"Plate Reverb" The old fashioned way!
I have had countless discussions with other recording enthusiasts who are always remarking how “Recordings these days just don’t have the warm sound they used to.” This hotly debated issue can be reduced to the imagery of a Chess Board with the Analog and Digital Queens at the ready, but what about the recording “pawns.” Simple everyday recording techniques that really influence the outcome of sound.
Reverb is something that we almost take for granted. Almost every recording has some sort of reverb on it: when asked to “Throw a little reverb on the vocals” nowadays it seems like a no-brainer! Before you reach to open up that plug-in with your favorite “plate reverb” which is a mere 2-3 clicks away from adding the ultimate beauty and a silvery reverb sheen to your next project, stop and think for a minute how hard and labor intensive it used to be to achieve this effect back in the day! For the idle and curious this post is to show exactly how people in the field of audio recording achieved the addition of reverb to a track. Perhaps we take reverb for granted sometimes? Is it so easy to place Reverb on your recording with the current technologies that are available to us that a case could be made that we overuse it? Looking at the EMT 140 TS, made me stop and think about how I treat sound. Having an acute awareness of exactly “what,” “why” and “how” I approach the treatment of sound is something everyone should keep in the back of their minds during every recording. Pictures are here of the more traditional(Dare I say antique) way of putting reverb on a track. The EMT 140 TS is literally a plate of metal that requires manual movement back and forth to achieve reverb. The Physics of this is fascinating. I have included a fabulous video link below showing the cumbersome plate reverb of old in action today!