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Steven C. Marshall, 58; Restored Soundtracks of Major Classic Movies

May 21, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Steven C. Marshall, 58, a sound engineer and inventor who restored the soundtracks of classic films including "Gone With the Wind," died May 6 of melanoma at his home in Woodbine, Md.

Marshall, also known as Stephen St. Croix, invented the Marshall Time Modulator, a processor that allowed musicians and other users to modify or multiply their voices. The device was used to help create Darth Vader's voice in the "Star Wars" movies.

He also worked as a rock guitarist and recorded with Stevie Wonder in the mid-1970s for the album "Songs in the Key of Life."

Marshall's break in Hollywood came when a friend told him that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer needed someone to restore and enhance the audio for the rerelease of 1939's "Gone With the Wind."

He went on to restore a number of classic movies, including "The Wizard of Oz" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy."

In 1995, he co-founded Intelligent Devices Inc., a Baltimore-based firm that designs and develops audio software, as well as a number of speech recovery and processing systems for use by law enforcement. The best-known is SES, or Sound Extraction System, used to extract human speech from noisy backgrounds.

A native of Baltimore, Marshall grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz.

He taught himself keyboard and guitar and toured Europe with rock bands in the 1960s.

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