Review: Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio


This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful collections of sounds you’ll find anywhere. If you’re involved in creating lush ambient textures or pulsing electronics this library is essential.

Jump to the Videos of Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio

Jump to the Demos of Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio


Review: Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio

There is a late-night radio show on XPN, here in Philadelphia, called “Echoes” hosted by long time DJ John Diliberto. As one could gather from the title of the show, it delves into the ambient side of music ala Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel, early Pink Floyd, et al. It’s a show where you relax your body after a hard day and let your mind just float away into the aether, to a place unaffected by the problems of the world. Nordic 2, a new sound library for Omnisphere, is created with the ambient composer or performer in mind, providing soothing, lush landscapes and minimal underscore pulses that allow one to forget time and get lost in that same aether where “Echoes” takes you. On a personal level, it has re-kindled my love for the music of Klaus Schulze and has inspired me to revisit those places that influenced me to become an electronic performer. This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful collections of sounds you’ll find anywhere.


Nordic 2 sells for €20.62 from Triple Spiral Audio


I have reviewed several of Jaap Visser’s libraries in the past, whether for Omnisphere, Kontakt or VPS Avenger, and I can tell you that each one is a labor of love, each one unique in its own right, and each one incredibly inspirational. I’m sure I’ve stated this in other reviews but it deserves repeating…if you’re involved in creating lush ambient textures, eerie soundscapes, or pulsing electronics, regardless of your profession (or if you are just a noodler or a hobbyist) then I consider these libraries essential if you rely, primarily, on soft synths. There are a few designers on the planet that merit the term “essential” and Jaap is one of them. Alright, enough of the gushing accolades and onto the product…

While the title, Nordic 2, may invoke atmospheric sounds that are cold and impersonal, not so with this library. This is a library that relies more on introspection, relaxation and minimalistic beats invoking a sense of calm and easement of the senses. As I played through the samples in the library and constructed various combinations of sounds, I found myself getting lost in even the most simple of sounds and rhythms; time would stand still and my mind would move into a peaceful place, only occasionally letting my fingers change chords or slightly modulate the cutoff filter or resonance with the modwheel. The presets, on their own, have just enough variation in sound utilizing the engine’s Mod Envelopes and LFOs that one doesn’t really feel the need to alter what you’re given. To be clear, this is a library where single presets call out to be combined with other presets, creating multi-dimensions of sound layers that result in sheer beauty. Overall, there are very few patches that don’t combine well here.

As one can tell from the above screenshot, categories of patches are broken down into ARP/BPM, Bells & Vibes, Guitars, Pads & Strings, Synth Poly, Textures Playable, Textures Soundscapes. There are only a couple of ARPs in the library which are synthetic in nature and very complementary of both the Pads and Textures when creating your own Multis. The heavier emphasis in Nordic is on the BPMs. The Pulses are punchy, minimalistic and perfect creating an undercurrent of dreamy yet rhythmic patterns. Pulses are created, primarily, by running atmospheric samples through the Mod Envelopes in loop-like fashion. They are both chromatic and polyphonic so you can create some interesting rhythmic structures that can add trance inducing movement to your compositions.

One of the “modulation tricks” that Jaap likes to employ in many of his Omnisphere libraries is making use of Aftertouch and Breath Controller as a mod source. As you can see, above, Aftertouch is being used to modulate one of the FX units, in this case, the depth of the Analog Vibrato. Of course, if you are using a MIDI keyboard (or another controller) without Aftertouch you will probably want to change the mod source to something else, maybe the modwheel or an LFO. It’s a good idea to get a feel of what is being modulated ahead of playing as Jaap tends to use A LOT of modulation in his presets. There is, typically, a lot of modulation affecting the Filter Cutoff and different parameters of a variety of FX modules. Once I get a good feel on how things are done, I also like to add some movement, though slight, to the Filter Resonance which wields some interesting results.

In the Guitars section, there is a 10-part theme called “The Rituals”. In just about every instance, there are unique guitar examples imported into Omnisphere. Most are very ambient and somewhat similar though, by themselves, they offer a very distinct character. Dynamically, they are very soft in volume and could get lost in the mix if you are not careful. Experiment with some of the FX modules to bring the sound up in the mix or, even, add one of the amplifiers in the FX section. There is a lot of interesting sound going on in these samples as, many of them are run through Omnisphere’s Resonator and Innerspace modules. Again, experiment with these modules to alter the dynamics, especially Innerspace, where you can radically change the sound to something that doesn’t even resemble what you started with.

In addition to a wide array of modulation, Jaap likes to utilize a slew of different FX modules applied to the sound sources. Typical to the Common (Global) effects is the use of reverb (Pro Verb), tape delay (Retroplex), a 2 band EQ, and an Analog Vibrato. The Global delay tends to be rather understated as one of the individual layers, typically, is being affected by a BPM 3X mono delay unit which automatically synchronizes to host’s tempo. If you haven’t already figured out, there is a lot going on other than just the imported sound source. To make it even somewhat more complex, many of the layers also utilize Omnisphere’s “Granular” module and “Waveshaper” module. In the case of the former, you may want to keep a close eye on your processor utilization as it can be a CPU hog.

If I had to select one category where this library really shines that would be the playable textures. Much like the Guitars section, there is also a thematic feel to this one. The Northern Roads is a series of patches, some quite complex, that utilize imported granular sounds which are heavily modulated. They are incredibly full in sound and almost bordering on the orchestral. Several of these are also combined in the Multis section to provide an even fuller sounding experience. As Multis, they are split low & high in the Stack section and they beckon the composer to work in one or more BPM Pulses to create a full electronic ambient experience. This is where you will get lost in this library as the combination of these elements will produce both a hypnotic and trancelike effect pushing both player and listener to an otherworldly place. This library gets my highest recommendation!!


Nordic 2 for Omnisphere contains 164 Sound Sources, 100 presets and15 Multis. The library downloads as 700 MB and requires Omnisphere 2.6 (or greater).

Nordic 2 sells for €20.62 from Triple Spiral Audio


Demos of Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio

Videos of Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio

Contributor Raymond D Ricker reviews Nordic 2 by Triple Spiral Audio
“This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful collection of sounds you’ll find anywhere. If you’re involved in creating lush ambient textures or pulsing electronics this library is essential.”