ValhallaDSP are the creators of an increasingly popular line of reverberation plugins known for coupling simple interfaces with high quality sound processors. ValhallaRoom is their flagship algorithmic reverb and ranks as the 9th most popular effect plugin overall on Splice. Sign up for a free Splice account to download full projects that make use of ValhallaRoom’s distinctive sound characteristics and download a free demo version of ValhallaRoom at ValhallaDSP’s website.
With many overly animated plugins that seemingly spend as much CPU on graphics as they do anything else, it’s refreshing to see such a clean interface in ValhallaRoom that truly emphasizes the aural characteristics of an effect plugin and puts the sole focus on the quality of the sound. ValhallaRoom ships with over 150 presets that cover a broad range of applications, so it’s more than likely that you’ll find one that’s suitable for your purposes with minimal tweaking necessary. ValhallaRoom has a total of 12 independent reverb modes that address most reverb tasks:
- Large Room: Designed to emulate big rooms with a wide spatial impression, with smooth “detuning” modulation.
- Medium Room: Sparser than Large Room, with a more random modulation.
- Bright Room: A lush, shinier-than-life reverb, with deep modulation and a somewhat slower attack.
- Large Chamber: Smooth decay with consistent high echo density and subtle detuning modulation.
- Dark Room: A hybrid between the grungy early digital reverbs and the modern algorithms found in ValhallaRoom, with reduced high frequency content, noisy yet lush randomized modulation, a HUGE spatial image, echo density ranging from grungy to dense while retaining clarity, and tons of mojo.
- Dark Chamber: Similar to the original Large Chamber algorithm, but bigger and darker, with deeper detuning modulation.
- Dark Space: A HUGE dark space, with a somewhat sparser early echo density and deep detuning modulation.
- Nostromo: Deep, dark, echoing reverb. Very sparse early echo density, slow density build, random modulation, wide spatial image.
- Narcissus: Dark, lush, wide, with random modulation that quickly builds into rich chorusing. The little sibling of Nostromo, but it is still big.
- Sulaco: Dark with lush modulation, and a well-centered stereo image. The Late Size control can sweep the reverb from tight rooms to vast echoing spaces.
- LV-426: A dark, deep space reverb, with the wide spatial image of Nostromo and Narcissus, but with a much higher initial echo density than either of those reverbs. LV-426 has a somewhat slower attack than the other modes, and has highly diffuse random modulation for lush decays.
- Dense Room: Similar to Large Room, but with a denser distribution of early echos, and a tone that is brighter while still having the “darkness” of the Dark algorithms.
If you find that the sound does require some tweaking, ValhallaRoom puts control of every parameter within easy reach. The left control panel provides an overview of ValhallaRoom’s central characteristics:
- Mix: The mix slider controls the balance of the dry input signal to the “wet” reverberated signal.
- Predelay: Delays the onset of the Early and Late reverberation. Expressed in milliseconds.
- Decay: The high level decay control for Late reverberation. The time needed for the reverb to fully decay.
- High Cut: Controls the cutoff frequency of a -12dB/oct lowpass filter. The relatively steep slope of this filter creates a more “natural” sound in the high frequencies, which reflects the air and wall absorption found in real acoustic spaces.
- Depth: Controls the balance between the Early and Late reverb modules, measured as a percentage. 0% represents a signal that is only from the Early Reverb, while 100% represents a signal that is all Late reverb.
ValhallaRoom also provides you with full control of both early and late reflections. You can access these parameters by toggling between the different views. The Late and Early buttons will turn red when active.
The Early section can be heard in isolation by setting the DEPTH slider to 0%. Higher DEPTH settings will crossfade between the Early and Late reverberation, with a setting of 100% resulting in the output coming entirely from the Late reverberation.
- Early Size: Adjusts the length of the Early energy impulse in milliseconds.
- Early Cross: Controls the stereo cross-mixing of the Early Energy. An Early Cross setting of 0% will result in no mixing of energy between left and right channels; a signal in the left channel will not generate any early reflections in the right channel. Higher settings will mix the energy between the left and right channels, and will also increase the echo density.
- Mod Rate: Controls the base modulation frequency of the Early chorusing.
- Mod Depth: Controls the depth of the Early chorusing.
- Early Send: Controls how much of the Early reverberation is fed into the Late reverb.
- Diffusion: Controls the echo density of the Early reverb.
The Late reverberation controls in ValhallaRoom can be accessed by clicking the Late button at the top of the plugin.
- Late Size: Adjusts the relative size of the late “room.” Larger values correspond to larger spaces, and will result in a more expansive sound. For some of the Reverb Modes, high settings of Late Size will result in audible early echos, so adjust this by ear for each reverb mode.
- Late Cross: Controls the amount of coupling between the reverberators for the left and right channels. A Late Cross setting of 0.0 corresponds to separate reverbs for the left and right channels, where a signal injected into a single channel will decay in that channel only. Increasing the Late Cross setting will cause energy to spread across the stereo image as the signal decays, at a rate determined by both the Late Cross setting and the Late Size control (with a smaller setting of Late Size corresponding to a faster spread of energy between the left and right channels). By setting Late Cross to a value less than 1.0, the input stereo image will be preserved as the sound decays away.
- Mod Rate: Controls the modulation rate of the Late reverb. This is more of an “average” rate, as there is a LOT of modulation going on in the Late reverb, with up to a few dozen LFOs, all of which are randomized and have different base frequencies. Generally speaking, rates around 0.5 Hz are useful for smoothing out any artifacts in the decay, while rates above 1 Hz are useful for adding lush chorusing artifacts.
- Mod Depth: Controls the depth of the modulation in the Late reverb. Note that this is also dependent on the Reverb Mode setting, with the Bright Room having more obvious random pitch warbles for a given Mod Depth settings than the other modes.
- Bass Mult: Adjusts the decay time for the low frequencies, relative to the mid frequency decay time set by the DECAY slider.
- Bass Xover: controls the crossover frequency, in Hertz, between the bass decay (which is controlled by Bass Mult times DECAY) and the midrange decay (which is controlled by DECAY).
- High Mult: Adjusts the decay time for the high frequencies, relative to the mid frequency decay time set by the DECAY slider.
- High Xover: Controls the crossover frequency, in Hertz, between the the midrange decay (which is controlled by DECAY) and the bass decay (which is controlled by Bass Mult times DECAY).
ValhallaRoom comes with over 150 professionally designed presets that are guaranteed to give you a taste of some of the lush reverbs that you can create with it. If you’re looking to add a sense of space, depth, and life to your projects, ValhallaRoom delivers. ValhallaRoom is available for both Windows and OSX based systems, in either 32-bit or 64-bit versions. Sign up for a free Splice account to download full projects that make use of ValhallaRoom and download a demo version at ValhallaDSP’s website.
June 15, 2015