Filling the space
The single ‘Bola de Cristal’ (Crystal Ball) by up-and-coming Mexican-American singer/songwriter Gaby Lagarda was dubbed the 2021summer anthem by the Latin music community. Produced by GRAMMY-nominated ColombianMusic Producer Ali Stone, the song is described as a mix of Brazilian funk with electric sounds and synthesized vocals, which are the signature of the song’s sound. With the synths designed to capture a Brazilian festival sound, Stone needed to use a lot of processing to fill the audio space. In doing so, she also aimed to add a little bit of warmth to the sound and turned to NUGEN Audio’s Paragon ST reverb software to accomplish her goals.
“On ‘Bola de Cristal,’ all of the synths have individual reverbs that give each one space and a big presence, and I feel there’s a very clear before-and-after to the sound that comes from using reverb directly in each track of the lead synths,” she says. “Paragon ST was perfect for this song. It allowed me to give the sound the stereo image and amplitude it needed. The reverb in each track gave the song its sound.”
“Paragon ST was perfect for [Bola de Cristal]. It allowed me to give the sound the stereo image and amplitude it needed.''
The stereo field
Paragon’s stereo widening feature affords users a wider, more coherent sound, with polish and spatial balance. It’s perfect for creating a feeling of natural space or for pushing the envelope for a full, super-wide expansion of the stereo image. Meanwhile, the new mic distance control adjusts the level of the early reverb reflection giving the impression that the affected sound is either closer to or further away from the listener, without adjusting the characteristics of the space itself.
For ‘Bola de Cristal,’ Stone took advantage of both the new stereo widening feature and mic distance control adjusts. She explains that her goal when producing the song was to find the perfect structure for the lead synth by manipulating the microphone placements and space around the audio. Paragon ST allows her to modify the impulse response and modify the frequency response of the reverb, among other things.
Under the hood
“By moving the microphone inside Paragon ST, I am able to visually place the synth and vocal where, and with or without, the level of stereo width I want,” explains Stone. “If I want it to sound far away or if I want it to be close to me, I can achieve that just by moving the microphone distance, which is so great. I am able to move it around, bring up the brightness and get a really cool sound. This allows the synths to be part of the actual sound design and not only a general sound effects bus.''
Lagarda, a native of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico came to Los Angeles in 2014 to study the American music industry. She released her first EP, ‘Souldier’ in 2019. ‘Bola de Cristal (Crystal Ball),’ is from her latest EP, ‘Creator / Destroyer.’
Stone was named one of the Latin Hitmakers of 2021 by Billboard magazine. Among her many additional achievements, is winning a CDA award; producing multi-platinum selling albums for top artists; and writing, producing, mixing and mastering her debut album 'Sexto Sentido’, which hit No. 1 on the Electronic Chart.
Paragon is a true convolution reverb with the flexibility and control of a classic algorithmic reverb, giving you the sound of real spaces, now with unprecedented tweakability.
Paragon ST is a true convolution reverb with the flexibility and control of a classic algorithmic reverb, redesigned with music producers in mind.
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