These days, I am terribly un-technoogy-oriented. I used to be a real tech geek back in the day, checking in at GearSlutz several times a day, dropping in at the music store twice a week. But at some point I realized it’s not the gear that makes the music – it’s the human being.
Anyway, lots of tech or not lots of tech, its usually not the tech that makes the difference. Except when it does. I try to make do with a handful of plugins I know really well, and having narrowed down the set, there are a few ones I would not really feel comfortable working without. One of them is this outstanding reverb plugin called Valhalla Shimmer.
I used to have a selection of top notch reverb units from Lexicon, TC Electronic and the likes, but nothing has ever come close to Valhalla Shimmer. It’s nowhere near in fidelity to its more successful siblings, but for what music I write, it’s a perfect fit. No, you can’t tweak a great snare room out of it. But boy what can this little piece of genius do to a piano lead or a synth pad.
There are a lot of synths and sample sets out there that promise a spacey timey-wimey ethereal sound – synths and sets that have been programmed by some of the best sound designers out there. But I think none of these capture the straight simplicity and elegance of Valhalla Shimmer: you can run pretty much any hand-picked synth line through its frequency modulated reverbs and they come to life unlike really anything much out there.
It’s also not terribly expensive. So if you like your music ethereal, be sure to give it a go.