ValhallaSupermassive is 2 years old, and to mark the occasion, we’re releasing the 2.0.0 Supermassive update with two new reverb modes, Aquarius and Pisces.
Aquarius and Pisces are both modified feedback delay networks in a topology I’m calling “EchoVerb.” These algorithms have a strong audible echo, which directly corresponds to the displayed Delay time. By modifying WARP, FEEDBACK, and DENSITY, Aquarius and Pisces can be used for standard delays, delays with reverb mixed in, reverb with a strong pre-delay, or weird and wild echo sounds.
Valhalla Supermassive Reverb Mode: Aquarius
The Aquarius mode is similar to the earlier Capricorn mode, in that it has 8 delays in the feedback delay network. The main change is that Aquarius only has two delays in the output signal: one for the left channel, one for the right channel. The left and right output delay lengths are the same, regardless of the WARP setting. This results in a very audible echo/delay in the signal, especially with low settings of DENSITY. As the DENSITY control is turned up, the other delays in the feedback delay network have more of their outputs sent into the global feedback path, which results in a more reverberant sound – or in more comb filtering with low settings of WARP. When WARP is at 0% and the modulation DEPTH is at 0%, turning up DENSITY will result in weird cancellations in the echo signal, that can create interesting polyrhythms and panning.
Valhalla Supermassive Reverb Mode: Pisces
The Pisces mode is essentially a denser version of the Aquarius mode, and can be viewed as a modified Gemini mode with only two output delays (one for the left channel, one for the right). As the DENSITY control is turned up, the outputs of the other delays in the feedback delay network are mixed into the global feedback path. Since there are more delays in the Pisces mode, the reverb will build up density and lushness more quickly than the Aquarius mode.
A Few Tips and Tricks For the New Modes
I feel like these two new reverb modes, Aquarius and Pisces, are the most generically useful modes in Supermassive. Weird sounds are definitely on tap, but these modes specialize in reverberant echoes – i.e. echoes with some reverb mixed in there. Switch the delay time to tempo sync, and the new modes are perfect for adding rhythmic delays to your music, with as much or as little reverb as you want. The DENSITY control allows you to adjust how long it takes to turn the echoes into reverb, which is perfect for keeping your sounds defined in your mix!
- Aquarius Echo/Reverb: set WARP to 60% or higher, DENSITY between 40% and 70%, and FEEDBACK for the desired amount of echo feedback. The higher the Density setting, the quicker the sound will transform from an echo to a reverb.
- Pisces Echo/Reverb: set WARP to 60% or higher, DENSITY between 30% and 60%, and FEEDBACK for the desired amount of echo feedback. The Pisces mode has a higher inherent echo density than the Aquarius mode, hence the lower DENSITY values.
- Aquarius/Pisces Reverb w/ pre-delay: Set WARP to 60% or higher, DENSITY to 100%, and FEEDBACK to the desired reverb length.
- Panning/tremolo echoes: Set WARP to 0%, FEEDBACK to the desired echo repeat duration, MOD DEPTH to 0%, and use DENSITY to vary the panning/tremolo rate.
- The 2.0.0 Supermassive update installs a new preset folder, SPRING 2022. These presets showcase the above tips and tricks for the new modes and should serve as a useful place for future experimentation.
In this piece, I’m using the Aquarius mode to add a 1/4 note echoVerb to an ARP 2600M line, with Pisces used for a dotted 8th delay during the second half of the piece (Triangulum is used for looping):
Here’s an example of the weirder side of the Aquarius and Pisces modes, adding rhythmic panning echos to the MS20 melody and ARP 2600 percussion:
How To Get ValhallaSupermassive Aquarius and Pisces
As always, ValhallaSupermassive is a FREE plugin, available for both Windows and Intel/ARM Macs. Just head on over to the Supermassive page, or go over to our new Demos & Downloads page and grab all of our free plugins, as well as demos for the commercial ones.
We hope you enjoy the ValhallaSupermassive 2.0.0 update and thanks for your support!