Among all the guitar pedals and effects, the compressor pedal is among the not-so-famous pedal effects out there.
Some musicians may be wary of a compressor pedal. This might be the case for you as well since it’s not a staple for guitarists. Most probably, the reason for this is because it has subtle effects.
However, once you’ve noticed these effects as you play, you’ll be more encouraged to try it out. After all, not having compression will make your music incomplete.This is true especially once you’ve distinguished its sound and function. That’s why it’s important for you to at least consider some of the best compressor pedal on the market.
Our Top 5 Best Compressor Pedal
- Xotic Effects SP Compressor Effect Pedal
- MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor
- Boss CS-3 Compressor/Sustainer Pedal
- Wampler Pedals EGOCOMPRESSOR Essentials Ego Compressor Pedal
- Keeley 4 Knob Compressor
What is a compressor pedal?
The compression effect is not as audible as other types of effects such as reverb and distort. However, compression is crucial especially when you want to narrow down the dynamic range of your audio signal.
A compressor pedal is like an automatic volume control which reduces your audio signal whenever it exceeds a particular level. Either the pedal or your speaker and amplifier predetermine the said level.
For more information about the compressor pedal and what the compression effect can do, you can check this video.
Simply put, a compressor pedal quiets audio signal parts that are too loud. Then, it will also make quiet audio signal parts stronger. This whole process is what compression is all about. It is also how your compressor pedal narrows down the dynamic range of your audio signal.
This is where peak reduction and gain comes in. More about the basic terms used in compression here: https://reverb.com/news/what-is-compression-and-how-do-i-use-it
What to Look for a Compressor Pedal?
Like any other effect pedals, a compressor pedal needs to have certain fundamentals and meet appropriate standards. For none beginner musicians, guitar effect pedal placement is critical. Which pedal effect comes first or last will significantly affect how your music is going to sound like.
For a lot of musicians, the usual order would be: compressor first, then drive pedal next. This is why you must be quite particular in choosing the best compressor pedal which works for you.
This is also to ensure that your compressor pedal works as naturally as possible with your other effect pedals. After all, your compressor pedal SHOULD clean your audio as much as possible.
If it does the opposite and makes buzzing sounds instead, then that would defeat its purpose, right?
The first you would usually look at a compressor pedal is its knobs and controls. This is critical because too much compression wouldn’t sound nice either. Some of the controls you’ll probably see in a compressor pedal would be: level, tone, attack and sustain.
- Level – The level knob adjusts how much the pedal’s compression effect would be in your music.
- Tone – The tone knob is what “cleans” the audio quality of your music.
- Attack – The attack knob controls when and how fast the compression takes into effect.
- Sustain – The sustain knob, of course, supports a note. This knob controls how long an individual note should last.
For beginners and musicians on the go, another factor you should look into is the pedal’s simplicity. It is also crucial that you know how your compressor pedal works and that you work smoothly with it.
Even though you might’ve read a whole page about how compression works already, the whole process might still seem complicated especially to beginners. This is why you must not only look at how many knobs there are in your pedal. You must also consider how these buttons work and how you can best utilize them.
Lastly, know you want so you know what to look for. Most people have trouble finding the best compressor pedals for them because they are looking for the wrong kind. There are compressor pedals which only work with a bass or an electric guitar. And you need to keep this mind.
Some compressor pedals which only for work with electric guitars can kill some notes for the bass guitar. This is why at the end of the day, your preferences and needs should come in first.
Reviews Of Our Best Compressor Pedal
If you want to keep it safe for the first time, the Wampler Compressor Pedal is a good product to consider . It gives you a lot of room for experimentation without sacrificing the music quality. However, if you are a non-beginner and want a product for long term investment, the Xotic Compressor model might also be a good option.
Remember, too much compression is also not good. It might distort your music and end up making more noise than you expect. Compression has its perks and disadvantages. More than the features, you must consider all existing reviews about the product you might want to try.
And most importantly, the key is to determine what you want and what you need. This will narrow down all the many and complex factors you have to consider in compression and compressor pedals.
Read more guides here: https://musicalstudy.com
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