While we’re immersing ourselves in reverbs, Soundtoys did a great tutorial using their SuperPlate reverb showing a classic production tip associated with Abbey Road. It has some unique twists in SuperPlate, and I’ve used this for more than just vocals.

Yes, this is particularly suited for vocals, it’s true. But you might use it in other contexts, too – any time you have a reverb that you want to get out of the way of some other primary element. Even in purely instrumental electronic music – even in experimental music – there are times when you want to focus on some element and not lose it inside the reverb on that part or another part (like a send). In fact, I find the more experimental and strange the context, sometimes the more it’s useful to think back to “what would I do if this were a vocal” – particularly as our ears are already attuned to hearing speech in that spectrum.

This is actually not just one but several techniques combined:

  • Filter the reverb out of the target range – here using SuperPlate’s high- and low-cut filters and EQ bands
  • Accentuate the reverb tail at lower volumes by pushing the input into saturation range and lowering output (which, while the video doesn’t mention this, also pairs nicely with SuperPlate’s different saturation models)
  • Get the reverb tail out of the way of the input signal by using Auto-Decay

The Auto-Decay remains one of the most compelling elements of SuperPlate to me. It can act kinda sorta like ducking, but because it manipulates the delay time itself (rather than ducking the output wet signal), it can sound more precise. I think you just have to try it. Ducking is still very useful in other plug-ins, of course; it’s a must.

I wrote a condensed review of SuperPlate for Resident Advisor – probably the best one to read if you just want a quick overview of the reverb or if you’re new to reverbs:

In Review: Soundtoys SuperPlate

And here on CDM there’s a more in-depth review for this audience:

Hands on: Soundtoys SuperPlate is five plate reverbs in one – and delivers on nuance