Does anyone use the compressor?

  • There is a compressor in the stack section as well. I use a little of both in most rigs. Just find the right feel for what you like.

    Compressor (Cyan)

    A compressor for guitar is mostly used for clean sounds, as the strings of the guitar decay quickly. On distorted sounds, the distortion itself adds compression as a side-effect; this means the compressor could even be a nuisance, as additional compression will kill the dynamics and touch-sensitivity of the distortion. Still, there is always the nice trick of compressing the guitar to the max, then gently driving it just into the distortion of the amplifier, so that every tone of the guitar gets the same decent amount of distortion.

    Clean sounds benefit from compression, as it helps to lengthen sustain of the strings. Another typical application is to emphasize the attack of the picked strings with the Attack parameter. In the PROFILER, you should use the Pick parameter in the amplifier module to achieve this effect. It has been optimized for controlling the energy of your pick and does this job much better than a regular compressor.

    The Compressor is a faithful recreation of a vintage stomp compressor. We also added a new parameter, called “Squash”, to make this compressor even more versatile.

    There is no immediate need to readjust the compressor’s volume on clean sounds, as its volume is automatically adjusted to the unity volume of the Rig.

     Intensity

    Controls the amount of compression applied to your instrument. At zero position, there is no compression. In the first half of the Intensity range the effect will be fairly subtle, as the compressor will only cut the loud attacks of your instrument. Then, as you increase “Intensity” past halfway, you will start to hear the soft notes getting boosted as well.

     Attack

    Adjusts the reaction time of the compressor. The higher the “Attack” value, the longer it takes for the compressor to kick in. This will let the first peak of the signal pass unaffected when you hit a string, thus increasing the percussiveness of your pick.

    Compressor (Cyan) 159

     Squash

    This gives you control over the dynamic behavior of the compression. At the center position the compressor will work as you expect. When you turn “Squash” towards zero, the compressor will emphasize the first phase of the strings’ decay, resulting in less squash. When you turn it more to the right, the first phase of the strings´ decay gets squashed, and the volume sags. You will notice that the compressor recovers from squashing when you let the strings decay further - even boosting the sound a little, compared to when you hit the strings. Now, the compressor becomes noticeable!

    “Squash” does not change the compression ratio, as this is always infinite on vintage stomp compressors.8)

  • I play my bass or guitar through a DBX 160A rack or 1176 then into any "front of KPA" pedals then into the KPA... where I'll also dial up the Kemper compressor.

    I like an analogue comp prior to entering my Kemper.

    I use to shy away from the KPA compressor thinking I was over doing it using two compressors until I read an article where Jimmie Page would do 2 in series... so I stopped thinking about it. Experimented and used my ears more and through away my beliefs in some magical rule book.

  • Took a break from playing for a few years and now returning. I've always found (high gain - 5150, mesa trip rec etc.) profiles to be lacking that big punch I was looking for. It's hard to describe but a (again, slight) lack of body or "fatness". Last night I was messing with the compressor and it seems to help a lot with this missing element. I can't remember what setting I was changing, intensity perhaps as it sounds like I was doing what's mentioned in the manual:

    "the nice trick of compressing the guitar to the max, then gently driving it just into the distortion of the amplifier, so that every tone of the guitar gets the same decent amount of distortion"

  • I usually use a tiny bit of compression on clean profiles but sometimes, there is also compression present in the amp block already so one has to be careful not to overdo it. I think the Kemper compressor is a bit limited and subtle but not bad at all for that purpose. However, these days I'm more into recording than live performance so I usually turn it off to provide tracks as dry as possible.

  • So far, I've just used a little bit after dialing it in. The one in line before the amp in the profiler. I try tonip the spikes back a couple of DB and then increase the volume a tiny bit until my RMS meter inside my DAW is about where it was before compression. It helps to maintain that solid feeling instead of the mushiness I always had LBK. (Life Before Kemper)