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Crystal

Semi-Modular Synth Plugin by Green Oak
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Crystal
Crystal by Green Oak is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin and an Audio Units Plugin.
Product
Version
2.5.6
Product
Version
2.5.8
Instrument
Formats
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
SF2 (SoundFont)
Copy Protection
None
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709 KVR members have added Crystal to 49 My KVR groups 819 times.
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KVR Rank

Overall: 83   67   83

30-Day: 104; 7-Day: 95; Yesterday: 96

Crystal is a semi-modular software synthesizer featuring both subtractive synthesis and frequency modulation (FM) synthesis.

Crystal offers abundant modulation control with over 90 parameters which may be modulated, multi-stage envelopes with graphical editors, extensive tempo sync of envelopes / LFO rates / 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 boundless.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.40 from 25 reviews

Crystal
Reviewed By anthony598
July 31st, 2022

I love Crystal, an amazing free soft synth. Very unique sound to it. Plenty of presets, not a crazy amount. Allows you to edit sound. Definitely recommend.

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Crystal
Reviewed By Trader One
November 23rd, 2021

While synth itself has lot of modulation sources and especially envelopes are very well made working with banks and presets is pain if synth can't write to its VST directory. I found that best works to use patch/bank load save from DAW (if your DAW supports this function).

While modulation sources are excellent sound is just average and because of constant problems with loading / saving banks and patches I moved to another synth. Its not actively maintained, last version is from 2016. I recommend other Crystal users to do the same. We have much better free synths now.

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Crystal
Reviewed By alfamax
December 22nd, 2018

Easy to learn. Flexible to configure. Matrix, LFOs, Oscilators. Soundfonts. Browse, create and breed your own presets. Delay. Reverb. Autopan. Modulation. Filter. Resonation. Pads, Basses, Leads, Motifs, Fx. 2018. And still amazing. Just a Classic.

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Crystal
Reviewed By Magpel
September 20th, 2007

Given the sophistication and novelty of Crystal, you can make a case that it was/is the most GENEROUS free VST ever. And there's some tough competition for that title.

Learning to use it is an education is synthesis.

The .sf2 was the topper. All of sudden, untold GB of sample data became fodder for Crystal's bottomless mangling architecture.

Crytsal is a synth I would program for fun and exercise, not in support of a song or composition but just for its own sake--every bit as much as Cameleon 5000.

It's strength, obvioulsy is movement and modulation. I loved it from the start, but it wasn't til I heard the Tim Conrardy banls that I was able to understand its rhythmic potential. The enevenlopes are still the best of their kind, imo, not that I've checked out all the "competition." The frequency splitter is a trip. The Mod Matrix is pretty much bottomless, for all intents and purposes. Stability is excellent, CPU usage can go from modest to extreme. .Sf2 support was a brilliant stroke.

It's weakness, frankly, is in (the lack of) thickness and solidity of its core sound and an LP filter that to my ears is no great shakes. I am not able to coax fat, high character lead sounds out of Crystal, but so what? Keeping in the free domain, we have Synth1, Triangle 2, and the Iblits for that.

Crystal is, uh, an absolute gem. Glen/Green Oaks' generosity with this one is truly humbling.
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Crystal
Reviewed By mhemnarch
September 16th, 2007

USER INTERFACE
Every button and slider in Crystal is placed just where it's needed, and the synth is as a result remarkable easy to use, considering its complexity. It's also a very nice-looking synth, and has the best patch browser I've seen in any freeware synth (and better than the ones in many commercial ones).

SOUND
You know those stock analog sounds, the ones that every free VA synth seems to do, and do well? Crystal doesn't do those. You can't squeeze a typical supersaw or crunchy bass out of this thing without a lot of effort. So what does it do? Just about everything else. From glitched-up, snarly, hissing pads to so-pristine-it-can't-be-real chimes to massive (and really massive!) soundscapes to...well, use your imagination, or run through the presets. This synth will create sounds you can't get any other way.
I suppose I can break it down more. The oscillators, in particular, are a real strength of the synth, rich and powerful. The filters are likewise very thick and heavy, though as I mentioned, not at all "analog"-sounding. The effects section consists of four delays that you can use however you want--and with the modulation options being what they are, this means you can make phasers, choruses, flangers, comb filters, ping-pong delays, and unique effects that, at least for now, don't even have names.

FEATURES
I hate to write a review that sounds like a list, but I can't resist the chance to rattle them off. Three independent oscs, each with its own multimode filter, FM or ring modulation, hard sync (called "mogrify," who knows why), and soundfont loading that allows them to work as ROMplers or, better yet, granular oscs. 6 higly tweakable LFOs and multi-breakpoint envelopes that can be routed to whatever weird place your heart desires (which means, as many targets as I've seen in ANY synth), besides the envelopes for each oscillator's amplitude and filter. Four delays that have built-in filters and can be tweaked however you want - or tweaked using the envelopes and LFOs. Four-way frequency splitter.
That gives you a taste of the possibilities, but to really understand what this means, you have to download the synth and really dig into it. There's more to this synth that I could exhaust in a lifetime.
That said, I have to mention Crystal's one major flaw - its CPU useage. Many patches on Crystal have very modest CPU consumption, but others, especially when using a lot of polyphony, are outrageously CPU-heavy. Of course, all this means is that you have to render tracks a lot when using the synth, but it's still an unfortunate issue with the synth.

DOCUMENTATION
Extensive manual, nice tutorials - what more can you ask for? It was actually the first synth I ever used, and even for a beginner it wasn't impossible to get into.

PRESETS
The patches built in are brilliant. There's a factory bank, and the website has several others, and they all sound exceptional, giving a great taste of what this thing is capable of. Amazing stuff.
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Comments & Discussion for Green Oak Crystal

Discussion
Discussion: Active

THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED

Mmmr
Mmmr
27 August 2021 at 9:32am

Can't import Crystal's effects banks or contact the developer (Grrr at Facebook).

Hi. Bit of a story. Back in the day, I got Crystal from a ComputerMusic CD and messed around with it a bit. Time has moved on and last year sometime I bought Jbridge to use a different VST. Recently, I went through the old discs from ComputerMusic and started bridging the old 32-bit plugins (God this was fun). I made a project in Ableton Live yesterday where a spreadsheet I have that lists all installed VSTs and VSTis throws up random plugins for me to use in whatever project I'm working in. It threw up the bridged version of Crystal. I was totally confused on how to use it (as it's been a lot of years since I did use it) but got it working. After the project was finished, mixed and exported I thought I'd see if there were any tutorials. There were so I spent some time last night watching videos. It then occurred to me that there may be a current version. And, Hey Presto, there was. I downloaded and installed this and it seems to work fine apart from one thing. From the Greenoaks website for Crystal there are a load of banks to download and so, download them I did. I followed the instructions on the site to install them but they appear to be uninstallable. I've googled this and it seems to be something to do with Windows 10 security features (I'm not a hundred percent sure though). Anyway, I thought "Hey, I'll contact the developers and tell them about this". The only contact is via Facebook. As an old man of 53 I seriously don't ever want a Facebook account. I've had friends promote it to me on so many occasions not realizing that all the points they're making about how good it is are all the points that make me NEVER to want to have it. So, as a last resort, I thought I'd post on here and see if anyone has any ideas about working around the problem of importing the preset banks as the drop in the application doesn't work at all.

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