Shift Line released Astronaut, an interesting reverb plugin based on a hardware guitar pedal.
Reverbs are my constant companion and first love when it comes to VSTs. Who doesn’t love a good reverb? I’m still basking in the release of Pro-R 2 from FabFilter, but this one did catch my attention.
The main reason is that the plugin comes from Shift Line, a manufacturer of boutique guitar pedals. This is their first foray into the field of audio plugin development.
If you’re a reverb aficionado like me, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear that Shift Line has released Astronaut, a novel reverb with a decided twist.
There’s a paid version with full preset support and several different algorithms, which is heavily recommended. However, there is also a free version, which is great because I’m broke right now.
Astronaut Free comes with six algorithms, which are honestly quite nice. You’ve got Skynet 1, Skynet 2, Shimdown, Clean Crush, White Noise, and Silence.
There are more algorithms in the paid version, but this is plenty for experimenting. Each reverb algorithm has its own distinct characteristics, as you might expect.
What sets Astronaut apart from its peers is the X/Y pad located in the center of the interface. I will admit I haven’t really automated reverbs too much, but this yields such interesting results I’m going to start.
You can set automation envelopes for both the X and Y axis of the pad, yielding evolving soundscapes. The character of the reverb algorithms can range from dirty and losing bit-depth to this austere iciness.
As such, this is a synth pad’s best friend. It also pairs quite well with long delays, which I’ve been loving Other Desert Cities by Audio Damage paired alongside Astronaut Free.
This is 100% worth your time, especially if you’re after a sound design reverb. Could you use this on overhead mics from a drumkit? Sure, and I salute you if you do so.
Astronaut excels in the potential for experimentation, and I absolutely love the graininess it can introduce when sliding the X/Y slider over to something like the White Noise algorithm.
After writing this, I’ll have to sling into Bitwig and see how strange I can get with envelope followers and LFOs adjusting the parameters as I go.
So, go download it; Astronaut is a fantastic reverb plugin. You’ll need a Mac or Windows computer to run it. The free version comes with VST3, AU, and standalone binaries.
If you like unusual reverbs, check out our free BPB Dirty Spring plugin, too!
Download: Astronaut (FREE / Paid version)