State-of-the-art modeling of the four legendary EMT 140 reverb plates housed at Abbey Road Studios
Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates were used on recordings by the Beatles and Pink Floyd.
Precise modeling of four legendary Abbey Road reverb plates (EMT 140), each with its unique character
A drive control to set the THD characteristics of the in/out amplifiers and the plate sheet itself
Ability to control the amount of analog noise and hum
Four original bass cut positions
Crosstalk between the stereo inputs to get a stereo leak effect
Introduced in the 1950s, plate reverbs have been a fixture of recorded music ever since. Used most prominently in the ‘60s and ‘70s by pioneering bands, including the Beatles and Pink Floyd, Abbey Road Studios’ original reverb plates – four EMT 140 units – were first installed in 1957 to complement the fixed reverberation times of the studios’ echo chambers. These beautiful-sounding plates, with a variable reverb time of up to six seconds, were then tweaked to perfection by Abbey Road’s technical engineers. To keep noise to a minimum, EMI’s Central Research Laboratories designed unique hybrid solid-state drive amps for Plates A, B and C. Plate D was fully valve-powered on both drive and output stages, allowing a versatile array of sonic characteristics, from warm and dark to lush and smooth.
In each of these original plates, the stereo reverb effect is created by suspending a large sheet of metal with tensioned springs attached to each corner. A transducer injects the metal sheet with audio energy, which is picked up by two contact mics fixed to the surface of the plate. The reverb time can then be adjusted by using an internal damper, and all of this is contained within a large wooden unit.
These historic Abbey Road plates have been used on countless seminal pop, rock, classical and film recordings over the years, and continue to be used in all kinds of audio production to this day. Waves has now created meticulous models of these stunning and unique-sounding units, individually modeling the harmonic distortion of both the drive and output amps as well as the individual plate/damper behaviors.
The Original EMT 140 Reverb Plates at Abbey Road
For the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and many others, the reverb plates at Abbey Road Studios – now modeled by Waves – have been invaluable. Read about their history and the technology behind them.
One of the unique tools available to artists recording at Abbey Road Studios in the mid-twentieth century was access to the studios’ three echo chambers for the creation of unique reverb effects. The sound created by the chambers was very natural, but not easily adjustable, allowing only a single fixed reverb and decay time per chamber. With just three chambers existing to facilitate reverb for all of Abbey Road’s recording, remix and transfer rooms, availability would often also be an issue. To combat this, in 1957, Abbey Road Studios purchased four brand new state-of-the-art plate reverb units to complement the existing chambers.
Designed in Germany by EMT, these were the first professional electro-mechanical artificial reverb units made available to studios worldwide. At 8 feet long, 4 feet tall and 1 foot wide, these plates were considerably more compact than the chamber rooms. Each plate contained a large sheet (or “plate”) of steel suspended vertically by a set of springs to allow it to resonate, and was fixed to a stable steel frame. A small transducer speaker was fixed to the plate’s center point, and when a signal was played through the speaker, the plate would begin to vibrate, sustaining the tone for several seconds. Two pickups were attached to each plate, on both sides of the speaker, a quarter of the distance from the plate’s edge. The pickups sensed the vibration, converted it to a line level, and sent it to the output plate amplifier.
Unlike the reverb chambers, these plates had a damper system that allowed adjustment of the reverb decay time. The damper system consisted of a fiberglass panel suspended parallel to the plate, which could move towards or away from the plate sheet. The damper could control variable distances, ranging from 1/8” away from the plate for a one-second reverberation time, to 2” away from the plate for a five-second decay. This system let the user tune the decay time with whatever precision was required to meet the needs of the particular recording or mixing session. Since the plates were not located inside the control room, engineers could set the damper position using a remote control system.To this day, Abbey Road Studios house the four reverb plates – labeled A, B, C and D. Plate D has all-valve amplifiers on both the input and output stages, consisting of E81L, E80CC and EF804ES valves. Plates A, B and C also have an all-valve amplifier on the input, but on the output stage EMI Central Research Laboratories custom-built hybrid solid-state/valve amplifiers, in an attempt to keep the noise floor to a minimum. The sound of the plates is generally considered smoother than that of an echo chamber, if not entirely natural. Most Abbey Road engineers initially preferred the more organic-sounding chambers, but this became less of an issue when bands started to experiment with psychedelic sounds and ‘natural’ sounding recording techniques were becoming less in vogue for pop music.
