Dynamics (relative loud and soft notes) are an important part of music, but uncontrolled dynamics can really mess up an otherwise great piece of playing.
A compressor pedal lowers the output sound relative to your input signal. In other words, it smoothes out the dynamics by producing consistent sound levels. Incidentally, this also has the effect of improving the sustain of each note.
Compressor and sustainer pedals are great for players looking for that searing blues solo, and metal players alike.
Compressors are also great for slap-style bass players, making thumb slaps, string pulls and muted notes all the same volume, for an extremely percussive effect.
Here are two great compressor/sustainer pedals that sell for less than $50.
Behringer Compressor-Sustainer CS400
The Behringer CS400 compressor/sustainer pedal adds some great impact to your tone and near-endless sustain. It is easy to Operate with 4 knobs to let you dial in the amount of compression and sustain you’re looking for.
The Behringer CS400 has dedicated knobs for:
Attack lets you dial in the amount of compression, while sustain controls…well, the sustain. ;-)
The Level control allows you control the amount of volume boost – from subtle to “monster” volume boost. The tone knob controls level of highs.
The Behringer CS400 is great for everything from clean, snappy country leads to searing blues solos to rock solos that really scream. The CS400 also provides an LED to tell you when it’s on, and on/off switch that will put the pedal in bypass mode when off and runs on either a 9 V battery or PSU-SB DC power supply
At $23.99 on Amazon, the Behringer CS400 compressor/sustainer pedal is a steal!
Rogue Vintage Compressor
Rogue Vintage Compressor is about twice as much as the Behringer CS400, but it’s “Vintage”. :-D
“Vintage” means it’s likely to produce some added “noise” to your signal when put after other pedals in your signal chain. But for some players, that “noise” is the vintage sound they’re after. After all, Hendrix had a pretty hairy tone in a lot of his live recordings..
The Rogue Vintage Compressor Pedal is also a bit more simplified in its appearance, with only 3 control knobs:
- Compressor threshold (sensitivity)
- Overall volume
The Rogue Vintage Compressor is a true bypass pedal, so disengaging the effect won’t rob your tone. An LED indicator shows you when the effect is engaged and gets dim when it’s time to change the battery.
The Rogue Vintage Compressor is made of aluminum and built to last.
The Rogue Vintage Compressor at a glance:
- Sturdy, lightweight aluminum case
- True bypass switching
- Easy-to-use Threshold, Sustain and Level controls
Powered by either a 9 volt battery or external 9 volt DC adapter
The Rogue Vintage Compressor Pedal sells for about $49.99 on Amazon.