In our recent articles we introduced you to Pole Position Production’s latest software plug-in: Nordic Spheres. It’s a musical instrument powered by granular synthesis perfect for creating flowing atmospheres or unsettling drones and tones.
The software is packed with settings that allows you endless customization. Despite the rich toolset included with Nordic Spheres, it’s possible to get great results fast.
Want to get started now? Today’s post showcases a Nordic Spheres tutorial. It shares a workflow to get you up and running creating incredible soundscapes in just 5 minutes.
Nordic Spheres Tutorial: Getting Started
Nordic Spheres allows extensive customization and creativity to sculpt truly unique and evocative sonic soundscapes. Let’s dig a bit more into the details.
Setting Up Nordic Sphere’s 4 Slots
The main character of Nordic Spheres is created from two upper two grain engine slots, and two lower slot settings. Let’s see how each is set.
Grain Engine Settings
First, let’s see how we can customize the grain engine slots.
Start by choosing a grain engine preset in the upper two slots. Click the name to display a list of preset samples, then select one.
Then, click the three stripes above the slot to view the engine page.
From here, you can adjust the ADSR envelope, density (grain triggering frequency), and position randomness.
Sliders on the central waveform select the playback position of the source sound; Nordic Spheres can play the whole sample or just a small piece of it.
The envelope area just below this allows changing the playback position over time. The A/B buttons to the right can save two of these sequences. This allows using the main-page mod wheel to move between the lowest value (button A), and the highest (button B).
Clicking the “FX” button allows further options; click “Grain Size” to adjust the grain size attack and decay.
Now you’re set with your two grain engine presets. Let’s add more character to the sound with the lower slot settings. Click the “Main” tab to return to the main page.
Lower Slot Settings
Click the three stripes on the lower two slots to open the engine page. This allows choosing between an arpeggiator, an envelope, or nothing.
Click the engine button on the lower left to display the engine itself, which can be adjusted similarly to the grain engine’s envelope.
The foundation for the slots are now set.
Enhancing Your Soundscape
Want to add more spice and flavour to your soundscapes? Nordic Spheres adds detailed customziation with effects settings, mixing settings, and custom panning.
Tweak your creation further for any of the four slots with the FX chain’s EQ, saturation and distortion, chorus, and tremolo. Any of these can be bypassed or enabled to taste.
Some settings have the option to link them to the mod wheel by clicking the “Motion” button – either from the lowest value to the highest, or the opposite.
Next, add more character to your creation on the mixing page with volume, panning, compression, delay, and reverb. Click the “Mix” tab to view these settings.
Add to the atmosphere of your soundscape with a custom impulse response, found on the lower right of the mix page.
Want to shape your soundscape with detailed movement?
Click the “Pan” tab. Two pan engines allow customizing detailed panning motion, which can be applied any or all of the four slots.
That’s it! Your soundscape is ready. Return to the main tab, playback, and adjust the mod wheel to create evolving, textural atmospheres.
Of course, this walkthrough is just a start. Nordic Spheres allows detailed customization of any setting to create endless possibilities for textures, soundscapes, and atmospheres.