Meet The Vise Grip Guitar Compressor Pedal

Posted on by Peter


Meet the newest member of the Seymour Duncan guitar effect pedal family: the Vise Grip compressor. It’s an all-analog soft-knee compressor pedal with more than a few tricks up its sleeve. It’s designed to give you studio-grade sound and it’s carefully engineered to give you an extremely fine level of control in an intuitive way without requiring lots of set-up time.

There are four knobs (Blend, Attack, Sustain and Volume) plus a Mid/Full/High switch. Let’s start at Volume: you can use it to match your ‘effect-on’ sound with the level of your bypassed sound, of course, but you can also use it for a boost, so you can put some extra oomph into your amp while tightening up the attack, or simply to boost clean your signal a little louder for solos and fills. The Sustain knob sets how long your notes will ring out for, the Attack control governs how quickly the compressor reacts to your initial note attack (from 2.0ms to 50ms), and the Blend control lets you balance the ratio of compressed and uncompressed tone. This is a great way to add dynamics and transparency to your sound even when heavily compressed. It lets you take away the dullness that most compressors add to the tone, and it’s something you won’t find in most pedal compressors.VISEGRIP

Another important feature is the Mid/Full/High switch. It lets you select specific uncompressed frequency bands to dial back into the compressed signal. For example, you can use it to restore sparkle to the high end for increased harmonic overtones, fattens up the compressed signal for thick and heavy reggae tones, or to simply make sure your effected sound remains consistent with your bypassed guitar tone.

Unlike most compressors with hard-knee thresholds, we’ve designed the Vise Grip with a soft-knee threshold that gradually enters into compression at a lower ratio prior to the signal reaching the threshold. This slower onset of compression is much more difficult to detect and provides a more natural, transparent compression. The compression ratio is adjustable from 1:1 to >20:1. It also has automatic gain compensation: most compressors require manual gain compensation to balance input and post-compression output levels, but the Vise Grip automatically compensates for input gain loss as the compression control is adjusted, which helps you get set up quicker and get on with playing.

The Vise Grip is designed for any guitar player wishing to limit the dynamic range of their guitar sound, whether you’re in the studio and you want to lay down a very even-sounding track, or if you’re on stage and you want to reign in the high-end peaks of your sound so you’re not fighting against the cymbals and vocals, so you can find your own place in the mix. And it’s great for country chicken pick’n, where you want all of your notes to have equal loudness and strength without being overly bright. And you can also use it for creating smooth, even, endless sustain without needing huge amounts of overdrive and distortion to get there. It’s also useful on keyboards and other instruments. You can even use it on a mandolin, acoustic guitar or ukulele to get more of your instrument’s body and fullness to the audience.

You can check out more info on the Vise Grip – including some suggested settings for different musical styles – here.

Written on January 20, 2015, by Peter

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