Valhalla DSP has updated the VintageVerb postmodern reverb plugin, inspired by the classic hardware digital reverbs of the 1970s and 1980s.

The version 1.7.1 update adds new Chaotic Hall and Chaotic Chamber reverb modes, the results of a thought experiment: what would “old school” digital reverb algorithms sound like if they were made using tape delays?

The “chaotic” aspects of Chaotic Hall and Chaotic Chamber:

  • The saturation and pre/de-emphasis are based on tape delays, with a higher internal drive level than the other VintageVerb algorithms.
  • The digital quantization noise of the “Dirty” algorithms in VintageVerb has been replaced by tape modulation noise, which results in a more broadband spread of frequencies as the reverb decays.
  • The “random walk” used for chorusing in most of the VintageVerb algorithms has been replaced by a more “chaotic” modulation source. The “chaotic” modulation is closer to the wow/flutter/tape crinkle noise that can be heard in tape echoes, where the wear and tear of the tape loops results in a distinctive pitch modulation.

Chaotic Hall is fairly close to Dirty Hall in its basic structure, just with “chaotic” elements. Chaotic Chamber is closer to the Smooth algorithms, but with the “digital” artifacts of the Smooth algorithms replaced with “analog” artifacts. Chaotic Chamber also adds some unique signal dependent diffusion parameters, which results in a clearer sounding reverb tale.

When I was adding the chaotic algorithms to VintageVerb, I presumed that the results would be closer to the dark murkiness of tape delays. It turns out that adding chaos to these algorithms resulted in more clarity and transparency in many cases. There are definitely tape-esque artifacts in the decay, but the analog-style saturation reduces ringing in the tail, and the tape chorusing results in less random pitch shifts than the random walk modulation used in the other modes.

VintageVerb now also features a new GUI option to the NOW Color mode, allowing for a dark background.

ValhallaVintageVerb for Windows and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS/AAX) is available for purchase for $50 USD. The update is free for those who purchased a license of the plugin.

More information: Valhalla DSP / VintageVerb