Compression Effects Pedals:
While some effects units only make niche appearances, compression and sustain pedals are practically everywhere. Their ability to curtail a note to keep it from overreaching or lift up a struggling sustained chord that would otherwise vanish makes them common on stages all over the world.
Compression and sustain effects were some of the first guitar pedals to be introduced and they're still mostly used by guitarists today. Any musician who plays an electronic instrument can make use of one of these pedals, however. Read More...
To know what one of these effects does, you only have to look at the name: compression. They work by shrinking (compressing) the dynamic range of the audio signal, which means that the louder and softer ends of the signal are pulled inward, flattening the overall sound. Not only does this stabilize volume, it softens notes by dampening any harsh attack and amplifying the softer sustain, making the difference between the note's highest and lowest points less dramatic. At its most restrictive settings, a compression pedal is a limiter that creates some interesting effects through the way it confines your tone.
When you're playing rhythm or trying to nail the last note of a solo, the low-end response of a compression or sustain pedal will lift up fading sounds to make notes carry on longer or flow more smoothly into one another. These pedals have the unique ability to boost and trim volume all at once, simultaneously reining in extremes to temper your instrument's sound.
Above all, a compression and sustain effects pedal is the sort of thing that, when you use it skillfully, your audience won't know you've used anything at all. Despite that subtlety, these effects are invaluable tools due to their diverse capability to alter both hard and soft tones. Close