The 4 Best Valhalla DSP Plugins For Music Production 2023
1. Valhalla VintageVerb (Reverb)
VintageVerb is an algorithmic emulation reverb by Valhalla.
VintageVerb aims to bring to life the grit and dirt of vintage reverb hardware units from the 1970s and 1980s. The danger with emulation plugins is that they tend to sound fake or lifeless.
This is not the case here since Valhalla created a very versatile plugin that can be used in many different ways, with a sound that can be dark and mysterious or bright and overwhelming.
Valhalla VintageVerb is very versatile, mostly due to the different modes it carries. There are numerous modes with different characteristics that will make for subtle reverb sounds or exaggerated and chaotic ones. Some of the modes are concert hall, plate, room, chamber, random space, chaotic hall, chaotic neutral, sanctuary, chorus space, and many more. In addition, each mode has different decay length capabilities, different room size and shape, and overall completely different characters, which make VintageVerb a sound designer’s dream.
The true brilliance of VintageVerb is inside the color menu. This is where the vintage emulation occurs since you can set the tone to the 1970s, 1980s, or now. The 1970s color has a lower resolution and a downsample character that helps capture the darker, filled with artifacts, the sound of that era. Similarly, the 1980s color has a noisy sonic profile but is significantly brighter and wider than the 1970s. Finally, if you choose the now color option, you’ll get a full stereo modern reverb with a clean sound and no artifacts. You can apply the color options to each of the different modes, which gives you unparalleled sonic flexibility.
In the damping section, you can sculpt the tone of the reverb. You get the high shelf and high-frequency controls which allow you to decrease the higher frequencies of the wet signal. You also get the bass frequency and bass multiplier knobs, which will help you set the decay time of your chosen low frequencies in relation to the main decay time. This means if you choose 2x on the bass multiplier, the decay on your low end will be double what the overall decay is. This is an interesting feature that can help you sculpt your bottom end with accuracy.
- Shape and character
VintageVerb includes many more controls which you can use to fine-tune your reverb sound. The shape controls help you set the size of the reverb space and the attack of it. The diffusion menu with its late and early reflections controls will help you bring sounds in the front of the mix or push them back. Finally, with its rate and depth controls, the modulation menu lets you add subtle or extreme pitch effects on your wet signal to either humanize it with subtle modulation or completely alienate it with extreme pitch modulation. All these can do wonders when applied to a vocal. For example, if you increase the early reflections and decrease the late reflections, you’ll create a reverb that feels like it’s nearby. Add this to a plate model with some predelay, and you have an excellent all-purpose vocal reverb.
There are high-cut and low-cut knobs for precise sculpting of your reverb signal. You also have access to a predelay knob which is crucial for vocal processing since it allows the singer to sing the words and then introduce the wet signal. Finally, a dry and wet knob is included for parallel processing, and a big decay knob sets the overall length of the reverb.
VintageVerb is available on Windows 7 – 10 and macOS 10.9 – 10.15 in VST2.4, VST3, AU, and AAX formats.
Valhalla VintageVerb is a proven classic choice for an all-purpose reverb. It can be tricky to balance since it tends to get bigger than life and overwhelming, but that can be a great fit for creating long textural vocal effects.
You can also use it as a subtle vocal reverb through the plate model or add some real depth and haunting feel to your vocals through the various other modes. Overall, VintageVerb is a very versatile plugin that can compliment any production style.
2. Valhalla Delay (Delay)
This plugin is one of the most popular delay plugins available, thanks to its no-nonsense user interface and excellent quality.
Anyone who’s searched for a reverb or delay plugin has surely come across Valhalla’s lineup of products. They have created one other delay-like effect called the free FreqEcho, which is a frequency-based delay plugin.
As with a few other Valhalla products, this delay plugin provides you with multiple modes that process the sound with different signal chains.
One of these modes includes a tape emulation. Hence, Valhalla Delay could be considered a tape delay, too, except it has much more to offer.
Such features make it an ideal choice for modern genres like Synthwave and Chillwave that constantly require a variety, even in everyday plugins like delay and reverb.
There are fourteen modes built into this delay plugin. These include tape, HiFI, bucket brigade, digital, ghost, pitch, reverse pitch, bucket brigade duck, clarity, duck-tape, pitch-duck, LoFi, quartz, and phaser DDL. Here, the tape mode offers a detailed model of a hardware tape delay, complete with quirks like wow, flutter, and multiple eras: past (dirty), present, and future (cleanest).
Similarly, HiFi mode provides a tape echo similar to reel-to-reel decks found in studios. It tends to degrade the audio less than the tape mode. Next, the ghost mode combines the HiFi tape echo with a diffusion algorithm to create massive sounds. Likewise, the pitch mode lets you create doubles, add harmonies to synths, create shimmering sounds, etc. These are probably the most useful modes in the plugin for Synthwave and Chillwave. However, if you are interested in finding out more, give its demo a thorough try.
- Intuitive Interface
Valhalla Delay offers an intuitive, guided user interface like every Valhalla plugin. Point to a parameter on the UI, and the plugin provides helpful information at the bottom. Despite its intricate and numerous features, it helps you learn the plugin without reading the manual or watching a video about it.
Similarly, when you change the mode of the delay plugin, the user interface updates to provide a unique appearance and experience. Of course, the modes provide different parameters. So, the UI change is necessary. However, the esthetic color theme per mode makes for a great change in the user experience and sound.
