Formats: Mac & PC UAD1
When I visited the Universal Audio offices in California a few weeks ago, they were getting ready to ship the new Plate 140 plug-in for the UAD1 card. Like most of their other plug-ins, this is very closely modelled on real vintage analogue equipment. Although convolution technology makes it very easy to replicate vintage reverb devices exactly, convolution is still very processor-intensive, and only captures the sound of a device for one set of front-panel settings. Instead, the Universal Audio team have used modelling, to replicate not only the sound of a vintage reverb plate but also its interaction with the physical dampers used to control the decay time.
Perhaps the most revered reverb plate of all time is the German-built EMT 140, which dates back almost half a century. Audio was fed into a transducer attached to a suspended metal plate, thus making it resonate; then the vibrations were picked off using surface mics and fed via EQ into the reverb returns of the mixing console. Such plate reverb systems were expensive and bulky, and also needed to be housed in such a way as to isolate them from outside sound or vibration. As soon as digital reverb came along, almost everyone ditched their plates before realising what they'd given up!
Universal Audio's Plate 140 is designed to replicate the sound of three specific EMT 140 plates still owned by The Plant Studios in Sausalito,...
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