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old plate reverbs Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 2nd February 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 

old plate reverbs

Which plate reverb brands and models did the old 50's and 60's records use?

Why did the old plate reverbs sound different? what is the size of these? what was the size mostly used for records in the 60's?

The plate metal or pickup head have anything to do with the sound?

What type of plate reverb did oceanway use?

How do i change the plate reverbs resonance?
Old 2nd February 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

don't know the rest but the one I saw at Sound Stage in Nashville was about 2'x1'X2' and heayy as hell.
Old 2nd February 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
aevan's Avatar
 

They were most likely EMT plates although some people made their own.
There were 2 of the bigger ones at the studio I started at. They were basically big wooden boxes about 4 feet high by 8 long with the frame and plate inside.
They had motorised arms with felt pads that damped the plate the more you put them on. This went back to a panel in the control room that had 2 buttons - longer or shorter and you just held the button in till you got the length where you wanted.
I think Ocean way had the EMT 140's but I'm in Australia so I don't know for sure.
The early ones were valve but they went solid state around the start of the 70's so maybe Ocean way have some of the older ones.
The reason they all sounded different was because the purity/quality of the metal affects the sound. On top of that they were all kept in different environments and things like temperature could affect the tension/tuning of the metal. The plate is suspended inside a metal frame by spars that you turn to tighten/tune the plate just like you would a drum.
They have to be kept somewhere quiet because they can pick up outside sounds. Sometimes late at night we'd go out into the plate room and yell ghost noises into the plate if one of our friends was using one in a studio.
Pick up a few different sheets of metal if you can and ping em with you finger. Out of a bunch of identical ones maybe 1 in 10 will sound better than the rest.
I dream about building one about 16 feet long with a driver in the middle and a pickup each end for stereo.
There are plans on the net to build your own. Google it if you're not in China.
Cheers.
Old 2nd February 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
aevan's Avatar
 

I can see it now - "Honey, can you just hold this blowtorch for me?"

BUILD YOUR OWN
http://www.prosoundweb.com/recording...late/plate.php
Old 2nd February 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 

Plates are wonderful things. Mostly, I imagine you are hearing EMTs. I have Echoplates. You are also hearing chambers. Yes, there were different metals and different sizes. Also there were tube based plates and transitor. Gold Foils had a glossy sound . . others were dense sounding. To my ears, they are all great. The thing I like about them is they fall down inside the track (organically) as opposed to digital which to my ears seems to be a 'wash' on top of the track, as if a paint on top . . not as deep front to back or as wide a a plate / chambers. You can pick them up today, though they are probably keeping their value. Or leveling out in price. A tube EMT is a nice piece, though people have different preferences.

Oceanway (I don't know for sure) but I would imagine they had EMTs and chambers. Capital studios in LA had the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfman
Which plate reverb brands and models did the old 50's and 60's records use?

Why did the old plate reverbs sound different? what is the size of these? what was the size mostly used for records in the 60's?

The plate metal or pickup head have anything to do with the sound?

What type of plate reverb did oceanway use?

How do i change the plate reverbs resonance?
Old 2nd February 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I'm glad to see this brought up as I've really been enjoying the old Chess records sound lately, especially on Bo Diddley's "Mona." I had assumed the reverb/echo-y sound on Bo Diddley's voice in that song was an echo-chamber, but given how much it costs to dig one out, it seems way more likely that what I'm hearing is a plate verb. Can anyone confirm this? If so, hopefully he/she can further comment as to the plate's make/model and what sort of metal was used for the plate itself?
Old 2nd February 2006
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Thanks guys for the help and information


Whats a Echoplate? whats the difference? who made them?

What kind of chambers? who made these chambers back then?




How did the Damper system work to decay the reverb?
Old 3rd February 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
beechstudio's Avatar
 

Is there any companys that still build the old style plate units?

I've seen where the popularity of tape echoes has resurged with a few manufacturers making some tube ones. It would be nice to see some new plate guys out there as well.


