Shimmery Guitar Sound

Check out this video by Paul Davids (surely the nicest man to ever play the guitar)
Paul Davids - I love this sound - but I hate it

I’m not sure I understood his explanation of how this sound is achieved, so do any of you guys know how I would recreate it with Cubase? I guess there might be a plug-in that apes a pedal like one of the pedals he uses in the video, but

  1. I don’t know what ‘pedal name’ to search on to find such a custom plug-in, and
  2. it sounds like the effect could be achieved with a combo of two fairly standard echo plug-ins anyway.

What are your thoughts?


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It’s basically pitch shifter up one or two octaves (or both) into a reverb. You can make a DIY version as long as you have those ingredients.

It was, to the best of my knowledge anyway, “invented”/discovered by Brian Eno as an electronic “treatment” to morph a recorded sound into something else. I think he used some kind of eventide box.

It was part of the box of tricks he took to Ireland when he produced U2’s “The Unforgettable Fire”, the Edge then ran with it by incorporating the effect in his live guitar rig as a way of generating synthy bigness to float over the top of his guitar playing.

I remember hearing it all over the first Eno-produced (go figure…) Coldplay album “X & Y”. After that, in the states is was adopted by the praise and worship genre. We don’t have an equivalent in the UK, really. Around that time, you started seeing affordable pedals that could do the sound, which brought it into easy reach of everyone rather than just studios and those with some know-how. Pretty quickly it became a cliché, probably because of it’s association with religious music to be honest.

But, like any production trick, if it genuinely enhances the mood/emotion/message of a track, who cares if it’s a cliché?

This is probably my favourite live example of the time before it was a trope;

U2, Running to Stand Still, 1993.


It’s a really cool effect but is VERY easy to get lost in it/overuse it.

There’s a ton of ways to achieve it… and because of it’s popularity, a lot of verb pedals that have come out in the last little while have it… some refer to it as Shimmer but some just apply some other fancy name to it. Probably the most popular (at least what I tend to see a lot) would be the Strymon BigSky, which has a Shimmer setting. In the DAW, I use Valhalla Shimmer and that’s pretty cool too.

I don’t think Cubase has anything with a preset for that, but as @Cirrus said it can be pieced together with different elements.

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Found this cool list of pedals that have that effect… and it appears most of them have audio demos too! Yay!

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Ah, but I have a specific need, so I have an excuse! :smiley:

Cool, but how?

(Not that I’ve got access to my DAW at the moment though, since my ‘studio’ is actually my University-age daughter’s bedroom…and she’s home for the summer!)

Actually, don’t answer. I’m being far too needy! :wink:

I will have a crack at it when DD returns to university in a few weeks.

Cheers, both!

Honestly I’ve never tried because I have stuff that’ll do it for me :wink:
But now I’m also intrigued to see how to construct it and how I could make it a bit different. Woohooo!

I’m afraid I got nowhere.

Thought I’d found a free one, but the automated email that presumably contains a download link just never arrives.

I got that download link to work (don’t recall how, but it might have been as simple as using Internet Explorer), and found the plug-in is pretty good. It’s called ShimmerVerb.

If you have what you need, great. I was wondering if in Cubase you could set up an aux for pitch correction set up an octave above, and then run the shifted signal through a synced delay and verb. Probably a lot more work than it is worth, unless you like playing with what is in the program itself. The aux could be high passed to only work on the upper register, as could the reverb. You might be able to save it in a template for future use.

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