I am happy to announce that ValhallaVintageVerb has been updated to version 1.7.1.
The 1.7.1 VintageVerb update is a free update, and is available in the valhalladsp.com user accounts of all people who have purchased a VintageVerb license. Demo versions can be downloaded from the main product page.
ValhallaVintageVerb 1.7.1 adds 2 new reverb modes, Chaotic Hall and Chaotic Chamber. These modes are the results of a thought experiment: what would “old school” digital reverb algorithms sound like if they were made using tape delays?
The “chaotic” aspects of Chaotic Hall and Chaotic Chamber:
- The saturation and pre/de-emphasis are based on tape delays, with a higher internal drive level than the other VintageVerb algorithms.
- The digital quantization noise of the “Dirty” algorithms in VintageVerb has been replaced by tape modulation noise, which results in a more broadband spread of frequencies as the reverb decays.
- The “random walk” used for chorusing in most of the VintageVerb algorithms has been replaced by a more “chaotic” modulation source. The “chaotic” modulation is closer to the wow/flutter/tape crinkle noise that can be heard in tape echoes, where the wear and tear of the tape loops results in a distinctive pitch modulation.
Chaotic Hall is fairly close to Dirty Hall in its basic structure, just with “chaotic” elements. Chaotic Chamber is closer to the Smooth algorithms, but with the “digital” artifacts of the Smooth algorithms replaced with “analog” artifacts. Chaotic Chamber also adds some unique signal dependent diffusion parameters, which results in a clearer sounding reverb tale.
When I was adding the chaotic algorithms to VintageVerb, I presumed that the results would be closer to the dark murkiness of tape delays. It turns out that adding chaos to these algorithms resulted in more clarity and transparency in many cases. There are definitely tape-esque artifacts in the decay, but the analog-style saturation reduces ringing in the tail, and the tape chorusing results in less random pitch shifts than the random walk modulation used in the other modes.
The other major change to VintageVerb is a GUI option added to the NOW Color mode. We’ve received a few requests to change the NOW GUI to something darker, to keep it in line with the 70s and 80s modes. Other folks really like bright NOW GUI. The solution was to add a new text field in the upper right corner of the GUI, that is displayed when viewing the NOW mode. Click on the text to select between Brightness (the original white background GUI) or Darkness (the new mode, which is white text against a dark background). Both GUIs retain the “absence of color” that is a critical visual cue for the sonic characteristics of the NOW Color mode.
An earlier blog post goes in depth on self-similarity and chaos in analog audio. The Chaotic algorithms in VintageVerb are the first application of this research, as far as the Valhalla plugins go. Stay tuned for more chaos to come!