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Output Comp love

InsideOut

Power User
Just wanted to start a discussion about the output comp in the amp block. On clean amps (for me anyway) it just brings it to life between 1 and 2. It doesn't take much to just kick up the punch and pick attack and make the amp come to life. I know this has typically been done with a compressor block (or pedal in the analog world), but I never really bonded with the compressor block for some reason. The output comp in the amp block on the other hand, for me is the most beautiful thing to ever happen to a clean amp sim. It's literally as simple as turning one knob up between 1 and 2, and the punch and sustain of a real clean tube amp is right there.

Cliff, you've done amazing things with G3 modeling and that's the focus right now, but G3 in combination with output comp on clean amp sims has made EVERY model so tasty. Who needs movie stars or athletes... Fractal Audio is my hero!
 
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Manny Fufish

Experienced
I agree completely, I raved about this when it first came out and I'm surprised it doesn't get more attention!

On the new G3 data modeling I'm so surprised people are not raving about the way the amps punch you in the chest now!!! Much more 'amp in the room' like if you ask me! I don't know if it's how fast it responds or what, but when you play the sound hits you immediately, the way it does when you stand in front of a speaker cabinet even when you're playing through CLRs like I am. That's been one of the most noticeable things about G3 to me! I really feel like I OWN all of these amps now, and it would be no different if I were playing through them...
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
+1. really handy control, not just for cleans. More or less eliminates the need for a comp block after the amp (unless you're doing some fancy multiband stuff).
I almost always find myself immediately bumping it up to one.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
+1 for the Output Compressor. Since it's been added, I find myself always going to it with bass amp models and clean guitar sounds. I also find it a more practical replacement for adding a comp block, often with results that just seem more transparent, depending on the settings (threshold, etc.). One of my favorite amp block additions.
 

Rotti

Fractal Fanatic
Don't overlook the Dynamics control either. Dynamics works at the input to the block. Negative values compress the input, positive values expand.
This is interesting...
So let's say I max out (or at least a higher than normal value) the dynamics control, and prior to the amp block I have a PEQ with a boost centered on the freqs I want to clip. Is this essentially creating a drive effect without using a drive block?
I assume this would sound quite thin, so I would then go back and reduce the dynamics control until the sound thickens back up?
 

Horganovski

Inspired
Great tip, thanks for posting. I had missed this one and trying it now (as well as the Dynamics setting) the benefits are obvious.

I had a guitar student over yesterday and he played through my Axe for the first time since I've updated to FW 18 and he commented 'the high gain sounds don't feel quite as easy to play with now', I think because they are more dynamic and push back a bit more than they used to pre G3 (which is obviously more realistic but I can see why you'd want a smoother response sometimes). These two dynamics settings seem to allow you to dial in that smoothness if desired which is great.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
I'm not exactly sure how the Dynamics parameter interacts with the Output Comp parameter (don't have the AxeFx in front of me), but in general, the Out Comp parameter is the "amount" of compression, but it is also dependent on where the Out Comp Threshold is set (it's on the Advanced Tab...would be good to see this on the same page as the out comp). The setting of the threshold is critical. The threshold determines at what point the compressor will start to compress. At very low settings, it will compress when you play soft, and most likely stay on all of the time. This will result in a reduction of dynamics across the board if you apply too much Out Comp. On the other hand, raising the Threshold will cause the onset of compression at when you input higher levels (i.e., playing harder), which is good for taming the dynamic transients of very percussive, aggressive playing of "clean" or "spanky" rhythm guitar sounds.

If you're not fully up on your technical knowledge, then just use your ears with the default settings. When you start to turn up the Out Comp knob, at some point you'll see the Gain Reduction meter engage and give you readings of negative values (for example, -2), that will change in real time (more gain reduction with pick attack, and less reduction as a held note or chord decays). The more gain reduction, the larger negative value you'll see, and the more the meter will go from "right to left". Use your ears and adjust the Out Comp to suit your taste. A little goes a long way, unless you're looking to really squash a tone. I personally don't like to have more than a couple dB of gain reduction in general.

The nice thing is that, IMHO, even when the Out Comp is set for quite a bit of gain reduction, it is a great "quick one-knob" compression solution that usually sounds pretty good without a lot of muss and fuss. Sometimes the Comp block can be a little picky in this regard, but the Comp block is obviously a lot more flexible than the Out Comp in the Amp block.
 

InsideOut

Power User
I'm finding that the Threshold default of -30 works really well for clean tones. Just leave it there and dial up the comp knob and you'll notice thicker, punchier and more sustain without altering the core tone. This happens between 1 and 2 for me. Being honest, I've always been a high gain freak and never really cared about clean tones. But now with this latest update, I'm just finding all sorts of beautiful, touch responsive, emotional tones in the cleans.
 

austinbuddy

Fractal Fanatic
Don't overlook the Dynamics control either. Dynamics works at the input to the block. Negative values compress the input, positive values expand.
I love this control. Just adding 0.5 or 1 to the Dynamics control (0 default) to me makes an amp breath and come more alive to picking/lead playing to my ears.
 
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