10 Compressors That Balance the Subtle With the Squish
Need a pedal to smooth out the highs and lows? Start here.
Compression is an often-misunderstood effect. For some, it's more important to be felt, but not heard. Others prefer to perceive the stomp really working. Here are a handful of options to check out the next time you're looking to balance your dynamics.
The latest iteration of the pedal giant's compact squish box uses multi-dimensional processing to help tame those frequencies. Along with the typical level, attack, ratio, and comp controls. it also features a gain reduction indicator.
EarthQuaker Devices The Warden V2
Packed with studio-quality controls, this optical comp offers more coloration of your tone than VCA or FET designs. It's also powered by 18 volts internally for extra headroom.
Jackson Audio Blossom
This standalone comp circuit is lifted from the green channel of the company's Bloom pedal. The optical limiting circuit gives a flat frequency response and can run with up to 18 volts of power.
JHS Pulp N' Peel V4
With its fourth iteration, this compressor contains an XLR output, dirt switch, and an "always on" buffer to keep your signal tight. It can easily function as either a comp, preamp, or a simple DI.
Keeley Compressor Plus
Robert Keeley is one of the founding fathers of comp pedals, and his latest takes his 4-knob setup to the next level with a switch that alters the attack and release settings depending on your pickups.
MXR Dyna Comp Deluxe
This expanded version of one of the original pedal compressors offers increased control via the tone and clean knobs, in addition to an attack button that toggles between slow and fast modes.
Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Deluxe
Built like a bomb shelter, this FET-style circuit can offer subtle squish or over-the-top compression via the internal 18V operation.
This dual-voice setup contains two separate analog compressors that cover the bases, along with two boost types, three boost modes, MIDI capabilities, and a TRS volume control option.
Wampler Ego Compressor
A modern-day classic, this comp was one of the first to offer a blend control that mixes in dry signal alongside the affected tone.
Xotic SP Compressor
Need a pint-sized squeeze box? Based on the classic Ross compressor, the SP features volume and blend controls along with a 3-position switch that moves through different levels of compression.
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