Crosstalk Sleepy-Time DSP, a labor of love founded by Duluth, Minn.’s own Dustin Ralston, began in 2006 as Sleepy-Time Records.
“It was a way for local musicians to have their songs recorded, mixed and released when they couldn’t afford the high cost of the bigger studios. I chose the name ‘Sleepy-Time’ because of the fact that everything was, and still is, run from a small bedroom studio,” he said.
“I started getting into software programming, and with home recording really on the rise, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give home recording artists access to high-quality effects when they couldn’t afford the big name brands.”
The Sleepy-Time Records Legacy Bundle includes six VST plug-ins: Crosstalk, Dual Panner, Polarity, Mono Channel, Stereo Channel and Transient.
These aren’t effects that will make your guitar sound like flying saucers or your voiceover sound like Barry White, but they are handy for quickly and effectively doctoring problem tracks and maybe doing some fun experimentation along the way. All have a clean, easy-to-navigate interface.
Crosstalk is designed to be inserted across the stereo output of your DAW. It creates a variable degree of signal bleed between the left and right channels, simulating the crosstalk of traditional analog circuits. The effect is subtle when used judiciously.
Dual Panner comes in handy when trying to independently adjust the position of each channel of a stereo track. It can be used anywhere in the signal chain, so you’re not limited to where the panning takes place in your DAW. It features an adjustable “pan law” setting. (Some DAWs automatically attenuate a stereo signal by 3 dB when that channel is panned to the center.)
Polarity is the simplest plug-in in the bunch. Just four buttons: Off, left only, right only, and left + right. Pressing a button flips the polarity of the corresponding signal of a stereo track. It’s great for surgical correction of phase issues, especially when working with stereo files.
Mono Channel and Stereo Channel are essentially VU meters, but each has its own twists. In addition to a smooth simulation of an analog VU meter, the Mono Channel provides a basic three-band tone control for minor corrections and a high-pass filter. The Stereo Channel provides a pair of meters, combined with an M/S balance adjustment, stereo and M/S muting, center crossover control and a phase correlation meter.
Finally, Transient, as the name implies, handle transient signals, i.e. drums and percussion. But it’s not simply a compressor or expander. The attack and sustain controls allow independent, variable adjustment of the volume of both the initial attack of the sound and the amount of decay that follows. Either stereo or mono sources can be processed. There are also detection filters to zero in on specific frequency bands. In addition to that, either the left or right channel, and even the attack or sustain portion of the signal can be soloed for more precise adjustments.
These plugins come in 32- and 64-bit versions, and are all contained in a single small zip folder, found at www.sleepytimedsp.com/software/str-bundle.