The much debated compressor pedal. In this post we are going to discuss why every guitarist needs one.
I was a skeptic at first but after I made my first compressor pedal purchase a few years ago I was forever hooked. That purchase was the Wampler Ego Compressor and I absolutely love it. It's practically "always on" and for good reason.
Now, I have updated my pedalboard since then with Siren's very own Anvil Compressor Pedal so I'll use this pedal as the basis for our conversation today.
So, let's jump in. Here are three reasons why you need a compressor pedal. For someone like me who is a self professed strat guy, I play a lot of clean tones and that brings me to Point #1.
1. Better Sustain
When you pick up the guitar and play a note with a clean guitar tone there is generally a lack of sustain and decay begins to happen rather quickly. However, with a compressor pedal, it simply extends the life of the note by raising the volume as it decays. If you watch the video above, I demonstrate with Siren's Anvil pedal. You can also read more about how it increases sustain below.
If you look at the Anvil here, you'll notice that it has 3 main knobs.
Volume obviously controls the level or volume of your sound. But, it also has these Sustain and Release knobs. The Sustain knob does what we talked about just a minute ago where it can increase or prolong the sustain of your notes - extending that decay. And the Release knob adjusts the amount of compression you desire so you can add more or less compression as needed.
And, as an added bonus there is this Treble switch which can control your desired treble response. Center is the standard position, up provides a softer treble response, and down provides a harder treble response.
This pedal is super easy to utilize and easily accomplishes the life extension we addressed with point number one really well.
So, let's talk about the next benefit of a compressor pedal.
2. Signal Balance
We all know that when we play, our top end and low end can sometimes be all over the map especially for someone who utilizes finger style or hybrid picking. A compressor provides balance to all that madness.
A signal path where there is no compression is usually all over the place as compared to a signal where a compressor pedal is engaged. The end result is a more squashed sound that sounds more unison making it perfect for things like rhythm guitar.
And, that brings me to my third and final point.
3. Thicker Tone
This squashed signal we just discussed ends up producing a beefier or fatter tone. You can see an example of this in the video above using our Anvil pedal as a demonstration.
Granted, some people absolutely love it just like me while others can take it or leave it. That choice is up to you on whatever camp you land in, and whatever you decide...that's right for you. That's the beauty of playing guitar. You pick what you like and don't like.
My only encouragement would be try a compressor pedal if you haven't already. There are lots of great pedals out there and if you would like to try the Anvil, that would be amazing and if you don't, that is fine as well.
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This blog post was not paid for by outside persons or manufacturers. No gear was supplied to us for this project The content of this blog post and video are our opinions and not reviewed or paid for by any outside persons.