Valhalla Vintage Verb
In my search for the perfect reverb, I came across DSP Valhalla, a company founded by master craftsman Sean Costello. His work is “based on a deep understanding and analysis of analog and digital technologies of the past and extending those basics into new avenues of wonder. His goal was to create powerful VST instruments with simple interfaces that would be accessible to all musicians.
Valhalla Reverbs has been released for several years, but if you somehow missed the opportunity to try these fantastic vst plugins, here’s a little reminder that you should explore them. The four reverbs include Plate, Room, Shimmer, and Vintage, and they all have amazingly different capabilities depending on your needs. In this article, I’ll briefly cover the unique aspects of each one, and you can download them and try them out for yourself. I’ve also included an audio example of how I play the flute through the settings in each reverb. The reverb settings are shown in the screenshots provided.
Valhalla Vintage Features
Valhalla Plate is modeled on the real sounds and behavior of steel plate reverbs and allows users to go beyond the physical possibilities of that sound. Steel plate reverbs were some of the first reverb sounds used in recording production, starting in the ’60s, and rather difficult to set up.Now that we are well acquainted with the digital recording revolution, there are many digital reverb models that simulate this sound, and which we can quickly download and use. Valhalla Plate realistically simulates the physics of plate reverb in addition to providing additional controls or advanced techniques. These include controlling how metallic the reverb sounds, and setting up a lush modulation that eliminates any metallic artifacts. Plast sounds are available in the Valhalla Room plug-in, but for producers and engineers, for signal processing, this VST tool is decent.
If I were to choose only one reverb out of four, the Valhalla Room would be a great all-around choice. It has everything about room size, including light ambience, traditional hall and cymbal sounds, and complex modulated spaces. There are twelve unique reverb algorithms to choose from and plenty of presets to start.Also of note are the “Early” and “Late” sections. The “Early” section allows you to create short bursts of reverb energy such as gates and chorus effects, while the “Late” section allows you to control fades up to 100 seconds. There are so many preset options and possible combinations of algorithms that you can spend hours listening to the different nuances arising from subtle changes in the settings.
Valhalla Shimmer is the first plugin that intrigued me out of the four available. I like to use big, long reverb in my music meditation recordings, especially vocal recordings, and Valhalla Shimmer did not disappoint. Any fan of large cathedrals, halls or arenas will love the breadth of this reverb instrument. All parameters can be adjusted in real time without any weird artifacts or other unpleasant nuances. The sound quality is excellent! It’s great to have a reverb tool specifically designed for big, lush sounds. In my experience, with other reverb tools, it’s very hard to find a vst plugin that combines it all. It’s a sound you can get lost in and would be interesting on any instrument. Valhalla Shimmer also has the ability to shift the feedback signal, and there are five different modes for this. In the product description, Costello explains how to use the Shimmer and the pitch-shifting algorithm to get the classic Eno / Lanois ‘shimmer’ sound.
Valhalla Vintage is a sweet sounding reverb(verb/reverb) inspired by classic hardware digital reverbs from the 70s and 80s. The way Costello has recreated the ’70s and ’80s version is remarkable. The ’70s hardware version had a maximum output frequency of 10 kHz, and the sound was discretized internally. It reproduced this sound using custom algorithms, so the modulation is dark and noisy, and artifacts are intentionally created to give the impression of working at a lower sampling rate. The 80s version has a brighter sound compared to the full bandwidth and sample rate, although the modulation is still dark and noisy. The reverb algorithms include several standard halls, cymbals and rooms, but also interesting settings such as “Nonlin,” which combines strobed, inverse and non-linear into one and sounds otherworldly. Many of Valhalla Vintage’s algorithms emulate 80’s style hardware reverbs and also give this plug-in a unique vintage quality.