I just posted ValhallaShimmer for Windows VST. A demo version is available, which mutes the sound every 45 seconds (just like the OSX versions), but is in all other aspects identical to the full version. Check it out at
My old friend David Hopper gave me a Korg Monotron yesterday. I’ve had an insane amount of fun getting R2D2 noises, FM drones, and rhythmic beats out of this little battery operated analog synth.
Today, I recorded a few short Monotron drones through ValhallaShimmer. I’m using 4 series instances of Shimmer, with 2 of the instances pitch shifting the feedback by +/- 12 semitones and +/- semitones. Here’s what came out:
For reference, here is the original Monotron track with no instances of ValhallaShimmer enabled:
ValhallaShimmer was designed to create a huge amount of sonic complexity out of any sound source. By using a simple sound source such as the Monotron and controlling only a few parameters (Pitch, VCF Cutoff, VCF Peak), you can make big sounds that are responsive to subtle sonic gestures.
In other ValhallaShimmer news, I ported the plugin to Windows VST and RTAS late last week. I need to add some optimizations to the Windows code, but this should allow me to release the Windows and OS X versions of the plugin at the same time. (UPDATE: Windows VST, and OSX VST/AU/RTAS released. Go to http://www.valhalladsp.com/shimmer.html to get yourself a copy.)
The plugin now features a custom GUI, as seen above. I have added the ability to sync the delay time to tempo. ValhallaFreqEcho MkI is available for Windows and Mac, in VST, AU, and RTAS formats.
ValhallaFreqEcho MkI has been under development for quite some time, and I am rather proud of the results. I invite you to download it and check it out. Keep checking this blog in the next few days for tutorials, tips and tricks, and a bunch of theoretical musings.
I just posted some updates to ValhallaFreqEcho, my free frequency shifter + analog echo plugin. You can download the plugin here. The new stuff:
New parameters: Low Cut and High Cut. These control the gain of shelving filters in the feedback path of the echo (the direct and initial echo signal are not filtered). These controls are very useful in getting different type of analog sounding echos, as well as harsher or flubbier echos, plus a variety of strange chaotic oscillations.
An Audio Unit version of the plugin is available, in addition to the VST plugins for Windows and OSX.
I’ll be posting some usage tips soon. I have spent a lot of time setting up runaway oscillations with the plugin, using no input (it self-oscillates like the old analog echos). Some very trance-y sounds can be coaxed out of this thing – not the dance music type of trance, but the “staring into space and drooling for awhile” type of trance.
Eos has been out for a month and a half now, and the reception seems pretty positive. I thought I would share some tricks that came up during the development of the algorithms, as well as some more recent ideas.
Gated reverb. The Attack control in Superhall allows you to approximate a gated reverb sounds Set Attack to around 50, Decay to a low value (<1 second), Diffusion to 100, and play around with Size to get the gate time. If the sound is too grainy, turn up Decay a little higher.
Reverse reverb. Same settings as above, but set Attack closer to zero.
“Shape.” The late 80’s Lexicon reverbs had “Shape” and “Spread” controls to control the initial onset of reverb energy, with high Shape settings resulting in a reverb that fades in slowly. The Superhall Attack control has a similar function, in that the first few hundred milliseconds can have an exponential decay (for high settings of Attack), a relatively flat response (Attack=50) or fade in slowly (Attack=0).
Using an external chorus to simulate the EMT-250. I recently heard sound examples of the EMT-250, and that thing had TONS of modulation. In Eos, the Superhall algorithm can get similar levels of modulation right out of the box, but the plate algorithms have a somewhat drier sound for the first few hundred milliseconds. By running a decent chorus or ensemble plugin in front of Eos, and using the Plate 1 or Plate 2 algorithms, you can get a sound that is closer to the EMT-250 (the Plate algorithms are closer in concept to the EMT-250 than Superhall). Set the Low Crossover and High Crossover frequencies at 1000 Hz, set the Size to 30 meters, Mod Freq to 0.5 Hz or so, and Mod Depth at max, and then tweak your chorus until the initial sound is as “wet” as you like. Obviously, this works better on a bus send. The internal modulation of Eos will give you spreading sidebands as the sound decays, that you just can’t get out of a convolution reverb.
Ethereal vocals. Use Plate 1 or Plate 2, set the Low Cut frequency to a fairly high value (800 Hz to 1200+ Hz), and the High Cut frequency to a similarly high value (8000 Hz or higher). Set the mix to a fairly subtle level. The fundamental frequencies of the vocals will not be reverberated to a great extent, but the syllabants and consonants will have a fair amount of reverb. This type of sound can be heard all over Simon and Garfunkel albums – I’m not sure if this was due to the 7-story staircase reverb chamber at Columbia studios, or over enunciation of consonants, but it is definitely a good sound for those choirboy things.
Emulating older reverbs by backing off on the diffusion. The Superhall algorithm took some of its sonic inspiration from the Lexicon Concert Hall algorithms, but Superhall can have a much higher initial echo density. By turning the Diffusion parameter down to 50% or so, the more “spacious” or “grainy” sound of the older algorithms can be achieved.
Longer reverb time. In your host’s default parameter view, move the Low Crossover to a high frequency (>8000 Hz), and set the Low Multiplier to 2.0. This should increase your maximum Decay time to 20 seconds.
If you have any Eos tricks that you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments.