Digital multiband and vintage compressor voices add up to a comp for all seasons.
Leave it to TC Electronic to deliver an affordable pedal compressor with a twist. For the new Tone Print-enabled HyperGravity, they’ve borrowed the algorithm from their System 6000 studio multiband compressor. The results often sound quite unlike any other stomp comp.
The 6000 is the basis for the HyperGravity’s Spectra digital multiband mode. TC touts its ability to enhance treble tones and more effectively even the output of top and bottom strings. It works—though sometimes nearly too well. I love trebly, squashed compressors with heavy sustain for electric 12-strings, but at times the high-end bloom nearly overpowered the bass. I love this sound. Dogmatic twang fiends might not dig it.
Less sustain equals more immediate attack and a more traditional combination of snap and squish. The wet/dry blend control—a fairly uncommon feature on stompbox compressors—is useful for dialing out that tiny-bit-too-much squish when you hear it. It also evens out the hot high end.
The vintage mode is a tad darker than my Ross-derived comp, and found me wanting for a tone knob. But it works nicely with fuzz and sounded awesome with treble-heavy settings on a bright Vox amp.
Test Gear: Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, Rickenbacker 370-12, Vox Pathfinder, Fender silverface Bassman w/ 2x12 cabinet.