When it comes to Robert Keeley's pedal creations, there's usually two that instantly spring to mind: the legendary Keeley Compressor, and the equally legendary Keeley Red Dirt overdrive.
These two pedals have been favoured by some of the world's most prominent musicians over the years - from Steely Dan to Steve Vai and beyond - and have a well-earned reputation for being at the top of the class in terms of desirability.
The Ultimate Compressor and Overdrive Experience
In what could possibly be a stroke of genius, Robert Keeley and those clever engineers at over at Keeley Pedals have decided to create the hybrid pedal we've all been waiting for: the Keeley Aria Compressor Overdrive!
Combining the company's most flexible overdrive to date (the Red Dirt) with one of the most popular Compressor pedals ever made, as well as an array of unique functions, the Aria Compressor Overdrive could well be the next Must Have stompbox for you to add to your pedalboard.
Red Dirt Circuit
As mentioned above, the Red Dirt is widely renowned as one of the most flexible overdrive pedals on the market.
On the Aria Compressor Overdrive, the Red Dirt side comes complete with Tone and Blend features, allowing you to find those tonal sweet spots, and dial in as much clean signal as you could want.
In addition to Tone and Blend though, there's a Low and High Mode toggle switch. In Low Mode you get a clean and bold sound, whereas High Mode gives you a Focused and Sustaining effect.
Becoming the most popular boutique compressor pedal in the world is no mean feat, but that's just what the Keeley Compressor has managed to do.
Like the above-mentioned Overdrive circuit, this Compressor circuit comes complete with its own Tone and Blend controls, which make it ideal for both Humbuckers and Single Coil pickups alike. In this case, the Blend control allows for Manhattan style compression, and the Tone acts like a treble booster.
Designed for Pro Boards
For those of you who use a pedal switcher, the Keeley Aria is ready and waiting for you. Simply connect to your switcher using TRS cables, and you can control each side of the Aria independently!
In addition to this you can also switch the Order of the Compressor and Drive to give you more tonal variety, and even use TRS insert cables to place effects between both circuits!
Building Your Tone... from the Bottom, Up!
Both Compressor and Overdrive often form the fundamental building blocks of a guitar's tone, especially when it comes to studio work, but also for live performance.
If you run the Compressor before the Overdrive in your signal chain you can significantly reduce the potential for idle, static noise. However, there are times when extra, ringing sustain is needed, in which case it would be wiser to situate the Overdrive before the Compressor.
Whilst both of these options are valid, they can also be quite situational, and changing would usually require having two compressor pedals set up (which can be very pricey), or having to pause between songs whilst you rearrange your pedalboard (not ideal...). Not to worry though, because the Keeley Aria allows you to change order at the flick of a switch!
Not only that but each half of the Keeley Aria Compressor Drive gives you tones of volume for pushing your amp, and offers essential tone shaping controls for you to find those sweet spots.
Keeley Aria Compressor Overdrive Highlights
- Boutique Overdrive and Compressor pedal in one!
- Dual Mode Overdrive - Clean and Transparent or Heavy Saturation!
- Clean and Bold Ovedrive in Low Mode - Focused and Sustaining in High Mode
- Compressor has Clean Blend and Tone Control - blend in any amount of clean signal for punchy chord work, and use the Tone Control to brighten the highs
- Designed for Pro Boards, with Effects Order Switching, and Effect Insert options (usable with TRS Insert Jacks)
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