Video: Funky Vintage - Mu-Tron Bi-Phase

On this episode of Funky Vintage, we’re getting groovy with the Mu-Tron Bi-Phase. If you’re huge Smashing Pumpkins fans (like we are), you might already know about this hefty dual-circuit phaser, but if you don’t, read on for short a Funky Vintage history lesson.

Although phasers were becoming relatively common in the ‘70s, the Mu-Tron Bi-Phase was marketed as the world’s first dual phaser, appearing on the market in the early ‘70s, just after Musitronics as a corporation was founded. In fact, it was known as “the phaser-lover’s phaser,” due to its immense range of sonic capabilities, sweeping from subtle shifts to wild three-dimensional phasing.

This is one of the secrets to our secret sound. This is the Mu-Tron Bi-Phase. We run everything through it — everything. It’s fabulous.”

The Bi-Phase had a resurgence in the ‘90s, owing particular thanks to the Smashing Pumpkins and their heavy use of the effect on 1993’s Siamese Dream. Said producer Butch Vig of the Bi-Phase, “This is one of the secrets to our secret sound. This is the Mu-Tron Bi-Phase. We run everything through it — everything. It’s fabulous.”

Using two separate phasers, the Bi-Phase can provide phasing with just one circuit, run both circuits together or run them in series. The first phaser, or Phaser A, has both depth and feedback controls, as well as a sweep generator to manage rate. A wave-selection switch allows you to choose between sine and square waves as well.

Then, Phaser B comes into play. Kick it on and you’ve got a sweep control, which allows you to choose between generator 1, giving Phaser A’s sweep generator power over the Phase B generator, or generator 2, which is entirely separate. Top it all off with stereo ins and outs, and you’ve got yourself one killer phaser.

All of these options give you a ton of sonic permutations to choose from, but if you’re having trouble finding your sound, the Bi-Phase actually came stock with some basic parameter settings for different tones, like “Super Phasing,” “Double Depth Phasing” and “Stereo Phasing.”

Hear some stock settings and some of the sounds we dialed into this rarity by watching the video above, and then click the banner below to shop the vintage Mu-Tron Bi-Phase.

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