Electro-Harmonix just launched a serious competitor in the mini compressor pedal stakes

Electro-Harmonix Pico Platform Compressor/Limiter pedal
(Image credit: Electro-Harmonix)

Last month, Electro-Harmonix heralded the arrival of its new Pico mini-pedal range with the Pico POG. Now, just two weeks later, the second stompbox in the series has surfaced in the form of the Pico Platform Compressor/Limiter.

As you might expect, the Pico Platform downsizes EHX’s full-size Platform, a digital compressor/limiter that seeks to imitate classic studio designs.

Of course, the Pico incarnation has had to lose a few of its bigger brother’s features – namely the drive circuit, stereo operation, and Tone, Swell and Release knobs – but the core circuitry remains intact.

The Pico Platform offers two modes of operation: Compressor mode for more subtle dynamic smoothing, and Limiter mode, which delivers a more extreme squash.

A Type button switches between the two settings, while holding it down also offers a choice of Soft and Hard compression knees, which provides smoother or more dynamic options.

Electro-Harmonix Pico Platform Compressor/Limiter pedal

(Image credit: Electro-Harmonix)

Other controls are more familiar: Sustain adjusts compression ratio/threshold level; Attack controls when the compressor is activated and therefore how much pick attack comes through; Blend dials in the dry and compressed signal; and Volume tweaks, well, volume.

Being a digital pedal, you’ll want to ensure you can supply 100mA at 9V to this puppy (EHX generously includes a 9V power supply for this very purpose), while your signal will be buffered when it’s bypassed.

There are plenty of mini compressor pedals on the market, but the fine-tuning features on EHX’s offering – not least that all-important Blend knob – should see it compare favorably with competing designs from the likes of Wampler, Keeley and TC Electronic.

The price helps, too: the Pico Platform Compressor/Limiter is available now for a pretty reasonable $119.

As for what’s next in the Pico line, it’s anybody’s guess – but the ‘NYC DSP’ tag that appears on both pedals so far indicates it will be a digital pedal of some description. With any luck, we’ll know in two weeks’ time…

Until then, head over to EHX.com for more info on the Pico Platform.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.