Ahhhh, a compressor!... mmm... nice... isn't it that pedal that everybody is recommending me but, that nobody really understands?.
Well, that was just up to today, dude. See my video to undestand what a compressor does and how can it serve to your needs!!!.
This pedal is a must for people doing Country so, most of them already know what to get from those units, even if they don't really understand what compressor effect is doing, it makes their job easier and, that's all they need to know. But, what about the rest of mortars?.
It's very common to hear that a compressor pedal can help a weak single coil guitar to have more body and, therefore, a bunch of people that loves Stratos and Teles (and aren't doing Country) have their compressor on the full time. Other people have their compressor all the time on, even if they are playing with guitars loadad with higher output pickups.
So, what's the mistery behind a compressor and, why Wampler's EGO Compressor?.
Well, if you are already used to what a compressor can do for your sound, you only need to hear HOW EGO can help you (or not). If you don't know what a compressor does or how it works, just take a look to the first part of the video, where compression effect is discussed in depth.
For the rest of this article, I will asume that you know what a compressor is and how it works so, I will focus particularly on how the EGO deals with compression features.
As for every Wampler's pedal, the pedal is inside a fabric bag, surounded with bubble plastic and, everything inclosed in a discrete white carton box, with an attractive sticker on the front of the box.
Inside, as ever, a single sheet stands for the "user manual" and, there is a sticker with Wampler's logo.
The pedal seems to be built like a tank but with the appeal of a deluxe car.
OMG! a Wampler pedal without toggle switches!, what a strange!. Will it be versatile?.
This control determines how much the average level of volume raises.
This is a mixer control, that allows to exactly dial the amount of dry/wet signals. Perfect for Parallel Comrpession Technique.
This one adds or removes trebles to the resulting sound.
This one sets up the delay between the beginning of the sound and the beginning of compression effect.
It allows more or less peaks in the sound.
This one controls the amount of compression. This is the compression ratio or, how much the sound is being compressed, once the delay selected by attack is over.
Well, this is a compressor based on Dyna Comp and Ross compressors so, very traditional approach in one side but, it has more controls and more versatility than those old designs.
For sure, you can achieve warm highly compressed sounds in the way of Dyna comp but, you can also achieve very transparent sustain, without affecting peaks very much.
While the tone of Dyna is a tad dark (and can be lost in the mix), the EGO can go to very bright settings.
Once you understand what is behind the controls names, it easier to tweak the pedal to exactly obtain the sound you are looking for.
If you wanted that squeezy compression at the tail of your note, you can leave blend control at max (100% wet signal) and push the sustain (ratio) all the way up.
As in the case of the smart Barber compressor, the blend knob allows you to make it sound gentle even under the hardest compression level that this unit can reach (that, to be honest, isn't so dramatic as in other compressors).
It's reasonablely quiet, way quieter than the vintage Dyna Comp and, more or less in the same league as the T.Rech CompNova or the MXR Custom Comp.
The separated controls for attack, tone and sustain, allow to make it work just to tame peaks or to increase sustain in tails and, everything in between.
The blend control allows to raise the original signal in a way that the original attack stands over the average volume created by the compresor and, when the original signal drops, the comrpessed signal stands over, adding sustain, achieving a very natural compression effect (Parallel Compressiion Technique).
If you are used to compressors effects, this one is really to tweak.
If this is your first compressor, it will take certain time (but my video can help you a lot!) but, it's really difficult to have a bad setting, even in the extreme cases.
The first 8 minutes are dedicated to discuss how a compressor works, with graphics that help to understand first the meaning of the ADSR Curve and, how a compressor modifies that curve (how it affects dynamics).
Following 2 minutes are describing controls and comparing their functions with the topics already discussed in the first part.
Then, the rest of video is demoing the effect of every control over the sound, showing some extreme situations (affecting peaks without increasing sustain, raising sustain without affecting peaks, natural sound and, highly compressed sound) and, the use of the blend knob.
Half hour of video so, take it easy. I couldn't compressed it more! (LOL!).
A very nice compressor, with the quality of effects that Wampler is usually delivering. No impedance issues and works fine with rest of pedals chain. The sound can be a bit thin, compared to a vintage Dyna but, you can go from a very close tone to very bright ones.
Highly versatile. Can work as a pure sustainer, as a compressor and, even as a "clean" booster.
Blend knob allows Parallel Compression Technique and, it's quite difficult to select a setting that clearly ruins your tone. The highest compression level is very reasonable and not overdone. Slightly more compression level than in a T.Rex CompNova but, maybe a bit less than in a vintage Dyna Comp and, probably way less than in a Keeley, by example.
I cannot say that this is the best compressor of the world but, it's one of the bests, without any doubt.
Nice pedal and, a keeper.