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Reverb chambers back in the day Condenser Microphones
Old 18th February 2003
  #1
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Reverb chambers back in the day

What were some of the common setups for reverb chambers in the '60's and '70's? Were most people running them stereo or mono? What about mic choice, placement and other equipment?
Old 18th February 2003
  #2
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sonic dogg's Avatar
I worked some shows many years back, at the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa....they had a beautiful set-up there and one of the most impressive parts was the reverb chamber under the place...it was an odd-shaped anechoic room with a huge monster Gotham plate set in it...the wheel to adjust the plates was the size of a steering wheel on a tractor...in fact it coulda been a steering wheel off a tractor!...fed into the next room which was FULL of cbs labratory digital delays for the speaker array around the main floor...there was no echo in this big huge round arena...due to placements of the speaks and the timing of the delays....at the time it was new and revolutionary in its engineering concepts...now its probably passe.........
Old 19th February 2003
  #3
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rubykitty2000's Avatar
 

Mr/Mrs Dogg,

That sounds really interesting but I'm not sure I know what you're talking about. Was the chamber a live reverb room or just a room with a plate in it? Were the digital delays timed and phase inverted to cancel out the delays in the auditorium? Wouldn't the delay times depend on where you were sitting in the auditorium? Were the speaker arrays placed in a surround-type configuration? Please elabortate.

You know, I was going to post a question about reverb chambers since I plan on building one one of these days (when I have space). Does anybody know what the most common materials were? Linoleum? Brick? Marble? Some combination? What about dimensions? Is there a resource online for this stuff?

Could this post have any more question marks in it?

Charles
Old 19th February 2003
  #4
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sonic dogg's Avatar
the kitty,
let me try to get all these punctuation marks covered......the plate 'chamber' was just that...yes there was a plate installed in it..the chamber was built to cause reflections inside the chamber and would affect the reverbration of the plate...dont ask me how ...i'm not a scientist though i play one on tv.....the arena is round and yes the speakers were all over the place in the round...the delays were timed and phased to allow no delay in the room...the ONLY reverb and or effects that were heard were those artificially produced at the console.....they had music shows, basketball gmes(college), and revivals...ala oral roberts...they used the effects specifically during the revivals...it was truly an art to watch them affect the crowd with delays and such at particular intense moments....,,i dont remember how they pumped signal back into the plate room but i'm sure they did....this was not a room that was just a simple box...it had curved walls and the ceiling was different heights and it was larger at one end and smaller at the other..and in the center was the plate...about 15 feet long if my memory serves...but hey its been a long time since then....it just always stuck with me about how cool a set-up they had at a religious college....
Old 19th February 2003
  #5
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

A chamber would use brickwall and stone for lots of reflections.
Like mentioned above build it iregular to avoid standing waves and to dense the reverb.
You could use moveable plywood or drywalls to vari the reverb.
If you use hardwood it will be a little 'warmer'...


The simple way!
http://www.acoustics.auckland.ac.nz/Tour/Reverb_A.html
http://www.acoustics.auckland.ac.nz/Tour/Reverb_B.html
http://www.acoustics.auckland.ac.nz/Tour/Reverb_C.html
Old 19th February 2003
  #6
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Mike O's Avatar
 

Check out Bob C.'s solution: http://www.mixthis.com/livechambers.html
Old 21st February 2003
  #7
Gear Guru
 

A long time ago I saw a photo or diagram of a reverb chamber that was built into a rather smallish space. To increase the apparent size of the reverb they built a "maze" - several walls that went almost all the way across the room but from alternating sides. That is, if you wanted to go from the east side of the room to the west side you had to go North, turn right and go south, turn left and go north again etc.

they could change position of the speakers and mics to get different "lengths".

I would imagine that each corner that the sound turned might introduce some anomalies. If I were building such a thing I would research the possible advantages of beveling or rounding the corners.
Old 21st February 2003
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
That's interesting because sound doesn't turn corners well. I wonder if all the surfaces were really reflective in that room. Still, I'm interested to know what people used for mics and backend processing 20 years ago.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #9
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Most of the good ones were trapezoidal. Walls were plaster covered with either a shiny cement or some kind of shellac. Most people pointed the speaker into one wall and the mikes into another.

