The Drive, Trem, Ring and Delay units are reminiscent of some of the full-size Foogers, while Boost appears to be a new design entirely. They all bear the Moog look, with silver and black knobs and lettering. The toggle switches on the Drive and Boost are very small, but all of the units themselves are housed in rugged metal. The back panel has 1/4-inch jacks for input and output, and a TRS expression jack that can be used with a pedal or CV from synths. I tested the expression input with both an Arturia MicroBrute and Korg MS-20 Mini, and the LFOs worked perfectly as modulators. Minifoogers are powered with a +9 V DC adapter (available separately) or 9 V battery, something that their larger counterparts don't accommodate. These are aimed at the guitarist/bassist market, although electronic musicians will certainly find use for them in their rigs. All of them have true analog bypass and the build quality you'd expect from a Moog.
MF Drive acts a bit like a miniature MF-101 because of its Moog ladder low-pass filter. The resonance isn't adjustable but rather switchable via the peak toggle, which adds 15 dB at the filter cutoff frequency. Input level begins with the gain control, which goes from clean to very crunchy as it increases signal sent through the operational transconductance amplifier (OTA) before reaching the filter. A drive switch changes the range from +6.8 dB to +48 dB in the down position to +16 dB to +57 dB in the up position, allowing for more versatility of input signals and character. The tone control, which sends the signal through a field-effect transistor (FET) amplifier to simulate different amp tones, is also largely responsible for the variety of color. Simply put, the sound goes from dark and full-bodied to bright and thin, with lots of places in between. Used in conjunction with the other parameters, there's lots of sound potential for any source. On the Drive pedal, the expression jack modulates the frequency cutoff position. For guitarists and bassists using an expression pedal, this makes an excellent wah.
Comparable to the MF Drive but without the low-pass filter is the MF Boost, a proper front end for any guitar signal chain. This unit is pretty simple, with controls for gain, tone and level, plus a switch that toggles between VCA and OTA amplifiers. Dialing in gain with the boost switch engaged allows for a great variety of distortion and crunchiness. The tone knob is a 6 dB-per-octave filter that allows the higher frequencies to shine. It definitely succeeds at making guitar and bass a lot louder without any noticeable noise, and it adds immediate thickness and presence. Using an expression pedal allows for volume sweeps, so it can act as a hands-free input level before a pedal board or amp.
When considering the sizable price difference of the larger MF-104M, the new MF Delay will certainly look like an attractive alternative. The bucket-brigade delay is fully analog, with a range of 35 to 700 ms. The longer the delay time, the darker its repeats become—a nice characteristic of an analog delay of this kind. When tweaked while something was feeding back heavily, I found the responsiveness of the time control produced wonderful new tones, some of them very usable basses. The expression input affects the time for some very interesting pitch-shifting or feedback swells, via an easily-accessible toggle switch underneath the unit. A mix control allows for a wet/dry balance, and it worked well when I turned it fully up as an effect that receives a mixing board's aux send signal. Before the delay is a drive circuit with its own control that adds over 22 dB of gain to both the dry and wet signal, increasing the value of the unit because of this greater tonal range. Even when set 100% dry, this drive is useable, possibly replacing the need for another drive on a pedalboard. The feedback ranges from a single tap to infinite. Experimenting with MF Delay, it becomes apparent that it is an instrument in its own right. Cranking the feedback and adjusting the time could provide noise and low-end mayhem for days.
Another true miniature—but with a not-so-substantial price difference from the bigger MF-102—is the MF Ring, a basic and tasteful analog ring modulator. Ring mod is an effect created by modulating two frequencies and outputting their sum and difference to produce metallic sounds. In an analog ring mod like the MF Ring, an internal oscillator is mixed with the input to create these harmonically rich new tones. The oscillator of this unit has a range of 90 Hz to 1.5 KHz but can go as high as 12 kHz using the expression input. This oscillator was designed musically, with the frequency thought of as the root note of a scale. The MF Ring sheds the LFO control of its predecessor and adds a guitar-friendly tone knob, a filter that only affects the wet signal. A mix control is available to blend wet and dry signals. The expression input modulates the frequency parameter, so connecting a synth with CV easily simulates the LFO of the MF-102. I found the pedal to sound clean and clear with no loss of level, and it's very easy to quickly dial in some sci-fi goodness.
The MF Trem is a tremolo pedal with a wide range of possibilities. Using phase cancellation and addition, and a balanced modulator design, you can achieve an effect similar to having an LFO on volume. When this pedal is used with extreme depth settings, it starts to become reminiscent of a phaser. The variable wave shape control blends between triangle in the center, with opposing sawtooth shapes at the sides, which can sound percussive when turned to the extreme. The LFO rate or speed control has a range of .6 Hz to 12 kHz—a pretty wide range—and this is the parameter affected by the expression input, similar to an organist changing speed on their rotary cabinet. Like some of the other MFs, a tone control is present to low-pass filter the wet signal, while depth serves as a wet/dry knob. This pedal did wonders to bring sustained synth and organ sounds to life.
Although designed primarily for guitars and basses, the Minifoogers have a ton of potential for any input signal. Their fully analog path, portability and lower prices make them very attractive. Plus, they're made by Moog, meaning they won’t be disposable like other pedals their size on the market.