Due to the nature of analog valve equipment and manufacturing techniques (plus the EMI custom-built amps), no two plates sound the same: each has its own distinctive sonic characteristics. Ever since the Sgt. Pepper era in the 1960s, these four plates have seen significant use on nearly every pop recording done at Abbey Road Studios – from the Beatles and Pink Floyd to Radiohead, Adele, James Blake, Florence + the Machine and Frank Ocean. The plates even started being favored by some of the classical engineers, and before long were being used on a wealth of films scores – so much so that the plates would often have to be booked well in advance of sessions to guarantee their availability.
Waves v13 System Requirements
Note: Waves software is not yet officially supported on Apple Computers with the new Apple Silicon M1 processors.
Windows 10 64 bit (Pre-2004) is officially supported with software version 12.0, not 12.7.
Mac models without ‘Metal’ support are not supported with V13. Learn more.
MacPro models from 2015 and earlier are not supported with V13.
Temporarily, parameter mapping and preset browsing via KOMPLETE KONTROL and MASCHINE are not possible on macOS systems, as necessary NKS components cannot be installed at this time. We are working to fix this as soon as possible.
Current version licenses will activate older version software (V9 and above), if the product/s in question exists in this software version.
Software versions earlier than 9.92 cannot co-exist with software versions above V10. To run V9 side by side with a newer version, please install version 9.92.
For this reason, installing a newer version alongside V9 may cause temporary loss of access to V9 plugins on systems that support both versions. We are aware of this issue, which can be resolved by reinstalling V9.92 plugins or contacting Tech Support.
Waves plugins are officially supported on up to two screens in third-party DAWs and host applications.
Waves Instruments: Additional disk-space may be required for sample libraries. Specific information available on each instrument’s page.
RAM: Grand Rhapsody’s & Bass Finger’s minimal RAM required is 16 GB (and not 8GB, as generally described for all plugins). [Mac & Windows].
Waves Plugins and applications are supported and tested on operating systems installed on the built-in system hard drive. Operating systems installed on external hard drives are not tested and may not be fully functional with our software.
With the release of Waves V13 plugins, we announce full official Apple M1 support for host applications that are themselves Apple M1-compatible. We will work to provide official M1 support for more host applications as they become M1-compatible. We will update this page with new developments as they are available.
In certain scenarios, a mixture of multiple versions of Waves plugins installed on the same system may cause issues in Logic Pro X, even if all versions are supported on the system. This is under investigation and there is a workaround. If you encounter such behavior – please contact Tech Support for assistance.
MIDI Support: The following hosts do not offer MIDI support: WaveLab, Main Stage, Pyramix, Garage Band, Premiere, and Audition.
Mono to Stereo components are not supported in Cakewalk by BandLab, Wavelab and Luna.
Sidechaining is supported on the following hosts: Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Nuendo, Cubase, Cakewalk by BandLab, Audition, Ableton Live, FL Studio, REAPER, Bitwig Studio and Studio One.
Surround plugins are supported on the following hosts: Pro Tools HD, Logic Pro, Digital Performer, Nuendo, Cubase, Audition, Premiere, REAPER, and Pyramix.
GarageBand: The Preset Browser is not available on Intel Mac computers.
WaveLab: Preset Browser is not supported. ‘Sync to host BPM’ feature is not available on plugins that offer it.
Maschine & Komplete Kontrol: Temporarily, parameter mapping and preset browsing via KOMPLETE KONTROL and MASCHINE are not possible on macOS 11 Big Sur, or on macOS 10.15 systems that never had Waves installed on them, as necessary NKS components cannot be installed at this time. We are working to fix this as soon as possible. see over 110 NKS-ready effects & instruments.
As of Waves V12 – Waves plugins are supported only in the VST3 format.
Users are hereon advised to load plugins in the VST3 format only for future session compatibility.
