ValhallaDSP Intros Z-DSP Shimmer Cartridge

Developer Sean Costello has announced the ValhallaDSP Z-DSP Shimmer cartridge, for the Tiptop Audio Z-DSP Eurorack module.

The video, above, is a quick demo of the Shimmer Z-DSP cartridge. The video starts with a ‘circus style’ sequence on the Prophet-6, dry and then explores each of the 8 algorithms, with a variety of settings.

The Z-DSP Shimmer cartridge has 8 original algorithms, designed to combine lush reverberation with multiple voices of pitch shifting, to create ethereal pads, rich chordal textures, dissonant clouds of sound, and a variety of other sounds. The algorithms are customized to work with the Tiptop Audio Z-DSP Eurorack module.

There are 6 reverb algorithms in the Z-DSP Shimmer cart, arranged in order of complexity:

  • Fast Shimmer: A modulated reverb that quickly decays away into an endlessly pitch shifting tail. The shift interval can be set between +/- 12 semitones. Perfect for that classic “octave up” shimmer sound.
  • Slow Shimmer: Similar to Fast Shimmer, but with a much slower attack.
  • Dual Shimmer: Two pitch shifted voices, embedded within a larger modulated reverb network, shifting the reverb decay in both positive and negative directions. Try slowly sweeping the Shift control in this mode for ridiculously cinematic sounds.
  • Triple Shimmer: Two pitch shifted voices embedded within the reverb decay network, plus a third voice external to the network. This allows the user to have a reverb with +12 and -12 semitones of feedback, plus a stable +7 semitones voice without feedback.
  • Quad Shimmer: Four pitch shifted voices feeding into a lush modulated reverb. This allows for a variety of dissonant and consonant chordal textures, with the max Shift setting corresponding to a rich major chord.
  • ClusterVerb: Four pitch shifted voices embedded within the feedback network of a modulated reverb. The result quickly becomes dissonant or metallic. Perfect for insta-Ligeti, or Penderecki In A Box.

In addition, the Z-DSP Shimmer cart features 2 special effects algorithms:

  • Quad Detune: 4 short pitch shifted delays, feeding back on each other. A variety of chorus, detuned, and dissonant effects can be obtained through this mode. Turn up the Feedback for maximum fun.
  • PitchEcho: A single pitch shifting voice, combined with a tape echo emulation = sound mangling joy. Turn up the feedback for barberpole self oscillation, and sweep the decay time for all sorts of swoopy glitches.

The Z-DSP Shimmer cart retails for $75, and should be available within a few days via major Euro retailers.

16 thoughts on “ValhallaDSP Intros Z-DSP Shimmer Cartridge

  1. Am I stuck in a time loop? I’ve seen this before. And Youtube says the video is from June 2015. Ah, I see, the news is that it’s been released. Good for the owners of a Z-DSP module. There are some nice sounds to be had. That’s the reason why I remember the demo from back then.

  2. I think modular is as cool as the next guy, but I’m having trouble understanding why anyone would buy a $500 module plus a $75 cart to get the same sounds and less functionality than a $50 plugin ( I mean, I know computers aren’t as cool as modular, but with a CV>MIDI converter, you could still modulate whatever parameters you wanted…and you could even have multiple instances of the plugin. You could buy every plugin Valhalla DSP makes for less than the tiptop module…and you would have more hp and $$ for other modules!

    1. Because a VST requires I carry around a computer. If I want to interface my modular with it at more than an audio level, I have to have an Expert Sleepers plugin and (ideally) a direct coupled audio interface. A Euro module doesn’t. Then there’s CV control, and ability to actually tweak the clock speed in realtime, and the fact that I can access a huge library of open-source programs via the Numberz programmer, and it is just a better overall fit for my synth rig.

      1. You do realize the irony of listing access to open-source programs as a plus for the module side, right? If you want to see a “huge library of open source programs,” you’re not going to beat VST/computers.

    1. Pity nobody makes controllers with knobs on them for just that purpose.

      Sometime in 2017, somebody is going to cram a Mac Mini and display behind a 64 HP panel and everyone is going to go absolutely nuts at the capabilities of this new ‘infinitely reconfigureable’ Eurorack device.

      1. Sometime in 2017 somebody is going to learn not to judge other’s people workflow/equipment choice. And start reflecting on why they do and maybe even learn from others.

        What a wonderful year will that be.

  3. I’ve been using the Valahalla Shimmer VST for a bit. It’s actually a lot of fun when you don’t just use it as a reverb. It can do some pretty awesome modulation and warbling. I’ve been running a modular through that and also the SoundToys plugs. For standalone hardware I’ve also been using the Strymon Timeline as the end of my modular chain which is probably enough for me. I can see the draw for this too though. It is nice to use a standalone machine outside the computer and do crazy patching DSP back in to filters and gates etc. It’s not for everyone, but those that have the Z-DSP and a modular are really who this is targeted towards. It seems there are many boxes to think outside of in order to make interesting music…

Leave a Reply