Some people in our community have been asking why we gave ValhallaSupermassive away for free. We thought about it a lot this week and combined our responses. “We” are:
Sean Costello, Sound & Code
Sean is our core algorithm engineer, product designer and sound-obsessed DSP wizard with a luscious reverb beard. In addition to making the Sound, Sean splits customer support with Don and is the voice of Valhalla.
Don Gunn, Sound & Support
Don is Valhalla’s pro audio expert (recording/mixing engineer, producer & musician). He works closely with Sean on product design, handles the majority of customer support, and gives us excellent advice. “What does Don think about that?” is a common question around here, as he is often the tie breaker.
Kristin Farr Costello, Vision
I co-founded Valhalla with Sean back in the day, and haven’t been able to figure out what my job title is all these years. Until last night! We decided it’s Vision because I focus on philosophy, visual design and making things happen for Valhalla. And because Sound + Vision is a great description of what we strive to bring. And because we love David Bowie so very much.
OK, back to the topic at hand. Here’s why we gave Supermassive away for free:
It’s a hard time.
- We are feeling it for everybody and we wanted to do something to help. Since we’re not essential workers, this was the best thing we had to give.
- Music is important, especially now, and it’s been hard to focus lately. We wanted to do something to make that a little easier.
- Working on Supermassive helped us deal with our own anxiety and uncertainty. It’s been good to have a big creative project to work on and keep us busy. The week before we launched, Sean finished up the work after a lot of late nights. I tried to get him to take a break and rest a bit. He roamed around listless for a few days and said, “I feel like a shark. A sad shark. Got to keep swimming or I’ll sink to the bottom of the ocean.” It’s probably best he’s already back at work on the next new thing.
- It’s been good for us to put down the news and think about space a lot. Turns out space is the place!
Supermassive might be alive.
This may sound weird, but Supermassive has its own creative force. Like a will into being or a kind of certainty about itself. Here’s what we knew going into it:
- It wanted to exist.
- It wanted to be the unruly algorithms Sean discovered and saved along the way.
- It didn’t want to be controlled or shaped. It wanted to stay wild and weird.
- It didn’t want to be a commercial tool or marketing bait.
- It wanted to be given freely to anyone who wanted it.
We listen to – and for – creative flow a lot in Valhalla, so we made Supermassive to spec. And today we are the proud, exhausted and bewildered human parents of a giant space baby.
We like experimenting.
As somebody once said, “the best way to predict your future is to create it.” The old ways are breaking down, and this feels like a great time to take intuitive risks, let go of old patterns and try something new. Putting our all into Supermassive and giving it freely to support creative exploration is an interesting experiment. It’s the kind of world we want to live in. And so we do!
We appreciate you.
If you downloaded Supermassive or bought any of our other stuff, thank you for being part of Valhalla. We’re grateful for your support and the creative work you’re making. Sending our best in these strange times. We’re here with (and for) you.