1590s, "one who puts together," agent noun from compact (v.1). From 1947 as "device for compacting."
1650s, "one who regulates" in any sense, agent noun in Latin form from regulate. In English history from 1680s; in American history from 1767, applied to local posses that kept order (or disturbed it) in rural regions. From 1702 as "device for controlling machinery in motion;" the specific sense of "mechanical device or clock used to set the time of other pieces" is from 1758.
"device for connecting computers and electronic musical instruments," 1983, acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.