Baby Audio releases Atoms, a next-gen physical modeling synth

Baby Audio releases a new plugin: Atoms an innovative physical modeling synth capable of producing a limitless array of natural and surreal sounds.

Baby Audio is known for their range of award-winning instruments and effect plugins. Following the vintage-styled BA-1, the company expands its synth lineup with a future-facing virtual instrument called Atoms.

Synthesis from the other side

Atoms is a new kind of synth plugin that uses cutting edge physical modeling to generate an endless variety of organic and otherworldly sounds. Use it to build rich and alive textures the world hasn’t heard before.

Baby Audio Atoms Dark

Complex Physics In A Simple Package

Physical modeling simulates the behavior of real life instruments. But Atoms takes you beyond what’s possible in the natural world. Its features are deep enough to explore the outer bounds of sound design, yet so simple that you can easily mangle, shape and create.

Atoms is powered by a simulation of interconnected masses and springs with tweakable properties and dimensions. The model is triggered by a virtual bowing action that excites the system and makes it vibrate to generate sound.

Baby Audio Atoms Light

A Living Organism

Nothing in the natural world is ever truly static. Physical modeling mimics this by generating sounds with the same organic fluctuations as acoustic instruments.

Atoms takes it even further. Its six main parameters can be automated with a selection of powerful motion options to add extra life. This lets you create soundscapes that are constantly shifting and re-generating, like a natural organism.

If you’re used to working with sample libraries, Atoms will bring a new level of otherworldly realism into your tracks.

Program New Patches With A Click

Atoms comes equipped with a powerful randomization engine. It’s a musically calibrated algorithm that selectively adjusts each parameter based on its relationship to the others, giving you usable patches with every roll of the dice.

You can narrow the algorithm further by limiting the random ranges for any knob or locking parameters from changing.

Finally, the Recycle button is a second randomizer that will create new patches similar to the current patch. Once you have a sound you like, click recycle to explore related options.

Physically Modeled Effects

The bottom panel gives you a range of creative effects to further sculpt your sound. You can also choose between four sonic profiles, each offering a different structure of the mass-spring network simulation that powers Atoms.

With the exception of Space (reverb), all effects in the bottom panel are created inside the physical model itself. This gives you a range of unique modulation effects that are an inherent part of the physical model and sound more natural than any separate FX chain ever would.

Feature Walkthrough

Chaos

Atoms’ virtual masses and springs can introduce nonlinearities as they push each other back and forth. Turning up the Chaos control increases this effect for seasick pitch glides and detuning.

Order

Atoms’ mass-spring networks gradually lose high frequency energy as they decay—a physical process known as damping. Increase the Order control to introduce greater damping to the springs, acting like a low-pass filter.

Force

A mass-spring interaction model needs a source of energy to generate sound through vibration. In Atoms, it’s a virtual bow. The Force parameter controls the pressure of the bow on the springs, adding noisiness and sharper harmonics as you increase it.

Overtones

Overtones controls the position of Atoms’ virtual bow along the mass-spring network. Turn it up to bow closer to the boundary, producing bright overtones like those of a violin bowed close to the bridge.

Drive

Harmonic clipping with a waveshaping function that can bring out the complex harmonics Atoms creates.

Resonant Low-Pass Filter

A traditional low-pass filter with resonance for even more tone shaping. Can be automated for LFO filter sweeps.

Musical Automation

Movement is the key to Atoms’ evolving, organic sound. The plugin’s intuitive automation system lets you put all six main parameters into motion. Choose from four distinct automation types (including polyphonic aftertouch, if enabled) and set their rate, range and behavior. Or sync to the host tempo for rhythmic effects. Atoms’ LFOs can run independently, or they can be triggered per voice for maximum flexibility.

Visualizer

Atoms’ graphical display gives you visual feedback on the behavior of the mass-spring systems under the hood. It’s a direct representation of the nodes and connections in the simulation, so what you see is exactly what you hear. Watch as you play to see the mass-spring network in action.

Root & Profile

Atoms can handle everything from powerful basslines to growling leads and airy pads. The root control lets you quickly set the octave range to transpose up and down. The four unique profiles give you different arrangements of Atoms’ mass-spring network for even more sonic range. From pristine detail to lo-fi goodness, each profile has its own character to discover.

Attack & Release

Atoms' envelope shape comes from the physics of its mass-spring model. Its attack control varies the onset of the virtual bow from abrupt to gradual. This lets you dial in everything from gentle pads to aggressive plucks. The release control affects damping in the mass-spring network for everything from short decay to infinite sustain. 

Movement, Modulation & Vibrato

Atoms’ mass-spring interaction model can create interesting variations on classic modulation effects. Varying the pickup position on the springs or modulating their stiffness gives rise to unique chorus and vibrato. Altering the depth and speed of the bowing action creates a subtle undulating motion. These effects are all part of the actual physical model and do not introduce any separate processing.

Reverb

A little context can go a long way when it comes to synth sounds. Atoms’ built-in reverb lets you add ambience with simple size and mix controls on an X/Y pad.

250+ High Quality Presets

Atoms comes with hundreds of custom presets from leading producers, so you’ll never run out of inspiration. From sci-fi SFX to organic, string-like textures, browsing sounds lets you explore every side of Atoms’ personality. 

Further Settings

Atoms comes equipped with MPE-based polyphonic aftertouch, a built-in global tuner and two color themes. Toggle between monophonic and polyphonic modes or enable the ECO option for more lightweight processing. The PANIC button stops all voices if unexpected behavior occurs.

Synthesis 101
The Filter
by Bob Moog Foundation

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