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AES NY 2019 — Apogee mix with Clearmountain

Renowned engineer Bob Clearmountain offers digital recreation of his analogue workflows

Just before AES, Apogee announced a new plug-in produced in collaboration with internationally renowned mix engineeer Bob Clearmountain. Throughout his career, Clearmountain has talked about creating environments for the mixes he has worked on, sometimes by using real acoustic spaces through which he would pass instruments (such as echo chambers, stairwells and even shower cubicles and toilets) and sometimes by using digital reverbs and pitch-shifters patched into large analogue consoles via complex signal chains.
Bob Clearmountain himself on the Apogee stand at AES, just after the launch of Clearmountain's Domain (showing on the monitor in the foreground).Bob Clearmountain himself on the Apogee stand at AES, just after the launch of Clearmountain's Domain (showing on the monitor in the foreground).Photo: Direct Red Media

The new plug-in, Clearmountain's Domain, offers preset-based digital recreations of some of his most famous effects and processing chains, and also convolution-driven captures of some of his favourite acoustic environments, for DAW-based musicians and producers who have access to neither the large analogue consoles, hardware processors nor the acoustic environments Clearmountain used. Presets include the 'big snare' delay and reverb from Bruce Springsteen's 'Born In The USA', the funk guitar delay from David Bowie's 'Let's Dance', the delay and reverb on the backing vocals to 'Avalon' by Roxy Music and the lead electric guitar delay and processing from 'Need You Tonight' by INXS, but as Clearmountain explains, the parameters for the presets are fully editable, so you can flexibly tailor the processing to suit your own mixes.

Available now in AAX, AU and VST formats for $349, the new plug-in sounds like an accessible way of recreating the 'Bob Clearmountain sound'. The man himself told us something of how the plug-in came about and what his hopes are for how others will use it in the video interview linked at the top of this item, which was filmed just after the plug-in was officially launched on the Apogee stand at AES.

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