Review: UAD EMT 140 Plate Reverb
Authentic sounding plate reverb
Models 3 different plates
Comes with tons of usable presets
Uses no computer CPU (as it runs on UAD DSP)
Presets could use better organization
Has a hard time doing long reverbs
A bit on the expensive side
If your looking for a plate reverb, look no further than the UAD EMT 140 emulation. Almost every reverb plugin I have used or seen has a “plate” settings which goes to show you how important this style reverb is to mixing. Though many sound very good, to my ears the EMT 140 plate reverb just sound better, and is simply the best plate reverb out there that I’ve used. Nothing is quite like a good plate reverb, and thankfully Universal Audio has given us one that does not require a fork lift.
One great feature of the UA EMT 140 plugin is not only did Universal Audio emulate one plate reverb, but 3 different types. To my ears, A is a bright plate, C is dark, and B seems to be in-between the two. Whats cool is you can set these each up independently and cycle through on sources to find the best sound for your track. In addition you have an input filter with two different filter types, (which is great to make sure your reverb doesn’t get too muddy) as well as stereo width controls, low and high EQ shelfs, Mod rate and depth, as well as pre delay sections – all of which play a major roll in shaping the reverb you want.
I personally find a plate reverb is hit an miss, depending on the sound you are going for and how much the source excites the harmonics in the plates, but when it works, it can work really well on most sources, including vocals, guitars, drums, etc. I think it does a FANTASTIC job on brass instruments as well (trumpets, horns, Trombones, etc) giving them a ton of life as it really enhances that brassy quality. I also think it adds a nice shimmer to some acoustic guitars, without sounding fizzy. But dont worry if you dont quite know what a plate reverb sounds like (I didn’t know till I messed around with this plugin), The EM 140 plugin comes with a BUNCH of great presets to get you started. This can also be a nice way to get familiar with the 3 different plates, as they do actually sound quite different from each other. My only complaint is that I wish the presets were organized by type more so than just in alphabetical order, which can be cryptic. Also the plates themselves can sometimes get a little too metallic and can cause odd ringing on some sources, but I’ve found adding some slight modulation via the EMTs built in Modulation section can help smooth it out. You can tune the reverb with a notch EQ after if you need further control, but just something to keep in mind.
If your looking for a great sounding plate reverb, look no further than the EMT 140. I even think the EMT 140 competes with non-plate reverbs as it so lush and alive. It is a very distinctive sound, one which may or may not work in the context of your song, but its a great sonic option to have in ones tool box and highly recommended. Though its a bit on the expensive side in todays market (you can buy Logic Pro with all its plugins for the same price!) if you’re looking for a great reverb it should be on you list.