ZAK Sound Releases FREE Atmospheres Reverb Plugin

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Zak Sound released Atmospheres, a free reverb plugin for Windows and Mac.

Creating atmospheric effects is deceptively tricky. The usual suspects, like delay and reverb, can do quite a bit of the lifting. However, you might find yourself reaching for something a bit unusual.

On the surface, Atmospheres is a single-knob reverb, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that this is a lackluster plugin with no potential for sound design.

The interface has two main controls: a mix knob and a randomize button. The mix knob does what you would expect. The randomize knob is where things get interesting.

There are quite a few internal parameters and controls not seen on Atmospheres; hitting randomize gives you at least a modicum of control over them.

The Atmospheres plugin creates unusual reverbs. The reverb tails have plenty of motion, and you can use them to add texture to instruments and other recordings. That might be expected, given that Atmospheres is based on the equally unorthodox Deep Waters reverb from ZAK Sound.

A quick glance at the product page reveals the use of unusual IRs to create reverbs. As it is a single-knob plugin, there isn’t much to discuss regarding the actual control and dialling of the plugin.

In motion, it sounds lovely on quite a few sources. I love it on synthetic strings and arpeggios. This use really reminds me of the stellar Plateau for VCV Rack.

At that point, the reverb itself becomes an instrument of its own, carrying its own unique tonal characteristics.

However, I really wouldn’t use this on drums or basses. It worked quite well for ambient guitar work, cinematic piano playing, soundscapes, and the like.

As your typical workhorse reverb? I’d look elsewhere, like OrilRiver, for free.

And if you had a deja-vu feeling while reading this, chances are you’ve already tried the excellent (and somewhat similar) Magic Dice plugin by BABY Audio.

As an alternative to sound design, reverbs like Blackhole, Valhalla Shimmer, and Velvet Machine can help you beat it for the cost.

All of this makes me want to try the Deep Waters plugin from ZAK Sound. If we can get such unusual sounds out of its freeware reverb sibling, having more control could only be a good thing.

At any rate, Atmospheres runs on Windows and Mac computers. You’ll need a host with VST3 or AU support to run it.

Download: Atmospheres (FREE)

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Liam is a producer, mixing engineer, and compressor aficionado. When not mixing, he can be found pretending to play guitar, as he has been doing for the last 20 years.

13 Comments

  1. They demand that you will register to their website but not only this! They demand a long password, I said “Ok I will put a long password” but it didn’t even accept it

    I hate this kind of behaviour
    This is one of the things that makes a developer small and unprofessional

    • I went through the same situation at first.
      Then I tried a different password.
      The password must be very complex.

  2. I didn’t have any of the listed problems. I was notified directly by the developer, my password is 8 characters, 1 cap and one symbol. Here’s the deal – Atmospheres does one thing. It does it well, but aside from depth it’s a one trick pony. However, it can turn a simple sound into an eternity. Low notes and it’s instant drone/shoegaze. I find using it after a delay on a return channel maintains the original transient and wraps it in “Atmosphere”. If all you want is a great, free shoegaze/shimmer reverb check out Starlight.

  3. Maybe a specific browser is the issue? I used Brave and didn’t need to use an alphanumeric password, though the password was kinda long (17 letters long). Brave also suggests strong passwords made up of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and typical !#$%)*&( symbols.
    Just saying.

  4. Michael Jackson

    on

    I just discovered that I already had an account with them so that is probably why it didn’t work.

    So I was able to get in.

  5. Everyone here complaining about having to come up with a password that has a capital letter and a symbol in it has me in stitches. 😂

    This is a nice little free one-knob reverb. It’s well worth adding to my arsenal for when I want a quick, no fuss reverb that sounds huge. Plus that randomizer is really fun.

    Thanks, ZAK and BPB!

    • Maybe you were lucky ! Sadly, it seems that for a number of us, even more complex PWs don’t work … I’ve tried several that are 18 or more characters, with a mixture of capital & lower case, numbers & letters and special characters. All to no avail. Whilst it’s always appreciated when developers offer their plugins for free, it’s a shame when the associated process to register/download is seemingly made so complicated. Sadly, like many others I’ve spent too long trying to fathom this out so I’m off to make some music. Good luck to others … :-)

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