I’ve been pretty vocal on this site about my disdain for compressors. Well, it’s not really disdain…I just can’t really find a proper use for them in my rig. Some people get great sounds out of them, and that’s totally cool. They’re just not for me at the moment. (At the moment, of course, because as is my habit, next week I’ll probably be raving about them.) The Analogman did not change my views on that for the moment……but it did come close. I used to have an Emma compressor (handmade in Denmark…mmm…everything sounds better from Denmark…no, it doesn’t…but it does give you the ever sought after ‘foreign pedal bragging rights’, which is of course way better than good tone), which in my humble opinion, sounded better than some front of house rackmount compressors. And this Analogman was definitely comparable to the Emma.
Basically, a compressor constricts your tone, which is why I don’t like them so much. I’m a ‘guitar signal purist’ to a fault, sometimes. But they can be very useful in giving you sustain on lead notes, making your highs less shrill and your lows less boomy and just generally making all your volumes and dynamics more equal to each other, giving your overdrives a sustainy-clean-but-gritty metal tone, and also just giving your overall tone an eq’d boost…kind of cleaning and focusing your tone. Some people just leave them on all the time for this. And the Analogman did all of these functions quite well.
Compressors are also commonly used for that spanky ’80’s pop tone and country chicken pickin’. I mention this because you can pick out in the video how I try to demo these two styles on my guitar and fail very miserably. You can tell I have no idea what style to play with a compressor on. hehe But you can also hear how transparent it is. By nature, compressors kill your tone. The magic comes when you can just kill the things you don’t like about your tone, and let the rest of your true tone shine through.
So here’s the demo:
Good times. I’m such a poser. You can hear how it effects the tone, but doesn’t absolutely kill it, though. Which makes it a really good comp pedal. Props to Analogman. And I still don’t like compressors.