All compressors work by turning down the loud parts of your playing, then to get the average level back to normal you have to turn the whole signal up. The benefit of this is that you get longer sustain, and more even dynamics to your sound. Unfortunately, this also turns up any noise that comes into the compressors input. The Empress Compressor is already designed to have quite low internal noise. One possible way to improve the overall noise is to use the compressor early in your pedal chain before any other more noisy effects you use.