I've been utterly amazed that more people don't build chambers today.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #10
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Bob, I was hoping you'd post on this. What were the common floor materials? Also, were people using dynamic mics or condensors for the most part? Or was it one of those things that varied wildly from studio to studio?
Old 24th February 2003
  #11
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've seen everything under the sun. The last iteration we used in Detroit was a Bose 901 speaker and a Blumlein pair of KM-86s. I used to sneak in and substitute SM-56s because I thought they sounded better.
Old 24th February 2003
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
I've seen everything under the sun. The last iteration we used in Detroit was a Bose 901 speaker and a Blumlein pair of KM-86s. I used to sneak in and substitute SM-56s because I thought they sounded better.
Bob you REBELyuktyy
Old 28th February 2003
  #13
Gear Nut
 
jagarinec's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by sonic dogg
the kitty,
let me try to get all these punctuation marks covered......the plate 'chamber' was just that...yes there was a plate installed in it..the chamber was built to cause reflections inside the chamber and would affect the reverbration of the plate...dont ask me how
sound is energy. air under alternating pressure. if the plate is thin the pressure of the air transfers his energy to the plate and it oscillates. cause metall has bad damping the plate will oscillate further even if the origin sound stopped.

i´ve been in a percussion shop some month ago. they´ve got a lot of instruments from all arround the world, some really huge chinese gongs too.

the funny thing was when i clapped the hands there was a loooooooong reverb about 4 seconds.

as soon as i will have one more room, i´ll build a reverb chamber too.

sini
Old 28th February 2003
  #14
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robot gigante's Avatar
I have this old Jackie Davis record- it was made when stereo records were first being released- and on the back of the sleeve it showed a diagram of the reverb chamber that they used.

Basically it was a kind of a dual chamber made from one room with a divider down the middle. The divider didn't divide the room completely in half though, it extended about 3/4 of the way allowing for some sound to bleed between the two sides. So it was kind of a dual mono with some full stereo effect .

I don't know if this is something that was common back in the day or not, or if it is looked down on now, but to me the seperation on that record is really cool sounding, especially when the sound of the leslie would sweep back and forth between two chambers. I would be really interested in finding out more about chambers like that one, I've tried to replicate the effect with digital reverb but not suprisingly it doesn't sound the same. If I was to build a chamber, I'd want it to sound like that one.

Sam
Old 6th March 2003
  #15
Gear Head
 
TwistTurner's Avatar
 

Malcolm Chisholm used to have detailed plans to build a chamber on his website. For some reason the site has disappeared, luckily I saved all the info before it went down, email me privately Jay and I'll send it to you.
Old 8th March 2003
  #16
Gear Addict
 

I've been inside some of the best chambers around. While taking a break from mixing, I've been granted entry into the echo chambers at Ocean Way, (originally United Western), Sunset Sound, The Hit Factory, Power Station, ect. They are all equiped differently. I've seen Altec A7's, EV 100's, JBL's as speakers, Sm 81's, RCA ribbons, Altec ribbons, SM 57's. But the common elements are, not that large a room, but oddly shaped and painted with something like ceramic tile glaze to increase the reflections and decay time. I've seen some that chicken wire and plastered the corners, to decrease standing waves.
Old 8th March 2003
  #17
Gear Guru
 

Interesting article about live chambers here

some practical info on design and construction as well as opinions on the sounds and uses of live chambers.

some things I hadn't thought of:

the importance of really quiet mic pres
the idea of using Broadcast phone lines to set up a room MILES away from your studio


Also: he says "bring on the standing waves"
Old 14th March 2003
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by sonic dogg
I worked some shows many years back, at the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa....they had a beautiful set-up there and one of the most impressive parts was the reverb chamber under the place...it was an odd-shaped anechoic room with a huge monster Gotham plate set in it...the wheel to adjust the plates was the size of a steering wheel on a tractor...in fact it coulda been a steering wheel off a tractor!...fed into the next room which was FULL of cbs labratory digital delays for the speaker array around the main floor...there was no echo in this big huge round arena...due to placements of the speaks and the timing of the delays....at the time it was new and revolutionary in its engineering concepts...now its probably passe.........
...thsi is not a chamber...it's a plate in an isolated room...
Old 9th October 2004
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
bump
Old 9th October 2004
  #20
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
bump

Where's that picture of the intern mopping clearmountain's chamber floor because the "mix is too wet"..

cracks me up every time...


Personally I haven't used a "live chamber" yet.....

There's a studio here that mic's a hallway behind a room...it's long and brick........suppost to be a "chamber" type of thing....haven't used it yet though....someday...I'll post pictures
Old 5th November 2007
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Post jackie davis

Sam,

You mean Jackie Davis the organ player? If so, would you contact me, I am the webmaster of the so-called www dot jackiedavis dot info website. My email is wimdehaan at casema dot nl [at= @ and dot= .] This would be really great. Thank you. Wim, the Netherlands

Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
I have this old Jackie Davis record- it was made when stereo records were first being released- and on the back of the sleeve it showed a diagram of the reverb chamber that they used.

Basically it was a kind of a dual chamber made from one room with a divider down the middle. The divider didn't divide the room completely in half though, it extended about 3/4 of the way allowing for some sound to bleed between the two sides. So it was kind of a dual mono with some full stereo effect .

