Show 152 – NAMM 2012 recap and DIY Plate Reverb

This week we talk about some of the highlights of the NAMM show and talk with Jac Mandel about his DIY Plate Reverb.
In Rapid fire we cover: preferred interface connection; how do we compete with million dollar mixes; favorite reverb type.
Our guest is Jac Mandel @JacMandel
Download Show #152

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12 thoughts on “Show 152 – NAMM 2012 recap and DIY Plate Reverb

  1. Jon is right about voltage with tubes…Thats why they are “biased” to the correct setting.. Tubes do cause a natural distortion that is pleasing to our ears, but the low end gear that uses tubes, usually is attempting to be “Like” the pro gear that sounds great..again, trying to sound good and actually sound-ing good are two different things….and once again, those low end companies do not understand this mantra

  2. Question for the guys: How do you typically mix a song done by a 3-piece band? In my case it was drums, guitar, and bass/vocals. The biggest issue I encountered was with the guitar – most of the time he didn’t double track parts and I’d find myself wrestling with placement in the mix without it sounding lop-sided.

    I held off on NAMM this year. It’s the equivalent of Vegas for me – seems to suck the life out of you. I’ve gone in years past but it’s basically the exact same thing each year, so once you’ve gone you can pretty much check it off the bucket list.

    Thanks for the hard work on the podcast, and Ryan – as Ron Burgundy once said “Well…agree to disagree” (although he did also say “It’s science” when he told Veronica that women have smaller brains).

  3. I have had it in mind to make a plate reverb for some time, and with my background as a Blacksmith the metal fabrication should be no problem. That said I would have to get rid of some guitars in order to have space to put it and that just ain’t gonna happen πŸ˜€

    I really did not see any real must have things come out at NAMM though the new Fender Pawnshop amps looked cool… Sadly I will not be buying any new Fender products due to them backing the SOPA bill, same goes for Gibson and Martin. I tend to like vintage stuff anyway.

  4. well since the line has been drawn in the sand im going team Ryan. (bad news Ryan… i always got picked last in dodge ball)

    I challenge all you Jonites to a donation war, lets settle this once and for all muahahah! Team Ryan Represent!

    The plate reverb unit was very cool. All this DIY brightens my out look for my home studio. Though I had no idea how large plate reverbs actually were. So i guess size does matter… all these years the wife has been lying to me πŸ™‚

  5. Would it be possible to make a plate reverb out of a gong cymbal? Has anyone tried that? What about other cymbals? Also, I thought NAMM had some cool iPad stuff this year, like Auria, and the Alesis docks

  6. DIY! I love it. I definitely won’t have time for anything like that for a while, but it is a project I will definitely do before I die. Congrats on the results, it sounded great on the vocals and acoustic.

    Don’t remember Ryan getting pics of that funky Molecule drum kit he mentioned, but Bobbi Owsinski had a post on his blog, pics were here: Hard to really hear tone in the showroom floor, but they did sound pretty cool. Different, and certainly not as flexible with a missing head to tweak, but I could see them fitting in some cool grooves, and I don’t normally like acrylic shells.

    The NAMM highlights for me were control surfaces/consoles, 500 series stuff, Transaudio’s booth, electronics like Ryan mentioned (and I will be buying Bourns pots for life now), the cool little miniamps that everyone seemed to have this year, and many of the new and/or boutique microphones out there.

    And I am firmly on team Ron, the genetically engineered lovechild of Ryan and Jon that makes me laugh while not letting me forget how inept I am at this whole audio engineering game.

  7. Team Jon, for the win!

    My comment is on pickup swapping, in general terms. My rule of thumb is that if an electric guitar feels good and sounds good unplugged, then it’s a keeper. My logic is that the electronics can always be upgraded. I have an Epiphone DOT that I bought for that very reason, it feelt great and sounded great unplugged. I laugh because the pickups I bought cost me more than the guitar, but that’s just life sometimes. The Epi DOT is a guitar I love to play and I love the tone of it.

    In the case of any semi/hollow-body, and pickup swapping in general, I would recommend replacing all the pots, caps & wiring all in one pass. There are several sites that sell prewired pot/capacitor setups which can save some of the labor, but that’s the fun part of rme. While the DOT, and pretty much any hollow-body, takes a good bit of time and patience to rewire I think it’s worth in the end. Go in once and “get ‘er done!”

    Great show guys, keep up the good work!


  8. Guys,

    A great show, and man I wish I had planned out NAMM before the kids’ schedule came up on the radar. I’m putting it in the calendar for next year for sure.

    Great to hear from Jac Mandel (check out his entry on the Theme Challenge at IHR … sorry, shameless plug).

    Like most of the posts here, I don’t think I’ll have the time or energy to tackle a DIY plate reverb project, but that sure looks like fun.

    A tidbit from the dark recesses of useless information in my head:

    One thing that makes plates so appealing is that they don’t have any early reflections or pre-delay – at least not on real plates. You don’t get a sense of room size, but rather just the bouncing reflections which makes them so appealing on vocals and highlight tracks. If you wanted pre-delays or early reflections on plate reverbs you had to include a short delay in the signal chain.

    Keep it up guys!


  9. Hi guys I love the show, great guests & content keep it up!

    Although this isn’t actually related to the show I was wondering if anyone can recommend any good resources related to the most common practices for multi-sampling acoustic instruments, I have a couple of great recording spaces and access to some unique sounding instruments which I would like to sample as accurately as possible but although I have no issues with the way i’m recording these for live takes i’m struggling to find out what i need to know, I’m more interested in finding out how many velocity layers etc’ and what general conventions people take into account when meticulously sampling a programming a complex instrument.

    I’d love to hear everyones thoughts on the matter as it’s not always easy to get hold of the instruments when i ned them so it would be great to have a really good instrument to load up in kontakt for when i just have to have “that” sound, maybe you could do a segment on it sometime i



  10. Best home recording podcast… engaging hosts, great content, well paced structure, great sound(should go without saying for a home rec podcast, but you’d be surprised), truly knowledgeable guests, and a simple to navigate, effective pro website. Thanks.

    Requests for future shows.

    Analysis of and recording tips for music genres such as post-punk, krautrock, glam(T Rex or Bowie not Poison or Kixx), shoegaze, etc.

    Maybe a longer segment focused on the many tricks you can do with reverb. Experimental, clever reverb stuff.


  11. Hey guys. I have been looking at building a Plate for a while, this taught me a LOT about what to expect. Haven’t used a REAL plate reverb since my Belmont days… Anyway, I wanted to post something to get some feedback. Most of my recording at the moment is to 2 track, and I want to put this out for anyone who listens to this podcast to feel free to critique. This is a recording that does not translate well to 2 track without the room mics. This is straight off my console.
    See if you can identify my technique for gluing the vocals together.

    I have been playing with the idea of setting up a Mid-Side matrix in my sanctuary to be able to add an adjustable stereo room sound. Your podcast last week cemented that. (Thankfully I have a way to decode it in real-time.) God Bless Digital Console.

    Keep up the great stuff, I have been able to add many of the techniques used in the studio, (serial/parallel compression, etc.) into my live work and the results have been awesome. Thanks for the awesome show. I wish you had doppelgangers who could put it out 2 times a week.


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