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So, I have just set up a rig which, along with other things, allows me to create theremin like feedback from my guitar, controlling pitch through various means... it gets pretty crazy at times, which is how I want it, but sometimes the echo will start doing its oscillatey thing or some feedback pitch will come in and it will be of a higher volume than the general sound... I don't necessarily want to stop these oscillations or the pitch, I just want them to be more a part of the overall sound rather than overpowering it. So what I was thinking is that I need to put a compressor somewhere in the chain. I would set the threshold pretty high so that the normal signal and the standard 'theremin' feedback would not be effected, only this higher volume stuff which happens would hit that roof and be limited. My questions are: is there a particular place that I should put the compressor? It would seem logical to put it after the delay so that the oscillations would be effected by it, but that is almost last in a long pedal chain, which does not seem to be the recommended place for a compressor. Is there any quiet pedal compressors that would serve this purpose without adding or emphasizing the noise floor too much? Any other solutions? This is my rig:

Boss TU-2 Tuner -> Electro-Harmonix POG2 -> Electro-Harmonix Freeze -> ZVEX Fuzz Factory -> ZVEX Box of Rock -> CBC Superfuzz -> Fulltone OCD -> Fulltone Deja-Vibe 2 -> Empress Tremolo -> Empress Superdelay Vintage Modified -> Boss FRV-1 Reverb

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Addendum: Current options: Boss CS-2, Keeley, Pigtronix Philosophers Tone (I only have space on my board for a pedal for something that is around the size of a standard boss, fyi) –  Lucas Sep 24 '13 at 1:14
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Boy, I'd love to see the control-loop diagram for that setup in some tool like LabView :-) . Meanwhile - what do you mean by "theremin-like"? A theremin has no feedback. It operates directly on the spatial position of the controller (typically one's hands/arms). –  Carl Witthoft Sep 24 '13 at 12:02
    
@CarlWitthoft - I think the poster is saying that he is getting feedback through his rig that sounds theremin-like in tone quality. –  jjmusicnotes Sep 24 '13 at 16:22
    
Yeah, I mean't tonally it is like a theremin, I also have alot of control of it by moving the guitar in relation to the amp, which although not the same technically has at least a similar feel to a theremin ;) –  Lucas Sep 25 '13 at 0:25
    
You say the oscillations are too heavy, but you have the tremolo and delay at the end of the chain. Try moving them back so that they have a more muted effect. –  horatio Sep 25 '13 at 14:31

1 Answer 1

While I can't provide the answer, I can tell you that a compressor won't do quite what you're describing. When the compressor is triggered it will decrease the gain of everything going through the chain. So, if your feedback is overwhelming the mix and triggers the compressor, then everything will get compressed, making everything you want emphasized quieter. If everything is set just right you could use the compressor to reduce the amount of feedback you can get but again, you can't get the same amount of feedback and just have it be quieter. For example, at a specific volume (actual volume in the room) and at a specific distance from the amp, with a compressor at or toward the end of the chain, with the threshold set a little below the point of feedback and a high ratio (more than 5:1), when the feedback got too loud it would decrease the overall volume just enough to keep the feedback from going too crazy while keeping the rest of the sound close to its normal volume (volume without feedback).

The real problem you have is that feedback is generated by the loop of your guitar receiving what's coming out of the speaker then getting amplified again. If you put a compressor in the line, the undesired feedback will decrease everything running through the chain and therefore stop feeding itself. If you're willing to lose that feedback altogether, then a compressor might just be your answer. You could even toggle it off to allow for feedback at times.

I don't know of any multiband compressor pedals but you could get a rack mount one. That would allow you to compress different frequency ranges independently, so, if your undesired feedback is in a different frequency range and your desired tone isn't dependent on that freq rang, then you're in the money. You might be able to accomplish this with a de-esser, which is basically a single band compressor.

I would also look into using the effects loop on the amp and whether to have all of the pedals in the loop or keep some out of it. I don't know quite as much about that so I won't elaborate.

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Thanks bud, that helps alot :) –  Lucas Sep 25 '13 at 4:57

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