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But still, it's still one of the things I think of when thinking of compression.
for what its worth - the Comp 66 is a great compressor - i had a Route 66 for a couple of years and i used the comp a lot to just balance out the strings at gigs
I used one in a couple of my bands songs where the verses were clean and I wanted lots of space between notes, but it sounded too empty. The compressor just filled in the gaps with nice warm sustain. Basically for me their purpose is when you want the fluid compression of higher gain, without actually sounding like you're playing heavy music.
Compression is a feature of many driven sounds, valve amps compress so there are times when you want to recreate that. For instance, I have a Rothwell Love Squeeze and a Hermida Zendrive - a great teaming, because the Lovesqueeze can be set to balance the output from different strings - much like the Umble pedal or Liquid Sunshine balancing output of frequencies. It can do squish BUT the Zendrive does squish quite nicely.
I decided to get an Analogman Bi-Comprossor - that's the Ross compressor (as in the Keeley, Route66, Dynacomp) on one side and the Juicer - the Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer on the other (as in Mr Squishy, Hartman Armstrong) on the other.
Suddenly almost all of the drive sounds I valued in the Zendrive was lost in the mix - the AM bi-comp gave me that great sound with no drive, the Zendrive sound without the compression wasn't enough - got a Timmy instead
Compressor can be used in the following ways:
1) To impersonate/exaggerate the sag in a small tube amp.
2) To bring up the presence of light techniques like tapping or slapping.
3) To push an overdrive further to get a creamier sound.
4) In the effects send return to provide a richer sound to modulated effects (a la Andy Summers).
Compressors I've had:
Stock Boss CS-3
Guyatone ST-2 (on my 3rd atm)
Aphex Punch Factory (on my 2nd atm)
Tonepad Ross Compressor.
Tonepad Orange Squeezer.
Monte Allums Mod Boss CS-3
Visual Sound Route66.
There's a pretty good you tube video from lick library where he shows what a compressor can do. Also another is on the exotic web site. Worth a look.
thing about a compressor is that if you use one for a while, you will notice something wrong when you stop. if you use a lot of overdrive/distortion, it may not be as necessary though, as some of those pedals will compress the signal anyway
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I use mine because it makes my clean tones better, even with the comp dial hardly up. Works as a clean boost, too. Just makes everything better on cleans!
The other way I use it is with a bit more squish dialled in. When the comp dial is up to about half way, you can strum chords and all strings will sound balanced with each other. This is useful when you have lighter high e and b strings and heavier bass strings.
The more knowledgeable folks can explain the mechanics of compression but for what it's worth I just snagged a Comp 66 in the classifieds (maybe the same one you were watching?!) and it's exactly the compressor I wanted. I play in a covers band and I use mine to smooth out my clean tone. I keep it on pretty much all the time now (which is maybe cheating) and it means I don't have to think about picking/strumming dynamics on top of everything else.
I'm putting my comp after my drives at the moment as an experiment in smooth drive tone.
I've been using a BYOC opto comp for a while and I've tried the BOSS CS-3 and the BBE Bench Press but the Comp 66 is the best of the bunch so far. I really like the Tone control as an option and the built in noise reduction will hopefully come in handy if I end up in venues with bad lighting circuits.