Review: Nembrini Audio Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine

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Review: Nembrini Audio Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine

Words by Mixdown Staff

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Key Features: Like its name would suggest, the awesome new Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine by Italian developer, Nembrini Audio provides an endlessly onomatopoeic, creatively inclined delay tool, perfect for the budding ambient producer or experimental sound designer or for anyone looking for something left of centre to brighten up a drab arrangement.

In fact, such is the nature of the Shimmer Delay’s highly tweakable user interface that its easy to find yourself running single notes and pedal tones through it for hours, simply playing the controls like an instrument, riding the self-oscillations and pitch shifting in real time, just to hear it work its magic. 

Synths, guitars, samples and even vocals all provide a good doorway into a million different sonic options, and the ability to save and recall presets from within the plugin means that your best work won’t get lost amidst the rampant experimentation.

In this way, it plays just as much like an instrument as it does an effect, which is one of the reasons I highly recommend using it with some kind of rotary DAW controller and really making use of its playability. Enabling automation and editing down the best parts is a perfect way to generate some extremely unique and awesome textures for your track.

The Swell section allows you to control the timing, sensitivity and ramp of the volume fluctuations in the time domain (with Linear, Logarithmic and ‘Experimental’ settings), while the relatively straightforward nature of the delay section (and its extremely pleasant sounding filters), provide a strong fundamental base, before giving you licence to go batshit crazy in the Octave and Shimmer sections. The Dry/Wet function at the end of the display only adds to the level of versatility and usability of this extremely powerful plugin even further.

Most people primarily know Nembrini Audio for their awesome amp sims and saturation plugins and this intimate understanding of subtle harmonics and good distortion is not lost on the Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine. 

Combined with the awesome quality of the audio engine, the sonically pleasing nature of the Saturation found throughout  means exceptional audio quality, with little in the way of digital artefacts or harshness, meaning you are free to sit back and get lost in the ambience, man.

Mixdown Says: When it comes to delays, there are those that come from the physical world (think slapback, 15/30 ips and doubling delays) and those that come from somewhere far beyond our understanding of space and time (ie looping delays, heavy modulated delays, feedbackers etc). Nembrini Audio’s Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine has its feet firmly placed in the latter and the result is something stunning, endlessly musical and profoundly unique. 

From crazy whale noises and spaceage drones, to blackhole meandering and borderline Frippertronics, the Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine has the ability to pull some truly outrageous sounds from its highly musical parameters.

The quality of the Audio Engine combined with Nembrini’s expertise in gain and saturation in the digital domain ensure these experiments remain musical and sweet sounding throughout, in turn making it one of the most upwardly mobile sonic ambient processors getting around at the present time.

Overall: With plugins like this, often so much of the workflow is randomised to only allow for happy accidents.

Where the Shimmer Delay gets it so right is in its ability to allow the user an increased level of control early on in the processing, namely by way of dynamic and rhythmic control and in turn, saving the more random and out of control elements for where they are most likely to enhance the essence of the source material, rather than hinder it.

Discover all the Shimmer Delay Ambient Machine’s secrets via Nembrini Audio.