I got excited when I heard about the new ValhallaDelay plug-in. The company’s reverbs are excellent, so I figured their delay would be, as well. On the other hand, I thought, "Okay, another delay plug-in; what can they possibly do to make it different?" Well, it turns out, “plenty.”
ValhallaDelay is way more than just another delay. Not only is it comprehensive for straight-ahead delay effects in a variety of flavors, but it’s also a great sound design tool. In fact, it's one of the most creative delays I've ever used, and it's only $50.
The plug-in features seven different operating modes, each with its own variation of the GUI, and each providing a different type of delay, which Valhalla refers to as Modes. These include Tape, HiFi, BBD, Digital, Ghost, Pitch and Rev Pitch. Depending on the Mode, some of the controls change, giving you different delay time controls, along with either modulation, frequency-shifting or pitch-shifting features. All the Modes offer controls for EQ, Diff (diffusion) and (stereo) Width, as well as Feedback, Mix and Style.
I’ll cover Style shortly, but first, let’s look at the Modes. Tape is an emulation based on the RE-201 (Roland Tape Echo ) and RE-301 (Roland Chorus Echo). It has the standard delay controls like time and feedbac,k but also Wow and Flutter. Hi-Fi is designed to simulate an old-style studio tape delay setup using reel-to-reel tape machines. It has Mod (modulation) rather than Wow and Flutter.
BBD models a bucket-brigade delay. Valhalla describes it as "dark and dirty." It too has a Mod control. Digital simulates an '80s-era digital delay with a somewhat gritty sound. Ghost is an analog delay emulation with frequency-shifting controls instead of modulation.
Pitch is one of my faves so far because it allows you to pitch shift the delayed signal plus or minus 24 semitones and it sounds terrific! The pitch-shift quality is impressive. You get separate left and right delay-time controls.
RevPitch lets you blend reverse pitch effects along with your delays. It has one delay time control plus a Spread control, which dials in an offset between the two channels' delay time.
You can modify each Mode setting with an "Era" control, which lets you choose Past, Present or Future. These affect the "time period" of the algorithms, which translates to how dark or bright the delayed signal will be. Past is the darkest, while Present and Future are more bright or neutral.
The Style choices, of which there are variations on the delay configurations, are available in every Mode. Single is the most basic. You set one delay time for both channels, although you can offset the two with the Spread control. Dual lets you set separate delay times for the left and right channels. Ratio allows you to set the Left channel delay time, then adjust the Right channel as a ratio of it.
As you would expect, Ping Pong features the signal bouncing between left and right. You can set a separate delay time for each side. The final Style, Quad, emulates a multi-head tape echo (although you can use it in any mode). When you select Quad, you can access four Tap buttons to turn on or off the individual taps.
ValhallaDelay not only comes with an excellent selection of factory presets, many of which are categorized for different types of delay and various instruments, but also preset banks with some pretty wild effects from eminent sound designers Richard Devine and Simon Stockhausen.
Go to the Valhalla site and download the demo. Trust me, this is way more than just another delay plug-in.