In the Studio with Jamie Lidell: The Marshall Time Modulator

In the final installment of our In the Studio with Jamie Lidell mini-series, we're looking at one of his most beloved pieces of gear: the Marshall Time Modulator.

The Marshall Time Modulator is an entirely analog delay from the late 1970s. Due to the young technology, it's relegated to short delays, which results in colorful flanges, weird time-doubles, and characterful phases. "It's very extreme, and I just like that, you know?"

Marshall Electronics Time Modulator 5402

Lidell also notes some of the Marshall Time Modulator's most famous applications, including its various uses by a strange triad of stars. David Bowie used it on his song "Ashes To Ashes" from 1980's Scary Monsters. Stevie Wonder was also a fan, and you can hear the Time Modulator on both '76's Songs in the Key of Life and '79's Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants. Outside of music, the Time Modulator also helped define Darth Vader's signature distorted vocal early in the Star Wars franchise.

Be sure to check out the full video above to see Lidell give a short demo of the Time Modulator, and let us know what you think of the vintage delay in the comments below. And if you've missed any episodes, catch up on the series with the first installment on the Needle Drop and the second on turning multiple monosynths into a big polysynth.


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