Well I can dream can't I ?
Old 3rd February 2006
  #9
mml
Gear Addict
 
mml's Avatar
 

If you want to know how one works, just read the plans posted at the previous link. It's not that hard to make one, but of course requires dedication. The concept's not rocket science. You just vibrate the plate with a speaker that's pumping what you feed it, then use a pickup to mic the plate on the opposite side. The damper just makes the verb shorter by deadening the resonance. They're great sounding things. Big and heavy though. We've got one (and EMT 140) and it's the s h i t.
Old 3rd February 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
picksail's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfman
Whats a Echoplate? Whats the difference? Who made them?
The Echoplate is an EMT 140 knock-off. We used to have one at my former New Orleans studio. It was OK. Not my thing though.

I forgot who made them. ..Studiotech, Studiotronic?
Old 3rd February 2006
  #11
Gear Guru
The amazing thing about a good 140 is that you can use a decay that is waaaaaaaay longer than you could with a digital emulation. Although tuning the beasts is a voodoo art.

I might get flamed for this, but the 140 in the UAD-1 pack is pretty damn good. Not the real thing, but you can do that long tail thing.
Old 3rd February 2006
  #12
mml
Gear Addict
 
mml's Avatar
 

Yeah, the 140 is so ridiculously smooth that you can add a TON of it and it doesn't make the vox sound far away. Just cooler!
Old 3rd February 2006
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Reggie Love's Avatar
 

Yup EMT or homebuilds, I think even back then people had gotten away from techniques like replaying and rerecording sounds in ambient chambers. A plate is you have the proper isolation space for one is the way to go for both a cool sound and long tails.
Old 3rd February 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
beechstudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aevan
I can see it now - "Honey, can you just hold this blowtorch for me?"

BUILD YOUR OWN
http://www.prosoundweb.com/recording...late/plate.php

Thanks for that article aevan!
Old 3rd February 2006
  #15
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

i have seen that article in the past, very cool.
one thing that i was curious about, were dose the the driver and pick belonging?
you can see in the photo's a general location but were are the measurements or is it just a pot shoot and just put them about oh say there.
it dose not seem that it would be that hard to make but i think their needs to be a bit more info.
what about the originals, did the amps have any kind of eq, what was it, how deep did it cut or boost?
Old 3rd February 2006
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

You can apparently request original schematics from :

[email protected]

Beware the website, though ( http://www.audioschematics.com/complete.html ) . It's rubbish.
Old 3rd February 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 
axisdreamer's Avatar
plate

I bought an EMT 140 mono tube plate some years ago and never got to hear it yet.The tube amp is missing a part and I also wanted to make it stereo so I need another amp for it. I bought new stereo pickups and put them on.Does anyone know a good tube amp tech that could help me get this thing going and build me another amp for stereo?


Stace
Old 4th February 2006
  #18
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
What's everyone using for predelay?

I usually reach for some kinda digital delay like a PCM 41 or ADA thing, put that in front of the 'verb and use a mono send w/ a stereo return. It just washes & glues everything together so well...having a dedicated delay on the front is nice too.
Old 4th February 2006
  #19
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer
I bought an EMT 140 mono tube plate some years ago and never got to hear it yet.The tube amp is missing a part and I also wanted to make it stereo so I need another amp for it. I bought new stereo pickups and put them on.Does anyone know a good tube amp tech that could help me get this thing going and build me another amp for stereo?


Stace
Yep - Charlie Brewer in Nashville is taking care of the electronics in my 140; he'll fix you up. PM me for a phone number.

But, let me point out that the output stage of the plate can be replaced by any halfway decent preamp that will add in the neighborhood of 40 dB of gain. If your input amp is working, then creating a stereo return using your new pickups won't be that hard.
Old 4th February 2006
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
What's everyone using for predelay?
Lexicon 1300S,Sony D7,Roland SDE3000,AMS 1580 or UREI 927.

It really depends on the source, if you want to hear the pre delay clearly or if you want something that blends.
Old 4th February 2006
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beechstudio
Is there any companys that still build the old style plate units?

I've seen where the popularity of tape echoes has resurged with a few manufacturers making some tube ones. It would be nice to see some new plate guys out there as well.


Well I can dream can't I ?

