A few weeks back, we posted a new VK Shootout featuring a vintage EMT 140 plate reverb going up against some popular emulations. People were digging the shootout so much that we decided to do another blog that expands on other ways to get plate reverb sounds in the studio and during live performances.
Since the release of the original EMT 140, the options for getting plate reverb sounds have gotten way smaller. Sure... Being smaller than a 600-pound metal structure isn't super hard, but we're talking much smaller, like nearly as small as the palm of your hand.
Continue below to watch the aforementioned EMT 140 shootout and read on afterward to learn about some incredible plug-ins, guitar pedals and outboard gear that will get you that lush, beautiful reverb you crave.
Plate Reverb Plug-Ins
Inspired by the EMT 140, Little Plate captures the classic sound of plate reverb with a few modern twists. With just three controls, Little Plate is incredibly easy to use. The large decay knob in the center controls reverb time. While the original EMT 140 had a maximum reverb time of five-seconds, Little Plate takes things to a whole new level with a max decay time of infinity. Create dark, droning pads from a single note. Dial in epic decay times to fill up space in sparse trap mixes. Give your vocals a haunting chorus effect.
In order to prevent muddiness, Sountoys included a low-cut filter to roll off unwanted low-end up to 1 kHz. A wet/dry mix knob lets you dial in the perfect amount of reverb when using Little Plate as an insert. Introduce a slight modulation to the tail of the reverb with the mod switch—perfect for thickening up tracks with long, sustaining decay times.
Originally released in 1982, the SP2016 was the first programmable reverb unit. Revered for its “hi-density” plate algorithms, the SP2016 quickly became a favorite amongst pro audio engineers. Now Eventide has meticulously modeled this iconic device in a convenient plug-in format, complete with a collection of presets from top mixing engineers like Dave Pensado, Richard Devine, Joe Chiccarelli, and more.
The SP2016 plug-in features authentic emulations of the Room, Stereo Room, and Hi-Density Plate algorithms. Each algorithm features two modes; vintage mode emulates the sound of the original SP2016, while the modern algorithms use a higher bit-depth for a brighter sound and improved diffusion. The Hi-Density Plate reverb simulates the sound of a plate much larger and heavier than those found in traditional plate reverbs for added depth.
The Lexicon PCM Native Reverb plug-in bundle puts hardware-quality reverb effects right inside your DAW. Packed with seven state-of-the-art Lexicon reverb algorithms originally designed for the renowned Lexicon PCM96 reverb unit, the PCM bundle offers plug-ins for Vintage Plate and Plate reverb effects. Get started quickly with presets from top-mixing professionals or dive deep into a matrix of parameters and program the perfect space for your mixes.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, check out the Lexicon MPX Native Reverb plug-in bundle, which also features seven classic Lexicon reverb algorithms in plug-in form, including small plate and large plate reverbs.
If you’re looking for a dedicated plate reverb plug-in with vintage tone and modern flexibility, check out the IK Multimedia CSR Plate Reverb. Designed to emulate the sounds of dense metal plate reverbs from the 60s, the CSR Plate delivers classic plate reverb sound in an intuitive plug-in interface. Choose from an array of professional-sounding presets or quickly dial in your own custom reverb sound with quick-access controls for diffusion, reverb time and dampening. Custom tailor a reverb to fit your track with advanced editing controls. Open up the advanced controls and tweak parameters like sheet dimension, metal type, position of pickups and more.
Reverb Pedal Power
Plug-ins aren’t the only way to add plate reverb to your tracks. Reverb pedals are a great way to experiment with unique tones that you can’t get from plug-ins and Strymon has them in spades. From the Big Sky to the Flint Tremolo & Reverb Pedal , you can all different kinds of reverb effects, but both pedals also have incredibly lush plate reverb sounds.
While Electro-Harmonix’s Holy Grail pedal is best known for its remarkable spring and hall reverbs, the Holy Grail Max features a new plate reverb setting with a dense, lush tone. Compact, durable and lightweight, the Holy Grail Max is the perfect portable plate reverb effect.
Chase Bliss Audio's latest creation, the Dark World, is another reverb pedal choice that is extremely deep. It has dual-channel functionality so that you can mix, stack, and match different styles of reverb at the same time. The right channel of this pedal features a plate reverb setting.
Even though the days of fully analog plate reverb units are long gone, there are plenty of outboard signal processors that utilize advanced plate reverb algorithms for stunning effects. For instance, the Meris Mercury7 Reverb delivers pristine plate reverb effects in a compact 500-series module. Ultraplate mode expands on the quick reflection buildup and response of a traditional plate by adding a broad range of plate sizes for a variety of tones. Meris also makes a pedal version of the Mercury7.
When it comes to analog reverbs, the Bricasti Design M7 reigns supreme. Packed with over 100 presets, the M7 delivers stunning sounding reverbs including plates, halls, rooms and more. Dial in classic vintage-era plate reverbs, emulations of digital plates from the 80s, and new modern-sounding plates that are perfect for any genre.
Whether you’re a producer, a musician or an engineer, we’ve got the perfect plate reverb effect for you. From plug-ins to pedals to classic analog models—we’ve got you covered.
If you're interested in any of the reverb emulations, pedals or outboard gear mentioned in this blog or want help finding an original EMT 140, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.