Clicking the ‘About’ box in the plugin will display if plugin is loaded in the VST3 or VST (2.4) formats.
If you encounter issues with VST (2.4) plugins in current or older sessions, or wish to ‘future-proof’ your sessions, load VST3 instance/s of the plugin alongside the existing VST (2.4) ones, then use the WaveSystem toolbar to copy the preset/s from VST (2.4) and paste in the VST3.
Ableton Live sessions created with previous versions (V10/V11) of the plugin components listed below, will not load in the sessions after the plugin version is updated:
C4 Multiband Compressor: Mono component
C6 Multiband Compressor: Mono component
L2 Ultramaximizer: Mono component
Q1-Q8 Equalizers: Mono component
F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ: Mono component
Nx – Virtual Mix Room over Headphones: 5.0, 5.1 and 7.1 components
Waves Virtual Instruments are not supported on Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premier.
CLA MixHub and Scheps Omni Channel
The insert slot is not supported under Bitwig Studio.
Some plug-ins may not be available when both V12 and V13 are installed.
DTS Neural Surround plugins are supported on the following hosts: Pro Tools HD, Logic Pro (7.1 surround not supported), Nuendo, Cubase (7.1 surround not supported), Audition, Premiere, and REAPER. 7.1 SDDS/Film is not supported in all DAWs.
eMo Generator: When using eMo Generator in Logic or Digital Performer, make sure to enable the input monitor on the channel where the plugin is inserted.
DeBreath is not supported on Main Stage.
Dorrough Stereo: Only the vertical version of Dorrough Stereo is available in MultiRack, SoundGrid Studio and StudioRack.
Dorrough Surround: Only the vertical version of Dorrough Surround is available in MultiRack.
Grand Rhapsody Piano, Electric 200 Piano, Electric 88 Piano, Electric Grand 80 Piano, Clavinet and Bass Slapper are supported on the following hosts: Pro Tools (AAX Native), Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Nuendo, Cubase, Main Stage, Studio One, Cakewalk by BandLab, Reason, Samplitude (VSTi), Sequoia (VSTi), FL Studio, REAPER, Garage Band (on i7), Maschine and Komplete Kontrol.
InPhase & InPhase LT: Sidechain is supported on Logic.
Nx Virtual Mix Room: Surround is supported on Pro Tools (HD required), Logic Pro (no 7.1 support), Cubase (no 7.1 support), Nuendo, Digital Performer and REAPER. Surround is not supported on Ableton Live, GarageBand, Main Stage, Studio One, Samplitude, Sequoia and Cakewalk by BandLab. In Pro Tools, Nx Ambisonics components are available on standard ‘QUAD’ tracks only, and not yet available on ‘1st order Ambisonics’ tracks.
B360 Ambisonics Encoder – 5.1 to 4.0 and 7.1 to 4.0 are not supported by Logic Pro X. In Pro Tools, B360 Ambisonics components are available on standard ‘QUAD’ tracks only, and not yet available on ‘1st order Ambisonics’ tracks.
Q-Clone is not supported on the following hosts: Main Stage, Garage Band, Media Composer, FL Studio.
Q-Capture component not supported on Main Stage.
Reel ADT on Windows does not support sync-to-temp on WaveLab.
SoundShifter: On Pro Tools, SoundShifter Graphic & Parametric support AudioSuite only.
On all other hosts, only SoundShifter Pitch is supported.
UM225 & UM226 are supported on the following hosts: Pro Tools HD, Nuendo, Cubase, Audition, Premiere, REAPER, and Pyramix. UM226 is also supported on Logic Pro and Digital Performer.
Waves Tune & Tune LT are fully supported on the following hosts: Pro Tools (AAX Native 64-bit & Audiosuite only), Logic Pro, Nuendo, Cubase, Digital Performer, Studio One, REAPER, Ableton Live 10.1 (Arrangement view only. Session view not supported). Waves Tune & Tune LT are also supported on the following hosts, but without ReWire support: Audition, Reason, Bitwig Studio, Ableton Live 11 and Luna.
X-FDBK is not supported on Final Cut, Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and Pro Tools Audiosuite on Mac.
In addition, it is not supported on Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and Pro Tools Audiosuite on Windows.
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