Hey fellow guitar tone freaks! So ... last night I had a wonderful experience I just gotta share with ya! In a scant hour or so I built my own guitar compressor pedal. It was a fun, easy build but the best part is that it's actually a totally great sounding and full featured compressor. In a minute you can watch my build video, but first let's talk a little about the Glacta-Vise pedal ... it's features and sound!
A lot of guitar comp pedals are really stripped-down control-wise, some only have a single knob or maybe two. The GV has controls that re-shape the entire sound envelope, very cool and kinda rare in a stomp box. Here's a quick compressor-101 review on what the controls DO:
Mix: This allows for "parallel" compression, and it's one reason why this pedal SOUNDS so good. You can allow a set amount of your guitar's unprocessed signal to flow through unaffected, and dial in as much of the compressed signal as you want. Full counter-clockwise is no compressed signal, full clockwise is all compressed signal and in the middle is about 50/50. Personally, I like a little more than 50/50 ... say at about the 2:00 position.
Presence: One of the side-effects of compressor circuits is that they generally strip your tone of some high frequencies, this control allows you to add back in the high end presence that may have been lost, I've found I like to run mine wide-open.
Attack: This control sets how fast the compressor responds and starts compressing. Fully counter-clockwise and it grabs the signal and starts compressing it pretty much immediately, fully clockwise and it begins to compress almost a half a second AFTER it sees a peak in the signal. So, with this control at about 50% you won't have the initial attack of your notes affected, but they will sustain and bloom longer. That's where I like it.
Level: This allows you to set the overall output level of the pedal wherever you want it. This is capable of much more than simply making up for the gain lost through compression; it can be used as an enormous clean boos as well!
Sustain: This sets the amount of compression. All the way down is none, all the way up is like a brick-wall limiter. Again, about 12:00 noon is the sweet spot for me.
Okay ... let's build this puppy!
Again, this was about a 1-hour build for me, you might be a little faster or slower. Here is a video of me building the pedal, sped up to only take-up about ten minutes of your time. Your welcome :-)