Building a real plate reverb

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Tue May 26, 2009 2:26 am

Building and testing this:

Image

Image

There are drawing, plans, forums, websites on the net, but I had to make my detailed drawings and look for hardware for the active part of the system.

Drawings and info are available for free from us. I'd like to collaborate with anybody interested in such a project.

Quinto

Spratman
KVRist
427 posts since 26 Nov, 2000 from Gallifrey, The Capitol.

Post Thu May 28, 2009 4:15 am

Wow. I have had thoughts about reverb and producing some sort of a reverb in hardware using some of the older style techniques a while ago. Possibly the easiest thing to get into is some sort of a spring tank reverb. In the plate department there used to be some individuals selling some of the essential parts for building plate verbs the DIY way, but from what I've seen most of those have disappeared.

I think for many people the hard part of plate building is going to be the metalwork. That's something that makes me walk away from such ideas. As does size. When you don't own the place you live in it's often difficult to know how much space you may have at any particular time and there's no easy way to "park a plate". I kind of ponder whether or not it'd be possible to build something truly compact that gave a plate kind of vibe to things...but that's a deviation on what you are trying to do! I can kind of understand the interest in plates, and why you might want to build such things, particularly given the sort of sound produced by EMT devices.

In software there are not too many convincing plate sounds, there are only two I can think of that seem worthwhile, namely Acusticaudio old plate and the UA 140 plate - frank admission, yes I do work with Acusticaudio - potentially biased ;)

While I probably can't contribute in any significant way to what you're doing, I certainly applaud your efforts to build something like this and share the information, impulses etc with others.

Spratman ;)

Chuck E. Jesus
R.I.P.
7301 posts since 23 May, 2006 from in between a cornfield and a river

Post Thu May 28, 2009 8:00 am


robogone
KVRAF
21375 posts since 26 Jul, 2005 from Gone

Post Thu May 28, 2009 10:55 am


Chuck E. Jesus
R.I.P.
7301 posts since 23 May, 2006 from in between a cornfield and a river

Post Thu May 28, 2009 3:50 pm

robojam wrote:
I looked but this caught my eye:

http://thesquarewaveparade.com/2dlrsprng.html
yeah, whatever...it's all along the same idea really...


you send sound thru a transducer into some sort of reverberating item, you are going to get something possibly more interesting...perhaps...

i bought a cap gun just to create IR's, and all the results have been at the very least "interesting"...

quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Fri May 29, 2009 3:51 am

Spratman wrote:Wow. I have had thoughts about reverb and producing some sort of a reverb in hardware using some of the older style techniques a while ago. Possibly the easiest thing to get into is some sort of a spring tank reverb. In the plate department there used to be some individuals selling some of the essential parts for building plate verbs the DIY way, but from what I've seen most of those have disappeared.
Yes, the principle in springs and plates (or some others) is the same, inject and get back.

I've seen some active webpages selling kits, but I ended buying directly from shops.
The offers have disappeared because you don't need to get something special for 5 times the price. I bought the speaker and the pickups with about 60 euro (Schaller for guitar!)

The whole project about 300 euro (without equaliser!).
Spratman wrote:I think for many people the hard part of plate building is going to be the metalwork. That's something that makes me walk away from such ideas. As does size. When you don't own the place you live in it's often difficult to know how much space you may have at any particular time and there's no easy way to "park a plate". I kind of ponder whether or not it'd be possible to build something truly compact that gave a plate kind of vibe to things...but that's a deviation on what you are trying to do! I can kind of understand the interest in plates, and why you might want to build such things, particularly given the sort of sound produced by EMT devices.
The metalwork isn't a problem at all, just give the drawings to somebody doing it as a job.
I had to pay 150 euro for that, but you can find somebody cheaper.

The drawings are what I'm sharing here (autocad), so it isn't a problem :)

Yes, much space is required. I did it only because I work in the studio, I'd never built it for home...

But there are some commercial small ones...
Spratman wrote:In software there are not too many convincing plate sounds, there are only two I can think of that seem worthwhile, namely Acusticaudio old plate and the UA 140 plate - frank admission, yes I do work with Acusticaudio - potentially biased ;)
Never tested those...
Spratman wrote:While I probably can't contribute in any significant way to what you're doing, I certainly applaud your efforts to build something like this and share the information, impulses etc with others.
Spratman ;)
Thanks :) (I'm addicted to these hardwrae and software things :roll: ... )

@Anybody: just send an email if you are interested in drawings or details...
Last edited by quintosardo on Fri May 29, 2009 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Fri May 29, 2009 3:51 am

I wasn't able to go so cheap.

