More on the Pluto Plate Reverb

Here’s the site

If you’re thinking about buying one, do it.  You’ll love it.

It’s been a couple of years since this cool piece of gear was released, and I figure it’s time to elaborate a little bit about it.

I have been using two of the Pluto Plates at Woolly Mammoth Sound since they came on the market (we have the first two production models).  And I have also had the chance to use the original prototype plate that Ed keeps in his studio.

The first time I heard the prototype, I was extremely blown away.  Same scenario with the two plates that wound up at Woolly Mammoth.  Like many of you out there in audio-land, I had never heard anything but digital reverbs for my entire career (excepting the occasional real room verb), and I have to say, I HAVE NOT GONE BACK TO USING DIGITAL REVERBS.   Well, that’s not entirely true…sometimes I have to use them, but it’s a drag.  They don’t sound good to my ears now that I’ve heard the real deal.  There are several high end digital reverbs at the studio, and they just don’t do the trick for me anymore.  I’m spoiled.  First World Problems.  Boo hoo me.

I often use plate #1 on it’s very shortest setting and like to use it for snare drums, tamborines, and percussive type of things.  Plate #2 is usually reserved for longer settings, as this plate is a bit richer sounding than #1.  #1 is a bit brighter, and I think all of the plates will sound a bit different than one another as Ed continues to build and sell them.  So, plate #2 is usually for vocals, guitars, drum room mics, piano.

Occasionally, I will actually need a 3rd plate, which obviously is a ridiculous thing to need, but we’re audio guys, and we’re ridiculous, so I just print one of the plates on the short setting, and then dial it back to a longer setting.  In fact, for a few months, we only had one plate, and I would print 3 or 4 different passes on the one plate to get a good variety.

One thing that has been noticed by both me and Ed, is that as you start to put more and more things into the plate, it starts to “sing”, “gel”, “compress”, “excite” or whatever nutty audio adjective you like…..but the plate takes all of that sound and really gets musical, in a way that a concert hall would do the same thing when nice music is being played in it.

I do a fair bit of mixing at my home studio these days, and I have a really top notch spring reverb that totally does the trick for me for everything I mix (except percussion…it SUCKS at percussion).   I often think that the spring is all I really need, until I get back to Woolly and start using the plates again, and I just shake my head at how good it sounds.  I’m one of those guys that doesn’t believe all the BS hype that goes on in the audio world….there’s a LOT of overpriced stuff out there.   But there are a few things that are expensive and totally worth it, and I’ll be damned if the Pluto Plate isn’t one of them.

I should add this disclaimer:  Ed Riemer and I are pals.    But he didn’t ask me to do this, nor do I get any compensation or anything like that for writing something like this.  I wanted to write this, because I probably have the most experience with these plates than anybody on the planet at this point, and other than on gearslutz, I haven’t seen too much written about them online.

Oh, I should mention:  If you find yourself using one of these, DO NOT PATCH IT INTO ITSELF.  Unless you wanna try and break it.  It makes an awesome feedback loop sound, and I suppose you could fry the driver.

I think my friend Adam Brass has  some sound samples of the plate online somewhere, but I’m too lazy to look right now.  It’s late, and I have some mixing to do anyway.  Cheers.




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