ValhallaDSP ÜberMod by Eddhartwellmusic
“…a unique multitap delay and modulation plugin” which “can be used to create lush dimensional choruses, classic string ensembles, tape and BBD echoes, nonlinear reverbs, and a bunch of sounds that defy categorisation”
That’s quite a claim, and with a lot of delay/modulation plugins on the market, how will it stand up? Having used and been very impressed with other plugins by Valhalla, (namely the plate and room reverbs), I had high hopes for UberMod. It might even take the place of multiple plugins to do one job!
Set-up and getting started:
To activate the product, like all Valhalla plugs, this is very easy; simply install it and when you first open the plugin you’ll be asked to locate and select a .vkeyfile, that you are able to download along with the installer from your account after purchasing.
There are a lot of things to get your head around here, so I’ve done a quick explanation of where you’ll find all of the features and what they do, but for more detailed explanations, check out the website as there’s loads of great info on there:
Mix/Delay/Feedback: Easily located in the main GUI, and should be self-explanatory
Depth: Adjusts the overall amount of chorus modulation
Width: Enabling stereo width from mono (0%) to stereo (100%) to “super-sereo” (200%)
Mode: Located under the main “Mix” fader, clicking on this will allow you to choose between the 9 modes on offer, (more later)
Sync: Found under the “Feedback” fader, allows tempo sync of delay times
Preset: Bottom right-hand-side of the GUI
Then there are 6 sub-menus located on the right-hand-side, clicking on each header opens a different set of controls:
Mod: Allows for the adjustment of modulation depth and width. The LFO’s are different for each mode you are using, emulating different classic pieces of equipment. Also an “OverMod” control to really push the modulation!
Taps: For altering the spacing, slope (fade in/out), panning and randomisation of the taps
Diff: Not always enabled, there’s an on/off switch, as well as controls for diffusion, size and modulation
EQ: “Bright” and “dark” settings, as well as low/high cuts and a “Spatial EQ” determining the cut-off frequency at which the width has the most effect
Drive: Emulates tape saturation and analogue delays. With pre/post-gain, noise gain and on/off controls
Warp: A very useful set of controls, giving you access to “fbMix” to change from mono, to dual-mono to ping-pong delays. “Smoothing” controls the rate the delays are smoothed out, shorter values change faster and less obviously, longer values result in tape delay effects and the pitch changing artefacts you hear when changing the delay time
If you hover a mouse over any of the controls you will get a very helpful description of what they do.
With all this in mind, UberMod does way too much to go over every aspect of it in one review, so I’ll try to review the overall ease of use and sound quality, and use a few examples as to what can be done. A list of some of the effects you can create with a modulated multitap delay are:
* Delay, including ping-pong, tape/BBD
As with all Valhalla plugs, it is very basically and obviously laid out, and looks rather deceptively simple. But don’t let that fool you, this is a very versatile, in-depth and great sounding plugin.
One of, if not the most important element of UberMod is the “Mode” menu, located towards the bottom left of the GUI. Clicking here brings up a drop-down menu to choose how many taps you want, and how they behave. All taps are divided in half, and fed equally to the left and right outputs, for example, the 8 tap delay has 4 taps in the left channel and 4 in the right. It is worth noting that with each mode, the modulation parameters differ. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the manufacturers website here: https://valhalladsp.com/2012/01/06/v...mod-the-modes/
I have used this plugin for a variety of applications on a few mixes recently, I found once you get your head around the modes, it’s very easy to get the results you want.
My first thought for this plugin was to try it as a stereo widener, an effect I use on most of my mixes. This stems from an old technique of using a stereo delay with short, slightly different delay times on each channel, and detuning one up and one down by a few cents. In the digital domain, this is slightly harder to recreate, although there are plugins that do this. I substituted my usual plugin for the UberMod, and was immediately impressed with just the default settings. Simply by turning up the depth and width controls, my mono synths were given a bit of life and width. I did eventually change the mode to 4TapEnsemble to get a bit more of a chorus effect. As an added bonus, in the EQ menu, you can adjust the “spatial EQ” which adjust the frequency at which the “width” fader has the most effect, even further perfecting the sound. Strictly speaking this isn’t the exact same effect as the one I described, but it did a good job! See below picture for my settings.
Next I tried a more straight forward delay on an acoustic guitar track, in the style of John Martyn. Again, I already had a delay set-up to do this effect, but there were issues, not least with the changing tempo of the track and the tempo sync’d delay adding pitch shifting artefacts when it changes tempo.
I was looking for a wide, ping-pong, tempo sync’d delay. As mentioned, it’s worth checking the manual for this plug, as I wasn’t sure how to create a ping-pong delay at first, but if you open the “warp” controls, the “fbMix” controls the stereo image, where 0% is parallel mono delays, 50% is full mixing between left and right, and 100% will give you ping-pong delays. Also under the “warp” banner is a control called “smoothing”. As mentioned earlier, a common problem with tempo sync’d delays with a changing, or moving tempo, is you get a tape delay effect of the audio speeding up or slowing down. “Smoothing” changes the speed at which the delays are smoothed out, effectively getting rid of the pitch shifting, (or exaggerating it if that’s what you’re after).
Finally, I extended the stereo field using the “width” fader, plus a little bit of depth added to the chorus to fill out the sound. My settings can be seen below.
I actually put the Valhalla “Shimmer” plugin after this for some added lushness!
As mentioned, this plugin can do a LOT, so Ive covered how smooth and natural the chorus can sound, how versatile it can be as a delay, (even more so if you delve in to the “Taps” controls), so finally I’ll run over using it as a reverb.
There is a page about this on the Valhalla website, (https://valhalladsp.com/2012/08/21/b...lhallaubermod/), but first I thought I’d have a quick go using one instance of UberMod. Very quickly I was able to create a short reverb for a snare drum. Adjusting the diffusion kind of smears the delay taps, and with a short delay time and the taps spread quite closely, it creates a reverb-esque effect.
If you’ve ever chained 2 delays, you’ll probably have noticed it resembles a reverb, so maybe try using 2 instances of UberMod to create lush, modulated reverbs.
A few further points:
* The delay time fader has no affect when you sync the delays, so it’s not as easy to finely tweak delay times to fit the groove, should you wish.
* Command-click doesn’t reset the pot/fader, which gets a bit annoying if you are used to doing this.
* CPU consumption is less when parameters are turned off.
This review barely touches the sides of what you can do with UberMod, and I heavily recommend checking out the Valhalla website, but from the time I’ve had to play around with it, it’s clear that this is a very versatile, great sounding plugin, and not only that, it’s cheap as chips!
* OSX (AU/AU64/VST/VST64/RTAS/AAX)
* Windows (VST32/VST64/RTAS/AAX)