Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Moderator: Moderators

Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

My favourite, and probably most-used, preset on the Valhalla Supermassive reverb is Final Frontier. And I've been thinking, I wonder how close I can get to it using hardware I have lying round the house?

When I hear that preset, I'm picking up a reverb with a lot of density, a stereo widener, modulation, and delay.

As today is a major holiday here in the US, my goal for this morning is to see if I can achieve a similar result to the Supermassive using hardware with my Lyra-8.

I'll post my results regardless of how close I get to the actual thing. :)

(There is also a medium-ish range goal of my next project that I'm starting to plan for as well at play here :D )
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by BillB »

Thanks Ben, sounds interesting. When you 'post results', would you also post and example of 'Final Frontier' for comparison, using something like a snare and/or bass drum? I hear/see lots of demos on Youtube where somebody uses a massive washy pad sound, then sticks it through reverb to make it massiver and washier ( :bouncy: ) but it is hard to tell which part of the sound is reverb. A short impulse sound makes that much easier.
BillB
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1540 Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:00 am Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

I sure can! I actually use something short and attack-y when I am setting up reverbs for that exact reason: it's really hard to tell what's doing what when you have a dense patch going on and more often than not I'm not happy with the end result.

Here's Mk1 of my board, will see how this goes: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Lyd7VoGyzoemJzxU8

Signal chain: stereo widener > chorus > echo > reverb

I chose the RE-20 because a) it sounds amazing and b) it will allow up to 6 seconds of echo. If that doesn't work, I will replace it with a more clinical delay, but I think that the vibe-y-ness of the RE-20 will work here.
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

Well, that went quicker than I thought it would! :D

The results are very promising! In fact, I prefer the sound of the pedals over the Supermassive. I can understand why, but Supermassive highpasses the effected signal a LOT; the result is more of a pitch shifted reverb. Not a shimmer, but not not a shimmer. :)

My rendition is noticeably darker, probably due to the DECO/RE-20 combination, but I love it!

Here's the comparison clip: https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting ... permassive

The order is:
1. Lyra-8 dry
2. Lyra-8 > Supermassive
3. Lyra-8 > pedals
4. Drone creation using Lrya-8 > pedals
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

Spent another 20 minutes comparing and contrasting. My conclusion is that the Supermassive is a super deal. For a free plugin, it's incredibly versatile and powerful (and can do a lot more than just the mega-verbs). It took $1400 in pedals to get close to sound.

However, for my tastes, and the fact that I like to track with effects, the pedal board is more immediate and fun. Plus, I already own the pedals, so why not put them to good use?

Jumping through the clip I made between Supermassive and the pedals, they are quite close at first blush, and I feel like I leveled up in my critical listening and sound design skills. :D
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by BillB »

That’s interesting, thanks, Ben. The Supermassive was smoother, the pedals seemed to introduce a lot of vibrato, presumably the chorus depth and rate was set fairly high.

If they are all stereo in-out, I would be tempted to reverse the pedal order and dial down the chorus to maybe see if you need it at all. I think I read, maybe on this forum, that Tomita ran reverb into delay - I should try it myself. It would be interesting to know what the Mimic does to the delay/reverb sound.
BillB
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1540 Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:00 am Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

The DECO doesn’t have a blend, rate, or depth control, and technically isn’t even a chorus, it’s probably closer to tape flanging.

The MIMIQ takes a mono signal and splits it into a hard left/right stereo signal. Perhaps what you are hearing as tremolo is the phasing induced by the MIMIQ?

Either way, I love the sound, and I agree completely that Supermassive is smoother. But .. I prefer the sound of the pedals!

Edit: Oh yes, re listening, I definitely hear the tremolo you are talking about! I think that's a combination of the MIMIQ and DECO, to be honest. As my main concern is the actual final drone, I'm not very concerned about it, but I do wonder if I dial back the flanging on the DECO how it will affect the final sound ... I only included the pitched sound because you asked for something transient and I think it's neat to hear how quickly you can turn pitched notes into droning chaos with the L8!
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by BillB »

Vibrato - Pitch modulation
Tremolo - Amplitude modulation

It’s pitch modulation I am hearing, so most likely is being generated by the Deco. Wobble control?

According to the photo, your Mimic can do stereo in-out, so it could go last... I wonder, by the time your front-end Mimic-generated stereo signal has been through the chorus, delay and reverb, is there anything left of the effect that it provides? My experience of stereo effects (e.g. an obvious one like ping-pong delay) is that they disappear into the reverb mush as you turn up the reverb mix - the stereo effect disappears. Essentially because most cheaper reverbs sum the input to mono before processing to stereo reverb, even though they mix the dry signal to the outputs in stereo. So as the wet mix control increases, any stereo separation in the input signal is lost.

Maybe the Blackhole maintains stereo spread of an input signal? ‘True stereo’ processing?

Still think it is worth trying them in a different order, if only to see how the sound differs :headbang:
BillB
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1540 Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2003 12:00 am Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

I see what you're saying. The MIMIQ doesn't like complex signals such as you're suggesting, it's primary raison d'etre is for splitting a guitar signal. I've found that it is less effective with mono synths, probably due to the complexity of certain waveforms, so it works much better higher up the chain.
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

BTW, thanks for your insights and opinions, it's appreciated! :D
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Arpangel »

Hmmmm? Damn! this one must have passed me by, looks good, I’ll be downloading it as soon as I’m home, I don’t have a decent delay plug either.

:thumbup:
User avatar
Arpangel
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10711 Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
"Don’t let the noise of other people's opinions drown your inner voice"

Re: Imitating the Final Frontier preset on Valhalla Supermassive ... using hardware

Post by Ben Asaro »

Supermassive is amazing, definitely worth far more than the asking price. :)

Thanks to BillB's input, I will be revisiting the sounds and making some adjustments (particularly the Wobble, which was much higher than I thought; I must have bumped it by accident when setting up).
Ben Asaro
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1931 Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 am Location: NYC
Post Reply