Friday, April 25, 2008

Satisfied with Atmosphere

I have continued to dive into Atmosphere.  And I must say, there's a surprisingly powerful synth under there.  The filter is actually quite usable (I once thought it was crap), and while there are limits to the available modulation, there's enough to inject a little expression into your patch.  It's the underlying samples, of course, that make it shine.  There are some absolute gems in there.  I actually went through and auditioned every single one, and discovered over 200 singles that moved me.  That's 200 quality patches in a synth, without counting the layers.  I didn't even have close to that on my EX5. Atmosphere is a spectacular synth.

As I suggested earlier, even though many (almost exactly half) patches aren't clearly labeled, there seem to be a few trends in the names of synths that come up most in the patches I like.

First, it's not a JP-8000 I meant in the last post, it was a JP-8.  Oops! That's a pseudonym of the powerful (and hard-to-find) Jupiter-8.  I shan't be buying one of those any time soon!  I did download Arturia's Jupiter 8 V, and I'm sorry to say I was unimpressed.  It's probably not fair to compare Arturia's soft-synth to Spectrasonic's samples.  The samples are probably piped through some of the best compressors/reverbs/EQs on the planet, so they come out all punchy and full.  And "fat" isn't always good is it?  Is it?  I dunno.  At the moment, I'm jonesin' for the punch, so I passed the JP8V by.  I don't need it.

The Moog came up a lot, once I got out of the pads and into the synth patches.  But I knew I liked Moogs.  I also know I can't afford them.  Atmosphere covers the few bases I would want from a Moog, anyway.

The Virus came up more than any other identifiable synth.  This doesn't surprise me on two levels: one, Eric Persing clearly makes very (!) heavy use of them, so there were more Virus patches to pick from.  And second, I know that the Virus is my favourite line of synths.  Period.

Most surprising was the number of CS-80 patches I had on my short list.  Almost as much as the Moog!  I remember trying Arturia's CS80 V way back when it first came out, and I was at once over- and under-whelmed.  The sound seemed thin and old-school to me, and the interface was HUGE and intimidating.  I considered grabbing the demo, but I was reminded by the JP8V that there's no need: I have what I need in Atmosphere.

So, in short, I fell back in love with Atmosphere.  It's expensive, sure, but I think it's the biggest bang for the buck in my arsenal.

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