I am already quite the fan of Mu-Tron and in fact acquired both their original compact revivals - the Micro-Tron III Envelope Filter, and Octavider Dual Analog Up/Down Octaver (as pictured immediately below) - back when they were first released around 2018/19. So I’m delighted to see that my good friend Joe Light of Joe’s Pedals fame now stocks this brand.
Since that original pair, Mu-Tron have been busy putting out further great compact editions - which now number 7 in total - the Boostron II Boost + Compressor, Micro-Tron IV Envelope Filter, Octavider Up/Down Octaver, Octavider+ Octave Fuzz, Phasor III Phaser, Ripper Envelope Filter (Micro-Tron Jr) and TubeTron OpAmp Overdrive.
Mu-Tron is particularly well known for its all-analog circuits - particularly those 70's Peak Time / Heyday Micro-Tron Filter and Bi-Phase Phaser pedals. Since the compact revivals first hit in 2018 (announced in 2017), there have been a number of different styles of graphics and colourways employed - before settling down on the current peak-time homage - Vintage Silver Editions - as seen at Joe'S Pedals and obviously per the above top visual.
Joe stocks all the compact editions bar the straight-up Octavider - which I though still believe is a compelling Octaver option, while the Octavider+ is certainly even more compelling!
I'm definitely looking to add a Phasor III and Octavider+ to my collection at some stage - and possibly the Boostron II too!
Here below follow the individual details in alphabetical order by pedal name :
Controls - Ranger : H (Treble Boost) / M (Mid Range Boost) / L (Low End Boost) / Preamp : MU (High-Voltage OpAmp) / SB (JFET Stratoblaster) / RR (Red Ranger Transistor), Level, Squeeze (Compression), Boost.
A handy 3-Mode Boost with Compression, albeit its Ranger EQ Settings H-M-L only apply to the Red Ranger Transistor Mode, the other operational modes are MU High-Voltage OpAmp, and SB JFET Stratoblaster. You can also dial in a degree of Compression - via Level and Squeeze knobs. The Boost and Compressor are independently activated via the two footswitches. So a really cool Utility pedal really, albeit something of a mystery why EQ would only be applied to 1 of the 3 playback Modes. Still up for consideration though!
Controls - Mode : LP (Low Pass) / HP (High Pass) / BP (Band Pass), Range : Lo / Hi, Level, Peak, Gain.
The earlier Micto-Tron III version of this was for a long time my principal Envelope Filter Pedal / Auto-Wah - more recently displaced on the rotation most typically by the Flower Pedals Hosta Wah-Filter and Dr Scientist Dusk - although the Mictro-Tron does still put in regular appearances on the rotation. Still one of the very best out there - and sounds fantastic.
Controls - Stablize (Pitch-Stabilization), Ringer (Upper Octave), Fuzz, Mix (Sub-Octave Degree), Tone.
This essentially takes the Octavider and adds a single knob Fuzz and Tone Control. Stabilize is essentially a pitch-correction function to smoothe out the tracking. While degree of Upper Octave is controlled by the Ringer Control, and the degree of Sub-Octave is controlled by the Mix control! I would really like to add one of these at some stage - as this is a really cool both-directions Octave Fuzz - which is a rather rare category!
Controls - CV : Depth / Rate, Shape : Square / Sine, Depth, Rate, Feedback, Stage 4 / 6 on high hand footswitch.
In the Year of the Phaser - the Phasor III is another compelling proposition and one of the effects types that Mu-Tron is particularly well known for. You can select the CV / Expression function, Square or Sine Waveform, Depth only for 4-Stages, Depth and Rate for 6-Stages, and a separate Feedback Control. The number of Stages 4 / 6 is selected by the right-hand footswitch. I definitely need one of these - particularly as this is the Year of the Phaser - these sold out very quickly at Joe's - so I will need to wait for the re-stock!
Controls - Mode : LP (Low Pass) / BP (Band Pass), Range : Hi / Lo, Peak, Gain.
Alas no demo for this pedal yet - which is a pared down version of the Micro-Tron essentially - with just single footswitch, slightly fewer controls and fewer options. So Low Pass and Band Pass only and missing the Up/Down footswitch of the Micro-Tron - will make sense for many players who just need / want a stripped down version of the classic - obviously somewhat more keenly priced too!
Controls - Treble, Middle, Level, Drive.
An elegantly textured 2-Band EQ'd OpAmp Overdrive with mid range hump accent - so somewhat adjacent to a Tube Screamer or a Klon - while somewhat distinct too. Different from most 2-Band EQ overdrives - this one targets Treble and Mids vs Highs and Lows. I feel this is a pretty compelling offering - while it's not like I really need yet another mid-humped overdrive - I'm still deciding on what priority to assign to this!
Very cool and distinctive pedals for sure - and some really impressive category leading types here. As mentioned - I have the very original versions of Micto-Tron III and Octavider, as pictured above, and would look to add a few more of these to my collection - with the Octavider+ and Phasor III likely at the top of that list.
It's handy to have Joe Light as your middle-man here - as he checks each of these pedals before they're sent out. Ensuring that you get a pedal in full and perfect working condition. At the time of writing, only the Phasor III has currently sold out, while the Octavider+ is likely to sell out very soon too - still plenty of options remaining, and no doubt Joe will be ordering another batch as soon as this one is mostly gone.
Apparently there is a Flanger variety forthcoming very soon and no doubt a couple more editions in development. As noted - these come in a variety of graphic and colourway styles - with the Vintage Silver Editions pictured the current mainstays. Some of these are also available in all-black limited editions, while the earliest editions were bright single colour types - like my original two pictured above.
These all-analog circuits are really clean and elegant - with relatively few but impactful controls. Very easy to dial in and deploy for sure - and have that lovely analog warmth and texture that so many love.
I would assume that the Micro-Tron IV, Octavider+ and the Phasor III are the standout varieties here! And all are worthy of acquisition - while if you have the Micro-Tron, you don't really need the Ripper!
Are you a fan of Mu-Tron - and do you employ any of these on your pedalboard?