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When I play rapidly or chord at a moderate tempo through a Tube Screamer overdrive pedal into a Marshall amp with both having gain at about the 3 o' clock position, a held chord will increase in volume before it fades.

Why is this? Is it just feedback or is there something else going on?

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Compression, either by design or natural amplifier circuit limitations can allow the level to increase slightly as level approaches the threshold where it is no longer being compressed. different devices will act in different ways, but this is generally what is happening when you hear this effect.

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