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MI Effects Cross Over Drive

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MI Effects

The initial idea was to try to make an overdrive as smooth as possible, but after tinkering with it a bit, it's morphed into something else altogether. This was inspired by the relative success we had with capturing the tone and response of the Megalith amps in a FET based pedal format,... so that got me thinking about extending this to other 'amp-like' overdrive sounds.

This isn't modeled on anything in particular but we were shooting for a few things:

  1. A very natural response, both in terms of tonal balance and overdrive feel.
  2. Unlike op-amp based pedals, I wanted something that when you roll back on the volume, the sound is virtually clean, but also balanced.
  3. Touch response.
  4. High gain sounds to have a big footprint, but with a vintage vibe to them,... what I've heard referred to as the 1000lb violin.

At its lowest gain, it is a boost/enhancer adding some extra sparkle to your guitar tone. Mid gain mode gives some nice, complex, tube-like overdrive but allows clean-up of your signal via the guitar's volume knob that A/Bs well against your standard clean. Crank the gain and you have a smooth, harmonic-rich, sustaining lead sound from 70's rock to jazz-fusion.

MI Effects (January 2013)

The Cross Over Drive is a FET overdrive designed to capture the response and touch-sensitivity of an amp's organic overdrive. The pedal was dubbed the Cross Over Drive due to its seamless transition from boost to overdrive to distortion to fuzz with a sweep of the GAIN knob. At its lowest gain, it is a boost/enhancer adding some extra sparkle to the guitar’s natural tone. Mid gain mode gives some nice, complex, tube-like overdrive but allows clean-up of the signal via the guitar’s volume knob that A/B’s well against a standard clean. A bit more gain and for have a smooth, harmonic-rich, sustaining lead sound from 70’s rock to jazz-fusion. Find the right EQ spot with the DETAIL knob, and blend in the amount of top-end harmonics with the BALANCE control for one of the sweetest, responsive drive tones that will have you convinced you have found another channel in your amp!

MI Effects (June 2013)

RRP $199, limited run of 250 due to the discontinued transistors used in the pedal.

MI Effects (October 17, 2013)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, OCTOBER 17TH 2013 –

MI Audio are now shipping their new limited-run overdrive called the Cross Over Drive to selected retailers. This pedal was designed to be the swiss-army knife of drive pedals with a seamless transition from boost to overdrive to distortion to fuzz with a sweep of the GAIN knob.

The backbone of the Cross Over Drive are four discontinued FET transistors designed to capture the response and touch-sensitivity of an amp’s organic overdrive. But making a FET stage behave like a particular tube stage is actually a very complex affair and is not a simple substitute like most other FET-based preamp circuits. Our experience in designing valve amplifiers at MI Audio has seen us obsess over every minute detail of the Cross Over Drive’s circuit from operating points, dynamic range, scaling of clipping thresholds, output impedances, intrinsic capacitances due to the Miller Effect… you get the idea! This obsession has led to an original pedal design like no other that becomes a natural extension of your guitar, amp and playing style.

The most coveted guitar tones are those where the guitar, player and amplifier work as one. Every attack on the guitar string, be it by plectrum or finger pick, legato to down-stroke, neck or bridge pickup –all provide a different tone and feel that traditional overdrive pedals can struggle to capture. This response has been the driving force behind the design of the Cross Over Drive and this attention to detail is what sets it apart from the pack.

At its lowest gain, the Cross Over Drive is a boost/enhancer adding some extra sparkle to the guitar’s natural tone. Mid gain mode gives some nice, complex, tube-like overdrive but allows clean-up of the signal via the guitar’s volume knob that A/B’s well against a standard clean. Add a bit more gain for a smooth, harmonic-rich, sustaining lead sound from 70's rock to jazz-fusion and crank it to enter loose fuzz territory for those big stoner-rock riffs! Due to the nature of its design, every player will make this pedal sound their own – responding to every nuance and attack of your style and genre.

The two knob EQ of DETAIL and BALANCE helps maintain the full drive sound whilst allowing for refinement of the top- and bottom-end. The DETAIL knob provides the body of the overdrive tone with lower settings perfect for bright amplifiers. The BALANCE control allows for the adjustment of the amount of top-end harmonics for either a smooth, round lead sound or turned up for a tone that will cut through a mix.

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