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How to Use Reverbs Part 3 of 3: Plates and Chambers

Hey, what’s up guys? Welcome to another video here at MixNotes.

This is our final video in our three part series on reverbs. We’re going to go over plates and chambers, and I’ve got four plug-ins here on some drums that were played by a real person in a real room with real microphones.

I’ve got two plates and two chambers from stock plugins in Pro Tools to more boutiqe-y third party plug-ins.

Alright, let’s get into it. Here is what our drum tracks sound like. There are some room mics and some roomy sounds on it already.


So kind of like a rock drum sound.

As far as the tracks that are being sent to this effects send over here with the reverbs on it, the snare — this main snare track, our overheads have a little bit. About minus ten or so, and our room mics have — are going over there as well.

So just one more time, here’s what the drums sound like dry.

[drums, dry]

Okay, so what is a plate and what is a chamber?

When I think of plates and chambers, plates specifically, I think of the distance from the back wall to your sound source. So, it’s going to give you depth, essentially.

Chambers to my ears give you this — that same back wall relationship, as well as a little bit of height, to me. That’s kind of how I think about them.

So it’s better for me to just show you this stuff than to talk your head off about it. So this first plug-in here is D-verb. Just a regular, stock Pro Tools plug-in. It’s on their plate dark preset here.

So let’s play the dry drums and then I’ll unbypass this, we’ll go back and forth, and try to envision that back wall and that distance changing. You’ll definitely feel it with these, they’re pretty obvious. So here we go.

[drums, with and without reverb]

There you go, D-Verb. Don’t underestimate these stock plug-ins. They sound great. I love D-verb. It’s easy to setup, it sounds good, you don’t have to mess with it a whole lot. Just put it on and go.

So that’s our stock Pro Tools plug-in. Now let’s go over to R-Verb, which we’ve seen in the other videos. This is a chamber. You’re going to hear a lot of top end-y stuff. Bring it around in the cymbals. Specifically, probably a hi-hat I’m thinking. So here we go, let’s listen to it.

Bypass, and we’ll turn it on and off.

[drums, with and without R-Verb]

A little taller, a little wider, a little farther back. You can kind of hear the difference. So let’s go.

Here’s our R-Verb plate, and then I’ll kick on — or, here’s our D-Verb plate, and then I’ll kick on the chamber and you can kind of feel the difference spatially. Here we go.

[drums, alternating reverbs]


Get a little more height. Plates and chambers is kind of a personal preference thing. I’m more of a plate guy. I don’t know, I just never really use chambers. Chambers seem a little exaggerated to me, but that’s just my opinion.

Here is our Lexicon plate. It’s — this is their vintage plate PCM plug-in in the PCM bundle you can get, and it’s on big drums preset. So turn this off and do the normal routine here.

[drums, with and without Lexicon plate]

Really wide, really deep. This is sort of my go-to plate plug-in lately. I always kind of go through different stuff, but this last one is a chamber from McDSP. Their Revolver. Basic reverb plug-in.

And let’s check it out. Here we go.

[drums, with and without Revolver]

Very chamber-y. Very exaggerated. Maybe if we pull this volume down like, 3dB or so it will fit in a little better.

[drums with Revolver]

Yeah, that feels a little better.

[drums, with and without Revolver]


Here is like, a chorus section.

[drums with Revolver]

So anyways. Those are plates and chambers. This is just a real quick kind of fundamental theoretical approach to reverbs. You know, the key is to sort of use rooms, plates, and halls to create your space. Sort of a combination of all three. Rooms are going to create that distance from your face to the instrument with those early reflections. Kind of just set things back a little bit.

Plates and chambers are going to give you that distance off the back wall from the instrument, and then the halls are going to give you primarily height. The key is to use all three of those in combination to create your space.

Now, would you use all three of them on one track? Probably not. You sort of pick and choose, and all of these things are like different paint brushes. Depending on the type of music you make and what you’re into, experiment with these things and figure out how you want to use them.

Do you want to use EQs on them? Do you want to use a stereo imager on them and make them wide or more narrow? Do you want to use mono reverbs or mono delays or whatever?

So you can experiment and kind of find your groove with them all. There are no real set in stone rules, so just keep that in mind, but it is important to understand sort of the basic principals of these things.

So anyways, I hope you learned something from all of this. Go check out the website. We’re doing like, 30% off the premium tutorials this month. All April. So if there’s something you’ve been wanting to get a little cheap, maybe you go find it, maybe you get it, whatever.

Other than that, go like us on Facebook, do all the social networking stuff, Twitter, the links are down in the description, and we’ll see you in the next video.




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