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 v11 System Requirements
Intel Core i5 / i7 / Xeon
Intel Core i5 / i7 / Xeon / AMD Quad-Core
8 GB RAM
8 GB free disk space on the system drive
8 GB RAM
8 GB free disk space on the system drive
10.12.6 - 10.15
Windows 10 64 bit
Recommended: 1280x1024 / 1600x1024
USB displays are not supported as the primary display.
Codex & Element 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, Maschine and Komplete Kontrol.
CLA MixHub and Scheps Omni Channel The insert slot is not supported under Bitwig Studio.
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 not supported on Logic.
NLS is not supported on Final Cut Pro X.
Nx Virtual Mix Room: Surround is supported on Pro Tools (HD required), Logic Pro, Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer and REAPER. Surround is not supported on Ableton Live, GarageBand, Main Stage, Studio One, Samplitude, Sequoia and Cakewalk by BandLab.
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 (Arrangement view only. Session view not supported). Waves Tune & Tune LT is also supported on the following hosts, but without ReWire support: Audition, Reason, Bitwig Studio.
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.
B360 Ambisonics Encoder – 5.1 to 4.0 and 7.1 to 4.0 are not supported by Logic Pro X.
What’s New in v11
Released Oct 28th, 2019
All Waves plugins: Across-the-board software update to version 11.
Redesigned interfaces for all eight Renaissance plugins:
Users can now switch between three skins for each Renaissance plugin: Two new skins – Light and Dark – in addition to the existing Legacy skin.
Real-time frequency analyzer added to the Renaissance EQ and Renaissance Channel plugins.
Renaissance Channel interface completely revised and streamlined based on user feedback, making R-Channel more intuitive and easy to use.
Added: Over 700 presets by leading producers & engineers added to the Renaissance plugins.
Plugins added to premium bundles:
OneKnob Pumper, MetaFilter, and Greg Wells ToneCentric added to Platinum.
OneKnob Pumper, MetaFilter, Greg Wells ToneCentric and Cobalt Saphira added to Diamond.
OneKnob Pumper, MetaFilter, Greg Wells ToneCentric and WLM Plus Loudness Meter added to Horizon.
Infected Mushroom Pusher added to Mercury, Pro Show and SD7 Pro Show.
Added: NKS support for over 40 additional plugins.
Added: EQ Curve support on Pro Tools and Avid S6 for the following plugins: AudioTrack, eMo F2, eMo Q4, F6, GEQ, H-EQ, LinEQ, Q10, RenEQ, RenChannel, RS56
Added: “Set as default preset” to all plugins.
Added: Over 700 presets by leading producers & engineers added to multiple plugins.
Improved: Loading time of several plugins.
Improved: Smoother plugin controls movement with the mouse.
Improved: Responsiveness of moving controls with the mouse wheel on Windows.
Improved: Peak reading accuracy in Pro Tools under AudioSuite.
Improved: Added “Skip All” to unlicensed plugin message in Logic Pro.
Improved: Plugins with skins will open with the last used skin.
Fixed: Cubase 10 freeze during launch when Waves plugins have no licenses.
Fixed: Sample-based instruments crash Logic Pro when changing the sample rate after freezing a track.
Fixed: Waves instrument applications crash when trying to open them without a license.
Fixed: Master Bypass is missing from the Pro Tools automation window.
Fixed: Removed the bypass button for all Waves instruments in Pro Tools.
Fixed: MIDI Program change in VST3.
Fixed: Abbey Road Chambers may crash Logic Pro in a session with some Eventide plugins.
Fixed: Abbey Road TG Meter Bridge input meters do not respond to input gain changes.
Fixed: Corrupted sound processing when moving Brauer Motion between channels in Pro Tools.
Fixed: Multi-selecting all Threshold controls in C4 and C6 is not possible.
Fixed: Trans-X output level is not saved in the session when inserted into CLA MixHub in Cubase and Studio One.
Fixed: CLA MixHub modules On/Off are missing in Pro Tools automation window.
Fixed: Selected wavetable is not indicated correctly in Codex.
Fixed: Flow Motion crash when clicking undo/redo after switching Setup A/B.
Fixed: Right channel was delayed in Greg Wells VoiceCentric mono to stereo when bypassed.
Fixed: H-Reverb X-Time control movement is inverted in reverse mode.
Fixed: Nx head tracker application wrongly reopens after removing the Nx plugin.
Fixed: Abbey Road Studio 3 Head Tracking and Head Modeling menus do not open using a touch screen.
Fixed: OneKnob Driver wrong delay compensation.
Fixed: OneKnob Driver stereo component flips the audio signal’s phase.
Fixed: Impossible to control PRS SuperModels with the mouse after opening menus using touch.
Fixed: Crash when loading some Scheps Omni Channel stereo presets in Ableton Live VST3.
Fixed: Scheps Omni Channel automation and solo functionality issues.
Fixed: PuigChild compressor settings are not saved in sessions when inserted into Scheps Omni Channel.
Fixed: TRACT IIR on/off controls don’t work until an EQ parameter is changed.
Fixed: TRACT IIR filter mouse movement in sub zoom mode is too fast and hard to control.
Fixed: Waves Tune preset loading issues.
Fixed: Waves Tune Real-Time is under the Effects instead of Pitch Shift category in Adobe Audition.
Fixed: V-EQ4 graphic issues when inserted in Scheps Omni Channel or CLA MixHub.
Various other fixes and improvements.
Waves Central 11.0.40: Support for installing version 11.
November 4, 2018 Changes to V10
Improved: Overall GUI responsiveness of all plugins.
Added: “Netflix 2018” preset to WLM and WLM Plus.
Added: F6 global control mapping to Avid S3.
Fixed: F6 RTA default setting load.
Fixed: Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain Load/Save preset menus in MultiRack SoundGrid, StudioRack SoundGrid, and eMotion ST.
Fixed: Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain loading in GarageBand.
Fixed: Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain is located in the Effects category instead of Mastering in Adobe Audition.
Fixed: MultiRack SoundGrid connected to DiGiCo consoles freezes when moving controls on Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain.
Fixed: GTR ToolRack crash when starting/stopping playback and simultaneously changing cabinets, amp types or microphones.
Fixed: GTR ToolRack & Stomp don’t update latency when stomps are inserted.
Producer and engineer Billy Bush has produced some of my favorite bands, Garbage, Muse, Against Me!, and Snow Patrol. In this video, he shows creative ways to use the Abbey Road Reverb Plates plug-in on vocals, guitars, and drums. He explains how to choose specific reverb sounds to differentiate verses and choruses.