Developed by some of the original Eventide developers, the Crystallizer is an interesting effect that sounds both current and retro at the same time.
The Crystallizer essentially takes a sample of audio from whatever source you are using. You use the Splice knob to decide what length you’d like it to be. You then use the Delay knob to choose how long before that sample plays back. By flipping the Midi Sync toggle, the times will be snapped to note values, otherwise it’s measured in milliseconds. The Recycle Knob acts like a feedback effect on a delay pedal, sending the delay back to the input, so it builds up.
So far, that sounds like a sampler pedal, and that’s probably not a bad approximation.
Soundtoys Crystallizer does more than just act as a doubler, but man does it do that well. It thickens up your guitar track like nobody’s business.
Now here’s where the exciting twist comes in. You can alter the pitch of the splice up or down. So when the sample repeats, you could have it repeat a 3rd higher. Think about that! You have not only a delay, but a harmonized delay. Set the recycle and splice correctly, and you can have it spiral up or down.
The next killer features is the Gating/Ducking effect. You can use the Threshold knob to set the signal to just below the peak, and the Gating/Ducking will cause the effect to not occur until after you are don’t playing. This is nice because it won’t interfere with your playing, but as soon as you stop, you can have it spiral upward.
Another bonus is the Forward/Reverse toggle. You can have a really cool guitar solo played in reverse.
You can do some nice ping-pong bouncing around automated panning effects. The Ping-Pong preset is pretty killer as is the Octave Glitter. Some of the tweaking functions affect just the right side, so with the Fast Hi-Lo Split, you get not only a thickening, but the right side is tuned slightly higher making the effect that much more effective.
Do you really need another twist on the distortion pedal? You can see how just playing around with these opens up more sonic possibilities. This will get the creative juices flowing and is a must have effect if you are a guitarist, or mixing guitar. I’m not saying don’t buy the Eventide H9000, but if you don’t have $7k to spend, this is an awesome alternative.