Not every James has his Kirk, and not every Slash has his Izzy. Some of us are riffing away on our lonesome, and like it that way. But what if you want to get the benefits of a two guitar sound without having to find a new band member? Here’s where TC Electronic’s Mimiq Mini Doubler comes in. This nifty little pedal runs a series of algorithms designed to turn a single guitar track into a double track monster that puts the Black Album to shame. But does it work as advertised? We found it was definitely a useful pedal, although it does depend on what application you are looking for it to fill.
Mimiq Mini vs original Mimiq Doubler
The Mimiq Mini Doubler ($99) is a condensed version of the originalMimiq Doubler ($129). The Mini saves some pedalboard real estate and is cheaper, but the feature-set is also trimmed down compared to its bigger brother. If you spend the extra $30 to get the Mimiq Doubler, you get a stereo in/out and the choice of up to three additional guitar tracks (the Mini can only run one additional guitar layer.)
You can hear the pedal in action on various settings in our video above. It showcases a single rhythm guitar track. In the media player below, we try the pedal out on rhythm and lead guitar parts. Both the rhythm and lead were tracked individually with the pedal.
Broad range of sounds possible from Mimiq
The true bypass Mimiq Mini Doubler has three controls: dry, effect, and tightness. Dry controls the level of the original guitar signal, while effect controls how much of the doubled guitar effect is added to the output. Tightness is where the real magic happens. This parameter allows you to go from a super tight, locked in sound to a loose, Keef-style two guitar vibe. The former is a more traditional metal/hard rock guitar style, while the latter becomes more of an obvious effect.
My favourite application for the pedal is setting the pedal to a loose sound. The pedal sounds similar to a ‘big room’ reverb when used in this way, creating a broad, spacious sound. It becomes a pretty interesting effect that you can apply to different guitar parts to change the vibe. On rhythm it creates a loose, spacey feel, while on leads it can be used to remove harshness and add vibe in a similar way to reverb.
Even if you wanted to create a traditional metal double guitar sound, the pedal sounds better with the tightness at mid-way rather than all the way to the left. When set to ‘precision’ tightness, the two layers are too close to one another. The resulting phase issues alter the EQ of the tone and cut out some low end. Having the pedal set up this way makes things sound ‘broader’ but doesn’t create a big, chunky guitar sound the way two individual guitar tracks would. When the pedal is set to a looser setting, the two layers have less phase issues and the sounds really starts getting massive.
Will it put James Hetfield out of business?
So, does it sound like two guitarists? To my ears, it doesn’t truly replicate the sound of having two individual guitar layers. But the pedal nonetheless has a number of very useful applications. If you want to create a big, spacious sound, or create an unorthodox reverb effect, the pedal works quite well.
Tough build quality
TC Electronic know how to build a tough pedal, and the Mimiq Doubler is no exception. It has a metal chassis and would survive gigging without any troubles. The weakest point would be the hardened plastic knobs, which aren’t recessed. You’d have to give them a direct hit with a fairly heavy object to crack them though.
The Mimiq Mini Doubler is powered by a 9v power supply, which you have to buy separately. The original Mimiq Doubler could also be powered by batteries, although this feature has been cut from the Mini version.
The Mimiq Mini Doubler verdict
So is it worth buying? The pedal is tough, affordable and has a versatile set of sounds onboard, mostly enabled through the tightness control. To my ears it didn’t exactly sound like two guitar tracks. But it can be used to alter the guitar signal in a number of interesting ways. My favourite uses were using it to create greater depth in a guitar part, and as an alternative to traditional reverb or even chorus. If you want a pedal that can create some unconventional guitar sounds, this could be a keeper.