Tags: posts polarity-music Plugins Sound-Design Valhalla

Modulating Valhalla Delay to Create Unique Sound Effects and Musical Loops

Tutorial | Mar 24, 2022

In this video, I demonstrated a trick about Valhalla Delay where I showed how to modulate the clear buffer button to create an interesting effect. I also turned all this into a musical loop, starting from a tutorial about Valhalla Delay and ending with a track from scratch. I used grid to create a variety of initial source sounds, then used a dice module to modulate the phase input, a filter, an AD, and feedback. I also showed how to modulate the clear button in Valhalla reverb and used portal for effects. Finally, I added some noise and XO stuff to make the track sound fuller.

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Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What is the main trick being discussed in the video?

The main trick being discussed in the video is modulating Valhalla Delay's clear buffer button, which cuts off the reverb tail in a sample and creates a unique sound design effect.

What is the purpose of using the Gate Module in the video?

The purpose of using the Gate Module in the video is to invert the signal so that a value of one is generated when the next note starts or ends. This signal is then used to modulate the clear button on the Valhalla reverb for the effect of cutting off the reverb tail in a sample.

How does the video use the Portal module to create a unique sound?

The video uses the Portal module to create a unique sound by randomly modulating different parameters of the plug-in such as the retrykering, density, size, grand delay, timing, and feedback. It also uses the “init” setting to completely ignore all the sequences and instead use the modulation from Bitwig Studio itself.

What is the difference between using the Wavetable and Polygrid in the video?

