Pete’s Gear: MXR Dyna-Comp
Pete Townshend and the MXR Dyna-Comp
Used on stage 1979–1985 (and again 1999–2006). This effect replaced Pete’s use of the Univox Super-Fuzz, which he had used consistently on stage since 1968. The effect is employed as a boost for leads and outro rave-ups.
Generic MXR non-LED Dyna-Comp compressor.
Ca. 1979, closeup view of Pete’s MXR Dyna-Comp pedal, set up in front of Kenney Jones’ riser. Note spare guitar and amp cables taped to riser.
Ca. 1979, closeup view of Pete’s use of the MXR Dyna-Comp pedal.
Selected quotes from Pete Townshend
From April 1980 issue of Sound International article, courtesy Joe G’s site.
- You don’t use any pedals on stage then?
PT: For some gigs we did recently in Europe I used an MXR compression sustain unit. It makes such a hell of a noise when you put it on. I have a facility in my stack to put in an actual studio compressor but there’s so much compression happening in the chain already that it’s not really necessary. If I want an effect then Bobby Pridden, our sound man, knows just by my looking at him exactly what I want. Whether it’s a phasing sound or multi-echo or ADT or reverb faded in and out with the notes. We’ve been together for 15 years and apart from everything else we can both lip read so in the middle of a solo I can ask for some ADT and I’ll get it. So I can usually get what I want back through the monitors.
MXR M-102 product description
The Dyna Comp is a compressor that lets you set a maximum output level and the sensitivity at which it kicks in. This device can produce that percussive, clicky sound on a clean guitar that you’ve heard on so many pop hits. It can also even out the volume of sustained tones for mellow lead work.
- Footswitch toggles effect on/bypass (red LED indicates on)
- Output knob sets compressed (attenuated) output level
- Sensitivity knob sets compression ratio (highest sensitivity is maximum compression)
Resources and Information
- Effects Heaven schematics: schematicheaven.com/effects.htm