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  1. #1

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    ... I recently noticed that many of the newer players I look up to have compressors on their boards - Gilad Hekselman for example and to more importantly Charles Altura ( he has a more natural sound, thats what I would be going for).

    I was opposed to the idea, but if it facilitates legato playing I want to try it. So I bought an Xotic SP (since I liked the juiciness of the mxr I had years ago)
    I want to try one now.

    You can hear Charles here (with quilter amp too, I think!).




    So maybe, just maybe compressor will finally become a thing in the jazzguitar world ?!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I use a compressor to even out the playing. Jazz guitarists have to think about things more. I often play straight into an amp. But why not use chorus or compression or even a touch of drive to get a better tone? Or more responsive tone. Or to fill things out a bit?


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  4. #3

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    I really like a cleanish tone with a bit of squishy feel. I also like charles' tone in the video above. Excited to try the so out.

    Quote Originally Posted by dlew919
    I use a compressor to even out the playing. Jazz guitarists have to think about things more. I often play straight into an amp. But why not use chorus or compression or even a touch of drive to get a better tone? Or more responsive tone. Or to fill things out a bit?


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  5. #4

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    Does it cause problems if you have to turn up during a solo/lead?

  6. #5

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    I should find out soonish. It is supposed to arrive today...

    Notice how Charles has the volume pedal after the comp. I guess you would need a volume pedal ...

  7. #6

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    I like how Charles almost smiles around 2:10 when they happen to land on the same note!

    Here are his notes Altura_U&DaNight.pdf.

    Marc

  8. #7

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    Overall, you can ride your volume knob on the guitar but it will not hit the amp the same.

    If you are used to juicing the amp for solos to get some breakup (harmonic color), it will be different with a comp. That is also true after the pedal. The notes that would of been hit hard and have more amplitude, thus hitting the amp and creating a bit of extra harmonic distortion, are there a little bit, but not much.

    Also if you are used to playing soft, it will be more difficult to get quieter.

    The way I experience it is that you can still get a range of volume but it is way more difficult to do from my hands. I have used an envelope filter after a comp and I can get it to work a bit, but not nearly as well.

    For years I used a number if comps, and I still do but my (new-ishly acquired) Henricksen Jazz Amp, does not like a comp pedal. So typically I am not using one. If I take a different amp, I take a comp.

    also it is important to realize that a comp will raise the noise floor..

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by st.bede

    also it is important to realize that a comp will raise the noise floor..
    And pick up local radio stations, in my experience.

  10. #9

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    Would playing a laminate vs an acoustically responsive archtop with solid woods make a significant difference in this decision?

    AKA

  11. #10

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    It does seem like you have to choose between legato and dynamic range. So the volume pedal is a good idea if you are good at finessing it.

    TBH I’m in two minds. Part of me feels that compressors kill a lot of the life in the phrasing, and tbh I’m not really that into the very even range of Gilad or Charle’s playing, monsters that they undoubtedly are. but it is a the main aesthetic of contemporary jazz guitar…

    (but then, there’s Julian Lage, mr dynamics if ever I heard him.)

    But OTOH, gigging again reminds me of how much different the amplified on stage vibe is, and how amplifier and pre amp choices introduce some compression anyway. Amps do tend to emphasise the gaps between the notes, the dynamic peaks and troughs and it can be a bit much.

  12. #11

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    So I recieved the sp. It is nicely built. I adjusted it to the humbucker setting via the internal dip switches and keep the compression ratio on low. I have to say I really like the pedal. 335->sp->elcapistan->amp (henriksen blu six).

    It does convey that "give" or sag in tone and feel I was looking for, evens out my sloppy playing a little. It is not a world in difference but clearly noticeable. It fascilitates playing quite a bit. What I really like: a sturdy construction, battery powered - so I can take it to sessions and have a similar vibe with the crappy backline amps...I think I will keep it.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    It does seem like you have to choose between legato and dynamic range. So the volume pedal is a good idea if you are good at finessing it.

    TBH I’m in two minds. Part of me feels that compressors kill a lot of the life in the phrasing, and tbh I’m not really that into the very even range of Gilad or Charle’s playing, monsters that they undoubtedly are. but it is a the main aesthetic of contemporary jazz guitar…

    (but then, there’s Julian Lage, mr dynamics if ever I heard him.)

    But OTOH, gigging again reminds me of how much different the amplified on stage vibe is, and how amplifier and pre amp choices introduce some compression anyway. Amps do tend to emphasise the gaps between the notes, the dynamic peaks and troughs and it can be a bit much.
    Regardless if one finds a compressed signal works well in a stage mix, I strongly recommend practicing sans limiting or compression. Many years ago I was an early adopter of the Scholz Rockman/Rockmodule systems, which were marvelous for dealing with certain logistical problems. It was only later that I realized that my technique was suffering. So... by all means utilize the tech to minimize performing complications. But! Don the hair shirt and practice using a minimum of reliance on automated thingamajigs to paper over the gaps in one's skills. Also, record your practices, listen to them, and (this is important) let no-one else hear them. Your every note is not some precious thing needing to be preserved for posterity. It's just not.
    Last edited by citizenk74; 08-01-2021 at 05:30 PM.

