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ValhallaDSP Shimmer
4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Dreamy and ethereal reverb from the halls of Valhalla.

5th December 2015

ValhallaDSP Shimmer by Diogo C

ValhallaDSP Shimmer

ValhallaDSP Shimmer-screen-shot-2015-12-04-11.43.48-pm.png

Preamble: Valhalla DSP gave us Shimmer a few years ago, it was their first impact in the reverb plugin world. More would follow with Room, Vintage Verb and Plate, establishing Valhalla as a reference when it comes to artificial/algorithmic reverberation. I'll look back at their first commercial plugin, the unique and exquisite Shimmer.

The scope: Looking for a reverb capable of doing huge, ethereal and out of this world sounds? Then you came to the right place.

Sound Quality - 5/5: Shimmer is all about going big and long with grainy semi-eternal tails. It's basically a huge sounding "hall" type of reverb on steroids and psychedelia. In that department it sounds fantastic and really unique but I wouldn't take it anywhere else. I wouldn't try a room sound on it unless the definition of room is something largely loose (see? large!). This is not your subtle, natural and blended-with-the-mix reverb. It stands out. It fills the space with its lush sound bed. This is a reverb "to be heard".

Ease of use - 5/5: Shimmer debuted the flat 2-D interface with clean and minimalistic (and NASA-inspired) design that would become one of Valhalla's trademark. I personally found it extremely good because it is extremely efficient. No hidden menus. No fuzzy fonts on a photo-realistic background. This is pure hands on control. It also has a very handy tooltip help system that explains the operation as you hover the mouse on each control and a slick preset system that makes sharing preset a file-less operation through a simple xml code. Valhalla's website also features wealthy amounts of information and the documentation is very good as well.

Features - 4/5: Shimmer features an interesting set of controls that takes a step out of the vanilla reverb cookbook. The pitch shifting option that along with its huge-space algorithm sets it apart from the crowd. It's an interesting set of controls that provides a experience that's a bit different from the vanilla reverb tweaking. It's highly creative and experimentation is key until the controls are fully grasped. One bit of "hindsight criticism" that I have based on the Valhalla plugins that came after it is that Shimmer could have more "modes". Currently it only has two, "bright" or "dark", while its siblings Room, VintageVerb and Plate all have a lot more. Shimmer is great as it is, but it would definitely have some more angles.

Bang for buck - 5/5: Very affordable at $50 USD, Shimmer is definitely a good entry to have in the reverb folder. We all need and want a huge sounding never ending reverb from time to time and it's hard to find one that does it better than shimmer.

Recommended for: Electronic musicians, producers and sound designers looking to stretch (quite literally!) their reverb options.

Click below for full resolution screenshot.

Attached Thumbnails
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  • 3
26th February 2017

ValhallaDSP Shimmer by PhoPhoPho

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
ValhallaDSP Shimmer

The Pros: Shimmer sound is beautiful - works well on synth pads/chords, and is instrumental in making those "climatic sounds". Also works well to make percussion sound very metallic.

It is not nearly as feature rich as, say, FabFilter Pro R, but it isn't meant to be - and I see that as a benefit. Nowadays it is really easy to get bogged down by the endless depth of the features in some of these VSTs, and Valhalla has done an excellent job of "keep it simple, stupid".

The Cons: Crashes my DAW - floods the CPU when I load it, maybe 5-10% of the time. Also sometimes just doesn't return audio at all - 10% of the time. (Ableton)

This reverb stands out. It's absolutely recognizable by anything you use it on, at least if you're using the "shimmer" freq. This makes it very bad as a "go-to" plugin for reverb, but it isn't meant for that.

Also the "size" on this is way way too big. "Small" is large room, "medium" is large chamber, and "large" is like a highly reflective 30 mile valley.

The Verdict: Depends on what $50 means to you. If money is a non-issue, this is a superb reverb to pick up. If you're poor by any means, and still filling up your library of VST reverbs - there may be better choices.


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