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Here’s a perfect little christmas present for your mum. It’s the first commercially available plugin from ValhallaDSP.
It’s called ‘Shimmer’, and it’s a very fun algorithmic reverb plugin with the ability to pitch shift the feedback signal (in several ways). The creator, Sean Costello (already mentioned twice here on ANR, for AudioDamage Eos and his FreqEcho), describes it as a plugin that uses “diffuse delay lines.” Sort of like a bunch of delay lines that you can control how they feedback and reflect with one another. By adjusting a few elements, you can vary the sound from a short delay, to long washed out evolving pad-like sounds, hence the title. There’s several references in the online bumpf to the sounds of Daniel Lanois, and Brian Eno, and I can see why. That ambient evolving pad-type sound that litters their wonderful creative output is fairly easy to approximate with this plugin.
There’s a simple, clean interface, and 9 simple rotary knob controls, Controlling the wet/dry mix ratio, pitch, feedback, diffusion, size, low and high cut, and Mod rate and Depth. Below these 9 knobs are 3 modes – Reverb, pitch, and Color. The Reverb changes the algorithm used to create the delay lines; the pitch mode gives you the option to pitchshift the feedback loop, creating very orchestral-like sounds. And the color mode can switch between bright and dark, with the dark having a sharp cutoff around the 11khz range.
Not fully understanding the maths of this plugin, it’s useful just to dive in and experiment. Helpfully, there’s Sean himself that posts frequently with useful tips and tricks. The November post walks you through all the controls, and gives tips on creating various different sounds. There are other hints and tips around the blog, so explore!
Here’s a couple of tracks – this one is a piano loop with the wet/dry mix moved gradually up from dry to wet, to change the piano sound to a shimmering evolving pad sound.
Conclusion This is a really fun plugin to play with. If you’re into ambient music (and you haven’t got already an Eventide rack, the Soundtoys suite or U-he Uhbik), I would head towards saying this is an essential addition to your plugin bank. And you can always try the free demo to see if I’m right.
…If you’re into ambient music, I would head towards saying this is an essential addition to your plugin bank…
Composer/Producer, and keyboard player. He has written and recorded soundtracks for a wide variety of media and co-owns DOsounds.com with Jake Owen, a music production company that gives him an excuse to buy more analog gear.