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Apogee Clearmountain's Domain

Apogee Clearmountain's Domain  ·  Source: Apogee / Gearnews

Apogee has released Clearmountain’s Domain, a multi FX plug-in modeled after Bob Clearmountain’s mixing signal chain. With delay, pitch shifting and reverb, Apogee says that the plug-in recreates the spatial sounds that Bob Clearmountain is famous for. Is Clearmountain’s Domain a one-click solution for great-sounding mixes?

Bob Clearmountain needs no introduction. With a portfolio that includes names like David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, he is one of the most acclaimed mixing engineers in the history of music. One of the things that set his mixes apart is a masterful command of space. Apogee says that “voices and instruments seem to effortlessly live in an intimate space but all blend together seamlessly”, and this is where the new Clearmountain’s Domain plug-in comes in.

Apogee Clearmountain’s Domain

According to Apogee, the plug-in recreates Bob Clearmountain’s effects chain, which he built and refined over the course of several decades. It combines an input section with an EQ and a de-esser, a versatile stereo delay, a stereo pitch shifter with modulation, a convolution reverb and an effects mixer.

Apogee claims that the plug-in lets you achieve the same results as Bob Clearmountain simply by clicking on a preset. While I think that such statements are inherently misleading, the demos do sound very much like the original records. The list of presets contains entries like “Let’s Dance Horns”, “Run To You Guitar Solo” and “Born In The USA Snare”. If those are the sounds that you want for your own tracks, go for it!

Stereo delay, pitch shifter and reverb

Dig a little deeper and Clearmountain’s Domain lets you customize everything, of course. In the input section, you can prepare the signal with a 3-band EQ and de-esser. These are available separately for the delay and reverb inputs.

The stereo delay looks quite capable. Its tempo can be tapped or synced to the song tempo. You can control the spin (feedback) separately for both sides, or link them together. There’s also a crossfeed option, and the delay has a blur control for adding saturation, as well as separate EQs for the left and right channels.

The pitch / reverb tab offers a pitch shifter with a one-octave range and random modulation. The reverb section has three separate convolution reverbs with impulse responses captured from Bob Clearmountain’s actual gear, according to Apogee.

All of this can be mixed and blended together in the FX mixer. It allows you to create the perfect balance of delay, pitch-shifted delay, and the three reverbs, and control everything with a global dry/wet slider.

Compatibility and price

Apogee Clearmountain’s Domain is a Mac-only plug-in. It runs on macOS 10.12.6 or higher and comes in AAX Native, AU, VST and VST3 formats. It requires an iLok account.

Clearmountain’s Domain is available now for USD 349.

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