  14. #13

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    I don’t like the “pop” on the initial attack that a compressor pedal typically gives. Even with a good blend control. OTOH, the Quilter 200 has a limiter that can be absolute magic. I wish they offered that as a stand-alone pedal…

  15. #14

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    The Electro Harmonix 'Blackfinger' is a tube driven compressor. Its capable of extremely musical compression that is not generally available with the usual boutique stomp boxes.

    While this is my first post on this forum Ive experimented with limiting and compression for some time now and find the 'Blackfinger' to be a very sensitive and adaptable unit.
    This may not be your solution, but I hope this contribution will be a positive addition to the debate.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcVox
    The Electro Harmonix 'Blackfinger' is a tube driven compressor. Its capable of extremely musical compression that is not generally available with the usual boutique stomp boxes.

    While this is my first post on this forum Ive experimented with limiting and compression for some time now and find the 'Blackfinger' to be a very sensitive and adaptable unit.
    This may not be your solution, but I hope this contribution will be a positive addition to the debate.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Thankyou, much appreciated.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    And pick up local radio stations, in my experience.
    In ’80s I was playing alone in my low roofed rehearsal room in the basement of the local buss station. I didn’t have a compressor but a distortion running thru my Vox AC30 when I suddenly was scared to hell after hearing a man speaking. Then it stopped. Me too, I was in horror!

    After a while the man spoke again. Now I realised that that the voice came from my guitar amp.

    But it took one more sentence until I realised that it was the police radio leaking from some patrol car nearby. Now I was almost laughing!

    I am very thankful that this experienxe didn’t repeat althought I and my bands played decades in the same room.

  19. #18

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    Compressors are great tools

    They are great on guitars in a Mix. You record a guitar and put a 1176 on it. Love it. Do that always. Smoother, glue, etc.

    On the other hand: If you put a compressor in front of an Amp. Say you have a really great amp. Something like a Dumble style amp.
    One of the characteristics of a great amp is that it reacts much faster than a cheap one and has much more dynamic. And then you put a compressor in front of it and kill all the dynamic? Isn´t that like buying a Formula 1 car and then throttle the motor? And a cheap amp with a comp. in front is like a 50ccm bike with a throttled motor.

    But then there are situations, where a comp in front of an amp ist a great stylistic device- some country stuff, Nile Rodgers disco rhythms, the Bill Frisell sound from the 80ies, etc.

  20. #19

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    Compressors sound cool because our ear has used to hear compressed music. All the recorded music is compressed a little or lot. Before the studio compressors the compression happened in the tubes and in the tape.

    Anyway at least in my case the compression feels bad, with compressor pedal before an amp. It makes the strings feel like rubber band. Maybe my right hand is too heavy.

    There is different compressors. I don’t know the names for the types but while for example MXR Dynacomp is no for me the Mad Professor Forest Green Compressor feels very good. (In the Sustain mode.) I have it in my rock pedalboard as a solo booster at the moment.

    Cheap modeling amps have usually a compressor on a lot. It sounds cool but for a beginner it can be a trap: at home You sound good but with a ”real world” amps You sound like, hmm, like a beginner.

  21. #20

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    A brief update on my previous post about the Electro Harmonix 'Blackfinger' tube compressor.<br><br>Its my understanding gathered from the scraps of online reviews, various forum posts and threads over the last 10 yrs or so, is that the idea behind the Blackfinger was to provide a versatile, affordable version of the expensive tube driven compressors used in recording studios.<br><br>Aparently the Universal Audio LA 2A was a source of inspiration during development. Unfortunately I cant verify this as fact.&nbsp;<br><br>One of the cool things is that Ive heard of the Blackfinger being used to great affect on vocals, drums, and acoustic guitar in small home studios.<br><br>Regardless of the veracity of the UA LA2A connection, and not being the most compact compressor around, it is versatile and imho the most musical compressor Ive owned.&nbsp;<br><br>

  22. #21

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    I can confirm that Mad Professor Forest Green Compressor pedal, especially In the Sustain mode, works nice with the clean tone.

    DBX160A is also very good compressor, however, this is the rackable unit with line level input and output.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by msankowski
    I can confirm that Mad Professor Forest Green Compressor pedal, especially In the Sustain mode, works nice with the clean tone.

    DBX160A is also very good compressor, however, this is the rackable unit with line level input and output.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Regardless if one finds a compressed signal works well in a stage mix, I strongly recommend practicing sans limiting or compression. Many years ago I was an early adopter of the Scholz Rockman/Rockmodule systems, which were marvelous for dealing with certain logistical problems. It was only later that I realized that my technique was suffering. So... by all means utilize the tech to minimize performing complications. But! Don the hair shirt and practice using a minimum of reliance on automated thingamajigs to paper over the gaps in one's skills. Also, record your practices, listen to them, and (this is important) let no-one else hear them. Your every note is not some precious thing needing to be preserved for posterity. It's just not.
    its also good to practice dry as well - no reverb