Crystalline - A plugin that sounds like something you once heard in a dream
Imagination seeps into every element of this plugin; from its development, right down to the luscious, glittering cloud like effect it has on sounds. A thoroughly unique plugin that sounds like something you once heard in a dream.
What is Crystalline? A quick deep dive
Crystalline is a new algorithmic reverb plugin from US plugin company Baby Audio.
One of the most refreshing things about this plugin and the principles behind its development, is how it fully embraces the freedom you have as an artist working within the digital realm; freedoms that have not always been there. The creators said “ we asked ourselves what the pioneers of the legendary digital reverbs would have done if they had the resources we have today - and then we’ve made exactly that plugin”.
The creators also mention that this plugin is meant to sound unreal, it is not trying to emulate how a sound would behave in a specific room; it is meant to be surreal - resulting in a standalone, thoroughly unique plugin that sounds like something you once heard in a dream.
Testing it out
One of the biggest trade offs I have found when trying to add a lush, powerful reverb to a vocal; is the lack of control over the tail end, resulting in a messy, crowded mix. I could never quite get the soft, cloudy bed of vocals I aimed for - without intense, laborious automation to avoid creating a complete mess.
This problem has ended with Crystalline; as the ducking effect in this plugin allows you to add a vast, spectral vocal ambience, without the crowding and overly wet effect. You can also add a nice gleam to vocals; with the Sparkle control in the Reflections section, which emphasizes the higher frequencies within the reverb algorithm, without making everything sound harsh.
When it comes to full bodied instruments like pads and strings; there are almost endless possibilities to totally transform the character of these sounds. You can have a deeply eerie bed of strings, lush and modulated (the modulation control in the Depth section of the plugin are fantastic ) - en par with the cerebral bed of sounds heard in the tv show Archive 81.
You can also create glittering, pristine strings, or simply just have a nice plate reverb. The preset “Nights in LA” will inspire a whole song by itself. Whatever texture or sound you have in your head, you can create it with this plugin.
Getting the balance right for reverb on keys can be tricky, especially warm, mid-range electric piano sounds - as you want them to sound lush and full; but without dampening their power in the mix. I tried this on some warm, RnB epiano chords that needed just an extra bit of something, and it added so much character to the sound and feel of the overall production. The width section of this reverb is also especially useful ( especially for instruments like these) as it cuts down on the amount of plugins you have to use, sparing CPU. It also worked great on guitars, allowing me to create a dreamscape ambience.
This really helps breathe life into percussion; as it gives you endless rhythmic possibilities for snaps, snares, claps and so on, as you can hard-sync the reverb attack and decay time to your DAW’s tempo.
Flawless. This plugin will allow you to emulate the exact reverb sound you have in your head, and explore endless possibilities. This is the plugin that will change it all.