The Crow Hill Company Vaults Celestatone

The Crow Hill Company: New, free Celeste & Dulcitone combo

The Crow Hill Company, the newly established sampling project launched by the co-founder of Spitfire Audio, Christian Henson, has revealed its 3rd virtual instrument in the free Vaults series.

Two Celestial Sounds, Combined

Celestatone is the “love child” of one old Celeste and a worn out Dulcitone (also known as the tuning fork piano). The two historic idiophone instruments, whose roots go all the way to the Victorian era, were sampled, then mixed and manipulated to create this new and interesting blend.

The sound that Celestatone provides is quite warm, but rather nicely balanced. It is not too soft or muddy sounding, like similar libraries sometimes tend to be, and it has this slightly bright yet very delicate metallic timbre to it that quite makes the difference.

I am pretty fond of the fact they went on and incorporated the hammer sounds with this one. It’s always a good thing to have that option, and even better when you can actually control it. In most scenarios, generally speaking, I find that “keyboard noise” or “player noise” type of samples add to the instrument rather than take from it. If to be a little picky, though, the only thing that Celestatone lacks in that department is the implementation of release triggers.

Other controllable parameters, other than the already mentioned Hammer, are the available on-board audio FX – which are Tone (frequency filter), Echo (delay, which offers both standard delay and reverse-type delay) and Splosh (reverb).

In addition to said effects, it is also possible to apply a mild vibrato effect using the big Tremolo knob that’s on top. However, it’s worth noting that the Tremolo speed is determined by the project’s defined tempo (BPM), which is 120 in most DAWs.

Ambient Textures

Aside from the basic features that Celestatone offers the player with, it also provides an additional layer of sound that the user can incorporate for a more of an ambient, “dreamy” feel. Swarm introduces a time-manipulated texture layer that you can control using the modwheel.

Celestatone by The Crow Hill Company works in a free, dedicated player. If you already have it installed, it is required that you download the latest version from the company’s website and reinstall the app. Based on personal experience, the dedicated VST plugin might not work unless you manage to completely remove the software from your workstation beforehand.

The previous releases (R+D Strings and Attic Grand piano) are also included in the offer, as it is not currently possible to download the free Vaults instruments individually. The approximate size of the whole Vaults library collection is around 1 and a half GB. Supported formats are Windows, macOS (VST3, VST, AU, AAX).