There's acompany in Peoria IL (not far from me) called Plate-sonics that is making them.

I'm trying to get over there and hear one in person.
Old 4th February 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
beechstudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
There's acompany in Peoria IL (not far from me) called Plate-sonics that is making them.

I'm trying to get over there and hear one in person.

Thanks Drumsound!
Old 4th February 2006
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Levi's Avatar
 

Jim Cunningham up in Chicago is a plate guru and if I'm not mistaken, he was the guy who made the Echoplate. He sells new, reinforced clips for the EMT 140's that make the plate tighter, thus it has a longer, brighter decay. However, you have to be very careful, as you can "over-stretch" the plate and then it will never ring true, so to speak. He has also torque wrenches for sale for proper tensioning. He's a really nice guy, has a lot of great info and can get those plates really up to snuff. Also, another gentleman in Chicago told me of several folks who have converted their plates to 5.1 with fabulous results.

BTW, to add insult to injury, I had two 140's given to me last summer... just had to make the trip and pick them up. They are models straight from the factory, directly flown in, without any of the "Americanization" done to them. Motors are on the inside... very rare. I know... what a jerk! (sorry...couldn't resist!) heh Also, I have recently purchased the Neve plate remotes that controls 2 plates with 1 remote. Trouble is, I don't know the pin-out configuration... anybody know how it should be wired?
Old 4th February 2006
  #24
Plate driver?

Seems like a cool project, if i could find the time and space.. and that plate Driver..

Anyone knows where to find?

To find killer contact mics is not hard these days and the metalwork is not rocket science. Using a normal speaker seems tricky..

I can just picture myself warming that plate room and tention that plate really tight and then cooling the room again, nice!


Toby
Old 5th February 2006
  #25
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The metalwork is the biggest challenge.

My understanding is that all EMT-140s were made from the same batch and that the 140 had to be discontinued when it ran out despite a great deal of demand for them.
Old 7th June 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail View Post
The Echoplate is an EMT 140 knock-off. We used to have one at my former New Orleans studio. It was OK. Not my thing though.

I forgot who made them. ..Studiotech, Studiotronic?
Old 8th June 2010
  #27
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfman View Post

What kind of chambers? who made these chambers back then?
Nobody made them. An echo chamber is a room (or a bathroom, or a stairwell, or a whatever) with a speaker and mics in it. Each one is unique.
Old 8th June 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Eganmedia's Avatar
I've got a stereo Audicon "The Plate", apparently made by Gene Lawson in the 70's. Not much info on them. Anyone know any history about that beast?
Old 7th September 2015
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eganmedia View Post
I've got a stereo Audicon "The Plate", apparently made by Gene Lawson in the 70's. Not much info on them. Anyone know any history about that beast?
Check out Lawson Microphones by search: "The Plate" was marketed by Audicon based in Nashville. I have one and wouldn't part w/it.
Old 7th September 2015
  #30
Lives for gear
 
dabigfrog's Avatar
 

EMT in Germany was the first manufacturer of plate reverbs in 1957. They had a special batch of steel made for the plates in the 50's, when they ran out of steel from THAT batch… they stopped making the 140 and moved on to smaller stereo plates made of gold foil…

THAT special batch of steel is why EMT 140's are so luscious and desired.

wiki: Plate reverberators[edit]
A plate reverb system uses an electromechanical transducer, similar to the driver in a loudspeaker, to create vibration in a large plate of sheet metal. A pickup captures the vibrations as they bounce across the plate, and the result is output as an audio signal. In the late 1950s, Elektro-Mess-Technik (EMT) introduced the EMT 140;[5] a 600-pound (270 kg) model popular in recording studios, contributing to many hit records such as Beatles and Pink Floyd albums recorded at Abbey Road Studios in the 1960s, and others recorded by Bill Porter in Nashville's RCA Studio B.[citation needed] Early units had one pickup for mono output, later models featured two pickups for stereo use. The reverb time can be adjusted by a damping pad, made from framed acoustic tiles. The closer the damping pad, the shorter the reverb time. However, the pad never touches the plate. Some units also featured a remote control.
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