There's been a lot of hype around this synth...maybemaybe too much hype. So, don't raise your hopes too high. The sound of Atmo is great. I believe a lot of time'n'energy has been devoted to sampling, processing and patch creation of this instrument. The interface is simple and well laid out although unnecessary large (maybe just to make it appeal more attractive or to save space for future enhancements).
There are however a couple of things I have to critisize. First of all although the core library seems to be huge and the abundance of presets is nearly overwhelming the variety is not as large as I expected it to be. Atmo is very focused (or you could also say rather limited) synth. It is very much centered around lush evolving soundscapes with long release times (there are a few other things of course).
Now, it's possible to programme your own patches around the core library and so to strech Atmo further. You can take a preset and change the filter and modulation settings. Or you can start from scratch by selecting an empty preset and selecting a patch (layer) for it. However this procedure deletes all the mod and filter settings you may have tweaked to the defaults set in that particular patch you just loaded. To get back your settings you must program the patch from start again every time you just set the layer to play a new sample. Ouch!
Personally I think the price of Atmo is slightly too high. Such great synths as Pro-53, Absynth and FM7, let alone Z3ta+ are much cheaper and I dare not say that Atmo would be more flexible or better sounding than those competitors. However some kind of 'Atmo Light' with at least half smaller sample library and price tag and less clumsy auditioning of the pure core sample library would be a great choice. As a lush soundscape synthesizer Atmo sounds absolutely great.
YES! This is a wonderful one trick pony. A string machine that takes you straight... into the 70's. It's sound forces me to play Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us A Part" or Bowies "Warszawa" from the classic 1977 album "Low". Again and again. Thank you for this instrument Mr. Big Tick. But wait! It's not enough. Let us pay something for this!
OK, first of all I must say a sampler couldn't possibly sound much better. Especially the filters sound wonderful.
Secondly I like the user interface a lot. Parameters are logically organized in one screen. The idea how the velocity and modwheel modulations are set within the sliders of the actual parameters is wonderful and compact.
LFO's and portamento settings are versatile. Combined pan/tremolo modulation by LFO sounds great although there seems to be a bug in that the LFO1 delay/decay doesn't apply in this particular case (what a shame!).
What is NOT great is that I wouldn't call this even a sample player (you can't even play .wav samples). It's merely soundfont and AKAI sample player (and AKAI import won't even import filter settings).
However, the most serious omission is the fact that you can't save .exs presets. You can save them as .fxp in Cubase, but this way you can't see these presets in the great flip menu. Oh NO! Do something to this Emagic!!