Last Friday, I updated ValhallaRoom to version 1.0.9. Apart from a few bug fixes (Pro Tools issues, some weird noises that could be heard with certain Early Mod settings) and a smoothed Mix slider, the big change with version 1.0.9 was the addition of a new reverb mode, Sulaco:
- Like its similarly named fellow modes, Nostromo and Narcissus, Sulaco is Dark. In this case, “Dark” means that the top octave is gone – no audible energy above 1/4 the sampling rate. There probably is some energy if you look at a spectrogram, but it will be at least -100 dB down, so “gone” is a good way of describing things.
- Sulaco is also light. Not necessarily in sound, but in CPU. It is probably the 2nd lowest mode CPU wise, with Narcissus still leading in terms of thriftiness.
- The original goal of Sulaco was to produce a smaller room sound. This can be achieved by setting Late Size to a smaller setting. In general, this control has a lot more range in Sulaco than in some of the other more room-ish VRoom modes (Large Room, Large Chamber, Dark Chamber, Dark Space). Turn the Late Size control up, and discrete early reflections can be heard. Use Early Send to smooth these out, or leave them as is according to your own tastes.
- Sulaco has a LOT of modulation going on inside of it, of the “detuning” variety.
- The stereo image in Sulaco is somewhat different than the other reverb modes. The Late Cross control will affect the stereo imaging of the output, with higher values resulting in a more “mixed” stereo image of the initial Late output (in the other modes, Late Cross affects the decay, but not the initial stereo image). This can help in producing a more “solid” stereo image, which can work well with drums and other percussive instruments.
A number of Sulaco examples have been posted to SoundCloud since ValhallaRoom 1.0.9 was released on Friday. Simon Stockhausen has posted two soundfiles, using mallet piano and his own bowed cymbal sound banks for Alchemy: