beauty, as well as its winning character trait. The compression achieved by boosting the signal until it clips beyond the existing headroom naturally limits the highs and lows enough that you are unlikely to struggle with unwanted volume spikes, even if you start playing harder. The Dry knob is the blend feature, which allows you to pair the fast attack times and high compression with your original signal for the best feel. Anything from singing, sustaining solos to country fingerpicking, a good compressor – much like a good overdrive pedal – is useful in a wide variety of styles. Anytime you do this unique laws of physics come into play that otherwise aren’t available if energy stays in its original form. Trimming the bass frequencies can help you to stand out in a mix, while the internal power rail boosts voltage up to 18V, giving you lots of dynamic headroom. As a matter of fact, guitar compressor pedals are at their best in a live setting. At its core, this is a studio compressor based around field effect transistors mated to a class A amp, which makes this very low noise and capable of very fast attack times. If those switches don’t work for you, simply go for the normal Ego. VCA. Brett Kingman plugs a couple of Ernie Ball guitars into it during his demo. That can help to mitigate any doubts you might have about introducing digital conversion into your effect chain. This includes the Custom Comp (the one I use currently, if very infrequently) and the upgraded version, the Custom Comp Deluxe. When it’s red, there is no compression, while orange signals that compression is active and works as a dimmer, getting brighter as more compression is applied. It’s dark and squashy and was born to compress the signal of your vintage single coil guitars. Building off the company’s original Compressor Limiter, the Andy Timmons version was born when the company caught wind of the fact that he always had two of them on his board. Sometimes, a guitar that really shines in the studio doesn't translate the same on stage and can use the assist. This pedal is renowned for it’s ultra-quiet operation, which is a thing of beauty in a compression pedal. Each of the high, mid, and low frequencies are compressed in a way that specifically addresses that band, rather than squashing them all at once together. If you want to explore the rest of them, go here. Dawsons gives you a tour of the venerable staple. It somehow manages to avoid boosting the noise floor in a lot of situations that other pedals would not. Controls are Level, Tone, Attack, and Sustain, where in this case sustain is the release time. Used versions are available on Reverb, easily going for less than $100. First, it’s tiny, of course. All three of them are good and worthy of your consideration. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The sheen it imparts, though subtle, errs on the side of ‘poppy’, and you’ll find many users among hip-hop and urban/pop crossover producers. Turning the High Cut Filter off will result in more high end content, while flipping the Input Pad down turns it on, offsetting higher-output pickups that might clip and rolling off some low end. Like all other Boss pedals, it’s an old stand-by that works reliably within spec for short money and winds up on a lot more pedalboards than you’d suspect. Optical compressors use a light-based resistor and have a smoother response and overall character. If you don’t, you’re going to want to revisit the rest of this list. Enter the compressor. Based on the legendary Urei 1176, and on its own predecessor Cali76, this pedal is probably the finest pedal-based compressor going. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the CL-1B isn’t doing much – even when pushed hard. The Dawsons demo will tell you everything else you might need to know. This is probably the tone you'll hear when newer compressor designs refer to "vintage" compression. If you are a very passionate player who tends to hit the strings harder as the show goes on, but you don't want your signal getting out of control, you might consider one. Andertons have a nice overview of the Cali76. Being an OTA-style compressor, there is no attack setting, as it responds immediately when the level hits a certain point. Discover 15 of the best options for a guitar compressor pedal to help you master your playing dynamics. This list is no particular order. If you can relinquish a little bit of control compared to the Cali76 above (as well as a little pedalboard room), you can get many of the same features at a notably lower price. It’s quite a strange set of controls, but if you’ve been through the rest of the list and found it wanting, or if you just hate fiddling with the sometimes-maddening controls of a compressor, this might be the one for you. It’s the third of the CS line to come from Boss, most recently (not at all that recently) adding a Tone knob. This follows more closely in the path of the Pigtronix above, with the thrshold, attack, and release time all being fixed. The legendary Teletronix LA-2A is an optical compressor with a tube makeup gain stage. A compressor limits and reduces the highest points and boosts the lowest points to bring the two extremes closer together. Their compressor is no different, combining a Urei 1176 style FET circuit with simple controls that more closely mirror vintage pedals.
2020 best optical compressor