Cool new gear: MI Effects Compressor

Top notch compressor with built in noise gate.

MI Audio are an Australian company making awesome boutique amplifiers under the MI Amplification name, and kick-ass effects under the MI Effects name. I reviewed the MI Effects Crunch Box not too long ago and loved it.

The latest pedal to come out from the guys at MI Effects is the Compressor. This is a studio grade compressor crammed into a pedal format.

Compressors are well known to generate a bit of unwanted noise when pushing the levels up on them, and MI Effects saw fit to provide a built in noise-gate. This is a great idea, and should make this pedal a must have if anyone is after a compressor/sustainer pedal.

Here’s what MI Effects have to say about the new Compressor:

The MI Effects Compressor pedal is a stand out analog compressor pedal for guitarists and bass players utilising some recognisable studio features to set this compressor apart from virtually every other pure analog pedal on the market.

Adopting our approach to our high end amplifiers, we have utilised the highest quality components for every aspect of the build including:

  • Exclusive use of audiophile, German made WIMA polyester and polypropylene caps for the signal path, sorted to high tolerance better than 2.5%
  • Low temperature coefficient metal film resistors for the ultimate performance and stability.
  • Low ESR electrolytic for the power supply, which is also transistor regulated for stability.
  • Customised, long-life sealed miniature potentiometers
  • Custom made Amphenol (Australia) jacks rated to 10A
  • Australian made, 4 layer, through hole plated PCB with top and bottom ground plane shielding for audio tracks.

Level Control with Clip Indicator – The Level control adjusts the strength of the input signal right at the beginning of the signal chain. This an important feature for adjusting the clarity of the Compressor. The LED indicator will light up if the signal is too hot. This control has been added because there is a wide range of pickup outputs

Sustain – This control adjusts the amount of compression/sustain of the signal. This control has a much wider range of sweep compared to other compressors.

Attack and Release – These controls are all about being able to adjust the feel and response of the compressor. The attack control adjusts how fast the compressor reacts. The higher the setting, the faster the response time. The release controls how long the compression level is maintained for. The higher the setting, the longer the release time. Check out the Compressor manual for some pointers on the best way to use these controls.

Gate – The gate control adjusts the gate level. It normally kicks in around 50%, but will vary depending on guitar, pickups etc. We are confident that once you start using the noisegate you won’t be able to imagine life without it. Its response is very fast and for 99% of applications, it works a treat.

The gate also comes with an internal trimmer to control the release time. This comes set by us to the minimum so as to cut off noise as quickly as possible and we believe that this is the best setting for most applications.

The incorporation of noisegate in the Compressor means that there is also another interesting application for the pedal namely as a noisegate. This effectively giving you two effects in one unit that you can use individually or combined.

Volume – The compressor is designed to have a substantial volume output if required for level compensation, solo boosts or overdriving amps and other pedals. Generally, the traditional use of a compressor involves setting volume control up so that the bypass is as loud as the on signal.

Here’s a video demo of the Compressor in action.

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