You know how sometimes you see a cheap pedal and you get the feeling that you have seen it before. You cannot name the exact feature but you know something is familiar. Well, that is the experience we cannot avoid with affordable price range. There are many authentic brands among those manufacturers, but more often than not some brands tend to copy either the appearance or the whole characteristics of more expensive stompboxes. This has happened to almost every company out there and I think everyone is now okay with that. When we talk about Behringer, there is no chance we can ignore the fact that they look extremely similar to Boss pedals. They share the same control layout, body size, overall design and even the bulky footswitch. Since this Chinese brand has chosen to look up to quite a decent manufacturer, there is nothing to complain about, really. The main thing is that the products from Behringer are extremely cheap and do the job they are supposed to well enough. Today we are going to talk about their NR300 Noise Reducer and discuss its features, controls and sounds. If you are interested in purchasing the pedal that is as easy as falling off a log, then keep on reading and find out if it actually works or not. Without further ado, let’s get started!
As I have underlined in the beginning of this article, Behringer Noise Reducer looks extremely similar to the Noise Suppressor from Boss. You do not even have to scrutinize the features to see how much alike they are, but either way, that is not important. It is way more significant to see what features Noise Reducer offers and how it incorporates them into the actual performance. This bad boy has a white body with black control section and the knobs of the same color. Its enclosure is not the most durable thing in the world, but it will still last you a while if you take care of it. Behringer pedals should generally be looked after the same way you would treat babies. What is more, Noise Reducer operates in two modes: Reduction works the usual way and enables you to eliminate noise, while Mute silences the output just in case you want to tune your pedal or switch between guitars without any audible sound. It does also have Send and Return jacks for utilizing this one in an effects loop. This enhances the flexibility of this fella and increases your possibilities as well. It runs on a single 9V battery or an adapter. Noise Reducer has LEDs that will indicate on the operation mode. Mute/Batt will show you when the effect is activated and also act as a check indicator. When your battery starts draining, the lights will dim so that you can search for your batteries that are always nowhere to be found. Reduction LED will light up when the noise gate will come into play. Even though these features are reminiscent of that from Boss Noise Suppressor (these two are as alike as two peas in a pod), Noise Reducer is still a peal on its own and its performance proves to be authentic.
Surprisingly, Behringer Noise Reducer offers a bunch of controls. It has way more than its cheaper or more expensive siblings and enables you to modify various properties with ease. If we had some complaints about build quality, control section is the part that is really hard to find faults with. After all, everything follows their functionalities and that is basically the only job they have.
The panel starts with a simple switch that lets you choose between two modes. As mentioned above, Mute will silence the output, while Reduction will trigger the typical noise gate mode in which you can take care of your noise. Then we have Threshold, which sets a certain level: when your signal falls below that, the effect will start operating and eliminating those noisy frequencies. Next to it, you will see Decay that determines the length of the time it takes to remove those noises completely. Finally, the bottom part of the pedal acts as a footswitch that either activates the noise gate or mutes the pedal. As you can see, you have the ability to take over your sound and treat it the way your heart desires. Such extent of control options is surprising at such a low price point and we definitely have to thank Behringer for this opportunity.
Sonic capabilities of Behringer Noise Reducer should be taken with a grain of salt. It does a pretty decent job at suppressing the noise in your signal and it does so without changing any of its qualities. However, it is not the most powerful noise gate pedal out there. Though you will be quite content with its capabilities when you use it with moderate noise, it might not be capable of taking care of extreme buzzes or hisses. But it is still precise enough to get the value for your money. Two modes of operation can be really convenient in daily practices and the additional Send and Return jacks enhance its versatility quite a bit. The knobs are sensitive, so once you find your perfect settings, try to not mess around with them a lot. Noise Reducer is a cheap solution to your noisy problems and it will solve them (maybe not completely).
All in all, Behringer Noise Reducer is probably the cheapest (in price) noise gate pedal you can get on the market. Yet it still offers decent performances that will be a good pay off for the money you pay. This baby is for those who are not willing to spend their savings on such a simple effect or maybe for those who are taking beginner steps into world of sound shaping. You might have various aims but you will still get great results from this one. Give it a shot and who knows, maybe you will stop your search and settle with this one. Good luck!
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