A quick clip from my upcoming plugin

I was playing around with ValhallaFreqEcho, in self-oscillation mode, going into my upcoming plugin, ValhallaShimmer. The results were evil enough that I decided to record a short clip:

I’ve been working on the new plugin for the last few months, whenever I have spare time. I’ll post more examples in the next week.

About the author:

Sean Costello is the "algorithmic reverb plugin wizard" [citation needed] at Valhalla DSP.

Comments (5)

  1. I just came across this clip. It sounds amazing.
    It immediately reminded me of an ambient song by Aphex Twin:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBU3uAzRejs
    I wonder how exactly he made it back then.
    I’m guessing he mostly used a Roland JD800 synth for most of that album.
    Think the lovely reverbs on it are also Roland, perhaps from the JD800 or perhaps a dedicated reverb box. Always loved the older Roland verbs, I used to own a SRV-2000 which could give a similar sound.
    I’m hearing a somewhat similar vibe in ValhallaShimmer. Finally a reverb plugin that can make magic in electronic ambient music šŸ™‚
    Thank you so much!!

    1. From what I have read of that era of Aphex Twin, he made heavy use of the Oberheim Matrix-1000, so that might be the pads. Some of the sounds on SAW II have a more modular flavor, so I’d guess he was using the MS-20. For example, the filtered percussion on the song you list might be being processed by the MS-20 filters.

      As far as early Aphex Twin reverbs, I’m going to guess Alesis, probably Quadraverb. I’ve seen live footage of Aphex Twin from 1993/1994, and a Quadraverb is prominently featured. Autechre made heavy use of the Quadraverb as well. The Quadraverb algorithms were based on allpass loops, or possibly parallel comb filters with embedded allpasses (Keith Barr suggested the latter in an email exchange I had with him, but he also said it was hard to recall the exact structure after all these years).

      ValhallaShimmer is an allpass loop style reverb, so it will have some simliar artifacts on long decays as the Alesis reverbs. I use a LOT more modulation than the Alesis structures, and a simpler output tap structure, so the initial attack of ValhallaShimmer will be somewhat different than the Alesis reverbs, but the decay will be fairly similar. The Medium Stereo reverb mode would be closest in complexity and attack rate to the Quadraverb algorithms, and I’d recommend using the Dark color mode in order to capture the lower sampling rate of these older boxes.

      The new Dark Room mode in ValhallaRoom is another good choice for capturing these darker reverb sounds. It has NO high frequencies above 1/2 the sampling rate, and deliberately noisy delay modulation, so there is a lot of dark mojo in there. However, ValhallaShimmer is particularly well suited to ambient music, so if you have Shimmer, just follow the above recommendations as a starting point.

  2. Hi Sean, thanks for your reply!
    I see you knew this music well already šŸ™‚
    The older records of Aphex Twin and Autechre are reverb ambient heaven indeed.
    I read about the Oberheim Matrix-1000 before, and I’ve owned one, but I can say for sure that it is not the main pad source for Selected Ambient Works II.
    If you listen carefully you’ll hear that it is mostly samples which are heavily processed. I’ve owned several Roland synths from that period and actually recognized several samples/ rom instruments which are used on SAW II.
    I even wouldn’t be sure to say the reverb is a Quadra verb (though he clearly used it a lot for effects / sounddesign on much of his other music). The Roland verbs from that period come closer to it in sound I think, I’ve experimented in this direction a lot in the past. (perhaps they are allpass loop based too? and therefore somewhat similar to the Alesis reverbs?)
    For the MS-20 you are probably right! I’ve used to own one, and I always thought I heard it’s distinct input overdrive / filter and spring reverb sound on this song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxl2BsZ9214
    As for Autechre I think they used Alesis midiverb / quardaverb a lot too (and also effects built into Ensoniq synths), but the reverb is not the same as on SAW II I think.

    Thanks for the tips on setting up ValhallaShimmer and ValhallaRoom for these types of reverb!
    I don’t own them yet, but will very soon. I’m in the middle of selling my hardware and going to purely computer based production.
    I think it was actually your ValhallaShimmer that gave me the final push a few weeks ago! šŸ™‚

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