Sonic Atoms are a new music software manufacturer who develop creative tools for composers and music producers. They launched their first product – Baltic Shimmers – just a short time ago in April 2020 and have just followed it up with the highly useable Baltic Shimmers Omnisphere Edition.
Here, Sonic Atoms Founder, Patryk Scelina, who is based in Poland, gives us an insight into his own background and why he established Sonic Atoms...
Hi Patryk, tell us about your background prior to starting Sonic Atoms
I am media composer and my focus recently was mostly in games. Every time I start a new project I look for new original sounds. What I found most inspiring when fishing for ideas was sampling instruments and even non-musical objects which can produce interesting sounds. In an almost natural way, sampling has become my daily routine, which not only gave me fresh sounds for my own use but also a great amount of satisfaction as a creator. In years of work I gathered interesting sounds and at some point I realised I could share some of these sound with others.
What made you start the company and what was your inspiration for creating Baltic Shimmers?
I don’t remember if that was a spark which fired the idea for Sonic Atoms suddenly or if it was a gradually growing feeling, but one day I made a decision to start making samples for other composers. I can even say that my idea of starting Sonic Atoms was very much related to Baltic Shimmers.
There are many sample libraries on the market but when I was looking for a sound design library which I could use as a composer, I found most of the products I came across were designed for trailer music. These sounded fantastic but weren’t very useful in game music which often needs to be subtle and doesn’t cut through the mix too much – exactly the opposite of what trailer music needs to do. Even when it comes to drone sounds, many of them are designed for trailers which means they are short and static.
So my first idea for Baltic Shimmers was to make a library with drones which are very long and evolving. I wanted to open up a patch, press one key, hold it for 2 minutes and get a 2 minute long interesting evolving texture which could be used as a game underscore. So long story short, I wanted to create a sample library for game scoring which I could use myself. After some first sound recordings at the seaside and experiments with musical instruments, when I created a few patches in Halion I realised I could make a whole library with those sounds and make it available for everyone else.
What was your reason for originally developing Baltic Shimmers for the free HALion Sonic SE before also creating a version for Omnisphere?
I truly adore both Halion 6 and Omnisphere. When it comes to creating my own sounds I always start with one of those two. That may be surprising but my first thought for Baltic Shimmers was to use Omnisphere. But I turned to Halion instead, because it is primarily a sampler.
At the beginning I was experimenting and using many samples and combining them inside Halion which wouldn’t be possible at that time in Omnisphere with just 2 layers. Eventually I mixed multiple samples and processed them to finally export those sounds as complex single samples. So it turned out it was possible to put them into Omnisphere after all. However at that point I had very precise vision for Baltic Shimmers.
I knew I wanted this instrument to act like a sea. I imagined a single calm sound, like sea surface, which turns into a wave, to finally hit a coast and disappears into million water drops. I know it is possible to achieve in Omnisphere as well but I wanted this instrument to purposefully represent that specific idea. I also wanted this library to be accessible to young aspiring game composers who may not have expensive software like Kontakt or Omnisphere. So choosing free Halion Sonic SE was logical.
After Baltic Shimmers came out I was very surprised that so many people liked the product. As a “new kid on the block” I wasn’t really expecting anyone would even notice a new small sample developer. Then I thought, since I made Baltic Shimmers accessible for beginners I could transfer all these sounds into Omnisphere and give professionals not only the same sounds to work with but also sound sources to those who would like to go deeper and make their own patches.
What’s your vision for Sonic Atoms in terms of your product offering?
My vision was straight and selfish from the very beginning – to create sounds which I would like to use myself as a game composer. But jokes aside, my main goal is to create inspiring products. I teamed up with wonderful and talented artists and we are working all the time on new samples. I don’t want to say too much right now, but I can assure you, that idea for musical textures didn’t end up on Baltic Shimmers...