Enmore Audio

Engineering the Sound: BABY Audio’s Crystalline is a next-gen reverb machine

From the innovators at BABY Audio comes the brand new Crystalline plugin: a sophisticated algorithmic reverb plugin. Engineering the Sound tested it out in the studio. 

BABY Audio’s Crystalline aims for a brand new dimension in reverb plugins, one that retains a vintage audio aesthetic that is aided and enhanced by the advances made in CPU power. 

With built-in ducking and gating options and a deceptively simple control interface, the sonic palette manipulations options are massive. Engineering the Sound couldn’t wait to test out this plugin on a mix. 

Crystalline comprises a highly tweakable set of features on a graphics-based dashboard, allowing command over almost any aspect of your reverb via its user interface. The literal centrepiece of the unit is an innovative and somewhat psychedelic reverb spectral analyser that shifts with any control tweaking. Surrounding this are five varying feature control sections: Reflections, Depth, Clean-Up, Shape, and Output

Directly below the visualiser sits a sync control that allows you to synchronise the pre-delay time of the reverb to your session tempo, coupled with an additional sync option for the reverb length, enabling clean, tight starts and tails to any depth of reverb setting. This synchronisation can also be defeated and switched to regular millisecond intervals.

BABY Audio Crystalline

Within the Reflections section, you’ll find control over room Size, Sparkle (to emphasise high-frequency reflections), and Width (to allow spread across the stereo spectrum).

Within Depth there’s a Resolution control to set the CPU algorithm and avoid (or obtain) digital artefacts, Modulation for fattening up sources with subtle pitch movement, and Shimmer for detailed control over additional high-frequency reflections.

Within Clean-Up, there’s Damping (to high-pass and low-pass reverberation), Sides (a mid-side low-pass filter), and a Gate to bring forth the classic ’80s gated ‘verb sound.

The Shape section accounts for Tone, which is a quick tilt EQ. Smoothing, which is a custom-designed EQ to curtail problematic reverb frequency build-up, and Transients, which emphasises the attack or sustain of the reverb signal and allows for more control over these aspects.

And finally, the Output section contains a Ducker with an additional Gentle option control, dishing up a pumping effect to be accessed and controlled, a Reverse and Freeze option to either reverse the reverb signal or freeze a snapshot of the wet signal, and a traditional Wet/Dry slider.

With Crystalline, BABY Audio asks the question “what would the innovators and inventors of reverb chambers and algorithms do if they had access to the powerful CPUs of today?” and has come up with an astonishing answer: a reverb that can work from subtle traditional spatial enhancement through to radical, dreamlike, and beyond.

Crystalline is US$99 but for a short introductory period will be available at US$49. Visit BABY Audio for all the details.