No plugin has made such an immediate impression or has become such an essential piece of kit, as quickly or as firmly as Valhalla Delay. I did a video of my first impressions in April 2019, and I don’t think I’ve made a track since without it.
There are several things that make it so essential – the different modes offer so much flexibility and options, the Era options offer different tonalities, and the sheer ease that you can dial in a great sound with such ease, the fact that the clear GUI means you don’t have to attempt to graphic representations of vintage gear.
But one of the main reasons I love this is the sheer sound quality. Nothing comes close. You can transform the most digital sound software synth into some ancient Russian valve-powered beast filled with nuance and character by simply slapping an instance of this on. And what it does for actual hardware synths is even better.
The vintage modes are so characterful, it invites just playing with them, pushing beyond 100% feedback and performing a low-pass filter sweep on the delays summons dub demons from the depths. And for the serious space cadets, the more experimental, pitch-shifting delays conjure ghostly insect choirs.
Valhalla will probably feature in this column more than once – I have been a long-standing user of their reverbs. But being told that a delay was on the cards was a dream come true. I cannot recommend it enough.