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Compressors for jazz tone?

 
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Tung



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 203
Location: toronto

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:48 am    Post subject: Compressors for jazz tone? Reply with quote

Do you guys use compressors to enhance your jazz tone?
I've been looking into the Keeley 4 knob and the Diamond, just looking for more punch and even dynamics. Both sounds great but the Diamond has a cool EQ knob and very transparent, doesn't squash the original tone at all.
What are your thoughts?
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Jazzy



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never use compressor live, but in studio I usually add a bit in the mix. I don`t know the name of them, my regular sound man have some expensive tube compressors ( rack ).
But I`ve heard good things about the Diamond, hope to try it myself one day.
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Jens



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
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Location: The Hague, The Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have tried to mess around with it in my setup but I never used it for jazz. Works great for clean or crunch strat leads though, but that I don't use for bebop Smile

Jens
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stratocasturbator



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the barber tone press is great because it allows you to blend in the compressed signal. that is, if you want to preserve a certain amount of unprocessed signal (this is great for allowing your picking attack to still be audible at higher settings), it's very easy to dial it in as per your own picking style. it's $150, significantly lower than the Keeley too. I don't use it all the time but if I have a gig where I need to play a bit louder, it's helpful for taming peaks as well as fattening the tone when turned down, e.g. comping. Cool
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mr. beaumont



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm only a fan of compression when you can't tell it was used. I usually see it as a post-recording effect (if it gets used at all)--I'm not really a fan of a noticably compressed live jazz tone.
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Jazz Playa



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Jens said.
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Tung



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
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Location: toronto

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stratocasturbator wrote:
the barber tone press is great because it allows you to blend in the compressed signal. that is, if you want to preserve a certain amount of unprocessed signal (this is great for allowing your picking attack to still be audible at higher settings), it's very easy to dial it in as per your own picking style. it's $150, significantly lower than the Keeley too. I don't use it all the time but if I have a gig where I need to play a bit louder, it's helpful for taming peaks as well as fattening the tone when turned down, e.g. comping. Cool


thanks very much for this info. I heard some very good things about the Barber, but I really wanted to know how any of these pedals would fare in jazz settings. What you described is actually what I'm looking for in using a compressor. Not to get that squash funk strumming thing or the country chicken picking snap, but more or less to fatten up the tone a lower volume and get more even picking clarity at higher volume and speed.
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Generic Sobriquet



Joined: 03 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Mr. B., even though I've been scolded for making such a statement sans gratuitous qualifiers. Rolling Eyes Wink

Quote:
more or less to fatten up the tone [at] lower volume and get more even picking clarity at higher volume and speed.
Don't take this as a snide remark, but have you considered heavier strings and possibly a different amp and/or speaker for the tone, and working on your technique to get more even picking dynamics?
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Tung



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
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Location: toronto

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generic Sobriquet wrote:

Quote:
Don't take this as a snide remark, but have you considered heavier strings and possibly a different amp and/or speaker for the tone, and working on your technique to get more even picking dynamics?

This has nothing to do with my technique, it has to do with getting a good tone live. I play with a jazz quintet, a fusion band and a big band, at certain times, i need to tighten up my jazz solo tone to cut through with all the instruments, at high stage volume. the frequency range of the guitar needs to be focus in more to cut through. Therefore, a good compressor would aid the process.
As far as gear goes, I got 2 Randall MTS amps, a Fender Twin, a Polytone Mini brute. Most live situations i use 2 amps at the same time, so the gear necessary for a good jazz tone is not an issue here.
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Jens



Joined: 20 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tung wrote:
I play with a jazz quintet, a fusion band and a big band, at certain times, i need to tighten up my jazz solo tone to cut through with all the instruments, at high stage volume. the frequency range of the guitar needs to be focus in more to cut through. Therefore, a good compressor would aid the process.


That could be. Usually I roll off the tone on my guitar but when I am playing with the bigband I end up not doing that to cut through the band with single note lines. I also use a mid boost very often (it is actually a line6 modelled tubescreamer with the drive turned to 0). Sometimes the guitar by itself sounds a bit nasal but it works very well in the band, and I like the mids better than the treble in my sound.

Jens
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mr. beaumont



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the trick is not to cut thru, but to occupy the frequencies not used. what sounds good in your living room may not sound good on one stage with one band or another...

consider EQ first before squashing the tone of your guitar with a compression effect. I sometimes find, after I dial in a sound that works with a group, that I come home the next day without touching a thing and plug in and i say "wow--that's the tone i used?!" But it worked the night before...
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Tung



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr. beaumont wrote:


consider EQ first before squashing the tone of your guitar with a compression effect. I sometimes find, after I dial in a sound that works with a group, that I come home the next day without touching a thing and plug in and i say "wow--that's the tone i used?!" But it worked the night before...


that's a good point. I'm talking strictly live applications with a band here, and yes, I do run an external EQ via a TC Electronic G Major.
"Squashing" is definitely not the way to go, that's why I leaning towards the optical compressors instead of the Ross-based compressor-types.
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Jazz Playa



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr. beaumont wrote:
the trick is not to cut thru, but to occupy the frequencies not used. what sounds good in your living room may not sound good on one stage with one band or another...

consider EQ first before squashing the tone of your guitar with a compression effect. I sometimes find, after I dial in a sound that works with a group, that I come home the next day without touching a thing and plug in and i say "wow--that's the tone i used?!" But it worked the night before...


I generally agree but for me it also seems to depend upon which amp I'm using. With certain amps, for some reason, I end up using different tone settings from the house to the gig. Usually adding more mids and maybe some extra highs for the gig. With other amps the tone settings stay virtually unchanged from the home use to the gig. I'm not sure of the exact reason for that? I'm thinking it has something to do with the size of the cabinet and/or how well the amp projects the sound out. Seems like the amps that project the best stay more consistent in terms of tone settings across different venues, only requiring very minor adjustments for certain rooms.

As far as compressors for jazz, well I like to utilize a lot of dynamics within musical phrases. Since part of the definition of compression is "reduction of dynamic range" compression is out for me. Opto compressors were much less offensive in that regard but when I did A/B listening tests it was still better without even the Opto compressor to my ears. Compression is still in play for some the other types of music I play tho. Cool
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hobersmith



Joined: 28 May 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a compressor is a bit too much, i believe a jazz tone should be as simple and smooth as possible.
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