EMT Plate Reverb
We have three EMT 140 reverb plates and an EMT 240. These were developed by the Institute Für Rundfunktechnik, Hamburg and started to be manufactured in 1956 by EMT.
EMT #1: Originated from Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey
EMT #2: Originated from Landsdowne Studio, London
EMT #3: Originated from Pye Studios, London. When it closed it went to Pete Waterman’s PWK studio. It’s hard to image just how many hit records these units were used on!
EMT 240: These were designed around 1971 because the 140 for too large for some studios to store and they could be used in mobile recording trucks. Instead of using a flat plate the 240 uses a special gold foil 12 inches square which give a different type of sound decay which could be described as a little “quirkier”.
What they do
These are wonderful units, each with it’s own unique sound. The reverb decay time can be adjusted from between 0.5 of a second up to 5 seconds approximately. I usually set each unit to where I believe it sounds best ie. Plate #1 to 2secs, #2 to 3.5secs and #3 to 1sec. When applied to a track it’s just instant beauty whether it be on vocals, drums, stringed instruments, keyboards or just about anything really. The reverb gives a lovely sense of bigness and space and even when used sparingly the sound is still retained in a mix, unlike most plugin reverbs.
How they work
Briefly, the plate reverb is an 8’ x 4’ of sheet metal about a 1/16” thick which is suspended on a frame by springs all around it. In the centre there is a driver / transmitter. There are two pickups, one near the left side and one near the right. On the other side of the metal plate there is a variable dampening device. When a sound is sent into the plate via the transmitter it minutely vibrates it. The pickups collect these vibrations and return them to the studio in stereo. The length of the vibrations is controlled by the damper. The tighter the damper is pressed against the metal, the shorter the reverb. Simple but very effective.
The following are vocal & and snare drum samples, without and with each of the plates. The subtle differences may be difficult to hear unless you turn up your speakers but you’ll get the idea.
How to get this reverb on your track
This is how it works. You send us your audio file(s) via Yousendit.com or Dropbox. Please send it at your session sample rate. We will run your track(s) through an EMT and return you a stereo reverb only track. Make sure you have finished editing first!
1 EMT – €50
2 EMTs – €75
3 EMTs – €100
We will set the plates to whatever decay times you want. Maximum song length 5 minutes. For songs over this please add €10 per minute.