Echoes of  The Shadows with the Zoom 508


The Zoom 508 echo effects unit provides an excellent platform to digitally recreate convincingly, the guitar sounds of Hank Marvin of the 1960s–70s group The Shadows.  In particular, the unique sounds of the multi-head drum/tape echo used in that period come through extremely well on the 508.


What I have done (after consultation with him) is expand on the excellent groundwork done by Shadows enthusiast Geoff Strachan who programmed the Zoom 508 with patch settings to faithfully create the echo sounds of all their songs.  He then generously made his lists of patches and settings available to Shadows guitarists world-wide.


Having grown up listening to and playing The Shadows songs, I am very familiar with the specific echoes and nuances of all the popular numbers.  What I have done with the programming of the Zoom 508 is tweak the sounds a little more, as well as producing a table showing virtually everything a Shadows guitarist will ever need - at a glance.


Many patches have been altered, with modifications having been made mainly in the form of reduction to the Feedback and Mix settings.  Some echo/delay settings have been changed albeit slightly, e.g. Apache, and some songs have been relocated to a different patch.  For example, The Stranger and Kon-Tiki have been separated as they do not share the same echo settings, and Sleepwalk has been relocated to C2 simply because I believe it sounds much better than on the original patch!  Also playing Ghost Riders on the same patch as Apache sounds fantastic at a live gig, so for me - that’s where it stays!


For convenience and space, only the early popular songs are listed beside their allocated patch, with more sharing the same symbol at the foot of the page.  Other songs that are attributed to less common patches appear in smaller font.


One thing I have learned when working with these echoes is that some songs will remain elusive, and attempting to reach perfection simply results in going round in circles.  More importantly, the guitarist should aim for a pleasing sound that does justice to each song.


The Zoom 508 is a rare beast that has long been out of manufacture.  Owing one has become almost a privilege as they are keenly sought after by Shadows guitarists world wide, particularly in Europe .  Needless to say, as they become rarer, their value will increase.  However, as the world’s Shadows enthusiasts start to pass on, with most well now into their sixties, who knows what will become of the little Zoom 508!


For what it’s worth, I play a 1987 Japanese Strat that I will only part with when I die.  It has Kinman Hank Marvin vintage pickups and played through a 100w Peavey Valve King 212 Amp.  At gigs, rather than hook up my 508, I actually use a grunty Korg AX3000G which has a comprehensive multi-tap echo facility, pre-programmed of course with all the Shadows sounds as well as all the other numbers I play.    Brian Holden, December, 2008





    Zoom 508 Settings - Brian Holden
                                            Expanded from the original settings of Geoff Strachan *
Parameter > 1 2 3 4 5 6  
Bank/Patch Delay Type Dx100ms Dx1ms Feedback Tone Mix Shadows Song Title
A1 n6            4 50 30 30 25 Apache/Ghost Riders
A2 nE   3 50 40 10 30 Wonderful Land
A3 n4     3 60 35 41 23 Stranger/Geronimo
A4 nE 3 75 45 14 20 Many Slow Numbers #
C1 n4 4 60 25 10 35 Man Mystery/Frightened City
C2 n6 4 60 35 5 30 Most Slow Numbers %
C3 n4 3 75 40 10 40 Cavatina/Young Ones *
C4 n4 4 50 42 30 30  
E1 nE 3 35 40 10 30 Man's World/Shindig
E2 nE 3 10 30 10 10 Flingel Bunt
E3 nd  3 30 65 14 10 Kon-Tiki
E4 n4 4 60 30 10 25 Man of Mystery
B1 nd 3 0 60 10 10 FBI
B2 nE 1 60 25 40 30 Maroc 7
B3 n4 3 75 40 5 50 36-24-36/Heartbeat/Giant
B4 n4 4 30 40 10 40 Blue Star
D1 n4 4 50 14 10 40 Fandango/Move It
D2 n6 4 70 40 5 40 Sealed With a Kiss
D3 nd 3 60 45 5 10 The Savage
D4 nE 3 35 50 15 15 1861/Perfidia/Sth of The Boarder/Ft Tapper
F1 nd 1 26 25 50 22 SLAP ECHO
F2 nd 3 50 20 10 10 STANDARD (slight delay)/Nivram
* Modifications have been made, mainly to Feedback and Mix settings and the addition or relocation of several songs. 
Settings in some songs may not necessarily represent those of the original.  Suggestions welcome.
 The table will be updated as required and is available on my website:  BJH, 2008 
Approximate Echo/Delay Tempo         # Spring/Temptation/Breeze & I
                 Parisienne Walways
n4  Rhythmical delay       1& rest 3    4       % Young Lovers/Sleepwalk
nE  Normal echo              1   2& rest  4         Lonely Bull/Golden Street
n6  Multi tap delay            1   2  3&+  4          Midnight/Miracle
nd  Normal delay              1   2    3     4       * My Resistance is Low