Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Bob Clearmountain has been emulated.
Apogee released Clearmountain's Domain awhile back and I picked it up as soon as the Windows version was available. The idea here was to capture Bob Clearmountain's unique workflow which gives mixes his signature feel with regard to space and dimension. It's an ambitious plugin and so closely bound to the reputation to one of the giants in the industry that the promise of it is quite exciting.... If it's any good, that it.
Start Me Up!
It's really, really good. Scratch that, it's amazing. First, packed into this plugin are as Ap
ogee's website states, are "an entire studio’s worth of hardware gear – live echo chambers, delays, harmonizers, de-essers, EQs and a large format SSL analog mixing console." Also included are Impulse Responses (IRs) that Bob has recorded over the years of various rooms and spaces that he's particularly fond of and uses in his own mixes. The presets are a sort of a "greatest hits" of FX. I plugged in my Keef'd Tele (Open G, five strings!) and ran it through preset "Start Me Up KR Guitar" and it was spot on. More importantly, because this isn't a one knob wonder, you are able to look at and tweak the entire signal chain of that preset.
“the promise of it is quite exciting.... If it's any good, that it.... It's really, really good”
The granular level of control, dead easy to visualize signal chain and mixer make Clearmountain's Domain very easy to set up.
What really sets this plugin on fire, though, is the quality of the FX modeling Apogee has accomplished here. They are among the best that I've ever heard "in the box." That may very well be simply because Bob Clearmountain's hands were on the dials and tapping the pads programming the damn thing before it was modeled, but, whatever the reason, I'll take it!
Not Just a Taste
Normally, when we buy one of these celebrity branded plugins, we don't get to mess around much under the hood and what we hear is what we get. And that's usually fine. After all that's what we've been accustomed to quite awhile. That's not what's happening here at all. Apogee and Bob Clearmountain have figured out how to deliver to us an entire workflow and it's glorious.
$349; or Rent to Own $15.99/Month
BUY RECOMMENDATION FOR PROS: HELLS YES
BUY RECOMMENDATION NEWBIES: MAYBE
WORD OF MOUTH: Good (Should be better)
PROS: Amazing FX quality, easy set up of chains
CONS: Your existing plugins will get lonely