November 1996

Vintage? You Don't Know Vintage!

by Paul D. Lehrman

Some "vintage gear" you may have missed:

Tortola Time AnTicipator (manufactured 1974-76). A pre-delay unit that produces single or multiple iterations of a sound a specified period of time before it actually occurs. The design is based on research done by the late, discredited, Dr. I. Asimov into the endochronic properties of resublimated thiotimoline (USP), a substance which dissolves 1.12 seconds prior to it being put into water. Thiotimoline has been used (mostly unsuccessfully) in military, space travel, and communications applications, but the AnTicipator is its only known application in the creative arts.

Using "bucket brigade" devices made from real buckets – i.e., a tiny series of 16 water pails inside the unit attached to a small motorized cam, which continuously dumps the contents of each one into the next – pre-delays of up to 18 seconds can be produced. This makes it possible, for example, to move a laggard snare beat forwards, to compensate for a late entrance in the horn section, or perhaps to insert a chorus in front of a verse, before the singer has gotten around to actually singing it. The unit must be used in a horizontal position, as attempting to use it vertically would cause quite a mess.

The rest of this column, along with 56 more, is now available in The Insider Audio Bathroom Reader, published by Thomson Course Technology PTR.

Copyright ©2006 by Paul D. Lehrman