Pedal questions / Do I really need a compressor?

Hey Gents,

I'm in the process of updating my pedal board and I have a couple questions. I want to keep my tube amp and I'm looking for a wider variety of sounds; and to that end I'm thinking of adding two more overdrive pedals to the mix. I figure that three overdrive pedals with a two channel amp will provide easy access to 8 different gain levels - 10 if you count the GE-7 EQ pedal used for a boost - a lot more if more they're used simultaneously. Is this a dumb idea? No, I wouldn't kick all 4 of them on at the same time!

My limited experience with multi-effects units (the Boss ME-50 in particular) has lead me to believe that that's not what I want. I'm actually thinking about putting another Boss Super Overdrive right next to the one I already have and then setting the drive and level just a bit higher.

Also, I'm seriously considering a Line 6 FM-4 Filter pedal. I'm not a big fan of the whole "modeling" thing, but the mp3 samples of this unit that I found online are amazing - the thing totally drips with psychedelia and would be so much deeper than just a phaser on certain parts of my band's tunes. Do any of you guys have any experience with this unit?

Beyond that, aside from adding sustain to the clean channel of my amp - something already done by hot pickups, tubes, and a bit of chorus - why would I ever need a compressor? Would my other pedals really sound better with one in place? I'm sorry to admit that I'm a little confused about the application of that particular piece of gear.

Please help me out - there are a lot of gigs on the horizon!


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I bought a compressor mainly because my bass had very uneven string response. Once I got more decent basses, I rarely pull the thing out. Extra sustain and reduction of attack if I don't want my plec to be too obvious didn't really add up to worthwhile digging out and plugging in. As you know, a bass sustains a lot less than a guitar as well. Just my 8 farthings, I'm not sure I should chime in on this sort of thread when real guitarists have a more useful op.

Thanks, 1bass! That's kind of what I suspected - thanks for the input. Although the sound files featuring limitless sustain through the clean channel are tempting, it seems to me that a lot of artists have developed their signature sounds by embracing the limitations of their clean channels instead of negating them electronically.

As far as the other pedals are concerned, I'm just going to buy them and try them - I've got to have THIS sound!

I don't like using them much, they cut all the expression, all your attack goes out the window, but they are great for funky rhythm guitar, Nile Rogers wouldn't be seen dead without one.

Toco, "this" sound strikes me as chorus, delay and phaser. No overdrive that I can hear, although a valve amp (Fenderish, by the sound) may be in there. It STRONGLY reminds me of "The Cult"; particularly the intros to "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Here Comes the Rain". Perhaps a Guitargeek search of their gear might help?

Here's a link to the Yoootooob of the "Sanctuary" song. The intro sounds eerily familiar to that which you may be after:

1bassleft wrote:
Toco, "this" sound strikes me as chorus, delay and phaser.

Yes, 1Bass, clearly no overdrive. I posted “this” as an example of the dizzying variety of effects produced by the Line 6 FM4 referenced above. Tweaked slightly and with a bit of overdrive added, it would surely blow what’s left of the minds of the local pub patrons. ;-) The link is to one of the mp3’s on the musician’s friend page.

The band in which I played during my college days covered “Sanctuary,” and my trusty Arion Chorus pedal was the only effect used for into – good ‘nuff! Instead of trying to kick on a phaser, chorus, and delay for “this,” I’d prefer to hit only one button.

Also, it’s funny that you should make reference to the Guitargeek site – I spent nearly 2 hours yesterday. It’s a great resource and just darned interesting.

It is fascinating (although I fear my anorak is rustling) but there are a lot of omissions that I wish it had filled. IIRC, neither Roger Waters nor Dave Gilmour are covered.

Ha! At 9:00 p.m. (gmt -5) last night our local public television station was showing Pink Floyd: Pulse. I'd never seen it before, and it was very good. I was amused by the fact that, while standing on a million dollar stage with tens of brilliant musicians in the midst of a huge production, Mr. Gilmore was wearing just a plain black t-shirt and jeans.

I decided that will be my uniform when we take the stage on Saturday. :)

That's what I tend to wear on stage...have to be comfy :D

Certainly not wishing to hijack your thread Toco (maybe I should split this off if it attracts enough interest?) but I was wondering who might have a really complicated rig. In the 90s, there was quite a fad for stereo racks, preamps, separate power amps et al, so there might be a few candidates, but I went on a hunch for Robert Fripp. Here's a 1997 'Geek setup:

There's no rig listed for Def Leppard, but I saw a docu about the making of Hysteria, and they were drenched in processors. Anyone top the Fripp?

Ok...adding to the hijack with much rustling of anorak but I wish you'd seen Bond at BassDay (only good thing (except for DHA of course))...only uses analog effects...his pedal board was about 7' long and that's just what he could get through customs...I was entranced...most walked out (what, no M*rk K*ng covers...must be sh*t then!)

Oh head is in this vid!

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