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Christian Jones

How to get Chicken Pickin guitar sounds from a vst compressor?

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I'm hoping to be able to get some chicken pickin guitar sounds from a vst compressor the same as you'd get from something like the Dyna Comp hardware pedal. Can anyone give me some guide lines to follow to try to achieve this effect w/ a vst compressor? I know of a Dyna Comp style pedal vst I can buy from Sknote, but I feel like this effect could probably be had from something I already have. I have Waves Gold, those four T-Rack CS compressors, API collections, SSL Channels and the Blue Tubes stuff that came with Sonar. Can any of these work? What type of settings wold I be looking at? Many thanks

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If you can figure out the kind of compression the Dyna Comp hardware pedal uses, (FET, Opto, VCA, etc) and the settings like, threshold, attack time, release time, ratio, you can easily replicate it in something like Scheps Omni Channel. Keep in mind that it may also be using tube saturation in tandem for this effect.

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I need to mention that a lot of the snap you hear in that style of picking is not squeaky clean compression!!!! It comes from a little compression and the amp being set for just a bit of breakup. Listen very closely to all these guys and check out their rigs. There is usually a low wattage amp being pushed with either a boost pedal or something like a tube screamer pedal with the drive knob low and the level knob high.

Just suggestions!!!!ūüėĀ

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Well, you don't even need a compressor for this.  Listen to Roy Buchanan play this style with just his guitar and amp (on YouTube).  In fact, do a search on Youtube for chicken picking.   It's in the picking hand and the way you hold the pick and strike the strings.  A compressor won't hurt, but it's not necessary.

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I must comment as much as I agree about Roy's tone, he has a much more overdriven amp setting than someone like Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, etc.

I had the profound honor of hearing him live and he was CRANKED up.

And besides, if you're listening to studio or commercial videos of Roy, I would be willing to bet there was some compression in the mix down on his track.

I am by no means on the level of those guys but being a guitar player born and raised in the south, to eat you absolutely have to be able to cover this style as best you can. So we study as closely as possible their guitars, amps, and pedals. If there is a particular player in mind, try YouTube and check what they use.

I use Amplitude 4 in the studio. I have a number of amps and guitars that I could drag around but for this style I usually use the dynacomp model in front of a small combo for starters. If the song is a little more dynamic I use the rack tube compressor after the amp with no dynacomp but the tubescreamer with little drive and lots of level in front. These are good starting points for me.

Hope this helps get you started! Oh, happy tone hunting!!!Lol

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I dug around a bit. It's an OTA feedback design. OTAs increase low signals and decrease high signals and that explains why the DC was noisy.  If I understand correctly it tries to ride the threshold. The M102 Dyna Comp has an attack time of 5ms and a release time of 1 sec. The maximum compression is 36 db. The controls are output - make up gain and sensitivity. If you try a VCA type design (PC76-U or PC4K-S [SSL type]) try the threshold at 0  and use the ratio as sensitivity.  

For chicken pickin try a ratio of 12 to 20 and a fairly high make up gain.

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Thanks guys I'll try all the suggestions here. I think the sound I'm really after is something more of a rockabilly slapback w/ sort of a twangy chicken pickin type sound but sans the actual hybrid pick/finger technique they use where the finger pick portion tends to really give that "chicken" sound. I guess I'm more about the pick-only technique w/ a twangy swingin slapback.

I found this free Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer pedal sim vst from Distorque called Vitamin C that's pretty cool actually. Some old wonky compressor pedal that some guys used back when. Check it out here http://distorqueaudio.com/plugins/vitamin-c.html 

Here's a sloppy example I just recorded w/  a clean sound from my PSA-1 into my RME interface where the signal then meets the Vitamin C followed by a Fender Deluxe IR and Echoboy Jr. on an aux hooking up the slapback. I'm still dialing in the sound.

 

 

Edited by Christian Jones
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Sounds like you're heading in the right direction!! I'd try easing back on the compression and the gain a little. Usually a pick tends to really accent the attack or transients of the string. Personally, I try to set the amp so that I really have to dig in hard to make the amp crunch. So, if I lighten up with the pick the amp cleans up. Not completely but just enough to still maintain some dynamics in your playing.

My favorite trick is putting a volume pedal in front of the amp so I can control the gain and don't have to take my hands off the strings other than pickup selecting.

Anyway, have fun and enjoy. That's what it needs to be about!

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I used to sell guitars and amps for a music store in my college days.  I've seen guys walk in off the street, pick a Telecaster off the wall, plug into a Fender Super Reverb and start pickin' away.  Long before stomp boxes and compressors were easily available.  Compressors and stomp boxes may make it easier or louder, but this style of music predates all these methods you guys are discussing now.  So, I'd advise learning the right hand method first, and then see what you need to take it to the next level.  Good luck!

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8 hours ago, Sidney Earl Goodroe said:

Sounds like you're heading in the right direction!! I'd try easing back on the compression and the gain a little. Usually a pick tends to really accent the attack or transients of the string. Personally, I try to set the amp so that I really have to dig in hard to make the amp crunch. So, if I lighten up with the pick the amp cleans up. Not completely but just enough to still maintain some dynamics in your playing.

My favorite trick is putting a volume pedal in front of the amp so I can control the gain and don't have to take my hands off the strings other than pickup selecting.

Anyway, have fun and enjoy. That's what it needs to be about!

Another way would be to slow down the attack of the compressor so that some of the transient pokes through. You could always also do parallel compression.

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That's what I mean when I said dial back on the compression a bit. Also, the players out live and in the studio usually stick with their pedals (if any) and don't have the luxury of parallel compression in their guitar rig.  It's about getting the guitar and amp to respond to your touch a certain way. Compression can help or hurt in that process. Parallel compression, most of the time, is about levels.

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On 9/18/2019 at 10:16 PM, Christian Jones said:

I found this free Dan Armstrong Orange Squeezer pedal sim vst from Distorque called Vitamin C that's pretty cool actually. Some old wonky compressor pedal that some guys used back when. Check it out here http://distorqueaudio.com/plugins/vitamin-c.html 

 

 

I just found this after watching a video on youtube.  I am working on a cover of Peg, and this is what was used on the original.  I'm hoping it will work out.  Here's the great video on that guitar lead.  

 

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