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The Mutron II is a pedal that generates synthesizer-like sounds without actually using a synthesizer. Extracting elements from a Guild prototype called the Timbre Generator, the creator of the Mutron III, Mike Beigel came up with the Mu-tron III, the first stand-alone envelope-controlled filter that could be used for any number of electric instruments. Beigel said he chose the envelope-controlled filter over other synthesizer elements, such as ring modulation, because it sounded more musical; it was a more general effect that would lend itself to a variety of applications, and it was easy to use.