The difference between


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back to another video, what's happening here.
[00:29.320] In this video, I want to show you a trick about Valhalla Delay where you can modulate
[00:33.720] the clear buffer button inside the plug-in, which is basically like cutting off the reverb
[00:40.800] tail in a sample.
[00:42.560] And it has a nice effect in sound design, and I show you this in the beginning of the video
[00:48.760] kind of.
[00:50.360] And later on, I turned all this sound stuff into a musical loop, so it's a mixed-back video.
[00:58.200] It's more like a track from scratch at the end, and at the beginning, it's more like
[01:01.960] a tutorial about Valhalla Delay.
[01:04.720] So it turned out this way, so have fun watching it.
[01:09.880] I want to start here with the grid to create as many as possible good sounding initial
[01:19.200] source sounds, okay?
[01:21.000] So we start here with the standard 4 Wavetable, and we exchange this here for an AD device.
[01:30.200] So what we do is every time we press a node, we trigger a random dice module here.
[01:37.760] You can enable this small little button here, so every time we hit a node on our node
[01:43.880] clip here, so let's do this first.
[01:47.000] But let's start with A, maybe two nodes.
[01:55.360] So every time we get a node, we generate here a new kind of value with the dice module,
[02:01.520] and we probably also have to switch to polygrid into mono mode.
[02:05.720] I always forget about this when I do tutorials to mention this that actually the grid behaves
[02:13.320] differently in the mono mode.
[02:19.120] So we get a new value here, and we need a module layout out, so we modulate something.
[02:26.160] So every time we hit a node, we get a different Wavetable position, or a random position.
[02:36.720] We get a random value here, right?
[02:38.800] We get a different Wavetable position.
[02:42.760] And not only that, we also want to have a different attack setting.
[02:49.160] And we want to have a different decay setting here, so these are initial values, I want
[02:54.600] to have a little bit of attack and a little bit of delay.
[03:06.320] So we get different sounds every time, and we make this patch a bit more complex now.
[03:12.320] To get more variety out of it.
[03:15.960] So the next step would be to duplicate your Wavetable.
[03:20.600] And we modulate this with a separate dice module here.
[03:24.080] We have different combinations of phase table positions.
[03:28.520] And we go here into the phase input, and we also modulate the strength of the phase modulation.
[03:47.040] So now we also want to have here maybe two octaves higher, it's not two octaves, it's
[03:54.040] actually the ratio of the frequency, we go probably only up to one.
[04:09.600] And we also want to have a filter here, the different settings on it.
[04:15.600] Maybe go for low pass.
[04:20.320] Select this out and modulate this here, different settings.
[04:33.280] And maybe we want to also have here an AD, also with this on dice settings.
[04:47.400] And this one modulates here the filter cut off.
[04:54.400] Okay, what else?
[04:58.000] We can also do some kind of feedback.
[05:02.760] So we use a delay, a long delay, so we can bring in here the feedback back to the phase
[05:11.160] input.
[05:12.160] So we need to blend for this, so we can blend what kind of feedback source we want.
[05:17.720] We want to have this Wavetable here, as feedback source in this one.
[05:21.920] We also want to switch between the two, the dice of course.
[05:38.480] We also get some different tonalities out of the oscillator.
[05:45.800] And we want what else can we do here?
[05:52.680] Maybe distortion or something?
[05:57.520] So we bring in this too.
[06:10.040] So I think this is good enough for now.
[06:13.000] So now comes the part where I find it's interesting.
[06:19.560] For instance, you know that I love the supermassive, which is a reverb.
[06:25.120] And what I found out is that you actually can modulate here this clear button.
[06:30.000] And this clear button does, in fact, clear out.
[06:39.080] When you press it, you clear out the feedback buffer.
[06:45.200] We can instantly stop basically the reverb operation process.
[06:57.720] When you press it, right, it's completely clear out.
[07:07.120] It's completely kind of, it's like you're having a sample and kind of the reverb tail.
[07:15.180] And you can modulate this here inside Bitwig, which is nice to know.
[07:21.000] And what I did is I used the gate, the gate module here, it's an oscilloscope.
[07:37.800] And you can see every time you press.
[07:45.720] So here we get basically a smaller chunk of zero, the next note starts.
[07:52.640] So go for a note.
[08:09.780] So now I basically inverted the gate signal.
[08:12.480] So we get a one signal, well value of one, when the next note starts or the note ends.
[08:22.080] I don't know how to put it, it's probably a note of what we get here.
[08:27.720] And then we can use a modulator out.
[08:31.720] You modulate here the clear on the Valhalla reverb.
[08:50.480] And maybe also we get here a multi note, maybe use a minor chord, maybe also an octave
[09:03.940] below, a pitcheator, and we use randomize here, we dial in a bit of slower, and we use
[09:25.340] randomize three and a quarter note, and we change the speed setting just by one or two.
[09:41.100] Do the same here for the note type, maybe we use also here quantize, we land always on
[09:52.220] the grid in time.
[10:01.660] And you can hear we have some reverbs in there, but they instantly stop at certain points,
[10:07.660] which sounds like almost you cut off a sample.
[10:23.820] So this is probably to short you this signal, so we use a gate length, make this a bit longer.
[10:32.900] You can see the trigger of the clear is a bit longer now, 50 milliseconds.
[10:56.220] What we also can do is use a dice here, use a modulator out here, and we go to the Valhalla
[11:10.140] supermassive and use here different modes, what reverb, as we can switch through all the
[11:18.420] different modes settings here, let's try this, oh, it's happening there, stop, something
[11:39.660] is happening there, let's see, there's something wrong here, but could be nice if you actually
[11:57.340] put modulators, looks like there's some kind of problem here with the automation setting.
[12:19.780] I don't know what happens here, it doesn't look right, but could be nice if you actually
[12:24.700] could modulate this here, okay so the next step would be to use portal, and inside portal
[12:38.780] I always use your all the different presets and switch through the presets and see what
[12:47.980] I like, but now I've found out that it's actually nice to go to the init setting here,
[12:54.260] and completely ignore all the sequences, because we can use this from Bitwig Studio itself,
[13:02.020] so what I've found was use a random mod, with the random mod on hold, so nothing happens
[13:10.260] until we get a new node, and then switch the trigger to node, so every time we get a new
[13:14.580] node we get a new value, and only then, and then we bring in here some, for instance, the
[13:24.020] retrykering here gets a different value, maybe we get you the density, and maybe the size
[13:36.940] here, maybe we bring in the grand delay, timing setting, maybe the feedback also, maybe
[13:52.580] the scale could be nice, let's see how this sounds, we get a really messy sound sometimes
[14:17.420] out of this, and maybe at the end we get another supermassive for some kind of room,
[14:38.860] it would be really nice if you actually could change the mode, this would be really nice,
[14:53.220] not sure what happens there, let's get a remote to Sam,
[15:22.260] so how about using some more distortion after the reverb, it sounds more gritty, and if
[15:35.020] you kind of like dark sounds and techno sounds, this is probably the way to go, maybe
[15:49.100] make this even slower here, bring in some longer tech times here,
[16:19.100] and probably some of the portal settings here are too low, for instance, the repeat setting,
[16:49.100] maybe I should clear the buffer here also, we can use the same modulator here, let's see,
[17:49.100] yeah it's this small little click, maybe we can remove this click by just closing the filter,
[18:03.660] or using small little lag, here to smooth a bit out modulation,
[18:33.660] okay, so maybe we try here to pitch map out, and use a one, that's only minor,
[19:00.460] oh we also get your MIDI information from the track, so we block the MIDI notes,
[19:13.820] and here I'm just using in front of the pitch map, I'm using this note grid here, and the note grid
[19:20.620] just doesn't, you know, as root notes, just empty, more or less, so just to block the MIDI information,
[19:30.300] from coming from the track, going to the pitch map here, so we don't have actually here MIDI
[19:35.420] information.
[20:05.420] You get kind of a new inner tonality.
[20:12.420] You can feel that it's even more.
[20:42.420] Ah, let's see how this works with this with a scent.
[22:03.420] You get kind of a new inner tonality.
[22:18.420] Maybe we need some noise to reuse a polygrid.
[22:24.420] Don't need a Wavetable.
[22:31.420] You need to switch to one mode.
[23:01.420] Maybe we need something for the baby.
[23:16.420] Maybe we need something for the baby.
[23:23.420] And maybe we need something for the bass.
[24:28.420] It would be nice.
[25:18.420] We have to find the right balance here.
[25:34.420] Maybe kick them.
[26:23.420] Maybe some hats.
[26:45.420] We can get the velocity for the decay setting.
[27:25.420] We get a nice little texture background here with these.
[28:05.420] Maybe we get some XO stuff in here.
[28:25.420] Let's create some precautions.
[28:49.420] It would be nice if we had some kind of global envelope setting.
[29:09.420] Here's some repeating settings here.