Video: Mu-Tron—The Sound of the '70s | A Conversation With Pedal Pioneer Mike Beigel

The Mu-Tron story starts with a synthesizer and includes a plane crash, a chicken-coop visitation from Stevie Wonder, and a downfall beset by a faulty gizmo called, appropriately enough, the Gizmotron.

However, in the few short years of its original existence, Mu-Tron became the sound of the '70s. The Mu-Tron III envelope filter—derived from the circuity of co-founder and inventor Mike Beigel's ill-fated Beigel-Straus Synthesizer—became a fixture of funk and rock.

Parliament-Funkadelic's Bootsy Collins ran his bass through one, Stevie Wonder slapped it on his Clavinet for "Higher Ground," and Jerry Garcia made it a focal-point of his guitar sound.

In our video above, Beigel gives us his own take on the history of his famous circuitry.

Want to learn more about the history of pedals? You're in luck. The Pedal Movie—Reverb's first feature-length documentary—will soon be released. Click here to see the trailer.

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