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Single coil pickups, Electric Guitar Clean sounds and Compressor/Saturation

posted on #1
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Hi, i didn't yet find a way to have an Electric Guitar Clean sound setup and at the at the same time an Compressor/Tape Saturation enabled. No matter what I try, I loose my direct, fast, unmodulated Clean type of "single coil" sound (no matter which of the three lines / pickups / Strat switch is activated) as soon as I enable the Compressor/Saturation. So I play without Compressor/Saturation. Do you have any ideas or Hardware/Pedal recommendations? Currently it's an Strymon Deco Compressor/Saturation function which I have turned off. (The Lag time+Wobble on the other side is activated)
Edited by hartmut on May 21 2022 12:28
posted on #2
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Hi Hartmut,

just a short answer/suggestion for now, as we are still out shopping:

Have you considered or even tried one of the typical mike preamps/channel strips already? I'm thinking about something like a cheap Neve 1073 clone from Warm Audio or the Golden Age Project? Could be what you're looking for... also the Radial HDI (costly but cool) comes to mind - all of these should give you a kind of "warm" transformer saturation... more later...
Edited by wjl on May 21 2022 15:52
posted on #3
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thanks four your ideas, Wolfgang. I have browsed the online marketplace a bit, concerning hardware with a really small footprint (should fit on a narrow pedal board), and I've found further candidates e.g. Xotic SP and Wampler Mini Ego, and others.
posted on #4
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Try a boss compressor after your eq..ie in the fx loop instead of directly into the amp.
Its how i do it. (And i run 2 humbuckers)
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posted on #5
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I'm no guitar player guys, but I've read a lot about sound and recordings lately (and Hartmut, is this about recording, or about playing live?):

Seems that for these last 2-3% of sound quality in the studio you'll have to use studio tools, which is what the pros do. Pro preamps, (tube) compressors, microphone preamps, all that.

For us home users and our recordings, a lot can be done "in the box" (in the computer), so if you listen to my latest remix in #244751 for instance, all I used (except plugging my bass directly into the Focusrite interface) was this:


That's an eq (HPF and LPF, and yes I high-pass even a bass, together with the "Pultec trick" like described in https://abbeyroadinstitute.nl/blog/demystifying-the-pultec/ ), then a compressor, and a virtual Ampeg SVT bass amp which I've "driven" a bit higher than I usually do; I also used its simulated speaker cab (not an 8x10 but a 2x15 IIRC).

So if this is about recordings Hartmut, try and see what you can do in the box, maybe you won't have to spend money.

If it's external gear you need or want to have, the results of my findings were that digital modelers have come a long way, even for bass. So anything from a Line6 HX Stomp to a full blown Kemper or even AxeFX will go a long way these days.

Don't know if that helps, but I tried ;)
Edited by wjl on May 24 2022 11:21
posted on #6
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Hartmut, I had a similar issue and started experimenting with variations of the compressor deployment. Funny and I don't have a logical explanation for this, but with my setup the 'clean' result comes from using the 'virtual' compressor on the send of the track, routing that track to a dedicated bus on which I run another compressor instance with identical settings and pushing the output to main. Sounds weird but give it a try.
Oh, and like Wolfgang I plug guitar and bass straight into the Rubix interface without going through amps and speakers.
Edited by MySounds on May 24 2022 16:55
posted on #7
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There is a huge difference between DI bass and DI guitar. Bass is "easy" - just plug it in! Slight exaggeration, but as Halmut proves, not far off.
For guitar - virtual amps have come on a long way even in the past 6 months and whereas they used to all be aimed at distorted sounds a whole bunch of clean ones are now filling up the space.

Neural DSP Tone King is just one example. 14 day Trial available. Clean to Gritty. https://neuraldsp.com/plugins/tone-king-imperial-mkii


Sometimes, just using a cab sim makes all the difference, they typically do the HP LP filtering plus add some dimension.
Edited by zedders on May 25 2022 11:02
posted on #8
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Oh yeah, that sounds cool, zedders - and neuraldsp, these guys are the makers of the quad cortex, right? Not cheap (it costs more than my used upright and new fretless combined), but wow what a machine...

The same DSP chips are used in Universal Audio interfaces and pedals by the way, and here's - for Hartmut - the German-speaking guitar sales guy of the Session music store in Frankfurt. He's a sworn-in analog and real amp fan, but he's really having fun with some new all-digital pedals from UA:


(the best interface/DI for bass which I've heard so far was the "2DI4" from Sonic Farm: https://sonicfarm.com/2di4-pentode-direct-box/ - as the name said, that switchable triode/pentode is to die for...) ;)
posted on #9
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in the meantime an "Xotic SP" compressor mini pedal arrived, and i tried and I like it. I think for the next bunch of years, I stay with it, and the issue is solved. Thanks to all for discussion & ideas :)
PS: For reference, if someone is interested in its sound, the remix/upload "Calm Soul" #244866 from lately uses this compressor with factory defaults and medium settings, beside other effects.
Edited by hartmut on May 26 2022 16:25
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