I've been trying to achieve a certain sound that I hear in a lot of break beats and beat slicing. One of the steps in achieving this sound, I've been heard, is to process the sound through a thick plate reverb. I have seen reverb presets with names like drum-plate, but I'm not sure exactly what that means, or more important, how to make my own "thick plate" reverb effect.


after hearing tracks you mentioned in comments I can say that yes you can do it using a thick plate reverb as well as a spring reverb. but it needs some modifications. a plate reverb system uses an electromechanical transducer, similar to the driver in a loudspeaker, to create vibration in a large plate of sheet metal. a pickup captures the vibrations as they bounce across the plate, and the result is output as an audio signal. so the "thick" refers to thickness of that plate.

if you want to do it using a plate reverb you can set the reverb decay time at about 2-3s and a reverb delay which fits in a way that prevents destruction of transients. after that by passing the reverb output (only the reverb output and not the dry signal) into a compressor (using side chain with dry signal) you can emphasize on transient and get a fresh reverb. also for more brightness you can tune your reverb high cut. for more clarification do it like this:

reverb workflow

UPDATE: for more information about plate reverb and thickness please refer to here in the section of plate reverb. also you can learn more here.

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  • I think I understand. When you say "using side chain with dry signal" do you mean using the dry signal transient as the side chain source to create a ducking effect with the reverb wet? – Stormy Dec 24 '15 at 19:44
  • yes. was my answer helpful? – Mohammad Rafigh Dec 24 '15 at 20:00

@mohammad_rafigh I actually didn't know that was why it was called "thick" that's interesting. I will add @stormy that there is a lot more going on than reverb in those two tracks so I am curious what other effects you are trying out on your drum sounds. Everything has to mesh and work in harmony in a certain way. But on the reverb front, I will only add that reverb times even shorter than two seconds can also be helpful in manipulating a mix and getting a certain quality of sound without washing out percussive and glitchy elements. Balancing a reverb more towards early reflections and less to the tail can lead to an unnatural yet distinctive sound. In the end there is no substitute for trying out more models and algorithms for different reverbs. In addition to algorithms there are impulse responses available for convolution reverb plugins that very closely capture the sounds of various of the physical plates-I tend to find using IRs provides a rich and detailed quality to the verb.

EDIT - found this explanation of thick vs thin plates that jibes with what I know about their sounds, very interesting: http://nicksworldofsynthesizers.com/plate.php

"Plate reverbs are nearly always rectangular. You might think that this would create problems with resonances caused by standing waves bouncing off the parallel sides. This is what happens in a real room, and it is why echo chambers were made in irregular shapes. The metal plate is under tension and the tension is not regular, so the sound travels at different speeds across different parts of the plate. This creates random resonances and might explain the way the sound seems to shatter into a sparkly haze. A plate that is small and thick has few resonances and has a harsh metallic ring. One that is big and thin has more resonances and has a wonderful luscious tone."

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  • That's how I've been trying to thicken my drums samples up: by reducing the reverb decay to the length of the drum sounds sounds. I also am adding a little bit of saturation before and after the reverb. It's starting to sound the way I want, but I'm still not totally sure what a thick plate reverb means. – Stormy Dec 27 '15 at 14:14
  • @Stormy I updated my answer please watch that video and read that SOS article. – Mohammad Rafigh Dec 27 '15 at 21:14

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