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Producer Spotlight - Take Your Reverb To The Next Level With Soundtoys' Little Plate Plugin

Inspired by the original EMT 140 plate reverb, Little Plate captures the lush sound and electro-mechanical vibe of this studio classic with some extra twists from the Soundtoys' Engineers.
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Little Plate - Inspired by the original EMT 140 plate reverb, Little Plate captures the lush sound and electro-mechanical vibe of this studio classic. As usual, the Soundtoys designers couldn’t resist pushing the limits of reality, so they added a couple of fun twists that let you take Little Plate to spaces the original hardware had no chance of achieving.


The sound of the 140 is iconic, to say the least. It’s been used on countless recordings and has been emulated by several software companies. So why choose this unit? Well, Soundtoys has a knack for dialing in the perfect combo of musicality, ease of use, and great sound, while also finding a “Soundtoys spin” to bring something new to the table. That all applies to Little Plate in spades. Simple to use with an easy-to-understand front panel, and instant pro-sounding lush plate reverb every time.

What’s the new stuff? Well, it’s on both sides of the decay control. The first, and not to be overlooked, is the short side. The original unit, being a giant metal plate inside an enormous plywood box, could only manage to get the reverb down to about 1 sec through damping techniques. Little Plate goes down to half a second, though that doesn’t sound like much of a change, it is. The short setting is great for adding a small space or body to a sound and get more of a “room” type of sound making it outside the norm for a classic plate, but such a great addition, or should that be subtraction.

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Now, the other side is the one that gets everyone excited. The original hardware could manage about 4 to 5 seconds of reverb. Little Plate extends that time quite considerably. With settings in seconds for 8, 16, 32, and all the way to infinite. Does it really go on forever? You just gotta give them the benefit of the doubt after about ten minutes, with no sign of stopping, it is time to throw in the towel. Infinite is a massive sound and it can create an interesting kind of “Freeze” effect especially with automation.

Infinite, as well as many of the longer settings are fantastic with the secret “Mod” switch (they won’t tell anyone how they do it). It’s so easy to create rich ambient space dreams by flipping that little Mod switch. And that mod on the more iconic decay settings gives you a natural, organic sound just like you had one of those 600 pound boxes in your room.

Did we mention that while creating Little Plate Soundtoys acquired and analyzed 5 of the original EMT140s? They still have them too. One and a half tons of plate reverb for them to poke and prod and figure out all the little idiosyncrasies to make the perfect model.

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Tricks

Parameter Lock - Little Plate presets come set to full wet to be used on busses. But if you’re using them as a direct insert, you probably don’t want full wet, and that makes scanning through presets a bit of a pain to constantly set the Mix control. Well, there’s an age old trick (it’s been around since 2007) in the Soundtoys system called Parameter Lock. It lets you lock the mix control so it doesn’t change as you scan through presets. Here’s the process straight from the manual.

“When auditioning presets, it can be useful to keep a parameter control knob’s value from responding to preset values, especially for things like the wet/dry mix value. To do this, click on a knob while pressing the control and option or alt keys. The title of the knob will turn red to indicate that it won’t change its value when loading presets. You can still tweak the knob with the mouse when it is ‘locked’. This state is not saved with the session so next time you can decide if you want it back on or not.”

Short Decay Time for a little more beef - Using Little Plate at its shortest time setting, and mixing it carefully into sounds like acoustic guitar, piano, or even vocals or drums, can add a little more girth. You have to be careful but when mixed and, if need be, rolled off for anything too boomy, it can add some additional heft.

Automate - Yep, it’s just super dang fun to automate the Decay time and other parameters to create some amazing effects, including, but not limited to an awesome “Freeze” type of effect, and epic build ups.

Epic Build Up Video

Vocal Spaces Video

Automate Little Plate Video

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