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Plate Reverb DIY Saturation Plugins
Old 13th December 2010
Here for the gear


people worry about technicalities too much, these plates are easy to build and as long as you use some common sense they sound great. i used the Vidsonix Ghost, EMT pickups and sent the output of the pickups to some triad transformers and then into the console preamps to boost the plate output - drove the ghost with some cheap power amp and tensioned the unit to the wood beams in the A-Frame I was living in...which wasn't ideal but worked fine:

It took a day or so to complete.

Here's a sample track that used the reverb:
Climb to the Top | Ryland Bouchard

or "All I Need" a track from Lana Rebel, from a record we did out on the front porch when I lived at the A-Frame...the plate was the only reverb on the track, other than the trees:

Anything you do will sound better than if you do nothing at all...many studios back in the day couldn't afford EMT plates and did similar be creative and make some music.

Old 13th December 2010
Here for the gear

...and the huge piece of steel I used was found by a friend tossed on the side of the highway somewhere and given to me for this project - luckily it sounded surprisingly musical for a piece of highway metal.
Old 17th December 2010
Gear Maniac

I was given an NXT driver along with the frame for my plate reverb. There's not too much information on the web about these things; anyone have a recommendation as to how to attach this to the plate?

I'm guessing that the three legs are attached with some sort of adhesive (most of whatever was on mine stayed with the cardboard backing) and the driver ring itself just rests on the plate, but if anyone can confirm or deny this I'd be appreciative!

Many thanks,
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Plate Reverb DIY-thing.jpg  
Old 17th December 2010
Gear Addict
monomono's Avatar
Although I haven't actually built a plate myself, I wouldn't use a driver like that because it would add too much mass to the plate. The actual EMT driver is based on speaker parts and can be made yourself from any old speaker.

Just pry the magnet off a speaker (easier said than done). Cut away everything else except voice coil. Glue voice coil to plate. Mount magnet on frame.

The tricky part will be aligning the magnet so the coil is centered in the gap. Apparently, car speakers have bigger gaps.
Old 18th December 2010
Gear Addict
audioboffin's Avatar

A big part of the classic plate sound is definitely the tension of the plate, and the difference in sounds obtained by "tuning" the plate is enormous, so unless a way is found of tensioning a cymbal, it's always going to sound "gongey" with the close coupled pickup approach. Brass, copper, various iron and steel compunds, aluminium, stainless steel, gold (?!?!?!?!?!?!) all have been used at various times by different manufacturers. Could be that 2 thinner layers of dissimilar metals could provide a unique flavour (I read a while ago how AKG developed some dynamic mics for live use that had flatter response due to 2 layers of diaphragm material, perhaps this could apply to plates?).

Another thing to consider is the effect of the damping plate material..

One studio that I worked at had 2 x EMT plates, we used to "preshape" the send to the plates with a big "smiley" curve from a dual channel parametric EQ, and used some single ended EMT expander filters to somewhat tame the noise of the returns. These days a lot of after-market companies offer improved electronics for both driver and pickup sides, so the expansion filter becomes a lot less necessary with quieter drive and preamp circuits.

The combination of some careful tensioning and tweaking of the send EQs always got a nice shimmer that stood out from our other reverb options at the time.
Old 19th December 2010
Gear Maniac far as I can tell, the driver I have is actually lighter than the Vidsonix, by a few ounces at least. I'll try sticking it to the plate and see what I get. Thanks for the input for sure!
Old 27th May 2011
Lives for gear
recordinghopkins's Avatar
Originally Posted by monomono View Post
This talk of shimmer makes me wonder if a large cymbal be used (e.g. 20" ride)?
How about a nice, thin, large gong? Just put it behind the drummer and attach some contact pickups!
Old 30th May 2011
Gear Addict
monomono's Avatar
I have a quote for a coil of full hard cold rolled steel plate, 750usd FOB Tianjin China. Anyone want to split? lol heh
Old 3rd June 2011
Lives for gear
recordinghopkins's Avatar
As I update my 140 to solid state stereo from mono tube, the thought occurred to me that the old tube amp might make a good candidate for a homebrewed guitar amp...

What do you guys think?
Old 16th April 2012
Lives for gear
Jimbo's Avatar
Originally Posted by folie View Post
...and the huge piece of steel I used was found by a friend tossed on the side of the highway somewhere and given to me for this project - luckily it sounded surprisingly musical for a piece of highway metal.
Dude's got a "Road Kill" plate!

Old 4th June 2012
No apology needed bro. If I let all these "ah gee, I didn't consider that"'s, stop me, I'd oiling squeaking swing sets for a living, or something like that [\QUOTE]

Haha well played. Anybody make one of these? I loves me some plate verb, seems like a cool idea
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