I don't know if this is something that was common back in the day or not, or if it is looked down on now, but to me the seperation on that record is really cool sounding, especially when the sound of the leslie would sweep back and forth between two chambers. I would be really interested in finding out more about chambers like that one, I've tried to replicate the effect with digital reverb but not suprisingly it doesn't sound the same. If I was to build a chamber, I'd want it to sound like that one.

Sam
Old 5th November 2007
  #22
Here for the gear
 

jackie davis

Sam,

You mean Jackie Davis the organ player? If so, would you contact me, I am the webmaster of the so-called www dot jackiedavis dot info website. My email is wimdehaan at casema dot nl [at= @ and dot= .] This would be really great. Thank you. Wim, the Netherlands


Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante
I have this old Jackie Davis record- it was made when stereo records were first being released- and on the back of the sleeve it showed a diagram of the reverb chamber that they used.

Basically it was a kind of a dual chamber made from one room with a divider down the middle. The divider didn't divide the room completely in half though, it extended about 3/4 of the way allowing for some sound to bleed between the two sides. So it was kind of a dual mono with some full stereo effect .

I don't know if this is something that was common back in the day or not, or if it is looked down on now, but to me the seperation on that record is really cool sounding, especially when the sound of the leslie would sweep back and forth between two chambers. I would be really interested in finding out more about chambers like that one, I've tried to replicate the effect with digital reverb but not suprisingly it doesn't sound the same. If I was to build a chamber, I'd want it to sound like that one.

Sam
Old 5th November 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutmeg II. View Post
ROTFWL That place is frigg’n awesome !
I think I’ll start on building something like that right away. lol


I’ve read here on this forum and other places that staircases make nice reverb chambers. I think that is great idea if you have limited space. If you have a home with a staircase I think it could be easily setup as reverb chamber. I haven’t tried it myself, but I want to.
Old 5th November 2007
  #24
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John Moran's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurly_b View Post
I’ve read here on this forum and other places that staircases make nice reverb chambers.
Years back I was in Right Track in NYC working on Stop Making Sense at night and Gene Simmons had the room during the day. Gene had set up a speaker in the fire escape stair well and mic'ed it half a floor down for a live chamber and it worked quite well being as it was all concrete and steel with lots of reflective angles. the only downside was the poor receptionist who sat next to the door to the stairwell and had to listen to snare shots and the occasional tape rewind bleed all day long.
Old 16th November 2009
  #25
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RusRant's Avatar
 

I had a brick and concrete 15x22x6 chamber in my old studio. I miss it greatly. Will be setting up a new studio in an older house next year for some projects, plan on having atleast one good chamber if I can arrange it. With a tape predelay, it's about as oldskool as it comes.
Old 17th November 2009
  #26
Gear Addict
 
David C.'s Avatar
 

You guys considering building one, think of the old Greek golden dimensions. To make the math easy, you want a room 1 x 1.6 x 2.6 so say 10' ceilings, 16' x 26' floor space. You can take that down as small or as large as you want.

I've just noticed certain spaces sounding good when singing when that's all I had to work with. A stairwell at Western Ky. U. and a round rock church in England come to mind...
Old 17th November 2009
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Bell Sound Studios...Altec 604 in a utility cabinet,chambers ran the width of the building...about 3'x3' but 30-40 feet long.Dont remember the mics,just crawling inside to move them to change the reverb time. LaTierra studios(Fania Records)the old Good Vibrations studio 1440 broadway had a room that was split diagonally (about 12x15).Concrete floors,plaster walls.Altec 604 faced into one corner,an 87,if I remember correctly,in each half.Reverb time was adjusted with a hung packing blanket.I remember a California studio coming in to measure the rooms to duplicate them.Village recorders maybe????Not sure.Mario.
Old 17th November 2009
  #28
Old 1st December 2009
  #29
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Haz-Mat-Strat's Avatar
 

Back in the early 80's. I was doing an Rockabilly album with John Seaton and Danny Gatton. We did not have a large selection of reverbs and delays. We had a home brew plate reverb, Roland tape echo, Lexicon prime time and a spring reverb. However in the back yard, we had a working hand dug well that my parents had dug to supply water to the house.
The well was 40 ft deep and was constructed with 5' dia. concrete round pipe.
As a kid we would yell into the well and hear these crazy slap back echos.
During mixdown on this album, we removed the top of the well and lowered a small Auratone speaker into the well. Then we lowered an AKG 451 into the well and pumped it full of music.
The result was a fast slapback reverb that worked well with the Rockabilly tune.

Jim Jacobsen
JJ Audio
Custom Microphones and Mods
Old 1st December 2009
  #30
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