Antarctic Origins: Riddle & Enigma
Posted 6/18/2009
Can you crack the code of Riddle & Enigma?

First clue: Mike Beigel landing EHX color in the remote ice fields of Cape Crozier, Antarctica.

Years earlier, back in 1972, Mike also explored new sonic landscapes as inventor/engineer of the world's first stand-alone envelope filter, the Mu-Tron III. The sound was quickly captured by Stevie Wonder, and made famous by his 1973 funk classic, "Higher Ground."

Here's a vintage 1973 performance:

Despite Stevie's personal endorsement (see right) and other noteworthy users like Bootsy Collins and Jerry Garcia, the maker of the Mu-Tron III (Musitronics) closed shop in 1978. Years later, Mike Beigel decided to bring the original Mu-Tron III mojo over to EHX. Mike picks up the story:

"In '94 I met [EHX founder] Mike Matthews at a NAMM show. We talked about effects pedals, and later he asked me if I'd be interested in re-creating the Mu-Tron III for Electro-Harmonix. The new box which is called the Q-Tron, uses the same opto-electronic design of the Mu-Tron III, with new features and improved specs."

Mike and Mike went on to design the EHX Q-Tron, Q-Tron Plus, Micro Q-Tron, Stereo Polyphase, Bi-Filter -- and now, Riddle & Enigma: mysteriously musical envelope filters for guitar and bass.

What about Antarctica? In that same year (1994) Mike Beigel was also hired to design and build a system to track penguins between their nests on the beaches of Antarctica and their aquatic feeding territories. Mike later traveled to Antarctica to install and troubleshoot his system, and remembered to pack his EHX t-shirt. Mike adds: "And yes, I did work on some EHX designs during my spare time in Antarctica!"

While there, Mike also managed to capture amazing photos of the locals:

Riddle & Enigma: welcome to the family.

EHX Products Mentioned Above
Riddle - Envelope Filter for Guitar
Riddle
Envelope Filter for Guitar
Enigma - Envelope Filter for Bass
Enigma
Envelope Filter for Bass
Q-Tron - Envelope Filter
Q-Tron
Envelope Filter
Q-Tron Plus - Envelope Filter with Effects Loop
Q-Tron Plus
Envelope Filter with Effects Loop
Micro Q-Tron - Envelope Filter
Micro Q-Tron
Envelope Filter
Bi-Filter - Rackmount Dual Analog Filter Processor
Bi-Filter
Rackmount Dual Analog Filter Processor
The EHX Community
Here are a few easy ways to stay informed on the latest news from Electro-Harmonix...
Forums (Discussion & Support)
Have a question, comment, suggestion? Come join the EHX Forums! You'll meet EHX staff and knowledgable users from around the world.

EHX Merch Shop
Show your colors with an EHX t-shirt -- you can even custom design your own shirt from scratch!
EHX Products
Tubes/Pro Audio
Our new EH Strings allow you to capture every nuance of your playing style with lightning fast playability. Made of a pure nickel wrap with a specially-selected stainless steel, these sweet-sounding round wounds are truly like no other strings you've played. Not only do they last longer and stay in tune longer, but we think they're the best sounding strings ever made. Available in 9s, 10s and 11s.
EHX Tubes/Valves
Did you know that Electro-Harmonix makes many of the world's greatest vacuum tubes? The next time you need to re-tube your guitar, bass, or hi-fi amp, be sure to insist on getting authentic Electro-Harmonix tubes.
Gold Pin Preamp Tube
Electro-Harmonix | www.ehx.com | Blog | Forums | Merch
YouTube.com/ehx | MySpace.com/ehx | Facebook.com/ehx | Twitter.com/ehx