Soundtoys has finally released another plugin: the SuperPlate reverb. It’s an emulation of five classic plate reverbs with huge flexibility. We tested it out in the studio.
When Soundtoys releases something, the world of musicians, producers, mixing engineers — and basically anyone with a DAW — takes notice. A lot of notice. Mid-May they dropped the SuperPlate. We should have known they wouldn’t make the Little Plate and leave it there. We tested out this new reverb in the studio.
Soundtoys are one of the music world’s not-so-secret weapons, they dance the line between creative and technical for audio production, mixing, and sound design — not an easy feat in the software world. Founded in Burlington VT, in 1996 by Ken Bogdanowicz — the DSP effects designer behind Eventide’s legendary H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer — Soundtoys know exactly what music makers want, and they’ve hit the mark yet again with the SuperPlate reverb.
SuperPlate offers the EMT 140, EMT 240, Audicon, EcoPlate III, and Stocktronics RX4000 plate reverb units in one plugin, including analog coloration of Tube and Solid-State — based on the EMT V54 preamp and EMT 162 preamp respectively or a Clean setting. As expected from Soundtoys, it has modern features like infinite decay time, built-in pre-delay, expanded modulation controls, full-featured EQ, and a decay ducking option that adjusts decay time to avoid overlap or masking.
It’s been a dream for Soundtoys to have a high-end reverb in Effect Rack ever since its release, so we opened up a recent Live from Happy performance by Gena Rose Bruce to see how creative we could get with this stunning new plugin.
Firing up the SuperPlate on the default setting, you get an instant classic, well, a Classic 140 at 3.5 seconds decay, no pre-delay, no filtering, Solid-State analog coloration, and it sounds amazing. BUT, like all SoundToys plugins, there’s so much more you can do — and a hot tip, click on any text on the GUI and you see numbers you are tweaking.
Given the dreamy nature of Gena Rose Bruce’s track Captive, long decay and higher pre-delay work a treat. Not knowing much about the sound of the Audicon, I thought was a good place to get creative. It’s not long before you get into floating, ethereal territory from opening up the Tweak section and EQ’ing the reverb with the filters and the two EQ points, maxing out the Modulation — and changing its Rate — and clicking through the coloration options.
There’s such a huge tone difference between the three options, that I can confidently tell you that you’ve got five reverbs with three variations, basically giving you 15 reverbs!
Speaking of EQ, there’s really a LOT you can do with the EQ section. The high and low pass has three slopes — 6, 12, and 24 dB per octave — and both of the two full range sweepable frequency bands can have their Qs adjusted, just use your scroll wheel.
The Auto-Decay section is brilliant and very easy to use, made easier with the visual cues — you can see the Threshold reacting to the input and the main decay knob has an orange meter that shows the input source as well. It quickly became my favourite feature of the plugin as I constantly use side chain trickery to get my vocals clearer without the smearing of reverb. Well played Soundtoys.
The Width control does exactly that — and the opposite. You can narrow the reverb to the centre by turning it all the way to the left (0%). Hot tip: option/alt + click sends the control all the way back to 100%. On that note, option/alt + click resets all the controls on the SuperPlate.
To get the full experience, I highly recommend loading this up in Effect Rack. With the ability to tweak the input, output, recycle and mix plus the chance to completely affect your sound by loading up a Devil-loc Deluxe and a Primal Tap after your reverb — yes, I did this, and yes, it sounds amazing!
SuperPlate can be purchased singularly for $149 USD or as part of the v5.4 Soundtoys bundle featuring all of their 22 plugins for $499 USD.
To buy it, trial it, or learn more, you can head over to Soundtoys.com.