Sonic obsessives
making tools for
your sonic obsessions.

At Valhalla, we believe in following our creative muse (or Valkyrie, as the case may be). The muse over here is completely obsessed with making audio tools. We have an endless fascination with sound, a deep respect for the creative process, and a strong drive to give you powerful tools that are easy to use.

It's become clear to us over the last 20 years that making Valhalla plugins is the work we're supposed to be doing, and we're grateful to support the work you're supposed to be doing. We hope our plugins inspire you.

Our team

Sean Costello

Cofounder + Sound

Sean is Valhalla’s core algorithm engineer and product designer. He has a lifelong obsession with making music and sound, and 20+ years of experience in the audio signal processing field. His pro journey began after talking his way into some graduate computer music classes and landing a job as an algorithm designer for Staccato Systems. Sean ended up working for Analog Devices, creating audio algorithms and toolsets for SHARC and Blackfin and lots of car sounds for video games. During the 2008 recession, he lost his job, taught himself JUCE, created the Valhalla code library from scratch on the kitchen table, and here we are.  You can find Sean’s manifesto from the early days of Valhalla here and his music here: https://soundcloud.com/seancostello.

Don Gunn

Sound + Support

Don is Valhalla’s resident pro audio expert. Don is a recording/mixing engineer, producer, and musician and has worked with hundreds of artists over the years – including Death Cab for Cutie, Peter Frampton, Soundgarden, The Lonely Forest, King Crimson, The Humans, and Fences – from his studio, The Office, as well as many fine rooms elsewhere. He works closely with Sean on Valhalla product design, algorithm tuning and overall product usefulness from the pro perspective. He also makes demo videos, drives the customer service and has a fleet of squirrel and crow friends. You can find Don here: http://dongunn.com

Kristin Farr Costello

Cofounder + Vision

Kristin focuses on visual design, philosophy and making things happen for Valhalla. She cofounded Valhalla with Sean back in the day, and has 20+ years of digital marketing experience. She has worked in strategy, branding, marketing, graphic design and project management for brands, and product design, operations and analytics for startups.  Kristin is also a painter and will be joining the Gage Academy Atelier in Fall 2020 to get serious about it. You can find Kristin here: https://kristincostello.com/

Who we are

Here at Valhalla, we are driven by our mission. We are here to make inspiring and accessible world-class audio effects you can count on for years to come. These best practices guide us every day.

Inspiration

We have a deep appreciation for the analog and digital techniques of the past and the cutting-edge practices of the future. We approach algorithms from a psychoacoustics perspective—the science of what you actually hear. For us, creating new, bigger, and better sounds is more important (and fun) than duplicating sounds. The same goes for emulations of old gear. We spend a lot of time reproducing cool quirks found in vintage tools but extending them into new realms. We want to pay homage and contribute something new.

Clarity

Although you wouldn't know it from the state of our desks, we are neat freaks when it comes to plugins. We crave the space and simplicity you can feel from underlying order. We’re rigorous with ourselves to remove anything that could slow you down, and you can see this in our flat GUIs, minimalist algorithms, and modular plugin design.

Creativity

We love the creative process. The mistakes, the surprises, the dark nights of the soul, the triumphant breakthroughs. The exploration and the evolution. All of it. The longer we go, the more we listen to - and for - creative flow. We are guided by inspiration and engage in an active collaboration with our plugins. Valhalla itself is a creative process, with the singular goal of making tools to support your creative flow.

Respect

Respect is a core value here at Valhalla. We respect you as a real person, not an abstract customer. This guides everything we do. We aim to provide the best work we can, and offer it at consistent and affordable product pricing with no surprises. Everything we make is always the same price - 24/7/365 - so you can always get it when you need it. We don't play games (except for Connect 4 and chess with our kid, who destroys us every time). We also prioritize making sure you have excellent support when you need it, so we are lucky to have our resident pro expert, Don Gunn, at the helm.

Commitment

We believe in commitment. We are rigorous with ourselves to make sure we're aligning with our values in the decisions we make and the actions we take. We believe in following through and doing what we say we're going to do. We are committed to making excellent, inspiring and accessible creative tools. We add new algorithms and keep up with compatibility updates so you can count on your Valhalla plugins for years to come. As a values-driven business, we are also committed to equity, safety and peace for everyone. Here are some of the organizations we support on a monthly basis: Black Lives Matter / Campaign Zero / Me Too Movement / Marsha P. Johnson Institute / Ingersoll Gender Center / El Centro de la Raza / Social Justice Fund NW / American Civil Liberties Union / Doctors Without Borders / Northwest Harvest / Environmental Defense Fund
"Standard" is a loaded word. For us, a standard isn’t a rule to be enforced or the only way to do something.
For us, standards are the guidelines and goals and commitments we think about every day. It's being in service to the creative process, both yours and ours. It's striving to take the best of what came before and learning from it to make the future. And it's working as hard as we can to create inspiring, accessible and excellent tools.
For you, our standards means you’re going to get a quality plugin—at a quality price—every time. It’s knowing we will give you an easy-to-use tool you can count on for years to come, with a dedicated support team standing by. It's being able to do the work you're meant to do. Our goal is to be your standard too.