Style control allows you to control the relationship between the left and right delay channels. You can make individual channel changes or manipulate both simultaneously. Here are the styles in the plugins: single, dual, ratio, ping-pong, and quad. The single style provides a mono delay, whereas the dual style provides individual controls for each channel. Similarly, the ratio style lets you control the delay time of the left channel, whereas the right channel uses a ratio control on the left channel’s delay time. Next, the ping-pong style creates the classic ping-pong delay sound, where the echoes move back and forth between the two channels. And finally, the quad style is a multi-tap delay modeling the multi-head tape echoes from the 60s and 70s. You can get up to four delay taps on each channel.
Valhalla Delay is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.8 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.
The biggest selling point of this delay plugin is its flexibility through simplicity. Instead of providing you with a large number of controls and parameters, it provides the fundamental ones alongside fourteen modes. The modes change their internal configuration and signal chain to provide interesting features like pitch shift, tape emulation, saturation, artifacts, etc. Generally, such effects would be difficult to create without a specialized plugin. So, you’re essentially buying fourteen delay plugins for the price of one!
3. Valhalla Super Massive – FREE (Delay, Reverb)
Super Massive is a free reverb plugin by Valhalla.
Valhalla is probably the king of reverb plugins, and Super Massive feels like a genuine gift of gratitude to their faithful users. As the name suggests, it specializes in long and massive reverb tones and features the familiar Valhalla interface. It’s not a subtle plugin, but it can add drama and depth to vocals of modern genres.
Super Massive has 12 different modes to choose from, including Gemini, Hydra, Centaurus, Andromeda, Lyra, Capricorn, and many more. They all have different core characteristics, like attack times, decay times, chorus, and density. They all are designed expertly and can serve different purposes. For example, Gemini is the subtlest and most conventional of all the modes. Therefore it’s great to use on vocals that need a more traditional mixing approach. However, you can still mangle it and create intricate reverbs by messing with the warp knob. In contrast, Large Magellanic Cloud is a wacky mode that serves super long reverbs with long initial delays, great for atmospheric sounds.
- Feedback and density
As I mentioned earlier, the density is already modified internally and varies from mode to mode. However, you can still adjust the density knob to further emphasize a mode’s dense or loose reverb style. In addition, the feedback is an excellent knob to scale back on the long decay times or multiply them if you feel they’re not long enough.
- Mod and EQ
The mod menu has two knobs, rate and depth. It helps you add character to your reverbs by modulating the pitch and creating thicker reverb sounds. The depth is the amount of the mod effect, and the rate controls the speed at which it takes place. Finally, an EQ with low cut and high cut knobs is included to roll off unwanted frequencies.
- Guaranteed quality
When you work with a plugin from Valhalla, you know it’s going to be a wild ride and a memorable experience. Super Massive is no exception. The sound engines behind each mode are carefully constructed and can cover a wide range of sounds at the highest quality. My favorite part about Valhalla plugins, which are included in Super Massive, is the bottom bar explaining what each parameter does and how it affects the sound. It also provides useful information regarding the reverb mode you select and how to use it to the best of its abilities.
Super Massive is available on Windows 7 – 10 and macOS 10.9 – 10.15 in VST2.4, VST3, AU, and AAX formats.
Supermassive is a generous gift from Valhalla. The 12 reverb modes are carefully constructed and sound exceptional. The feedback and density knobs can help you craft unique spaces, while the mod and EQ parameters help you finalize the effect.
The only fallback of Super Massive is how massive it sounds, something that might be unsuitable for certain sounds or occasions. However, its sound quality and free nature make it an awesome reverb plugin.
4. Valhalla Space Modulator – FREE (Flanger, Doubler)
Valhalla is a well-known developer and is responsible for some of the best dynamic effects like reverbs and delays. Their attempt at space modulation is an exciting one as well.
Valhalla Space Modulator is a plugin that was released back in 2016. Initially, it was only accessible to existing users of ValhallaDSP. However, it is now free to use for everyone. Valhalla Space Modulator includes eleven modulation algorithms and an easy-to-use set of controls for shaping the depth and kind of modulation applied to the signal. Users can control the rate and depth of the modulation and the feedback amount, and the mix of wet and dry signals.
- Advanced GUI
The GUI of this plugin is an interesting one. It is made up of big colorful knobs that are very simple to use. The knobs consist of Mix, Rate, Depth, Feedback, and Manual. The interface is resizable and very easy to use.
- Preset Manager
The preset manager on Valhalla plugins is fantastic. For example, for Space Modulator, users are provided with 70 presets that can be edited according to needs. In addition to that, users can download and create their own presets.
Valhalla Space modulator is available in VST/AU/AAX/RTAS formats and supports Windows 7 or higher for PC and Mac OS 10.9 or higher for Mac in both 32 and 64-bit systems.
In summary, you simply cannot go wrong with a Valhalla plugin. Whether it be their incredible vintage reverbs to their impeccable supermassive delays, Valhalla always seems to get it right. The space modulator is no exception, as it offers users similar controls to the ones you get on premium plugins but for free.
As a result, the Valhalla Space modulator is very popular among sound designers and music producers, and it could be perfect for you if you are looking for a budget modulator.
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