New Audio Effect, ValhallaShimmer, Like Eno In A Plugin

Valhalla DSP has announced ValhallaShimmer – an algorithmic reverberation plugin.

It’s sort of like Brian Eno in a plugin – at least a classic Eno effect.

You can preview ValhallaShimmer above. The example is an Erik Satie piano piece, being fed into 4 series instances of the plugin.

The plugin is set for a longish reverb sound, with 3 of the instances also being set to pitch shift the feedback (at intervals of +/- 12 semitones, +/- 7 semitones, and +/- 5 semitones).

Here’s another demo of ValhallaShimmer in action, on a harp loop:

Here’s what developer Sean Costello has to say about ValhallaShimmer:

There are several reverberation modes available, to allow the user to dial in the preferred initial sound.

By adjusting the Feedback, Diffusion and Size controls, the attack, sustain and decay of the reverb signal can be fine tuned. The modulation controls can be set to produce subtle mode thickening, glistening string ensemble-esque decays, and the distinctive random modulation of the older Lexicon hall algorithms. Two tone controls and the Color Mode selector allow the timbre to be adjusted from bright and glistening to a more natural dark decay, similar to that produced by air absorption in large spaces.

In addition, ValhallaShimmer has the ability to pitch shift the feedback signal. There are 3 pitch shift modes available: Single, where the feedback is shifted up or down by the Shift value; Dual, where the feedback is shifted both up and down (in parallel) by the Shift value; and Bypass, which turns off the pitch shifting (useful for “standard” reverb sounds).

By setting the Shift amount to +12 semitones, and the Feedback to 0.5 or greater, the classic “shimmer” sound is produced, as heard on Eno / Lanois productions for U2 and others. The algorithms allow for the classic shimmer effects to be generated with ease, as well as a variety of pitch shifted, evolving ambiences.

ValhallaShimmer is expected to be available for OSX (VST/AU/RTAS) in early September 2010, with Windows plug-ins (VST/RTAS) to follow.

13 thoughts on “New Audio Effect, ValhallaShimmer, Like Eno In A Plugin

  1. Instant relaxation upon listening to this clip. I can see much potential with this plug. For one, what wonderful background generator for ambient tunes. Good work!

  2. "Oh god, now the whole world will be flooding in little Brian Enos"

    Isn't that called "Ambient Music"?

    I trust in people's creativity. If people are using ValhallaShimmer to recreate U2 sounds, that is fine with me. This doesn't hurt anybody. At the same time, I have designed ValhallaShimmer to be flexible and powerful, and the range of sounds you can get out of it far outstrip the sonic examples I have posted. At the end of the day, it is all about the music that people create, and I know that people will be able to create original works of art using ValhallaShimmer.

    I can compare it to the looper pedals and plugins available today. The looping techniques were pioneered by Fripp and Eno (and Terry Riley and Pauline Oliveros), yet the music made today with live looping covers an enormous range of styles, very few of which overly ape Fripp/Eno.

    The other day, I heard some band on KEXP using a sound that was pretty clearly the "Crystal Echos" H3000 preset, or one of the modern plugin recreations. It was a great sound, and the music sounded nothing like "All I Want Is You" by U2 (which used the H3000 preset for its strings).

    I could go on and on. I don't want to invalidate your point, in terms of certain effects becoming sonic cliches due to their overuse (stutter drums, overly robotized AutoTune, etc.). However, at the end of the day, a tool is just a tool, and doesn't dictate what people do with it.

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