Avenson Audio

MN-50 Smash Compressor Colour


  • Documentation
  • Advanced

Sometimes you need a compressor to smooth the dynamics of a track in the cleanest, most transparent way possible. The MN-50 is not for those times.

The MN-50 is an aggressive, grabby, dirty compressor that colors everything it touches. It excels at smashing drum room mics into oblivion and turning peaky bass tracks into a thick, flat lines of crunchiness.

To create this compressor Colour, Avenson Audio upgraded the built-in, FET compressor circuit of the Fostex MN-50 mixer. The MN-50 mixer has long been a "secret weapon" for colored compression but were marred by a lack of makeup gain and unbalanced I/O. Avenson's MN-50 corrects the makeup gain issue, adds "high" and "low" input gain options, and benefits from the Colour format's balanced I/O.

Note: As will all our PCB projects, it's a good idea to check the availability of parts in the Bill of Materials before ordering.


  • Adjustable release
  • "High" and "low" input gain selectable via solderless jumper
  • Compatible with the Colour format

The MN-50 is offered fully assembled and tested by Avenson Audio or as a PCB only with accompanying BOM and assembly instructions.

Real analog plugins.

Colour is a new format for analog audio gear designed for and by the DIY community. We took our favorite sounding analog circuits and put them on modules that are small, affordable, and swappable.

The Colour format consists of Colours and Palettes:

Colours are ultra-compact, pluggable analog circuit blocks that impart various types of analog color. Check out our ever-growing selection of Colours. Colours can be designed and released by anyone.

Palettes provide controls, power, and support circuitry for Colours. We currently offer the Colour 500 Palette and CP5 Mic Preamp with Colour.

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