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Before there were digital reverbs there were reverb plates, springs, mechanical reverbs  and – of course – reverb chambers

A reverb chamber is a simple idea – take an empty room, fit a speaker and a pair of microphones and create natural reverb. It’s simple in theory, and hard to do in practice, but there were (and are) some great chambers in larger studios

The plate reverbs was invented by EMT in 1957 and used a suspended steel plate with a transducer and a pickup (later, two pickups for “stereo”). The transducer energised the plate and reverberation was created by the sound waves travelling around the plate. Plate reverbs are still in use, and in production, 61 years later

In the late 1970s EMT began research into digital processes to quantify & generate reverberation. This led to the 1976 EMT 250, still one of the most feted reverbs in the world

The other pioneering reverb company at that time was Lexicon in Waltham, Mass. Lexicon and EMT had one thing in common – Dr Barry Blesser, a founder of Lexicon and designer of the 250 for EMT.

EMT had a background in broadcast and high-end audio products whereas Lexicon was a typical high-tech company which grew in the shadow of MIT

 

Reverb Top Ten

  1. Lexicon 480L
  2. Lexicon 224XL
  3. EMT 240
  4. Lexicon 224
  5. EMT 250
  6. AMS RMX16
  7. Lexicon PCM70
  8. EMT 244
  9. Quantec QRS/L

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