This review of the Empress Effects Compressor can actually be really short! Here it is: buy it!!
That’s it … these reviews are my personal unfiltered opinion and if you are considering to add a compressor to your pedal board the Empress Effects Compressor is the thing – over and out 🙂
But ok, let me add a little more to this.
Compressors and me
When I was teenager I could spent hours in music stores (I actually still can, but time doesn’t allow me any more), checking out new gear, new guitars and new pedals. Back then I was pretty turned of by compressors. I couldn’t hear that big a difference if I turned the pedal on or off … when I had squeezed the knobs for hours to extreme settings and could hear the difference, I didn’t like what the compressors did to the sound … very understandable, so I did never buy any compressor back then. Now, when I know a little more about adjusting compressors and what they are suppose to do things has changed.
More experiences with compressors …
When I grew a little older and started recording in studios, I got some interest for compressors again. Every time a was setting up my gear and did soundcheck the same thing happened: I was playing while the engineer placed the mic, adjusting the level and my monitor – and while he did this, I heard a subtle change, that made me sound better, warmer and wider … more present. Every time I asked “hey what did you do” … and every time the answer was “I just added a little compressor to your sound” … while he pointed a a rather big blue rack unit (Tube Tech compressors). When I had experienced that many times and was going from pedalboard to rack, I decided to buy my own Tube Tech compressor. Then I realized what it costed and started looking for alternatives …
For years I have been using different brands, some has been better than others. For a long period I ended up using the compressor that was in the G-force, since it was programable, which was convenient for my many tv-gigs, but when I was recording I preferred tube compressors and that hasn’t changed. For years I have been using a TLAudio stereo tube comp for almost everything I record in my studio, and I really like the sound and warmth it adds to the signal.
When I started setting up my pedal board I had to face my need of a compressor, and I started googling around. Just as I had decided to go for a Keeley compressor I realized that Empress Effects had added a compressor to their line of products. I decided to give it a shot and got totally hooked within minutes.
The Empress Effects Compressor
Why is this so great … well first of all – it’s very easy to use. That’s great when you don’t want to study for month to get a proper compressor sound. It very silent, has true bypass, and doesn’t take up a lot of space and doesn’t need much power … and most important it just sounds great! Warm and clear. You can see what you do, since it has lights showing, the input gain and how much compression it does – that’s a very nice feature for a pedal! The Empress Effects Compressor has only three different ratio settings – this would normally be a turnoff for me, since I like to be able to adjust for more subtle compression but here it’s super. You can add very little compression (2:1), more “serious” compression (4:1) or smash your signal real hard (10:1), and that’s it. But what I think is outstanding is that you have a mix option … meaning that you can add more compression that you normally would do, but only blend a part of this compressed sound to your clean and unprocessed sound … and that it awesome!! This makes your guitar (or whatever instrument you play) sound more full and warm, and you still have dynamics in your tone.
This mix option is for many related to the New York way of using compressors, where you compres parallel by a aux or bus, but that’s another blog-post. Even though it’s called New York style, I use here in Scandinavia, and my plan is to bring my Empress Effects Compressor with me all over the world, no matter where I go … it’s just great!! So check it out and let me know what you think and what you prefer. If you want to read more detailed information about the Empress Effects Compressor you can follow this link.
All the very best