A compressor effect limits the dynamic range of a signal, boosting the softer sounds and limiting the louder ones – it’s the opposite of overdrive. What makes the compressor an essential part of the guitar and bass player’s toolbox are the many beneficial side effects of this treatment. Most of all, compressors sustain the notes without degrading sound quality. They are also used to keep the peak sounds from breaking up, especially important for bassists who want a smooth clean bass line. Many guitarists like to use compressors to add a percussive, clicky sound to their playing or to alter the attack/decay characteristics of their sound.

Noise Reduction and Noise Gate Pedals

Because compressors can also be used to reduce distortion, Sam Ash Direct includes in that category noise reduction and gate pedals all of which act to reduce hum and noise in your signal.

Here are some compressors, gates, and noise reduction pedals for your consideration:

The Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer Pedal is a very popular all around compression sustainer pedal. With low noise design and control over level, tone, attack, and sustain it does the job well for both guitars and basses.
It is unusual for a high-end boutique pedal to be in high demand, but this feat is achieved by the Keeley Compressor Pedal from Keeley Electronics. This pedal is made with true audiophile circuitry and is made with the quality of professional rack mount studio equipment. Of course it has a true bypass switch so it won’t interfere with your signal when turned off.

The MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor is inexpensive and simple to use. This is a great tool for producing that percussive sound on a clean guitar. For Bass, consider MXR’s higher end M87 Bass Compressor, which gives you studio quality circuitry and full control over your sound. With the Bass Compressor let’s your full dynamic range come through until you reach your compression threshold indicated by status LED’s.

Boss also has a very good solution to noise suppression in the Boss NS2 Noise Suppressor Pedal. The NS2 is particularly effective at eliminating the noise and hum that can be associated with some guitar and bass effects setups and amps.

The MXR M135 Smart Gate Pedal is another great unit for clearing out the sizzle and hum from a string of effects and a high gain amp. This is studio electronics squeezed down from a half rack size into a minuscule stomp box, so it will never cutoff your sustain in the process of cutting out the noise.

Roctron Reaction HUSH , acclaimed as a potent noise killing machine by Guitar Player Magazine, is a high-end pedal at a low-end price. HUSH will removed the noise from your effects set-up and kill the hum from your non-humbucking pickups, without damping any of your sustain. Rocktron recommends that for best results, you put HUSH in your effects chain after you distortion and modulation effects (such as chorus, flanger, and phasers), but before any delay and reverb effects. Hush is studio quality electronics in a small package with True Bypass circuitry.