- Learn the main differences between Valhalla VintageVerb & Valhalla Room
- Find out which reverb is better for vocal mixing
- Detailed breakdowns of each
- Also, check out our post on the best free reverb plugins of all time!
Valhalla’s Room and VintageVerb plugins are among the most popular reverb VSTs on the current market. Both reverb units are incredibly affordable, small in size, and CPU-friendly.
Valhalla Room and Vintage both come with a generous selection of rich-sounding reverb options that are widely applicable, and it can often be tricky to discern the difference between them
We’ve compiled this brief comparative guide to the major differences between Valhalla VintageVerb and Valhalla Room.
We’ve also provided a brief overview of each device and taken a closer look at their primary functions and features.
Valhalla VintageVerb vs Valhalla Room: Differences
While Valhalla VintageVerb and Room may seem like identical reverb units, there are a handful of definitive sonic and functional characteristics that set them apart.
Valhalla Room functions using algorithms that generate different room emulations that vary in size, tone, and spatial dynamic.
VintageVerb differs in that its algorithms are built to emulate specific reverb hardware units from the 1970s, 1980s and current eras (including a stack of Lexicon-inspired emulations).
VintageVerb offers many of the room settings and presets in Valhalla Room, but with the addition of three Color modes to represent each era of emulation.
Valhalla Room’s GUI operates using dual reverb processors (Early and Late), both of which comprise a set of independently adjustable parameters. VintageVerb processes audio using a single processor.
Valhalla VintageVerb and Room slightly differ in their dampening controls.
VintageVerb applies to dampen the overall output and includes a high shelf and bass frequency multiplier to adjust the frequency response of the reverb’s reflections.
With Valhalla Room, the Dampening controls are expanded to include multipliers for both high and low-frequency responses, and this panel also includes a high-frequency crossover control.
Valhalla Room offers a maximum Decay time of 100 seconds, whereas Valhalla VintageVerb’s Decay maxes out at 70 seconds.
Simply put, the main difference between these two devices is that Room centers around creating room simulations, whereas VintageVerb emulates the reverb sounds of various hardware devices from specific decades in history.
Related: Reverb Cheat Sheet (A Complete How-To Guide)
Overview: Valhalla VintageVerb
Valhalla VintageVerb features 20 classic digital reverbs and three color modes inspired by the most beloved reverb hardware from the 1970s and 1980s.
Valhalla VintageVerb is designed to provide users with emulations of specific reverb hardware units from the 1970s, 80s, and current eras.
There are 19 reverb modes included in Valhalla VintageVerb, all of which can be set to 3 different Color modes representing these eras.
The device can be used on almost any instrument or mix element and comes with a wide range of stock presets.
The Valhalla VintageVerb GUI comes with three standard mix controls placed in its left area:
- Mix controls the blend between your dry input signal and Vintage Verb’s output.
- Pre-delay adjusts the start time that your reverb engages once your audio signal plays.
- Decay determines the overall length of the reverb’s tail.
This section also features the Mode dropdown menu, where users can select from one of the 19 Reverb types.
These reverbs include traditional types like Hall, Plate, and Chamber, as well as more experimental algorithms for more ambient atmospheres.
There is a small dropdown menu in the center of the GUI labeled Color. In this menu, users can choose from 3 reverb eras: 1970s, 1980s, and Current.
The 1970s have a sparse, dark, and thick nature, whereas the 1980s are considerably more vibrant and brighter. Current is a hybrid blend of these two eras and has a more neutral sonic feel.
The damping adjusts the textural characteristics of the reverb’s tail by adjusting its frequency balance.
You can place a precise high-shelf over specific frequencies in the reverb’s response and adjust the crossover point between the mid and low frequencies (and adjust the scale level of this crossover.
Shape uses two controls to determine the size and feel of the room simulation generated by the plugin.
Shape controls the overall size of the room, and increasing the values also adds a more metallic feel to the room’s sound accordingly.
The attack knob acts similarly to the pre-delay to simulate the distance between your sound source and the reverb itself.
The Diffusion panel controls the behavior of the simulated reflections within a room. More reflections result in a higher overall echo density and give the reverb more weight and impact.
This panel is split up into two control knobs: Early and Late. Increasing the values on the Early dial adds early reflections to the output signal, and the same command applies to the Late dial.
This control emulates frequency and amplitude modulations generated by the classic reverb units.
