In case you haven’t downloaded this cool free VST synth yet, now is the time! Green Oak’s Crystal has been around for a quite some time. It’s very good for those ambient type of weird soundscapes and fx’s around your song, but it’s also capable of a LOT more.
Here’s more details about Crystal:
What is Crystal?
Crystal is a semi-modular software synthesizer featuring both subtractive synthesis and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis. It offers abundant modulation control with over 90 parameters which may be modulated, multi-stage envelopes with graphical editors, extensive tempo sync of envelopes/lforates/delay times, built-in effects for chorus/flanging/comb filtering/echoes, and a band splitter for effects processing by frequency band. Not only that, Crystal has wave sequencing, granular synthesis, program morphing, MIDI learn, and imports soundfonts. The musical applications for Crystal are literally boundless.
An Intel processor is the minimum cpu to use Crystal on a Mac (or a better than 1GHz cpu if you’re on a PC). Crystal is rather cpu-intensive. Simple semi-modular synthesizers have already been done. My goal with Crystal was to offer something more. So, by its very nature, it will require more cpu than a basic virtual analog synth.
After you download and install Crystal, start up your virtual instrument host and load Crystal into your song. Try out the presets that come with Crystal to get an idea of the kinds of sounds you can make with it. As you’re listening to the presets, note that some of the pads, ambient, and atmospheric presets take a while to evolve, so be patient: hold down a note and wait for it to develop. By the way, when you listen to the “Tempo Synced” presets, turn your song tempo up to a dance tempo of 140-150 in order to get them to sound snappy. Also, note that the “Swell” programs are tempo sync’d, so hit the note on the “1”, and the sound will climax on the “1” of the next measure. The patch names that end with “MW” are setup to do something interesting when you move your mod wheel, so be sure to wag it around when trying out those patches.
Check some sound examples from the video below: