Electronic Music Innovations – Mike Matthews (Electro-Harmonix)

Mike Matthews founded the company Electro-Harmonix which is very popular for its guitar pedals and effects. Mike started making pedals by request from someone to make a fuzz pedal for him due to the popularity of fuzz guitar sounds from popular songs of the time. After this they began making a variety of pedals such as Treble Booster, Bass Booster and creating distortion through clipping and even made a portable guitar amp. Later they changed directions from making pedals to making vacuum tubes for guitar amps. Eventually due to the popularity of their vintage pedals Electro-Harmonix began remaking their old pedals but had difficulty since the old wiring wasn’t up to the standard that had changed over time. Since then they have made a wide variety of pedals covering a wide variety of effects such as Phasers, Chorus, Flangers, Delays, Loopers, Reverbs, Tremelo and Vibrato, Octave Pitch and Synthesizer, Envelope, EQ and compression, and more.

I can’t even imagine how many songs, artists or even listeners that Electro-Harmonix pedals have influenced in some way. Although the very first pedal made was influenced by songs like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones and other artists of the time like Jimi Hendrix. These pedals have found their way into more homes and studios than i could even imagine. But if i were to guess, you could pick any major guitarist from the 1970s onwards you could say Electro-Harmonix had something to do with their influences.

Just considering that Electro-Harmonix Pedals are essentially the standard of today you could say that Mike Mathews leaves a very strong impression on me as an industry proffesional, although not knowing enough about the pedals themselves I can’t make any strong opinions about him, his company or his pedals. I can only appreciate how far he has come.


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