There’s a single dial to set the speed of your modulation in Hz and a Depth dial to determine how much modulation is applied to your reverb.
This panel features a High and Low Cut filter that can remove specific frequency regions from your reverb’s output signal. These controls are handy when you’re trying to clean up your mixes while using reverb.
Overview: Valhalla Room
ValhallaRoom is a versatile, true stereo algorithmic reverb. It features twelve original reverberation algorithms (including the latest Dark reverb modes, Nostromo, Narcissus, Sulaco, and LV-426) and produces a wide range of natural reverberation sounds.
Valhalla Room is a reverb plugin that focuses on recreating specific room simulations that vary in size and dynamic response.
Valhalla Room has 12 reverb algorithms ranging from tight spaces to bigger hall-type settings.
These reverb modes also vary in brightness and character, offering users a healthy degree of usability across a wide span of mixed elements.
The left half of the Valhalla Room GUI comprises five adjustable faders that affect various parameters:
- The Mix knob is used as Dry/Wet control between your dry input signal and the reverb’s output signal.
- Pre-delay determines the amount of time before the reverb engages.
- Decay determines the length of the reverb tail.
- High Cut sets the cutoff frequency off a low-pass filter placed on the reverb’s output signal
- Depth is a balance control between the Early And Late reverb energies generated through Valhalla.
The Early and Late panels on Room’s GUI represent two instances of reverb generated by the plugin.
Early controls adjust the early reflections closer to the audio signal and late focus on reflections closer to the reverb’s tail-end.
The panel consists of modulation and shaping controls that affect the early reflections generated by Room.
There are Size, Send, and Diffusion controls to adjust the density of your reverb. Users can also set the crossover point between the mid and high frequencies in the early reflection using the Early Crossover Dial.
The Early panel’s modulation controls consist of two dials: Rate and Depth. Rate sets modulation speed, and depth controls how much modulation is applied to the early reflections.
The Late window features a single Size control to determine the size of your late reflections. Four damping controls affect the frequency response of these late reflections, with crossover controls for both high and low frequencies.
The Late panel also comprises two modulation controls that work like the Early panel. For mixing purposes, it should be noted that these are two separate modulations over two separate reverberations.
Reverb is a mixing and production technique that generates the sonic impression of space around an audio signal.
Picture yourself standing in the middle of a large empty room. When you clap your hands, the signal bounces off the surrounding walls and generates reflections that create harmonics and sonic energy, which we call reverb.
Whenever an audio recording is captured through a microphone, its surrounding environment will determine the size and character of the natural reverb produced while recording.
Larger rooms with less dampening will generate more natural reverb with higher densities and levels of decay.
Reverb units were designed to give audio engineers a means to artificially emulate the idea of reverb and give them crucial flexible control over various parameters while mixing.
Universal Audio founder Bill Putnam invented the first hardware reverb unit in 1947, and since then, reverb units have evolved immensely.
Today, there is an abundance of reverb VSTs that can provide you with a quick, affordable way to add reverb to your mixes.
Related: 7 Best Reverb Plugins For Vocals (To Suit All Budgets)
At a glance, both Valhalla’s Room and VintageVerbs may seem like practically identical devices.
Both reverb VSTs offer users a healthy selection of reverb sounds and are very easy to use and understand, thanks to their attractive minimalist user interfaces.
However, once you give each plugin a good few hours of close attention, you should be able to pick out each device’s definitive user and sonic characteristics.
Valhalla Room approaches reverb from a more psychoacoustic perspective than VintageVerb, and VintageVerb focuses more on device emulation from specific periods.
It’s ultimately quite tricky to pick out the best reverb VST between Valhalla VintageVerb and Valhalla Room. Choosing between these two devices will ultimately come down to personal taste and mixing circumstances.
Either way, understanding the fundamental differences between Valhalla VintageVerb and Valhalla Room can give your mixing and production game a handy edge.
Related: 6 Best Free Reverb VST Plugins (w/ Audio)
Can I Use Valhalla Room On Drums?
Yes. Reverb is quite a universal effect and can be applied to various mixed elements, including drums.
The advantage of using Valhalla Room on your drums is that you can create the impression that your drums have all been recorded in the same space.
Are There Any Free Valhalla VSTs?
Yes. Valhalla offers 3 of their VST plugins to users for free: Space Modulator, Frequency Echo, and Super Massive.