But I got a perfect, solid, tunable structure. And great pickups (piezo are great because they are passive while they give high level output!)

tommy_d
KVRian
581 posts since 9 Jul, 2004

Post Fri May 29, 2009 4:11 am

quintosardo wrote:Building and testing this:

Image

Image

There are drawing, plans, forums, websites on the net, but I had to make my detailed drawings and look for hardware for the active part of the system.

Drawings and info are available for free from us. I'd like to collaborate with anybody interested in such a project.

Quinto
To echo Spratman: Wow :shock: :love: :D

Very cool. Any chance of some audio examples so we can hear it in action?

Professor Al
KVRist
36 posts since 19 May, 2009 from Washington DC

Post Fri May 29, 2009 4:25 am

I actually gave this a shot years ago, using sheet metal from a scrapped home oil burner heating plant and a couple of Ibanez "Bug" piezo contact guitar pickups. Affordable digital reverbs were still several years off, and I could no longer take the lame sound of a spring unit. My creation worked but sounded like crap! :lol:

I got the idea in my late teens when I noticed the sheet metal would vibrate sympathetically with a radio my Dad kept in the basement. I had to wait 'til he replaced the furnace before I could cannibalize the metal. I only had a photo and a verbal description of a plate reverb to go on, and what I came up with was absolute schidtt.

May you have much more success.
Alan Peterson CBT, CAE
Professor of Audio Technology
Montgomery College
Rockville MD / Washington DC

quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Fri May 29, 2009 4:32 am

tommy_d wrote:Very cool. Any chance of some audio examples so we can hear it in action?
Yes, of course!
THAT, is the interesting part :)

1) complete the hardware
2) learn how to tune it
3) get some audio samples and upload them
4) get some impulse responses
5) (maybe) build a plugin with those impulses

quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Fri May 29, 2009 4:34 am

Professor Al wrote:I actually gave this a shot years ago, using sheet metal from a scrapped home oil burner heating plant and a couple of Ibanez "Bug" piezo contact guitar pickups. Affordable digital reverbs were still several years off, and I could no longer take the lame sound of a spring unit. My creation worked but sounded like crap! :lol:

I got the idea in my late teens when I noticed the sheet metal would vibrate sympathetically with a radio my Dad kept in the basement. I had to wait 'til he replaced the furnace before I could cannibalize the metal. I only had a photo and a verbal description of a plate reverb to go on, and what I came up with was absolute schidtt.

May you have much more success.
:)

I've only done some simple tests without the "stopper" and it sounds very promising.

The plate is the main issue, of course. I've taken an uncutted foil from the shop.
I plan to test a brass foil, too.

The structure is very important, too, of course, because if it isn' stiff enough is will vibrate with the plate...

Cannibalize something makes the whole thing more interesting, funny, and more of an adventure :)

tommy_d
KVRian
581 posts since 9 Jul, 2004

Post Fri May 29, 2009 7:56 am

quintosardo wrote:
tommy_d wrote:Very cool. Any chance of some audio examples so we can hear it in action?
Yes, of course!
:D
quintosardo wrote:2) learn how to tune it
I'm guessing the positions of the speaker and the pickups make a big difference. (Though as I say that's only a guess; I've only ever seen one real-life plate 'verb, much less built one...)

What about a damping mechanism: is there any way of controlling the length of the 'verb?
quintosardo wrote:4) get some impulse responses
Double " :D "
Last edited by tommy_d on Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Fri May 29, 2009 11:32 am

The EMT has an absorbing (dampening) surface. It can be set to a position closer or far from the plate.
It isn't going to touch the plate, the distance affects the length of the vibration.
This is one of the most critical parts, this is why I'm going slowly with it...


Yes, the position of the speaker and the pickups make big difference.
But you have to set the tension for the eight screws, too. And I haven't any experience with this.

living sounds
KVRAF
2208 posts since 13 May, 2005

Post Fri May 29, 2009 11:34 am

For pro audio DIY check groupdiy.com !

quintosardo
KVRAF
2339 posts since 15 Jul, 2004 from Italy

Post Fri May 29, 2009 11:39 am

living sounds wrote:For pro audio DIY check groupdiy.com !

That is really great!

I've built 10 x 1176 FET compressor channels from that website... 1000 euro :shock:

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