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Atomic is a 16-step sequencer composing tool with a built in synth that also has the ability to control other soft synths or even hardware via its MIDI out function. The design is circular which allows a different approach to composing and sound design.
Inspired by circular step sequencers such as the Buchla Arbitrary Function Generator and Future Retro Revolution. Dedicated to Electronic Music pioneer Allen Strange (1943-2008).
- 16-step sequencer in a circular design with 3 rows: Seminotes, Velocity and Gate.
- BPM Rate with 5 modes including random.
- Separate rhythm grid.
- Advanced arpeggiator with separate rate, 5 modes with gate and octave controls.
- Latch mode for continuous play as well as individual mute for each step.
- MIDI Out for use in modular hosts which also includes LFOs and step modulators to control external VSTs or hardware.
- 2 Oscillators with 14 waveforms including additive partials.
- Separate phase controls, and detune and octave tune as well as harmonic tuning mode.
- VCF with 4 filter types with velocity control.
- 2 dedicated envelope generators, one for amp and one for filter.
- 2 LFOs, Sub Oscillator, Step Modulator, Random Generator, and Keyboard control with zone and mod wheel assign which includes sequencer controls for step, and rate.
- Comprehensive mod matrix.
- X-Y delay with separate multimode filters which can be modulated via mod matrix.
- Spatial stereo reverb.
- Phaser with wide sweeping range.
- Master section with volume, pan and tuning.
- CC map for hardware MIDI knob controllers.
- Presets by Tim Conrardy and Boris K.
Reviewed By serve
February 6, 2009
System: Dell XPS
Host: Ableton Live 7.0
Rewired: Propellerhead’s Reason 4.0
Sound Card/Interface: MOTU 828 MKII
So after reading the first review posted of this VST I decided to look into it more as I had never heard of this VST manufacturer or the Atomic VST for that matter. But when I saw that it was a 16 step circular sequencer with MIDI out capabilities as well as a soft synth I bought it on the spot. The installation was quick and painless, just a simple yes, yes, ok and enter the password/key that was given at time of purchase as well as in an email. Once I initiated the program in Live I did hit a few stumbling blocks. First off Atomic for what I can see has no free run MIDI out so as to have the 16 step sequencer stay playing automatically without having to send midi note events directly to it. So in Live or for that matter any host you must add it as a MIDI VST then draw in MIDI notes in a clip and or trigger the sequencer with a MIDI controller/keyboard. But once I figured this out I hit another issue with not being able to get it to stop spitting out synth sounds and just be a sequencer. In live I got around this by muting its speaker/track activator button.
Its MIDI out functions located at bottom mid right are simply easy to adjust. In Live you must do a little basic MIDI routing to get Atomic to trigger another soft synth. First insert a soft synth and make sure its MIDI from properties are pointing to Atomics MIDI track. Then in Atomic change it’s MIDI out properties to reflect your new inserted soft synth, and be sure to mute Atomics audio. Once this is done you should be able to hear your slaved soft synth. Atomics MIDI out preferences also have a few neat little tricks. As simple as it is you can adjust two LFO and a LFO step sequencer, and send there MIDI messages to a number of parameters of your soft synth. Atomic does this by way of CC values so instead of seeing a list of parameters marked pitch bend, mod wheel, pan, frequency and so forth to choose from you have to choose a corresponding CC value. Unless you know specifically what you’re doing here you have no way of knowing the result, However that’s almost part of the fun of Atomics’ MIDI out functions.
In my first working attempt I routed Atomics’ MIDI out to Propellerhead’s Reason via Rewire within Live. I had it Control the notes of a Malstrom as well as other random parameters by way of LFOs and such. The result was intriguing enough to be satisfied with my new purchase. However adjusting Atomics’ sequencer knobs really didn’t seem to do much in the way of velocity, pitch and so on…..But maybe I’m missing something here? But what I came up with I immediately added to a current work in progress and it gave me the tonal uplifting to a segment that I had been looking for. In the beginning though at one point the main center sequencer windo started scrolling through developer credits and I could not figure out how to return it back to the defualt screen, so I had to delete it and start from scratch.
As far as its Synth capabilities I honestly don’t care, I have so many soft synths and noise makers that I’ve barely scratched the surface on I’m not too interested in it, but I did give it a little try and as far as sound output goes its marginal to my opinion. But for the price as a sound generating synth it’s a good buy. But there maybe better free ones if ya ask me. All in all for the price as a synth and a very neat little MIDI sequencer I give it 2 thumbs up.
On a side note I did buy at the same time due to a package discount the ElectraBass v1.2 and when I attempted an install I got an error due to corrupt install files, downloaded it a second time and same issue. I’ll try it again today and if all else fails AlgoMusic will be hearing from me.
Reviewed By glokraw
January 24, 2009
1. each keypress as a different pair of percussion sounds
2. many pairs in the sequenced pattern when a key is held down
3. many repeats of the pattern played in syncopation
4. Notes outside the selected sequencer keyboard range still playing the internal hardware combo.
Want to turn your favourite ambient pad into an athletic dancer? Load the Atomic and Enceladus demos from www.algomusic.net, choose the Enceladus Pad Sea of Glass sound, give it a very fast attack, and shorten both the release and and sustain to around 10-20%, and use the default Hypergate sequence from Atomic to play it, by creating a receive on the Enceladus track, from the Atomic track, and turning on the Atomic Midi Out port. You can choose or design Atomic sounds that compliment your chosen synth sound, like the sounds in this example, or mute/mix the Atomic sounds to taste, while also triggering midi rompler/rack-synth sounds with the same sequence, if desired. (Now go back and drag out the release on Pad Sea of Glass, to about 75% to hear some nice extras for the dancer!)
To those of you with midi enabled hardware drum modules and synths, and those using softsynths and multitimbral romplers, Atomic may well alter your approach to music making. Now all my favorite hardware combinations are right inside Reaper, sharing the turf with software.
To those looking for an afforable new synth, with great sound and effects, Atomic is a bargain even without using the midi-out feature. The PDF manual covers the many different editing features, which pop up when you choose to use them.
There are 31 preset sequences to display the sound and rythm capabilities, which really shine when combined with hard and software you already love to work with. 9.5 out of 10, and truly great support from the AlgoMusic team!
(used with linux, but that is not currently an option in the review dialogs
so I fibbed, and said xp )Read more