Want to enhance your compositions with atmospheric backdrops? Need to create ethereal, cloud-like sound design textures for a cinematic film or horror series? Perhaps you need to shape a unique transition with just the right mood, energy, and motion.
The Nordic Spheres plugin is a new granular synthesis musical instrument for Kontakt designed to do the job. Packed with unique samples and a powerful toolset, the plug-in makes crafting soundscapes effortless – and inspiring.
Today’s post provides an overview of the software: what Nordic Spheres is and how it works. It shares who will find it useful and how Nordic Spheres can help with your workflow to effortlessly create distinctive, otherworldly soundscapes.
What is Nordic Spheres?
Nordic Spheres ($199) is a musical instrument software plug-in for Native Instruments’s free Kontakt Player (version 6.7.1+, macOS 10.14+, Windows 10+). It was developed by Pole Position Production and Germany-based Sonuscore.
Combining the power of granular synthesis and a fluid, intuitive user interface, Nordic Spheres effortlessly creates flowing, evolving, expressive soundscapes. It is an incredibly creative and flexible tool to accent films, game scores, cinematic projects, and horror soundtracks with ethereal textures or harsh, unsettling tones.
How Does Nordic Spheres Work?
How does Nordic Spheres craft these drones and tones?
The power of Nordic Spheres is drawn from granular synthesis. Simply put, the software chops sample sounds into very small slices (“grains”) and mixes them up to create new soundscapes.
These soundscapes are built from Nordic Sphere’s 4 instrument slots. The two at the top of the display are grain engine slots. These slots control the overall sonic character of the plug-in, and you can add to them any of the 100+ tonal, non tonal, tonal effects, or percussive grain-samples included with the software.
The two slots at the bottom of the display augment the grain engine with hits, particles or sustains.
Tweak each of these slots with envelope, grain size and position, and an FX chain (EQ, saturation and distortion, chorus, and tremolo). Then, twist the mod wheel to hear the four instrument slots work together to create unique, otherworldly flowing soundscapes.
Why Use Nordic Spheres?
Nordic Spheres is ideal for both sound designers and cinematic composers. It comfortably finds a home for creating transitions of any kind. Composers will find it a helpful tool for starting a cue and building to something bigger. It’s also perfect for atmospheric backdrops or creating cloud-like textures. While Nordic Spheres works well adding flavour to existing compositional work, it’s powerful enough to create whole tracks using the software presets alone.
How Can Nordic Spheres Help Your Workflow?
How does Nordic Spheres improve your workflow?
Nordic Spheres was built to help express creativity easily and intuitively.
170 presets form the core of the plug-in. Nordic Sphere’s unusual soundscapes evolve from these meticulously recorded creative samples. Pole Position Production sourced sounds from unusual props: howitzers, key harps, metal hits, tug boats, and even bronze wheelbarrows and more. Each was performed with character – not to make the best sounding tones but instead played the wrong way to evoke strange noises.
The result? Bending a small portion of a squeaky noise can create a creepy atmosphere for a horror film. Pitching a nasty viola overtone removes harshness and a mysterious soundscape emerges. These unusual samples at the heart of Nordic Spheres were designed to spark inspiration and form the building blocks for creative compositions.
In addition to the sample presets, the software’s custom impulse response reverbs contribute a characteristic sound unlike any other granular synthesis software. A vital element to the sonic expression of the plug-in, the IRs have very long – some even distorted – tails that contribute an immersive atmospheric feeling to each soundscape.
While the software has endless options for customizing atmospheres – even the smallest aspects can be tweaked – Nordic Spheres makes layering incredibly easy. The smooth user interface allows creating new sounds quickly and intuitively. There are many ways to craft soundscapes, and every one of the 4 slots can be tweaked in detail. By linking many of these settings to the main mod wheel, Nordic Spheres allows an incredible amount of expressiveness. Soundscapes can easily evolve from a beautiful ambience to a strange texture and back.
Enhance Compositions with Granular Synthesis
Distinctive sound sources, granular synthesis, and a host of customizable settings combine to give Nordic Spheres a truly unique sound. The intuitive interface allows for a smooth workflow to sculpt creative, expressive soundscapes, textures, transitions, and much more.