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This percussive ambient machine consists in 2 effects in 1 pedal unit, and it’s something that we dreamed about for a very long time here at AC noises due our true love for movie soundtracks, cinematic soundscapes and atmospheric music in general: a shimmer reverb in front of a multimode lfo tremolo.
The digital shimmer reverb has been developed by Luca Romanelli from Mastro Valvola and is the first effect in the internal signal chain of the pedal. It provides all that every musician usually expects from this type of effects: a very deep atmospheric sound with a long/infinite decay + a dreamy character provided by other octaves sounding in addition to the one currently played by the musical instrument involved.
As external controls, the shimmer reverb’s side of the RESPIRA offers the following...
About the other two octaves provided (-1 and +1), those are both premixed from the factory in order to offer the best balance for every musical instrument plugged into the RESPIRA. Anyway, if the user wants to experiment and try different sound flavors, the two relative internal trimmers can be easily tweaked and adjusted (always by keeping in mind the obvious counterclockwise/clockwise working method).
The brain of the RESPIRA’s tremolo consists in 16 different wave shapes splitted in two sets of 8. Once selected one of these two sets by the toggle switch placed in the middle, the central 8 positions rotary switch allows to choose the exacted wave shape that the user wants to play with.
About the time control possibility, the RESPIRA provides the speed rate, the multipliers subdivision and the tap tempo control. The speed rate can be adjustable by tweaking the RATE knob: turning it counterclockwise the rate will be slower, while the speed will increase by turning the knob clockwise. The TAP TEMPO switch is related to the multiplier previously selected by the 4 positions rotary switch on the left. In fact, the user can choose up to 4 different subdivisions: = x1 (1/4 note, crotchet) = x2 (1/8th, quaver) = x3 (triplet 1/8th note, triplet quaver) = x4 (1/16th note, semiquaver).
A truly special and pretty unique feature provided by the RESPIRA is the possibility to choose up to 4 tremolo modes by rotating the 4 positions switch on the right: M, H, B, T.
The standard optical tremolo which acts on the master volume of your signal. Pulsing, deep and side chain-like. Just perfect for basically every music genere which often requires strong rhythmic events.
The tremolo part of the RESPIRA also presents the most obvious and absolutely necessary control of the depth (DEPTH knob). The user can turn off the tremolo and playing just with the shimmer reverb side of the RESPIRA just by rotating the DEPTH knob fully counterclockwise. When going in the opposite direction (clockwise) the tremolo’s depth will act deeper. Also, considering both the shimmer reverb in front of the tremolo and how much we love to increase the climax while playing, we decided to add an expression input to adjust the DEPTH with an expression pedal (10k value recommended) so it’s possible having fun by making the two effects dialogue constantly.
PEDAL SECRETS/VOLUME (trimmer)
The user can adjust the output level by rotating the dedicated internal trimmer. Anyway, the RESPIRA’s circuit is very sensitive to the output level because the optocouplers involved, so a “clicking” noise can be noticed when using the tremolo with a strong depth setting and too much high output, and that’s why we highly suggest to leave the trimmer as it comes from the factory.
SHIMMER: Every Respira comes set with the Shimer low octave at 50% and the Shimmer High octave at 40%. Both are adjustable from 100% to Zero.
This is a good pedal for shoegaze / ambient sounds. A nicely shimmery reverb comes ahead of the tremolo in the internal chain. The trem has the usual features you'd expect (tap tempo) but it's really the 16 trem waveforms that are the selling point, which range from the conventional to the eccentric - you can get some nice sequencer-esque burbling going on. The ability to "sculpt" the tremolo- basically to determine where the waveform pattern starts - adds to the variation. I haven't tried it with a foot pedal to control the volume of the tremolo element of the sound.. .yet. Cons: kinda pricy, and I'm not sure the utility of mentioning there's an output level trim pot inside if they specify changing it results in clickiness.
This is dream pedal for synth players. I never found myself struggling to come up with a new noise. I'm particularly a fan of the harmonic tremolo since there isn't much options on the market and you can so easily change the wave forms.
When considering tremolo pedals, you have to decide what you’re going for - classic amp bias trem, choppy percussive trem, harmonic swoosh - or do you want one paired with spring verb, or maybe an envelope sensitive dynamic trem? This tremolo fills a very specific niche that is excellent for pairing with synths, ambient music, or recording and production. The random and the more complicated waveforms are very useful for achieving unpredictable rhythmic patterns. Combining these with a wash of shimmer verb can be very powerful indeed and can almost work like a sequencer or sample and hold synth. As a nice touch it also comes with harmonic and bass and treble options for subtler pulsing. A really cool pedal that is maybe more limited in its use than some but achieves some very unique effects. Is it worth the hefty price tag? That’s up to you!